Dental Intelligence


August 30, 2023

How to Start the Conversation about Dental Patient Financial Responsibility

Talking with a patient about payment and the cost of a procedure probably isn't the most fun part of your job. Here are some tips on how to make the conversation smooth.

Talking about money can be awkward, but beginning the conversation about finances with patients before performing a procedure is critical. No one likes a surprise bill, and if you put off having a money conversation for too long, you’re more likely to face a mounting collection of accounts receivable.

In this article, we’ll share non-awkward ways to discuss finances and helpful tips to collect a bill when a patient disputes it. 

Why Discussing Patient Financial Responsibility is Important and How to Do It Right

There are three reasons you should be discussing finances early on with your patients:

  1. Manage expectations. Patients should know what they’re getting into before a procedure.
  1. Increase collections. When patients are informed about the cost of treatment, they’re less likely to dispute it.
  1. Improve the patient experience. Getting the money talk out of the way allows the patient to focus on the treatment.

So, how do you start the conversation? There are three points in the patient journey that can open the door.

1. Your Website

Most patients will visit your website before visiting your office, so this is an ideal time to set expectations about dental payments early.

Include a page on your website that outlines insurance options, payment plans, and patient financial responsibility. If you do offer payment plans, provide links to apply. This sets the tone upfront, answers common questions, and provides patients with the accurate impression that you prioritize affordable care and will work with your patients to ensure they receive it.

2. The First Visit

From the first visit, be sure to discuss finances and what the patient is responsible for paying. At the introductory appointment, provide patient intake forms and folders that include financial leaflets.

Further, it helps to prioritize staff training so that your entire team is well-versed in all of your payment options and fee structures.

When your staff is fully trained in financing options, insurance co-pays, and everything else that affects out-of-pocket expenses, they’ll be able to communicate the cost of care confidently and in a way that helps a patient feel at ease.

3. Pre-Appointment Reminders

There’s usually a gap between the day a patient agrees to treatment and the day of a procedure. Like you, your patients have a lot of things on their minds, and they might not recall how much the procedure costs. It can be helpful to send an appointment reminder a few days before the appointment with information about how to prepare for the procedure and the costs involved.

At the conclusion of the email, invite the patient to call your office to discuss any questions or concerns.

Tips for Handling Patients with Billing Issues

The most common billing issues a dental practice faces are patients who dispute the cost of their received services or patients who cannot (or will not) pay their bill.

Situations where a patient fails to pay are not easy, and we’ve discovered the following tactics that can help smooth things over and ensure your office is paid:

  1. Listen empathetically and remind the patient of your policies. Money issues are tricky and can lead to charged emotions. A lot of times, your patient just needs to be heard. While you’re nobody’s punching bag, if you let the person vent for a few minutes, they’ll often run out of steam, and you can resume the conversation in a calm and rational manner.
  1. Offer payment plans. If you don’t already have payment plans and financing options available, now is a great time to consider adding one. These options lessen the burden of paying for high-ticket dental procedures and encourage paying in full for treatment.
  1. Make it convenient to submit payments. We’re all busy, and sometimes paying a dental bill is another item on the to-do list that never gets checked off. If you can find ways to make it easier to pay the bill for your services, you might find that you get better compliance. Consider text-to-pay options and online payment portals on your website.

Dental Intelligence Helps Practices Collect More

Another way dental practices can increase collections is to require an upfront payment. In addition to collecting funds in advance, upfront payments help reduce no-shows because the treatment has already been paid for. It can also provide patients with peace of mind because they’ve paid in full and don’t have an impending bill taking up mental space.

To learn more about how Dental Intelligence can take your collections to the next level, schedule a demo today.

Dental Intelligence


August 30, 2023

5 Tips to Design User-Friendly Dental Medical Forms to Enhance the Patient Experience

Filling out medical records can be one of the most tedious tasks for your patients. Here's some tips on how digital forms and other tools can help make the process easier.

Filling out dental medical forms is one of those mundane tasks that no patient looks forward to. When these forms are overly complicated, long, or tedious, patients can form a negative impression of your dental practice before their exam or treatment even begins. 

Have you ever considered how your intake forms are impacting your patient experience? By creating user-friendly, stress-free dental medical forms that patients can fill out online, you can enhance patients' experiences before they even walk through the door.

1. Minimize the Number of Questions 

Of course, you need to know a patient's medical history and concerns so that you can provide personalized and comprehensive dental treatments. But patients can easily become overwhelmed filling out pages upon pages of forms before their appointments. 

Your first step in creating a more user-friendly dental medical form process is to take out any questions that aren't absolutely necessary. Consider which questions you could move to another part of their dental treatment process, such as once you've called them back for an exam or after you complete x-rays.

If you can't remove any questions, at least think about how you can remove unnecessary language from the forms. For example, instead of spelling out each question, like "Have you ever had a stroke?" and "Do you have diabetes?" you can list each condition as a bullet point and ask the patient to put a checkmark next to the conditions that have impacted them in the past or present. 

2. Group Similar Sections Together

To make your dental medical forms more intuitive, restructure them so that like items are always together. This way, your patients won't have to jump from topic to topic and lose their trains of thought. 

For example, you can group all of the questions about inflammatory risk factors together, including:

  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Osteoporosis
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Gastrointestinal disease

Creating clear labels for each section can help guide patients through their forms. They'll know how many sections they have left to complete and can anticipate the amount of time necessary to finish their medical history forms. 

3. Allow Patients to Complete Forms at Home

Some patients may prefer to fill out their dental medical forms at home, where they can go at their own pace, and look up answers to questions about medication or health history. You can send patients digital forms to complete before their appointments.

Not only do digital forms allow patients to complete them on their own time, but they also save your office time and help you stay on schedule for appointments. New patients won't need to spend 15 to 20 minutes filling out forms in the waiting room; they'll be able to head back to their exam as soon as the doctor is ready. 

4. Offer Digital and Paper Forms in Office

For patients who don't fill out their forms prior to their appointments, you should offer two types of forms: digital and paper. You could send the digital forms to the patients' emails for them to complete on a smartphone or let them fill out the forms on an in-office kiosk. Meanwhile, patients who prefer paper forms will still have this option as well. 

Make sure your digital forms are as intuitive and streamlined as possible. There's nothing worse than trying to click through a laggy, slow, glitching medical form, only to find that the page refreshed and deleted all the information you had previously entered. If your practice encounters this problem, switch to paper forms while you troubleshoot. 

5. Use an Easy-to-Navigate Patient Portal

Patients want to be informed about their medical treatment plans and how your practice is using the medical history you've provided them. By implementing a user-friendly patient portal, you can give patients full control over their medical records and provide an easy solution for filling out forms. 

With the Patient Portal by Dental Intelligence, you can empower patients to submit forms, view which forms they still need to complete, update their information at any time, and review their medical records from an app or website link. Your practice's online forms will be very user-friendly and intuitive, including easy-to-read fonts and smooth navigation to provide the best experience for patients.

Improving Patient Care with Easy-to-use Digital Forms and Tools

Dental medical forms are essential for accurate dental recordkeeping and providing top-quality care. But your medical form process doesn't need to be mind-numbing for patients. Schedule your Dental Intelligence demo to learn how our Patient Portal and digital forms can improve the patient experience.

Dental Intelligence


August 29, 2023

Dental Practice Communication: Transactional Email vs. Marketing Email

Email is essential to your marketing strategy and practice communication. Learn about the difference between a transactional email and marketing email as well as the importance of each one.

Efficient and memorable communication should be at the top of your priority list as a dental practice. This is an essential part of getting patients through the door and providing quality patient care.

For every email you send out as a practice, you should have a specific purpose in mind. This curates straightforward and streamlined communication between you and your patients. 

Knowing the answers to questions about transactional email vs marketing emails sets your practice up for success. What’s the difference between these emails? Why does it matter? 

Understanding these distinctions helps you organize your dental marketing and communication efforts and ensure they fulfill their purpose.

All About Transactional Emails

A transactional email is a message your practice sends directly to a single patient. Practices use them for confirmation and transactional purposes. 

Typically, transactional emails include things like confirmation numbers, contact information, and receipts. The patient triggers them, rather than your office sending them unprompted. To receive a transactional email, a patient must interact with you in some capacity: booking an appointment, purchasing a product, creating an account, etc.

Transactional Email Examples

A few types of transactional emails you might recognize include: 

  • Order confirmation email or receipts
  • Form requesting patient feedback
  • Account security check or password reset emails
  • Account updates
  • Notification emails
  • Double opt-in
  • Shipment notifications

Each type of transactional email targets a specific patient about their individual experience. To make your dental practice stand out, turn these obligatory emails into opportunities. Use engaging language that will entice the patient and help you stand out. 

If a patient receives a transactional email, they’ve interacted with your practice in some way already. Now, you just have to keep them interested. Include a CTA, or call to action, prompting your patient to interact further.

All About Marketing Emails

Practices use marketing emails for advertising purposes. These emails draw in new or existing patients, then prompt them to make a purchase or otherwise participate in your campaign. 

You can send marketing emails strategically to enhance your marketing campaign. Plan marketing emails to go to a specific audience segment at a specific time with a specific purpose in mind. You can send them using a platform designed for marketing emails. With dental marketing by Dental Intelligence, you can set up marketing emails and use pre-made email templates.

Marketing Email Examples

A few types of marketing emails you may recognize include: 

  • Newsletters
  • Content promotion
  • Sales alerts and offers 

As you can tell, these emails are sales oriented. Email newsletters build a closer relationship with your existing patients. Essentially, their purpose is to keep your practice in your patients’ minds even after they leave the office. 

Similarly, content promotion and sales alerts are more direct ways of urging your patients to take action. They usually include engaging imagery, minimal but attention-grabbing text, and a CTA button.

The Difference: Marketing vs Transactional Emails 

Now that you understand both email types individually, it’s important to stress a few distinctions. The main differences between these email types include:

  • Content: Transactional emails contain personalized content specific to each patient. It’s typically shorter and straight to the point. On the other hand, content in marketing emails is broader, friendlier, and more brand-specific to go to multiple patients at once.
  • Purpose: The purpose of a transactional email vs marketing email also varies. You send marketing emails to build customer relationships and to promote services. Meanwhile, you send transactional emails to confirm information with individual clients. 
  • Method of sending: Transactional emails are automated emails that a patient triggers by interacting with your practice. Marketing emails, on the other hand, are planned, strategic emails you send through a third-party email marketing platform that tracks engagement rates.

The distinction between these email types is important because when you’re communicating with your patient base, your email’s purpose should always be clear, and your language should reflect that goal. 

Transform Dental Practice Communication

The next time you send an email to a patient, ask yourself: What type of email is this? What is its purpose? How can I best accomplish this goal?

Your communication with your patients is everything. By knowing the difference between a transactional email vs marketing email, you can move forward with clearer goals for every email you send. 

Find out more ways to improve your communication and marketing, including how to boost email marketing for dentistry, by scheduling a demo with Dental Intelligence today.

Dental Intelligence


August 29, 2023

The Secret to Collecting Reasonable Fees for Dental Procedures

Collecting payments can be one of the harder parts of running a practice. Learn how to charge reasonable fees for dental procedures without scaring off patients or accumulating unpaid billables.

Running a successful dental practice means finding the right balance between reasonable fees while charging enough to be profitable.

As you probably know, your patients are shopping around looking for a decent price for dental cleaning costs, teeth whitening, and other procedures. Given that 74 million Americans don’t have dental insurance coverage, the fees for dental procedures can be a sore spot.

In this article, you’ll learn how to charge reasonable fees for dental procedures without scaring off patients or accumulating unpaid billables.

The 2-Part Formula for Charging Reasonable Fees

Though there are several ways to ensure your fees contribute to a healthy bottom line, everything can be classified into two categories:

  1. Creating a dental practice where reasonable prices are justified
  1. Ensuring that patients are able to pay your fees

Justifying Your Fees

Everyone has a different definition of what a “reasonable” fee is. Patients generally want prices that are low as possible without compromising on quality of care. Dental practices typically want to ensure they can charge enough to keep the lights on and maintain a positive cash flow.

These two perspectives can find a middle ground if you demonstrate that your fees are commensurate with quality dental care.

We recommend the following strategies to justify your practice fees:

  • Build relationships with your patients. When your patients know, like, and trust you, they’ll be more willing to accept your fee structure.
  • Listen to your patients. Ask for feedback about everything in your practice, from fees to how well your staff treats people. Satisfied patients are less likely to quibble over money.
  • Invest in training. Consider providing continuing education and personal development courses to everyone on staff. By upping the skill level of your team, you’ll have high performers that allow your practice to command higher rates.
  • Know your competitive advantage. Every office is unique, so find what makes you different. It might be a particular specialty, top-of-the-line equipment, or a highly experienced staff. Once you identify the traits that make your practice unique, be sure to communicate them in marketing campaigns and other patient touchpoints.
  • Get patient referrals. When patients have a positive outcome with your office and refer their friends and family to you, they already have a positive association with you. They are more likely to accept your standard fee because they are confident the price is fair for the level of service they’ll receive.

Collecting Payments

When you tell a patient they need to have something done, they might become hesitant to follow through with care once they find out how much it costs. Depending on the importance of the procedure, a patient may either decide to shop around at other practices or undergo the procedure and figure out how to pay for it later.

While it’s not uncommon for dental practices to have payment plans and other systems that make dental crown costs, fillings, dentures, and root canals more affordable, not all systems are created equal.

Practices have found that having the right features in a payment system can facilitate collecting more payments while saving staff time and avoiding difficult conversations (without having to reduce fees). On average, practices that adopted Dental Intelligence Payments collected an additional $25,000 in the first three months of using the software. The right payment system ensures that more patients pay their bills on time and pay their balances in full.

Specifically, Dental Payments by Dental Intelligence offers the following features that facilitate payment collection:

  • Email statements and past-due notices to patients with the click of a button
  • Send customizable text and email messages
  • Set up flexible payment options, including HSA, credit cards, and payment plans
  • Deploy text-to-pay options for instant payment

Determining What Fees are “Reasonable”

You might have some fee numbers in mind, but before you set these figures, make sure you know where your business stands and what you need to charge to be profitable.

At a minimum, you should have the following figures at the ready:

  • The average fees for various dental procedures in your area
  • Your overhead expenses
  • Third-party reimbursement schedules
  • A plan for annual fee increases (and respective amounts or percentages)

Knowing these numbers allows you to work backward in determining what fees are reasonable for your individual practice.

The Right Systems Can Boost Practice Profitability

Charging reasonable fees is necessary to keep your practice financially stable. Many offices fear that charging what’s fair can result in an influx of patient refund requests or default balances. To see how Dental Intelligence can help, schedule a demo today.

Dental Intelligence


August 29, 2023

Word-of-Mouth Marketing Tips to Get New Patients Through the Door of Your Dental Practice

Deciding how to best market your practice can be difficult. There's a lot of options from email and social media marketing to postcards and billboards. Another great option is word-of-mouth marketing. Here's some tips to help you get your patients to start talking to their friends and family about the services you offer.

You may have heard that word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing tactics. Think about it — are you more likely to choose a business that a friend recommended or one that you stumbled across in an online search? 

Unfortunately, dentistry isn't a topic that often comes up naturally in conversation, so if you want to get people talking about your dental practice, you need to encourage that conversation strategically. 

Follow these word-of-mouth marketing tips to spread the word about your dental practice and benefit from the power of social proof to grow your practice. 

Why Is Word-of-Mouth Marketing So Effective? 

People naturally look to others to gauge how they should act and what decisions they should make about a brand or product. This concept, known as social proof, is the foundation of word-of-mouth marketing. 

Social proof encourages people to choose your dental clinic over the competition. When they see that people are talking about your dental practice, that you have positive reviews, or that even one of their friends or family members has shared their experience with your practice, they'll be more likely to choose your practice over others.

For dental practices, word-of-mouth marketing goes a step further by building a reliable, trustworthy image of your company. The dental industry often comes with a notion of fear and anxiety for patients, so they're looking for a practice they can trust to provide a friendly, comfortable experience. Hearing about your customer service from a friend or even someone who left an online review can instill that trust in your patient base. 

In the digital age, word-of-mouth isn't just having a conversation about a business. It also includes sharing about the product or service on digital platforms. Harnessing the power of word-of-mouth marketing can send your dental practice's patient load soaring and improve your profitability. 

Top Word-of-Mouth Marketing Tips for Dentists

Using these tips, you can encourage word-of-mouth marketing within your dental practice. 

Incentivize Patient Referrals

Patient referrals are a prime example of using word-of-mouth marketing to the fullest. When patients recommend your practice to their friends and family, they create a connection that strongly encourages their referrals to book with your practice. 

You can incentivize patient referrals through a referral program. While the structure of your program can vary, you'll want to reward the patient who refers their friend and offer some sort of incentive to the friend. For example, you could offer the existing patient a discount on their next cleaning and a discount on the new patient's first appointment. You could also create a Patient Loyalty Program and reward them with points they can use to redeem for prizes.

Encourage Online Reviews

Positive reviews are highly influential marketing tools that don't cost you a penny. But often, patients don't leave reviews of a practice unless they are specifically asked to do so, which is why having a review management solution in place is so important for your word-of-mouth marketing strategy. 

With Dental Intelligence, you can send automatic texts and emails to patients right after their appointments inviting them to leave Online Reviews of your practice on platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Patients who weren't satisfied with their service will have the option to send feedback directly to your practice rather than posting it online, reducing your potential for negative reviews. 

Boost Your Social Media Presence

Social media is the digital version of a town hall meeting and a gossip club in one. If you want to get people talking about your dental practice, you'll need to build a solid social media presence that encourages discussion. 

At the very least, your practice should have a presence on Facebook and Instagram to build connections with your patient base, invite feedback, and encourage referrals. You can use social media for word-of-mouth marketing in several ways, such as:

  • Hosting giveaways that invite your customers to share your practice with friends
  • Engaging with patients in the comments of your social media posts
  • Offering fun activities, like coloring contests for kids
  • Creating funny TikTok videos or Instagram Reels to keep your practice top of mind.

All of these actions can get people talking about your dental practice.

Provide Great Dental Care

Of course, providing exceptional dental care to patients can improve the chances of them sharing their experiences with others. But some patients just won't naturally want to talk about their dental appointment, even if they had amazing service. That's why the other strategies above are important for successful brand building and word-of-mouth marketing. 

Are you ready to get people talking about your dental practice? Request your Dental Intelligence demo today to learn how our practice management and digital marketing solutions can make encouraging customer reviews a breeze.

Dental Intelligence


August 28, 2023

Take the Time to Learn: Employee Overtime Rules in Dental Practices

It's important to understand the rules behind overtime and when it applies to your practice. Learn how overtime rules work.

Let’s face it: there is no “typical” work week. Your dental staff has repeated tasks and procedures, but responsibilities vary week to week depending on patient demand and many other factors. This holds true for your employees, too. Ideally, your hygienists and front desk staff would all clock in and out at the end of their eight-hour day, not a second later.

Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. This is where it becomes important to know employee overtime rules. 

You can avoid employees working unplanned overtime by setting dental office goals and keeping a tight schedule. Dental Intelligence has some tips to share about that! 

Despite your best efforts, sometimes planning isn’t enough. Whether due to extra training, an increase in workload, or other factors, sometimes employees end up working more than the 40 hours they’re paid a week. When this happens, you have to compensate them fairly. 

What Is Overtime Pay?

Generally, the typical full-time employee works eight hours a day, which adds up to 40 hours a week. If an employee works more than that amount, they are entitled to overtime pay. You should evaluate the number of hours worked in excess and compensate the employee accordingly. 

Overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act helps create a healthy, fair work environment. Overworking your employees leads to burnout, which hurts your individual employee and your entire practice. By compensating employees for their extra hard work, they feel valued for their time and effort. 

Who Gets Paid Overtime?

Here, things get a little tricky. While most employees in a dental practice office are entitled to overtime pay when they work over 40 hours a week, some aren’t. These people are “exempt” employees. 

Employees who the law exempts from overtime have to meet a set of criteria. That criteria may vary depending on what state your dental practice resides in. Typically, this criteria involves a non-hourly salary and a higher position in the workplace. For example, the law considers some office managers and team leaders exempt from overtime pay based on their responsibilities and established salaries.

On the other hand, most hygienists, receptionists, and other staff qualify for overtime pay. Staff compensation can become expensive if you don’t keep a record of how many hours your staff members work.

How Does Overtime Work?

Even at the most efficient dental practices, sometimes overtime work is necessary. Eight hours always seems like a long time until you’re in the last hour of the day and staring at all the unfinished work. Other times, you’re implementing new protocols that require your staff to attend training in addition to their daily duties. 

Whether you planned for your employees to work overtime, or it was a result of a little office chaos, fair compensation is important. Overtime laws state that you should pay your employee time and a half for overtime hours. Although they work as a salaried employee, you should convert their salary into their equivalent hourly wage. 

Misconceptions about Overtime

Some common myths and misconceptions conflict with employee overtime rules. 

For example, paying an employee a higher salary than the average for their position and experience doesn’t mean you don’t have to offer overtime pay. Unless they meet the qualifications to be an exempt employee, they still deserve overtime when working over 40 hours a week. 

Similarly, any bonuses your employees earn throughout the year do not count as overtime pay. Overtime compensation is separate from other increases in compensation.

Another common misconception is that some non-exempt employees can waive their right to overtime pay. This is untrue — you must pay an employee entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 hours in one week. 

Keep Detailed Employee Timesheets

Accurate records are essential when tracking employee hours. Having a system that makes it easy for employees to clock in and out, not just at the beginning and end of their days but throughout it, is essential. Keeping a digital record of the hours in a workweek makes this process simpler.

Digital Tools to Help You Run a Streamlined Practice

Understanding overtime rules is important, and overtime costs can quickly add up if you aren’t careful. Resources like the employee retention credit exist to assist your practice by reducing your tax burden.

Paying employees fairly isn’t just a technical issue but an ethical one. Knowing employee overtime rules helps shape a fair working environment at your dental practice. To learn about digital solutions for dental practices, like Team Chat and Virtual Check-In to save your staff time, schedule a demo today with Dental Intelligence.

Dental Intelligence


August 28, 2023

7 Dental Inventory Mistakes and How to Avoid Them at Your Practice

Are you in charge of your inventory? Here are 7 common inventory mistakes and how to avoid them for the best management of your supply.

One of the trickiest things about running a practice is dental inventory. So much can go wrong — you can have an oversupply, undersupply, or even order the wrong supply. Determining how much of what equipment and products your practice comes with experience and knowing what mistakes to avoid.

Whether your head is spinning about your latest inventory check or you’re curious how you can improve your already solid system, Dental Intelligence is here to help with resources to help you establish and meet dental office goals. Explore these seven most common inventory mistakes so your practice can stop making them. 

1. Not Embracing Digital Methods

Say goodbye to writing down long serial numbers and say hello to QR codes. Tracking everything manually may seem logical, especially if that’s been your dental practice’s system for a long time. However, the digital methods now available are much more reliable.

Digital systems even alert you when a product is expiring or running low, taking some guesswork out of inventory. 

2. Not Sampling the Product

New products are exciting! They’re even more exciting if they come with a price reduction. Before you go buying in bulk, try ordering a sample first.

It’s smart to order samples ahead of time, so when the product is really needed, you’ll already know what you want to order. Over-ordering a product you’ve never used before is risky. Do yourself and your patients a favor by testing it out first.

3. Incorrectly Predicting Demand

Determining how much demand for specific equipment or products your practice will have over the next few months is challenging.

The most successful dental practices have strange dips or increases in demand that they can’t predict. To get as close as possible, consult your records to see how much you've used each product in the past. Pay attention to the time of year, your number of patients, and any changes your dental practice has recently gone through. This should help you come to an accurate prediction.

4. Only Considering the Purchase Price

It seems like a financially intelligent decision to look at the most affordable options for your inventory — and it is. That being said, it shouldn’t be the only factor you’re considering. Quality and aesthetics are important, too.

You should also note that the purchase price isn’t the only thing that influences the cost of inventory. Look at minimum order quantities, lead times, shipping costs, and shipping reliability. 

5. Forgetting to Rotate Inventory

Dental inventory is all about out with the old and in with the new. But that means the old does have to go out first. If you focus too much on the new products you order, the older products will expire. Keep track of what you have, what’s coming in, and when everything expires to save money and time. 

6. Going Overboard on Composite Shades

It’s a common practice in ordering processes to order a large variety of composite shades. Master kits, for example, hold up to 32 shades. However, dental practices usually only use two to three shades for up to 90% of their work. This renders most of those shades useless when they inevitably expire. 

To avoid wasting money and materials, order five to six shades. You’re more likely to use them up this way and get your money’s worth out of them. Your inventory list will also be easier to manage! 

7. Not Considering Temperature in Storage Areas

Before you focus on buying new inventory, make sure you’re taking care of what you have. You don’t need to refrigerate all products but take note of those that do need refrigeration.

Even if some don’t need to be kept cold, you should store all products at a safe temperature. Do your research and consider any storage requirements for your products. Keep an eye on that thermostat, but be aware of any hotspots and ventilation issues, too. 

Make Inventory Easier with These Tips and Staff Training

By eliminating these dental inventory mistakes from your process, inventory will be easier than ever. Once you have a good system, stick to it. Know your systems and protocols, and make sure your team knows them, too. 

If you’re worried about the precision inventory demands, consider hiring someone to take on that responsibility. That way, they can focus solely on dental inventory and ensure it runs smoothly. You can also use an existing staff member for this with the right dental staff training. 

Solidifying your inventory process benefits your practice, staff, and patients. Schedule a demo with Dental Intelligence today to find more tools that will transform your dental practice.

Dental Intelligence


August 28, 2023

How to Create the Perfect Email Marketing Schedule for Your Dental Practice

In today's world, email marketing is essential to having a successful practice. Here are some guidelines on how to create an email marketing schedule that works for you.

Email campaigns have become an essential tool in marketing practices across industries — and dental practices are no exception. Sharing quality email content with the right target audience can transform your marketing strategy by re-engaging past patients and interested potential new patients. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry; we have the tools and tips to help you.

Step up your dental marketing with Dental Intelligence and the perfect email marketing schedule, and watch your patients multiply! Don’t let this vital resource slip through your fingers. Creating a schedule for your email campaigns is the first step.

What Is an Email Marketing Schedule?

Let’s start by defining what an email marketing schedule really is. This term refers to the calendar you keep of marketing emails going out and the content in each of them. The calendar keeps everything organized, so you always know what content to send and when. You can also track response rates, so you know what changes to make to your emails to boost engagement.

Your email marketing schedule should only contain important campaigns you’re sending out, not simple everyday emails. If you have automated email reminders or responses to certain types of emails or reactions, for example, those will only clutter your calendar.  

1. Plan Your Email Campaigns

 Before you create a calendar in Google Sheets and dive in, take a step back and evaluate: 

  • What do you want to include on your calendar?
  • What are your goals for each campaign?
  • Who are you targeting with your emails?

When you’re setting up your content calendar, you should always include all of the key details: campaign name, email owner, target email list, send time, and status.

But how do you know all of this? First, you need to decide what kind of email campaign you’re setting up. Are you advertising a new product? Announcing an update to your practice policy? Regardless, you’ll need to determine what your goal is. 

Then, you should narrow down your audience. Are you sending this email to your existing patients? Are you looking to expand? Making these decisions before you add a campaign to your email marketing schedule is essential to a smooth email campaign. 

2. Determine Your Strategy

Now that you know your goal and your audience, you can form your strategy. Take that audience you have in mind and narrow it down further. This is segmentation or choosing a segment of your audience to target for more effective results. You can segment your audience based on gender, patient status, location, and pretty much any other quality! 

Knowing this patient profile well will help when it comes to the strategy you’re using. That being said, knowing who you’re sending the email to is only part of crafting your email marketing calendar. Next, decide when to send it. 

Effective marketing is about timing. Pay attention to your audience’s time zones. When are they most likely to see and open your email? When are email campaigns from competitors likely to spam them?

This might take trial and error. Send out email campaigns at different times and use the results to determine the best time to send. Once you’ve established this, make sure to mark it in your email schedule! 

3. Craft Your Emails and Schedule Them

With all the necessary planning done, it’s time to work on the actual content! Your email contains three main components: 

  • The subject line: This is the first thing your audience sees, so it should grab them right away. Avoid spammy language, or their eyes will likely avoid the email altogether.
  • The email body: The email should engage your audience. Avoid long, dense paragraphs. Instead, use short phrases and easy-to-glance lists. Bold any text that you want to stand out to make it easier for your reader to absorb information! 
  • The call to action (CTA): Your language here will depend on what you want readers to do. Asking them to call to book an appointment, click a link to look at a new product, or sign up for a newsletter are all examples of CTAs. 

Streamline Dental Email Marketing with Dental Intelligence

Once you’ve sent out your email campaign, remember to track the open and click-through rates. Doing this will help you set up your email marketing schedule for success in the future! Track the success of each campaign with dental practice email campaign KPIs, and once you have a schedule, stick to it. Consistency is key. 

If you want to learn more about how best to market your dental practice, schedule a demo with Dental Intelligence today.

Dental Intelligence


August 25, 2023

Dental SOPs: What They Are, Why They Matter, and How to Create Them

SOPs can help you and your team create a uniform process to help provide the best patient experience. Learn how to create SOPs that work for your office.

When patients walk into your office, you want your dental practice to operate as smoothly as possible. This performance isn’t effortless, though. Plenty of issues are going on behind the scenes, with employees smoothing out wrinkles in the process. If you and your practice have been struggling with the chaos affecting patient care, it might be time to take a look at your dental SOPs, which stands for standard operating procedures. 

Simplify dental staff training for old and new employees with the right SOPs. These create a uniform procedure that is easy for all employees to follow. By setting up SOPs and making them accessible, you’re setting your dental practice up for success.

What Are SOPs?

SOPs are standard operating procedures. These documented, accessible instructions describe how to complete specific office tasks. SOPs use step-by-step instructions to walk an employee through a process, such as registering a new patient or setting up the exam room to prepare for an appointment.

Why Are SOPs Important?

The importance of SOPs lies in simplicity and clarity. SOPs find the most direct way to perform a task and ensure that staff completes the task the same way every time. This keeps the employee from having to do any guesswork, making the office more efficient and consistent.

SOPs keep the training process simple and quick. They also eliminate repetitive questions, as employees will be able to find many of the answers to their questions in the SOP document. When communication in your dental practice improves, so does the safety, compliance, and productivity. 

How Do You Create Dental SOPs?

Some examples of SOPs you might write are:

  • Morning meeting protocol
  • New patient protocol
  • Lab shipment protocol
  • Sterilization protocol

You can create many SOPs — the more detailed, the better. If you don’t have any existing SOPs, consider writing a list of common tasks at your dental practice that you think would benefit from more explicit directions.

Each SOP document should include the name and purpose of the task and step-by-step instructions that explain the reasoning for each step. Find a balance between detail and easy-to-read for the sake of clarity.

Who should write these SOPs? Certainly, the office manager can write some of them. However, if certain employees are usually in charge of specific tasks, having them write the SOP would be more productive.

3 Tips for Writing a Dental SOP

Writing a dental SOP may seem time-consuming in the moment, but it will pay off in the future. To write an effective dental SOP, follow these tips. 

1. Be Clear and Specific 

The purpose of an SOP is to make tasks easier. Don’t make these instructions overcomplicated or difficult to understand. If they are easy to read, the task will be easy to complete.

Employees should be able to reference this document with a glance and know what to do. You don’t want them to use more time to understand your wording than actually completing the task. You can guarantee clarity by assessing it yourself and being open to feedback from employees. 

2. Make Them Accessible

SOPs are useless if employees can’t access them. While one person in the office may typically complete a certain task, what happens when they’re out of the office? What if they’re too busy to complete it one day and have to pass it on to someone else? 

Rather than having them explain to the other employee how to do this task, the employee can learn about the task by accessing the standard operating procedure. Ensure that all team members have access to these documents and know where to find them.

3. Implement and Improve

It’s likely that your SOP won’t be perfect the first time. It’s even more likely that it will need updates over time as technology and procedures evolve. 

Updating your SOPs is just as important as writing them in the first place. If they don’t have the most updated information, employees can become confused. If you notice a common mistake or question that employees have about a task, make sure to update the SOP document with answers to address that. 

Run Your Dental Practice Right

Part of becoming a great leader is making sure your dental team has the tools it needs to succeed. With the right dental SOP and tools for Team Chat, Morning Huddle, and automated patient reminders, your staff members can complete tasks more accurately and efficiently. 

To learn about how your dental practice can use digital tools to increase productivity in the workplace, schedule a demo with Dental Intelligence.

Dental Intelligence


August 25, 2023

Steps Your Dental Practice Should Take to Improve Oral Health Literacy

Oral health literacy is an important part of running your practice and ensuring patients understand the importance of their health.

You finish what felt like a productive appointment with a patient, but as you watch them walk out the door, you have a sinking feeling in your stomach. Did they really understand the action plan you described to them? Were they just nodding along, or did you explain it well enough? 

If this experience sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Oral health literacy is an issue that all dental practices face, but it doesn’t have to be. With Dental Intelligence’s 2-Way Communication, you can chat with your patients directly and encourage oral health literacy. Knowing what roadblocks stand in the way of your patient’s oral health literacy and how to overcome them sets your practice up for success.

What Is Oral Health Literacy?

Dentistry is about providing quality oral health care, but explaining oral health care to your patients is equally important. After all, it’s their health that’s at stake. 

Oral health literacy is more than just the patient’s ability to read the information you give them. It’s how they hear, comprehend, and utilize the information you give them — both verbally and in the form of written materials. 

Patients who struggle with reading are already at a higher risk for low oral health literacy. However, they aren’t the only patients who deserve attention. Many patients don’t understand medical jargon or struggle to process information in large quantities.

Improving oral health literacy means considering the background and abilities of your patient when sharing information with them. 

Why Is Oral Health Literacy Important? 

While improving oral health literacy is important during dental visits, it’s even more essential that patients utilize oral health literacy outside of your office. People with different lives, backgrounds, and education levels walk into your office every day. It makes sense that their understanding of oral health will vary, too.

Poor oral health can result from a simple lack of information, so take the time to explain proper practices and treatments to your patients — especially parents. They are responsible for their children’s oral health, too. Without improved oral health literacy, their kids can face severe dental damage. 

With the right approach, we can help patients and their parents make the best oral health decisions. 

How To Improve Oral Health Literacy

With the following tips, you can zero in on common issues preventing patients from absorbing the information you provide and address them to improve oral health literacy at your practice.

1. Use Visuals 

Information is easier to process when it uses visuals. Taking pictures of your patients’ mouths to point out areas of concern or explain a treatment could be helpful.

2. Use Resources and Speak Clearly

If you’re working with a patient whose primary language is different than your own, use an interpreter. This can help reduce the difficulty a language barrier causes.

Regardless of the language you’re speaking, speak carefully and clearly. Don’t speak too fast or rush through things. Let patients sit with the new information.

3. Ask Questions

Some patients may feel afraid to ask questions. They might not know what to ask or be worried about not looking smart. The best remedy for this is to ask them questions.

You can also use questions to gauge your patients’ familiarity with oral health. For example, you can ask if they’ve heard of a certain procedure or treatment. This should help them feel more comfortable to ask questions, too. 

4. Consider the Information Carefully

Before you can properly explain oral health concepts, you need to fully understand them yourself. Understand the context of the information you’re sharing, and ask yourself these questions:

  • Does the information thoughtfully consider the culture, background, and practices of the patient or their parents?
  • Is this information the patient needs to know?
  • Does the patient have the capacity to obtain, process, and act on the information?
  • What is the simplest way you can explain the information?
  • Are there other materials to share? 

5. Check In

After you’ve shared information, check in with your patient. You can ask them more questions or even ask them to repeat the information back to you. Find a method of ensuring the patient has understood the oral health information you’re giving them. This way, you never have to worry about miscommunications.

Improved Communication Means Improved Patient Care

By improving oral health literacy through better communication, your patients are more likely to comply with your recommendations. Dental patient compliance is rarely an act of deliberate defiance — sometimes, it is just a lack of understanding. 

Schedule a demo with Dental Intelligence today to find out more about how you can transform communication at your dental practice.

Dental Intelligence


August 25, 2023

Why Don't People Go to the Dentist? How To Fill Your Appointment Schedule

People avoid going to the dentist for a variety of reasons. Here are some common reasons and how to address them so you can keep your appointment full.

Going to the dentist can feel overwhelming for a lot of people, especially new patients. Even so, regular dentist appointments are important to maintain oral health. Despite knowing this, some patients continue to avoid dental practices.

So, why don't people go to the dentist?

Don’t worry — it isn’t personal. By knowing the most common reasons patients don't go to the dentist, you can implement tools and solutions to address these reasons to keep your schedule full.

Five Reasons People Avoid the Dentist

While fear is a common motivator for not visiting the dentist, it isn’t the only one. These are the top five reasons people avoid visiting the dentist — and what you can do to overcome them and get patients in for their appointments.

1. Safety Concerns

Since COVID-19, the number of people going to the dentist has steadily declined. Some people stopped going regularly, and others stopped going at all.

At the height of the pandemic, patients didn’t want to risk contracting COVID-19 for a teeth-cleaning. Even now that the pandemic is waning, some people are already in the routine of not going. Others continue to feel worried about the safety of it.

The best way to combat this issue is to make sure your dental practice is clean — and that people know it’s clean. Make safety protocols public and encourage patients to ask questions if they have any concerns. 

2. Dental Anxiety

Many people have a misconception that dentist offices are scary places. They associate dentists with pain and anxiety. This may come from a negative experience from the past or just a fear that something bad will happen. Patients with autism or anxiety disorders are more likely to experience this fear.

This dental anxiety builds over time. After all, the longer patients avoid the dentist, the worse their oral health will be. Ignorance is bliss — patients may avoid the dentist altogether, so they don’t have to hear about the condition of their oral health. 

You can remedy dental anxiety by creating a welcoming environment at your practice. Make sure patients feel safe in your space and be ready to answer any questions they have. They may require reassurance throughout their visit.

Ensuring a positive experience at your practice can set patients up for a lifetime of better oral health. 

3. Patient Insecurity

Some patients haven’t been to a dentist in a long time. After so many years, it's likely that their oral health isn’t at its peak. This might cause patients to feel insecure about cavities or gum disease. While you and your staff know that you’re only there to help, patients anticipate judgment from you. 

To reassure them, be open about struggles with your own oral health, your willingness to help, and that your office is a judgment-free zone.

4. Cost

The next answer to "why don't people go to the dentist?" is simple: cost. According to the American Dental Association, 59% of people cite cost as the number one reason they avoid going to the dentist.1 Dental treatment can be expensive for those who don’t have dental insurance.

By simplifying dental treatment plans and payment options with Dental Intelligence, you can address one pain point that causes people to avoid their cleanings and checkups. Advertise any financial assistance your practice provides, as it could encourage more people to come to the dentist. Explain that by taking care of their oral health, patients save money in the long run.

5. Time

Everyone has busy lives. On a long list of to-dos, going to the dentist may not be a patient's priority. It can interfere with their work lives or interrupt their time off. 

It’s understandable that people may find having to go to the dentist inconvenient, but for the sake of their oral health, encourage regular visits.

You can send automated appointment reminders to patients you may not have seen in a while to encourage them to come back. You might also consider offering weekend or morning appointments.

Defying Dentophobia with Digital Tools for Dental Practices

Why don't people go to the dentist? You now know the most common reasons — and that creating a safe, welcoming environment at your dental practice is the best way to help anxious dental patients or patients who are otherwise hesitant to come in. 

If you’re looking for more ways to transform your dental practice with the best software in the industry, schedule a demo today with Dental Intelligence.



Dental Intelligence


August 25, 2023

How to Build Resilience in Dentistry and Combat Burnout

Burnout can happen to the best of us. Here are some tips on how to combat burnout by building resilience.

There’s no doubt about it: Dentistry is a demanding industry. Like all care-focused work, dental practice workers go in every day and give it their all. 

This constant output of energy can quickly become draining when your staff becomes so busy taking care of patients that they forget to take care of themselves too. 

Burnout forces dentists to operate at a lesser capacity, which hurts the quality of patient care. Ultimately, burnout hurts everyone involved. Resilience in dentistry not only improves your own health but can increase dental production.

The Basics: What Is Burnout?

Sometimes, simply putting a name to what people are feeling can help. If you’ve been waking up exhausted with a pit in your stomach, you might be experiencing burnout. Burnout results from an extended period of stress without proper rest. If you think back to 2020 and 2021, you might recall the collective burnout many people experienced from the stress and demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Just because you’re experiencing burnout doesn’t mean you don’t still love your job. Dentistry is a difficult industry, but one with passionate workers. However, this enthusiasm for work can mean you forget to care for yourself along the way. 

By putting so much energy into your patients, you have nothing left for yourself. This results in compassion fatigue, declining mental health, and physical exhaustion. 

The Symptoms: Are You Experiencing Burnout? 

So, how do you distinguish between “normal” stress and burnout? 

While any amount of stress is unpleasant, burnout happens when that stress reaches an extreme. You may feel stress in a moment or even an entire day — but eventually, recover from it. It’s short-term, whereas burnout is a long-term condition that significantly impacts your physical and mental health. 

Some signs you might be experiencing burnout include: 

  • You have a general cynicism about life
  • You’re experiencing ongoing exhaustion, regardless of sleep
  • You have a disinterest in your professional and personal life
  • You’re suffering physical symptoms like headaches and fatigued muscles
  • You are struggling to manage your performance at work

The Root Causes of Burnout

Some common sources of burnout include:

  • Working in a chaotic or fast-paced environment
  • Not having healthy connections or a support system
  • Not receiving recognition for hard work
  • Not getting enough sleep
  • Being a perfectionist

Proving high-quality care at all times is taxing. General dental work is demanding as it is, but if you’re experiencing difficult times in your professional or personal life on top of that, it’s easy to succumb to burnout.

Now that you know the symptoms, you can try to find the source of the issue. Being burnt out isn’t something to be ashamed of. Bodies aren’t made to withstand high-stress levels for an extended period of time without rest. 

Stress puts bodies in fight or flight mode. Being in this mode is exhausting, physically and mentally. Central nervous systems are only meant to handle so much. If you’re in a constant state of stress, you’ll start to feel the effects of burnout. 

The Solution: Building Resilience 

If everything above resonates with you, don’t worry. There are solutions. Working in dentistry means you must build resilience to avoid burnout. 

Mental health awareness is at the heart of resilience in dentistry. As healthcare workers, it may be in your nature to take care of others over yourself — but this isn’t a sustainable practice. 

Resilience is about taking care of yourself first. You have to be your best self to perform your best. Remember that you deserve rest and care just as much as your patients do.

If you’ve never truly practiced self-care, you might wonder what it looks like. Firstly, you need to make time for yourself. Self-care is a time commitment, just like everything else. This often requires you to set and keep boundaries with patients and coworkers. 

When you’ve freed up that time block, it’s up to you to decide what your body and mind need. If you’re looking for suggestions, some common self-care techniques include: 

  • Meditating and practicing mindfulness
  • Meeting your basic needs well by sleeping, eating, hydrating
  • Exercising regularly
  • Seeking professional help

Foster a Healthy Environment at Your Dental Practice

A healthy work environment is essential for building resilience in dentistry. Burnout can cause conflict on dental teams and poor-quality work. Help your team build resilience by setting the foundation for it.

If you want to find more ways to jumpstart resilience in your dental practice, schedule a demo with Dental Intelligence today to learn about digital tools that can improve communication and streamline day-to-day operations.

Dental Intelligence


August 25, 2023

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Practice Relocation

Is it time for your office to relocate? Here are some things to consider as you prepare for an office relocation.

As a dentist, you likely look at the current location of your dental practice with fondness. Maybe it’s where you first opened your practice, or it’s simply one of the many locations you’ve had. Still, as much as you might be familiar with one location, dental practice relocation may be necessary as your practice grows or your needs change.

Relocation, when it’s the right decision for the practice, can have endless benefits. It presents new opportunities and brings in new customers, which can increase dental production, along with digital tools from Dental Intelligence. Learn what to consider before your dental practice relocation.

Make the Decision

If you’re here, you’re probably already thinking about relocating your dental practice. Congratulations — thinking about it is the first step! What may feel less exciting is how much there is to think about. 

Consider your reason for relocation: Is it a space issue? Are you at the end of a lease?

Knowing your reason for relocating is essential as you move forward with the relocation process. If you know why your current space isn’t working, you can determine which new space will.

Know Your Timeline

The length of the relocation process might surprise you. Your moving plans need to begin well before you plan to move. At a minimum, you should begin this process 12 months before you plan to open your new location. However, 18 months or longer is ideal.

You have to find a new location, go through all the logistical issues, set up the equipment, and do all the necessary budgeting and marketing for this move. The relocation process will be chaotic, so make it easier on yourself and start as early as possible to give yourself some breathing room. 

Choose the Location

When you’re looking for a location, consider the following:

  • What is the average income of local residents?
  • What is the average age of local residents?
  • What is the potential for growth?
  • Are there competitors in the area?
  • Is the building easily accessible? Does it have the space you need?
  • Is it reasonable for your current patients and staff to commute to this location?
  • Will it bring in new patients?

As you can see, it isn’t just about finding the right building or space. It’s about the communities in that space and how you can impact potential patients with your dental practice relocation.

Prepare Ahead of Time

The decision-making isn’t done yet! Preparation is a key step when you’re relocating. If you move too quickly, you risk missing details or making rash decisions. Keeping an organized schedule and checklist of everything you need to do can help with this. 

Don’t forget to prepare for inspections. Know what equipment you’re going to need at your new location, as well as the regulations you need to meet to pass those inspections. 

While dental practice relocation takes a long time, it will feel fast as it’s happening. The more prepared you are, the better. 

Know Your Budget and Marketing Plan

There’s no way around it: relocation is expensive. Overestimate the cost of the move in case of emergencies and unanticipated fees. Consider your lease, construction, equipment, and operating costs. 

Another cost to account for is your marketing. When you move, you have to let people know! Sometimes, the purpose of relocation is to bring in new clients. 

To make patients in the area aware that you’re there, consider new business cards, signs, and postcards.

A good first step is to update your website’s contact information section with news of your new location — but don’t stop there! Send emails, make social media posts, and make sure to update your location on Google Maps. Dental Intelligence can help you with dental marketing tools.

Make the Move

When it’s finally time to make the move, notify your patients and suppliers that you are relocating. You can do this in-office with signs, and with external communication like emails, letters, and text messages. 

Some places you shouldn’t forget to notify are:

  • Existing patients
  • U.S. Postal Service
  • Insurance company
  • Suppliers
  • Payroll processing company
  • Your accountant and attorney for the practice

New Location, New Opportunities

Dental practice relocation is a long process, but a worthwhile one. It’s good to know when you’ve grown out of one space and need a new location. From attracting new patients to improving the experience for existing ones, you can make your relocation a steppingstone on the path to practice growth and better patient care.

For more information about how you can take your dental practice to the next level, schedule a demo with Dental Intelligence today.

Dental Intelligence


August 8, 2023

How To Build Rapport with Patients: Top 8 Tips for Dental Clinics

Being able to build rapport with your patients is the first step to providing a great overall experience at your dental clinic. Here are eight tips on how you can build rapport with your patients.

Forming great relationships with your dental patients has so many benefits for your practice, including increasing treatment acceptance, retaining more patients, and improving patient satisfaction. 

You can strengthen your provider-patient connection with the loyalty program for dental patients from Dental Intelligence, but you can also accomplish this goal by changing your communication style.

Whether you’re looking for training materials for your staff or want to brush up on your own interpersonal skills as a dental care provider, knowing how to build rapport with patients in your dental clinic is the first step to providing compassionate care that keeps patients coming back. Here are eight tips to help you build rapport with your patients.

1. Don’t Skip the Self Introduction

The patient might already know who you are before you step into the room, but it doesn’t hurt to start your provider-patient relationship by introducing yourself. 

You can share your name and position at the clinic, then let them know what you’ll be doing during the appointment. This thoughtful greeting can comfort patients with dental anxiety and make a good first impression. 

2. Be Careful with Your Wording

How you say something can drastically change how a patient feels about you or the dental treatments you suggest. 

If you use too much dental jargon, the patient might be confused about the details of their care, causing their anxiety to go up. You should also be careful to avoid using words with negative or judgmental meanings to help patients feel more comfortable. 

For example, try saying things like, “Drinking more water instead of sugary drinks throughout the day will help prevent you from getting more cavities,” instead of, “Drinking sugary drinks will make your teeth rot.”

3. Use Positive Body Language

Most people don’t actively pay attention to body language, but how you position yourself physically does register with patients subconsciously. When you talk to patients, try to do it while sitting down, or at eye level, and facing them. 

You want patients to feel at ease with your presence, but standing over them or crossing your arms can be intimidating.

4. Keep an Upbeat Attitude

We’re all human, and we all go through struggles, but it’s crucial that you don’t bring your bad mood into the room with your dental patients. 

Many people are already on edge when they go to the dentist because they have fears about procedures or issues with their teeth, so acting impatient or unhappy can lead to a bad experience with a patient who needs support. 

5. Appeal to Your Patients’ Interests

As a dental healthcare provider, you should practice active listening so you can give the best patient care and get to know the person behind the teeth. 

Dentists wondering how to build rapport with patients can ask about the patient's hobbies, career, or interests, whether they watch sports or make music. Listening and asking questions helps patients feel comfortable and welcome in your office.

Discovering these tidbits about patients helps you connect with them on a deeper level and gets their minds off of nerve-wracking dental procedures for a few minutes.

6. Clearly Explain What You’re Doing

Whether you’re a hygienist cleaning a patient’s teeth or a dentist conducting an exam, talking to your patient through your actions can make the experience better for them. 

Even if the patient has been in your office a dozen times, taking the time to explain your procedure and warn them when you’re about to do something helps establish trust.

7. Make Time to Answer Questions

When educating patients about their treatment plans and oral health tips, it’s hard to know if they’re fully absorbing what you’re saying. 

You should ensure there’s enough time during the appointment for the patient to ask questions, allowing them to clear up any confusion they might have with their dental care.

8. Write Down Details to Remember

When you see so many patients at your clinic, it gets hard to remember details about each person. A good communication practice for dental care providers is to write down things you want to remember for the next appointment. Your patients will be amazed at how well you know them!

Improve Your Patient Experience with Dental Practice Solutions

While you master how to build rapport with patients, you can also upgrade your dental practice’s communication tools to improve the overall experience. 

With the Dental Intelligence practice performance solution, you get simple 2-Way Communication to talk to patients over text, email, or the web. You can also send personalized messages via Mass Communication, whether you want to say, “Happy Birthday!” or share patient success stories. Schedule a demo today to see how we can help you improve your patient experience.

Dental Intelligence


August 8, 2023

How To Measure Customer Loyalty for a Dental Practice

Being able to measure your customer loyalty will help you develop strategies on growing your practice. Learn how to properly measure customer loyalty with formulas.

Part of running a dental practice is analyzing the clinic’s performance and developing strategies for growth based on the data from your business tracking tools. One of the essential things to learn as a practice owner is how to measure customer loyalty and why doing so is important for your clinic’s success.

Knowing how to quantify patient loyalty will help you recognize where your clinic could improve, which patient groups need more attention, and how to manage a successful Patient Loyalty Program. 

In this blog post, we’ll share details on which metrics you can use to measure your clinic’s patient loyalty and why the evaluation is crucial for dental practices.

Why Measure Customer Loyalty in a Dental Practice?

In any type of business, including dental clinics, it’s easier and less costly to keep existing customers than to attract new ones, so tracking and building up customer loyalty at your practice can save time and money on your marketing strategy.

High customer loyalty also leads to more five-star reviews online, which have a powerful impact on which clinics patients choose when searching the web for a new dentist. More loyal patients also mean more referrals for your practice since they’re more likely to recommend your clinic to friends and family.

How To Measure Customer Loyalty for a Dental Practice

Below, we’ve provided a few of the top metrics for analyzing how successful your clinic is in building and maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV)

Customer lifetime value (a.k.a. CLV or LTV) is a metric that lets you know, on average, how much your dental practice can expect to earn from one patient. 

The CLV formula requires multiple calculations across several metrics related to your clinic:

· Customer value = average purchase value x average number of purchases

· Average purchase value = total revenue / number of purchases

· Average number of purchases = number of purchases / number of customers

· Average customer lifespan = sum of customer lifespans / number of customers

Once you’ve calculated the customer value and average customer lifespan using the equations above, you can plug those variables into the following formula to find your dental clinic’s average CLV:

Average customer lifetime value = customer value x average customer lifespan

Repeat Purchase Rate

The repeat purchase rate metric lets you know the rate of returning customers you have versus the total number of customers. If you have a high rate of repeat purchases (or patients in this case), that’s a positive indication of your practice’s customer loyalty.

The formula to calculate repeat purchase rate is:

Repeat purchase rate = total repeat customers / total paying customers 

Upsell Ratio

Like the repeat purchase rate metric, upsell ratio tells you the proportion of patients who purchase additional products or services as opposed to patients who never go beyond one. 

Since patient satisfaction and loyalty play a large part in whether your patients are willing to purchase extras, calculating your upsell ratio can help measure patient loyalty.

You calculate the upsell ratio using the following formula:

Upsell ratio = number of customers who purchase more services / number of customers

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

The net promoter score (NPS) is a popular customer loyalty benchmark for large corporations, but it works just as well for dental practices. Getting your NPS is a little more involved than solving an equation, but knowing this score will give you valuable insight into patient satisfaction. 

To find your NPS score, you must first send out a survey with one question: “On a scale from 1 to 10, how likely are you to recommend our dental practice to a friend?” 

Anyone who answers 9 or 10 on the scale is a Promoter, while those who chose any number below 6 are Detractors. Promoters are your most loyal customers, while Detractors are more likely to not return to your clinic. 

By subtracting the percentage of Detractors from Promoters, you get a score between -100 to 100, representing your NPS. 

Get Daily Actionable Insights About Your Dental Practice

Now that you’ve learned how to measure customer loyalty, you might feel fired up to uncover more insights into your dental practice. 

With the practice performance solution from Dental Intelligence, you can see simple Metrics & Reporting revealing your clinic’s performance, including gross production, number of patients, collections, and much more. We offer easy-to-use data analytics tools to help you discover factors affecting patient loyalty and other crucial insights. 

Schedule a demo today.