Whimsical Dental Clinic Design Aims To Calm Patient Fears

Whimsical Dental Clinic Design Aims To Calm Patient Fears

Cheerful colors and a nod to the comforts of home are design elements tactfully aimed to help people relax

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 29 august 2016

Dental fear or dental phobia is a condition that an estimated 30-40 million people experience in America alone. Results of surveys have shown that past negative experiences, pain and embarrassment are some of the motivators that create this kind of anxiety. Another component not frequently mentioned, but likely a contributor is the typical dental office environment. The rows of chairs, fluorescent lighting, narrow corridors and generally impersonal aesthetics aren’t exactly conducive to a relaxing atmosphere.

Shanghai-based RIGI Design have created a space for Orange Dental that breaks all the conventions of the traditional dental office. Their design mixes bight colors and friendly shapes within a space that aims to feel a bit like home.


The main reception desk is connected to a planter that extends through the front glass to the outside. The area is brightly lit from an overhead simulated skylight. The desk and back wall contain over-scale dot patterns and is home to a greeter bird that lives on the desk top.


Blocks of waiting room chairs have been replaced with a hospitality area centered around a large table and chairs, something like a kitchen table at home. This facilitates getting some work done or striking up a conversation with a fellow patient.



On an adjacent wall is a complimentary tea and coffee service. There’s a designated space for younger patients with a house-shaped cut-out window. The play area is acoustically separated from the rest of the space so kids can be as loud as they like without disturbing anyone else.


The fun shapes and colors within the space go a long way to lightening the appearance, but their application doesn’t get too out of control to where is feels like a space just for children. The RIGI designers seem to have found just the right balance.


RIGI Design

+dental clinic
+lighting design
+office space
+RIGI Design

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