Dentist offices understand that music has an impact on mood.

This is important both for patients who might be scared and for employees who have long hours and potentially high stress workloads.

Thanks to improvements in internet access and mobile device technology, most people listen to music frequently throughout their day — on their way to and from work, while performing chores and running errands, and during many other everyday situations. Music reduces stress and increases physical energy, depending on the tempo, melody, and genre of music we listen to.

Music, audiobooks, and television can all be used as ways to distract and soothe dental patients and employees. But, you have to legally acquire these sound options.

Get Legal Streaming Music for Your Dentist Office

Certain sounds common to offices, especially clinical offices like dental practices, can be grating or frightening. More importantly, medical practitioners may need to have conversations about sensitive personal information, which others should not hear due to HIPAA laws.

Playing calming sounds like classical or instrumental music can reduce the impact of these common stressors by modulating breathing rate and heartbeat. Music also protects medical information.

Whether music is background tunes in the waiting room or foreground songs sent to headphones for your patient, you want to make sure you have access to a big enough rotating library.

Until recently, most businesses including medical practices had to contact performing rights organizations (PROs) directly and pay a monthly or yearly fee for access to a catalogue of music. However, the internet now allows you to search for royalty-free, Creative Commons-licensed, or even public domain music, which you can use for a small fee or even no cost.

Unfortunately, these options do not cover trendy music that your patients and employees might prefer. Fortunately, music streaming services for businesses, like Cloud Cover Music, can offer help with licensing music for your dental practice. We also offer curated playlists, so you can play the most soothing background music and offer upbeat foreground music.

The Best Music for Dental Practices

The most effective musical choices, for both patients and employees in dental practices, include:

  • Slow, regular classical or instrumental music.
  • Music with lower decibel levels.
  • Songs that draw the attention of the patient or sooth an employee performing a repetitive task.

Consider the areas of the practice where higher energy may be needed. For example, up-tempo happy music may be good for the waiting room or in the back offices for employees, but it may not be great for patients waiting for treatment. Soothing instrumental music may be good for easing dental patients’ stress, but it may not be good for employees who need to stay awake.

Working with a commercial streaming music provider means you can get professional guidance on choosing music which works in your dentist office, taking into consideration the needs of your patients and employees.

Who Is Affected by Music Played in Dentists’ Offices?

One of the most stressful but routine things we do is go to the dentist. Fortunately, music can help us in this stressful situation.

Medical research has found that, from the emergency room to the physical therapy practice, music can ease stress, improve immune and hormone production, elevate mood, and reduce pain. Those running dental practices can use this information to improve outcomes for their patients, starting in the waiting room and moving all the way into their time recovering at home.

For patients

Music has long been associated with brightening or regulating emotions and stress, so the music played in the waiting room, in specific treatment rooms, and even through headphones during procedures can soothe anxious patients, reduce stress from longer procedures, and even improve the healing process by reducing overall pain.

A case study of 200 adult patients, divided into two even groups, examined how classical music could affect dental treatment outcomes. One group of 100 listened to classical music, while the rest were in the control group that did not listen to music or specific sounds. A questionnaire given to the participants before and after treatment found that classical music was considered the most relaxing style. Patients who listened to classical music were more treatable, less tense, and adjusted better to different approaches to treatment.

A leading complaint among people seeking dental treatment is the fear of discomfort during procedures, even routine ones like cleanings. A study of 34 patients who reported dental anxiety found that music therapy during treatment decreased cortisol, a stress hormone, so the participants experienced less reported anxiety during the course of their treatment.

A study of pediatric dentistry (dentistry for children) found that using music during sedation improved recovery rates after the procedure. While many studies on dental procedures and music have been conducted on adults, this survey on children’s rates of recovery indicates that music works for young people as well as older people.

For dentists and assistants

Dentists, dental hygienists, and their assistants may suffer significant hearing loss over time due to loud instruments and tools. They may also suffer hearing loss at a dental practice due to music that is played at too loud a volume.

It is important, for the sake of patients and employees, to keep noise level to 60 decibels, as much as possible, and this includes music in the waiting room. Playing music more softly, at around 40 decibels, could be better for everyone’s stress level.

Reportedly, the pain threshold of sound is 140 decibels, so moving further from that while maintaining audibility can reduce stress for patients and hearing loss for employees of a dental practice.

For receptionists

Due to medical laws, it is important to keep information on a person’s health, including their dental health, private. For the most part, these laws involve keeping printed and electronic records secure, and not releasing information unless the patient has specifically completed a request or granted legal permission.

You can determine when foreground or background sound works better for which situation. Psychological studies suggest that background music increases the positive sense or evaluation of one’s environment, while foreground music can increase excitement and happiness.

Dentists can improve their patients’ and employees’ experience of the office environment and dental procedures by determining where to apply appropriate music or other audio options.