Want to grow your dental practice? Talk with any dental practice growth consultant and they’ll strongly emphasize the lasting value of creating a truly remarkable patient experience. That effort becomes your professional image and what patients ultimately remember.

The dental patient experience has a direct impact on their compliance to schedule 6-month dental checkups, retention, referrals and their enthusiasm to post amazing online reviews! Increased patient participation in any or several of these areas will definitely quicken the stride toward dental practice growth.

So what specific steps can you take to give your dental patients the memorable send-off feeling of their dreams? A part of the answer might reside in what German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus, a pioneer in the study of memory, coined as the “Recency Effect.”  Dr. Ebbinghaus observed when his study subjects were asked to recall a list of items in any order he noted, “People tend to begin recall with the end of the list, recalling those items best.”

Holding to the idea of the “Recency Effect,” a dental practice owner might want to place greater, more deliberate consideration on the patient experience during and toward the end of the dental visit.

 Lasting Impression memory foam handprint

A few ways to demonstrate excellence in the latter part of the dental visit might be:

  1.        Memorable Comfort: Consider the “Wow!” factor of offering each dental patient a premium MediPosture memory foam neck pillow. There is no denying that such cushions offer enhanced neck support and comfort over factory chair configurations. At the conclusion of a dental visit, patients who’ve experienced the cushion, tend to feel more refreshed and less strained. As a hidden benefit, these cushions help increase the tolerance patients have to being reclined. Therefore, ergonomic work angles are often improved for the dental operator.
  2.        Loyalty Builders: Don’t underestimate the lasting value of investing in dental-specific patient giveaways that help support the message of dental health. Choosing products such as toothbrushes, dental floss or complete dental care kits will be a sure way to promote good oral hygiene habits. Your dental practice will further benefit with custom imprinting. Quantum Labs is the original designer of the dental Toothcase Supply Bag, which can be configured as a kit to include a toothbrush, toothpaste and brushing timer – electric toothbrush replacement heads are available too!
  3.        Digital “Nitrous”: Visit the OperaDDS VR (virtual reality) website if you wish to deliver a “Far-Out” experience that is sure to be remembered by dental patients. Designed by Dr. Bryan Laskin, these virtual reality headsets offer patients a variety of incredible virtual-reality experiences with scenarios of their choosing. According to Opera VR, the headset’s effectiveness in relieving patient anxiety has been documented to be as effective as using nitrous oxide.

Leverage the science behind the “Recency Effect” to make your practice’s unique patient experience and last impression, a positive lasting impression. Trying one of these suggestions during dental visits should create greater patient enthusiasm and long-term participation – and remember the old saying, “You’re only as good as your last performance.”