Dental Operatory Televisions: The Ideal Cure for Patient Anxiety

Dental operatory televisions can both entertain and educate, making them an ideal cure for patient anxiety.

There's an inherent stress baked into any dental operatory. From the patient's point of view, it's a position of complete vulnerability.

They're reclined, with limited vision. In their peripheral are your instruments. Hovering above them is your scissor arm.

The room is familiar only in that they've visited your practice before; it doesn't look like a sitting room or kitchen, but rather some amalgam of the two.

And then there's the exam. No matter how gentle, how caring, or how communicative you are, at the end of the day the patient still has other people's hands in their mouth. It's a stressful situation.

But you already know this.

Your whole team works on proper hand offs and ways to personally connect with patients in order to minimize anxiety. Patient care goes beyond the oral exam; it's the entire experience somebody has with your practice.

So, beyond human contact, how else can we combat patient anxiety in your dental operatory?

For the purpose of this blog, we're going to focus on the televisions throughout your practice.

At its core, television is escapism. It takes our minds to another place and shifts our focus from reality. Here are a few ways proper television programming can work in tandem with your team to create a stress free dental operatory.


When it comes to your dental operatory, television presents an unparalleled entertainment value. It's visually stimulating and helps distract from even the most routine of checkups.

What's best is that entertainment comes in all shapes and sizes!

Streaming services like Hulu and Netflix provide bottomless supplies of programming patients can enjoy.

For a quick visit, queue up a 30-minute program. By the time the credits roll, you'll have finished with the exam and the patient will have forgotten they were even at the doctor!

Instead of streaming outlets, some offices prefer more targeted, dental-specific entertainment.

Platforms like Patient Connect TV are made specifically for dental practices and have quicker-paced programming that's not narrative-based.

Dental trivia, games like a dental-themed three-card monte, and celebrity interviews all rotate at a brisk enough pace that patients' minds remain stimulated.

Regardless of how it's packaged, remember: entertaining operatory is a stress-free operatory.

Improve your dental waiting room experience

Promote Total Wellness

In early January of 2018, the gym chain Life Time Fitness banned cable news networks (think: CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, etc.) from its programming rotations. According to the company, those networks are not conducive to a "healthy way of life."

This decision is relevant to your practice and what you show in your operatory.

Like we said earlier: patient care goes beyond oral health. It's total wellness!

In providing wholesome, non-salacious programming, you not only eliminate stress from the dental operatory, you insulate patients from real-world stressors!

A study by the Harvard Business Review found that watching only three minutes of negative news programming led to a 27% increase of unhappiness for six to eight hours.

Fortunately, you have the means to prevent this toxicity from affecting their days!

So this is a deeper aspect to television's value within your practice: a safe space for patients.

No arguing, no fear-mongering, and no negativity.

With the right programming, a visit to your practice might be the most relaxing part of a patient's day!

Dental Operatory Education

While television provides the perfect escape for many, it's not a catchall. Some patients simply cannot turn their brains off.

No episode of The Office and not even the most interesting dental trivia on the planet can distract them from the fact that people are exploring their oral cavity.

Which, if we're being completely honest with ourselves, it's totally understandable!

However, you can help put these patients at ease. It just takes a little shift in programming.

Televisions in your dental operatory are perfect educational tools. Knowing your patient's dental history, you can program topics that you'll discuss with them.

Perhaps they've had bridgework done in the past. Videos on pontics will give a deeper understanding of what's happening inside their mouth.

Through education you relieve the stress of the unknown. Educational programming can stimulate conversations, and encourage patients to ask more questions about their oral health.

Moreover, educational videos can also prepare patients for future services.

For example, informative videos on tooth whitening can help ease fears of people suffering discoloration due to dental trauma. The tooth discoloration isn't permanent, and you're showing how they can regain their perfect smile!

When it comes to delivering a total patient experience, an operatory with the right programming is the perfect complement to your dental team. It wipes away patient anxiety, and has the potential to create a stress-free vibe across your entire practice!

Learn more about how RevenueWell and Patient Connect TV can remove the stress from your practice today!