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In almost every dentist’s office, you’ll find waiting rooms TVs. Television screens are frequently placed in areas where patients sit before their appointments. 

But even though these screens may look similar in each office, some of them perform very different functions than others. Some dental waiting room TVs are positioned to do more than air the local news.

Screens in smart, forward-thinking dental offices are actually using TVs to help patients by decreasing their anxiety.

How do dental waiting room TVs decrease anxiety?

The type of content aired on dental waiting room TVs can be the difference between a screen that serves as standard office embellishment or a tool that helps patients relax while they wait.

With the right content, televisions in a dental waiting room decrease anxiety as they: 

Explain and educate. Content can ease patient nerves by informing audiences. Patients are more calm and relaxed when they are prepared for their appointment and have information about their dental care. Television content that offers a step-by-step breakdown of an appointment process, introduces key staff members, and explains tooth care can help patients feel more in control, and therefore, less stressed. 

Engage and entertain. Interesting content that patients enjoy also decreases patient stress as it takes their mind off the upcoming appointment. If a patient is nervous, sitting and thinking about their appointment is going to make them more nervous. Engaging, fun, and entertaining content pulls back anxiety by giving audiences something that makes them laugh, holds their attention, and helps them relax. 

Patients are less stressed when presented with educational and entertaining television content while they wait. And, there’s even more that dental waiting room TVs can do for patients and practices.

What are the other benefits of TVs in the waiting area?

In addition to making patients feel better while they wait, digital screens in dental waiting rooms also help to:

  • Decrease perceived wait time. When digital signage is present in a waiting room, it makes the wait feel shorter. A patient who is engaged with content on a screen will feel like they’ve waited for 20 minutes even if they’ve actually waited for 30 minutes. [Learn more about decreasing perceived wait time.]
  • Reinforce branding. Digital screens provide an opportunity for a practice to continually present their brand to waiting patients. They can feature branded content on the screen to keep their messages and branding in front of audiences at all times.
  • Elevate brand positioning. As a practice in the healthcare field, you want to show patients that your business is performing at the highest level and using the best tools and technology. Digital content offerings allow you to show off your brand as a premium option that uses the best, most advanced technologies.  
  • Save money on print signage. With dental waiting room TVs that allow a practice to update and change the content, a practice can stop ordering new versions of print signage. They can simply update the advertisements in their content to promote to waiting patients.

All dental waiting room TVs benefit a practice and its patients, but some options will provide more benefits than others.

What are your options for waiting room TVs?

A dental practice has options when selecting the right TV for their waiting room. They can choose from screens that offer basic, standard content to custom playlists and videos. 

  • Basic Cable: The most basic option for adding a TV to a dental waiting room is hooking up a television and connecting it to basic cable. This is better than having no dental waiting room TV at all, but it comes with a few downsides. When you air cable, you have no control over the content on the screen. You cannot customize the experience to suit your patient’s need. This could lead to airing unsavory, inappropriate content or even ads for your competitors.  

If you choose to upgrade from basic cable, you can use digital signage to incorporate the following options.

  • Live Cable Pass-thru: Live cable pass-through is a step up from basic cable. With this option, you deliver basic cable to patients. But, you use digital signage to also add a frame that features your branding and messaging around the main content. This allows you to use your TV as a way to deliver information to your patients while they wait.
  • Private Label TV: Private label TV offers more customization than live cable pass-thru. You control everything that airs on the screen. You select the programming (as opposed to relying on whatever is airing on cable channels) and can add branded frames and custom messaging. This is an ideal situation for practices that want to use their dental waiting room TVs as a tool for increasing patient engagement and decreasing patient anxiety as it allows the provider to deliver content that is specially designed to educate and entertain.
  • Interactive Digital Screens: Private label TV puts the control over content in the practice’s hand. Interactive digital signs put the control over content in the patient’s hands. These digital screens enable audiences to select the content that airs. This provides even higher audience engagement as patients can select the content that is most relevant to them. You can be certain that the content presented to patients is exactly what they want and need to see.

When you use digital signage to deliver content through your dental waiting room TVs, you unlock many opportunities to customize your messaging and programming to best connect with patients and help ease their anxiety.

Learn more about upgrading your dental waiting room TVs.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can use the programming on your dental waiting room TVs to help patients feel more comfortable during their visit to your office, grab our free digital signage guide.

The guide will answer all of your questions about how to install screens that give your practice complete control over programming. It also explains how to create content best designed to educate, entertain, and ease patient anxiety. Download your copy below!