What Dental Teams Can Learn from Disney

If you have ever stood in line for a ride at Disney World, you are not the only person who notices how slow the line moves or how many upset children are around you.  Disney maintains a high-tech command center within Cinderella’s Castle where a team monitors lines and crowd temperament throughout the park.

line of people

An article in an issue of Mental Floss magazine describes how the Disney team springs into action when lines are slow-moving.  For example, if lines back up at the Pirates of the Caribbean, extra boats are launched and costumed Captain Jacks concentrate on entertaining the crowd.

If moody children need extra TLC, a mini-parade of Disney characters peels kids out of line and gives them a much-appreciated distraction.

happy kid

How can you apply the Disney approach to your dental practice?  Consider how your team manages patients when you are running behind.  Disney-like teams do not cower behind the desk when they sense people are growing angry over a late appointment; instead they promptly communicate with patients.

In addition, Disney-like dental teams brainstorm about how to maximize efficiency when the schedule is running behind, which may involve having a hygienist numb the dentist’s next patient or getting an assistant to take x-rays for the hygienist.


Proactive dental teams think ahead about patient comfort, offering refreshments in the reception area and keeping extra toys for children in need of a distraction.

What dental teams can learn from Disney is a proactive approach toward patient care.  Running late from time to time is inevitable.  The key is to respond promptly to keep patients as comfortable as possible.

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