The 5 Pillars of Dental Patient Engagement

January 26, 2023

Do your patients seem uninvolved in their oral health care? 

If so, you may benefit from developing some patient engagement! Patient engagement is a strategy that puts patients at the center of their experience so that they can leave dental offices more aware of their oral health needs. 

How can your dental practice support patient engagement? Well, let's find out! 

What’s the point of dental patient engagement? 

Improves long-term health

You’re only as good as what you know, which is why patient engagement is so important. 

Keeping your patients in the loop about best practices when it comes to oral health is the easiest way to ensure that they will reap the benefits of treatment. In fact, studies show that patients that are educated and take an active role in their healthcare reap more benefits from the care they receive. 

Increased patient engagement can help patients: 

  • Gain a more comprehensive understanding of the treatment options available to them, including supplemental oral health care like orthodontic treatments.
  • Take financial ownership of outstanding costs associated with care. 
  • Understand the risks associated with poor oral health decisions including smoking, poor diet and lack of oral hygiene. 
  • Gain access to preventative steps and strategies they can take to minimize poor oral health outcomes. 

Strengthens patient loyalty

Though we all love our bi-annual dental check-ins, hanging out in the dentist’s waiting room may not be your patient's idea of the perfect day. In fact, nearly 40% of patients in the US experience dental anxiety, often associating oral healthcare with unpleasant or traumatic experiences. 

This sort of anxiety—or a generally poor and unpleasant experience—can seriously affect how willing patients are to receive care and can certainly make an impact on who patients decide to see for their cleanings. 

Patient engagement makes your patient's waiting room, treatment and oral surgery experience as pleasant as it can possibly be. It helps patients pass the time and redirect their focus away from negative feelings

Ultimately, creating a more positive experience for your patients in your dental practice can create lasting relationships with them. It’s an investment you are sure to see a return on in more ways than one! 

Decreased no-shows and delayed care

Sure, one or two no-shows may not be a huge deal, but it can add up! Ultimately, no-shows don’t just affect your hygienists and dentists, but they affect other patients, too. Missing out on valuable opportunities to get patients in for their appointments can lead to a domino effect. It’s a problem that all practices need to address.

This is where patient engagement can play a significant role in reducing costs and increasing business opportunities for your practice. Patient engagement happens on multiple levels and should leverage multiple mediums to share information. Images, for example, can aid in memory

Looking for an even more concrete way to eradicate no-shows? Opt for interactive content that allows patients to sign up for appointment reminders! 

5 pillars of dental patient engagement you need to follow

Wellness education

While numerous bodies of research have demonstrated the countless benefits of patient engagement, barriers to providers yet remain. While some of these barriers lie in policy change, some boil down to common hurdles all practices face, such as: 

  • Time constraints
  • Lack of employee or provider training
  • Insufficient information systems that provided educational material or exposed shortcomings in patient decision making 

These challenges may seem difficult to overcome, but the right digital signage tools can help practices overcome each of these barriers in one easy-to-use, comprehensive tool. 

UPshow makes creating educational material as easy as dragging and dropping content into its fully integrated Canva editor. You can easily share information by copying information into premade templates. The tool is intuitive to use, anyone on your staff can do it. 

Not only that, but you can share videos and royalty-free images with your patients to engage them in more than one way. 

The best part? UPshow displays are fully trackable through its integrated Insights and Analytics feature. This means that your practice can identify gaps in patient knowledge and restrategize patient engagement efforts to meet their needs. 

Patient experience

Making a waiting room pleasant is no easy feat! Or at least, it wasn’t until UPshow came into the picture.

UPshow makes it easy to create a pleasant and comfortable experience from your waiting room chairs to your oral surgery room. With 500+ streamable channels of entertainment, there are hundreds of ways to take your patient's mind off of the dental experiences that make them most nervous. 

You can create an immersive experience with UPshow Premium Audio, too. UPshow Premium Audio gives your practice access to 50+ stations of fully licensed, ad-free music. 

Creating a positive patient experience starts with entertainment. Here's how your dental practice can use entertainment to increase patient engagement and patient satisfaction: 

  • Incorporate natural imagery and lyric-free nature tracks to create a relaxing environment in your office. Natural imagery and sounds are proven to help people manage stress! It’s an easy way to comfort anxious patients who are prone to ditch appointments. 
  • What if we told you that screens might be the best dental assistant to date, especially when it comes to working with children? Studies show that entertainment can make your young patients more comfortable and cooperative while they are in your chair! 

Accessibility and assistance

Creating accessible spaces is crucial for every practice to ensure the well-being and health of their patients. Barriers to access include anything from language barriers to disabilities. 

Digital signage can serve as a critical access point for many of your patients; in fact, it can help you meet several of the core tenants of Universal Design (UDL). UDL is a growing movement that creates accessible spaces by thinking about design tools that are useful for everyone, regardless of who they may be. 

Digital signage provides dentists and hygienists with the opportunity to:

  • Share education and financial resources with patients in multiple languages.
  • Engage patients with text, images and video materials to cover all bases of learning. 
  • Provide access to mobile forms that can be filled out using speech-to-text tools and other smart assistive devices. 
  • Making information accessible to non-verbal patients or providing multiple opportunities for engagement to patients with differentiated processing needs.

One in four American adults has some type of disability. Ensuring your office is accessible is a vital part of patient engagement for a significant portion of your patients. 

Brand building

Patients create lasting relationships with their oral healthcare providers based on more than just care. For many, brand ethos plays an important role in making a decision to revisit an office. 

This is why marketing is an important part of any successful practice. It’s a crucial part of maintaining your patient relationships and building new ones. Your patient engagement strategies can help you send the right message in your office in a consistent, cost-effective and engaging way. 

Here are a couple of ways you can use marketing to establish a consistent brand and patient experience in your office:

  • Is your practice family oriented? Share health tips for parents, display Saturday morning cartoons and keep everyone entertained with interactive trivia games. 
  • Do you primarily serve patients who are interested in cosmetic treatment options to supplement routine oral care? Use sleek display designs to share your robust repository of skills and treatment options.
  • Do you work with a network of other healthcare providers, like whitening specialists or orthodontists? Share their contact information with scannable QR codes

Patient insights

Not sure how to improve your patient engagement strategy? With UPshow, there's no need to guess. 

Your practice has immediate access to insights and analytics for all of your patient engagement content. This allows you to determine which aspects of your campaign are most effective, which are least engaging and how much revenue is returned from different marketing strategies. 

This allows you and your staff to tighten up on different patient education initiatives to ensure that your patients leave happy, healthy and informed. Not only this, but it saves office administrators the time of guessing which content your waiting room visitors want to see so that your digital content is always effective. 

UPshow is your dental patient engagement solution—and more!

Keeping your patients engaged shouldn’t be hard. UPshow is the all-in-one solution your practice can use to keep patients happy and healthy. 

From robust digital display tools to hundreds of entertainment options, UPshow has your back in every room of your practice. Ready to learn more? Try a free demo today to see how UPshow can make your dental practice more engaging! 

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