Pediatric Dental Office Design That Reduces Anxiety in Kids

Here are 7 ideas for pediatric dental office design that will ease children’s worried minds.

Anxiety is the fear of the unknown. For many kids (and even adults) a trip to the dentist is a plunge into the unknown. Naturally, you can’t control what is going through a child’s mind, but you can be strategic with your pediatric dental office design to help children learn to enjoy their visit to the dentist.

Your work station, by nature, has to accommodate you and your staff. There are certain requirements of dentistry that dictate some of your design. You need to be able to quickly reach your tools, look at x-rays, and move freely (which means you’ll need to save that Minion costume for Halloween).

However, once the practical elements are taken care of, pediatric dental office design can be almost anything you want it to be. Here are a few things to consider before you get started:

  • What is your budget? You can hire an architect to recreate the bridge of the Starship Enterprise, or you can head to the hardware store and buy some paint for do-it-yourself stencils.
  • What do you like? Don’t forget that you and your staff will be spending a lot of time with this design. Not much of a Star Trek fan? Then the Starship Enterprise is probably out. However if you spend every day off at the aquarium, maybe an aquatic theme would work.
  • What will your patients like? Granted, most of your patients will only be in your office twice a year. Try to figure out a pediatric dental office design that has some degree of universal appeal. Remember, you’ll have both toddlers and teenagers visiting your office.
  • Do you like to redecorate frequently? A big construction project is much more permanent than paint colors or posters. If you like to change things up regularly, it’s best to stick to projects that are easy to alter.

Pediatric dental office design solutions

There are some “invisible” design elements that can help children handle the anxiety of going to the dentist. Calm music, an air purifier, and a friendly staff do wonders to set the tone in your office. The next step is to pull out the paint and get the creative juices are flowing. Here are seven pediatric dental offices we found for ideas and inspiration.

Deep Sea Diving

Doctors Natalie Harrison and Steven Hogan in Houston have a fun office – for kids and parents! There is a Pac-Man arcade game in the waiting room, a swordfish on the ceiling, and an Orca in the treatment area. They put a lot of consideration into creating a comforting and relaxing atmosphere with this pediatric dental office design.

Totally nautical 

Adelberg Montalvan Pediatric Dental has three locations on Long Island, N.Y. All three of their practices are designed with a nautical theme, as well. Submarines, shipwrecks, and coral reefs dominate the “seascape”, but it’s the shark with braces that catches the eye. If they can give a shark braces, they must know how to help patients relax and lower anxiety.

Distraction action

Dickson Pediatric Dentistry, in Dickson, Tenn., has a top secret distraction technique – television. That’s right; they have ceiling-mounted televisions above the exam chairs. The fun colors also provide an atmosphere of fun and warmth. Another trick they have up their sleeve is to let parents join their kids in the treatment area, with the goal of making dental visits a stress-free experience.

Tigers and trees

Smile Town Dentistry in Burnaby, British Columbia is built from the ground up for kids. The office sports a jungle theme, complete with tiger mirrors, “trees”, a children’s theater room, and fun, bright colors. The Smile Town website includes a video introduction to the practice with Dr. Diya Chadha. They go out of their way to help reduce the anxiety children may have with about a visit to the dentist.

Mural fun

Turner Pediatric Dentistry, in Acworth, Ga., offers an excellent example of how much you can do with paint – and an artist. The walls are decorated with murals of leopards resting in trees, toucans, monkeys, panda bears, and gorillas. The overall effect is a “fun” vibe for kids.

Modern element

On The Cusp Pediatric Dentistry, in Tulsa, Okla., uses modern design to create a soothing atmosphere for kids and parents alike. Their use of lighting and color to highlight the calming possibilities in pediatric dental office design is totally on point. Even though the office design has a distinct aesthetic, there is also an opportunity here to discover what you can do with even the most basic elements.

Fish tales

Cammarata Pediatric Dentistry Group has three locations in the Houston, T.X. area. While the office design is modern and beautiful, they haven’t neglected the classic anxiety-reducing element: fish. There is a huge tank in at least two of the office locations. You can never go wrong with fish as an office design element to help reduce anxiety.

These are just a few of many possible ideas for pediatric dental office design. You can make it as simple or as elaborate as you like. So what do you think? Are you ready to turn your office into a relaxing retreat?

What is the best pediatric dental office design you’ve seen? Share it with us in the comments!

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