October 9, 2023
Networking might be one of the last things on your mind, but is an important part of growing your career. Read on to learn about why dental networking events are important.
If you think “networking” is a dirty word, and the thought of mingling with other dental pros nearly makes you break out in hives, you’re not alone! Many dentists would rather do anything else than spend time at dental networking events.
If you’re one of them, though, you could be missing out on those all-important professional connections to help further your career. That’s why any dentist who takes their work seriously can’t afford to miss out on networking events.
Below, learn about the importance of dental networking and see what these events can do for you.
Networking Allows You to Mentor and Be Mentored
At dental networking events, you’ll often come across young professionals fresh out of dental school. These fledgling dentists are excited yet nervous as they enter the world of dental work.
Young dentists can benefit from mentors to help them learn the ropes. If your practice has the time, you may want to consider taking one or more of them under your wing.
Mentorship gives you a chance to share your knowledge and pass it on to a new generation of dentists. It’s not only helpful to young dentists; it’s rewarding for you, too.
Or perhaps you’re the one in need of a mentor. If you’re a recent grad, networking events can be a great place to find them.
Networking Helps You Build a Resource Pool with Others
Is there anything worse than running out of dental supplies in the middle of a busy day? If you’re on your own, you’d have to wait until the next shipment from your supplier.
On the other hand, if you have a robust network, you can tap into that to borrow supplies from your partners. Of course, you’ll want to return the favor if any of those partners are ever in need.
Dental networking events are chock-full of dentists who’d love to build a resource-sharing pool with your practice. Just start asking around to find them!
Networking Can Open Doors for Your Dental Career
If you’re a new grad, finding an opening at a good practice can feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. You’ve spent hours, days, and even weeks scouring the job boards to no avail. You’ve sent your resume to dozens of practices but have yet to hear back from any of them. Now what?
Dental networking events are the answer! Unlike job boards, which are faceless and impersonal, networking events allow you to connect with real dentists in the flesh. The more of those connections you make, the bigger the chance a practice will discover your talented self.
Networking Enables You to Build Your Professional Reputation
How would you like to see your name in lights? Well, you’re a dentist, not an actor, so that’s not very likely. However, dental networking events allow you to build your reputation and become a celebrity in the dental world.
Are you involved in cool research? Does your practice use cutting-edge tech in a novel way? Dental networking events are the perfect place to share your achievements with others in the industry.
The more you share your story and accomplishments, your reputation will grow. You could attract the attention of high-profile practices, investors, and other must-know dental colleagues.
How To Network with Other Dental Professionals
If you have no idea where to find dental networking events, that’s understandable. These niche events can be difficult to locate if you don’t know where to look. Don’t worry, though; we’ve got you covered:
- Hang out on social media. Thanks to platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you don’t have to travel far to find other dentists eager to network. Plus, they may be able to clue you in on local networking events.
- Join dental organizations to stay up to date with hot trends in the industry. Organizations like the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry sometimes announce dental networking events.
- Stay in touch with people you met in dental school, including fellow students and professors. Both can be an excellent networking resource.
Expand Your Practice with Dental Intelligence
If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level, you can’t afford to miss out on dental networking events. To learn more about successful brand building with Dental Intelligence, request a demo of our software today.
October 9, 2023
Most dentists have a goal to expand their practice, but it may seem like a daunting task. Here are some tips on how to prepare to grow your practice and then how to implement those plans.
After long years of hard work, your practice has finally got it made: lots of loyal patients, plenty of profit, and a dedicated staff that runs the office like a well-oiled machine. Naturally, you start to wonder whether it’s time to expand.
Is growing a dental practice right for you? It might be. Expansion can be appealing, but you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Below, you’ll learn whether you’re ready for dental practice expansion and how to do it the right way.
Want to learn how to meet your dental office goals with Dental Intelligence? Reach out to us today!
Understand Why You Want to Expand
Nearly every dentist dreams of dental practice growth. They picture a spacious, airy office, perhaps situated in a high-rise building or by the water. They imagine serving dozens of patients a day and reaping so much profit that they’ll finally be able to buy that fancy house or car they’ve always wanted.
That’s a nice fantasy, but is it a dream your practice can make come true? That all depends on why you want to expand in the first place. Without a strong “why,” the “how” falls apart.
- Is your waiting room so tiny that you’re often limited to standing room only?
- Do you have plenty of patients but not enough staff to handle all of them?
- Would you like to buy cutting-edge equipment but lack the space for it?
- Are you sick of having to refer patients to other practices for services yours doesn’t offer?
If you answer “yes” to any of those questions, you might be ready for dental office expansion.
Signs Your Practice Is Ready to Grow
Growing a dental practice isn’t as simple as shopping for new office space. Before you start making a plan, determine whether you’re ready and able to grow.
You’re Doing Well Financially
Going over your key performance indicators (KPIs) with a fine-tooth comb can be kind of boring, but you’ll need to do it if you’re planning on expanding. That’s because if you lack the cash to expand or your practice is in serious debt, you’ll want to put your plans on pause until you’re financially in a better place.
- How much revenue does your practice make every month?
- What do your profit and loss statements look like?
- What’s your collection rate?
- How much are your overhead expenses?
You’ve Got a Steady Flow of New Patients
Bringing in new patients is a good thing, which is why practice owners can never rest on their laurels. Dental Economics magazine says that, ideally, you should bring in 10 to 25 new patients a month1.
Is your practice hitting those numbers? If so, great! But if you’re too busy and can barely keep up with the influx, that’s not so great. You may need to consider hiring another dentist or two for your practice to maintain a manageable workload.
You Know How to Retain Existing Patients
Dental practices live and die by the loyalty of their existing patients.
“I can always find new patients,” you might say. That’s true but doing so can feel like running on a treadmill that never stops. You can’t focus on practice development if you’re always worrying about where your next patients will come from.
Ideally, patients should stay with your practice for at least 18 months. If you have very few regulars, you might not be ready for business growth just yet.
Do you know how to keep patients coming back time and time again? Does your practice have a loyalty program, for instance? And are you sending friendly appointment reminders? If not, try these strategies and watch your patient retention rate skyrocket.
Tips for a Successful Dental Practice Expansion
So, you’ve decided that you’re ready to expand your practice. Here’s how to do it:
- Increase your office hours. Consider offering extended hours on the weekends and on certain weekdays.
- Hire more staff to keep up with all your new patients and lower the risk of employee burnout.
- Draw in new patients with advertising (local ads and pay-per-click advertising work well for this).
- Move to a bigger office if yours isn’t large enough to accommodate all patients and staff.
Grow Your Practice with Dental Intelligence
Growing a dental practice is far from easy, but Dental Intelligence can help! With our software, you can send appointment reminders, request online reviews, offer same-day dental services, and so much more. Ask for a demo today!
October 9, 2023
Are you wondering if it is time to rebrand your practice? Read on to learn why you should consider it and the dos and don'ts of branding.
Is your dental practice struggling to draw in customers? Have you tried advertising only to end up with nothing but crickets and tumbleweeds? If so, it may be time to consider a fresh start for your dental practice branding.
Practice rebranding can be a smart way to revamp your identity, but it’s not as simple as slapping a new logo on your door and calling it a day. If not done right, rebranding could cost you more customers and revenue than your practice lost in the first place.
Below, learn how to meet your dental office goals with these rebranding dos and don’ts from Dental Intelligence.
What Is Dental Practice Rebranding, and Why Should You Consider It?
Have you ever watched a movie or read a book where a character changed their identity? They get a new name, a fresh wardrobe, and a different haircut. They even move to a new home.
Dental practice branding is a lot like that. You’re not just changing the name of your practice; you’re going all in and creating an entirely new identity.
Consider rebranding if:
- You have a lot of negative publicity. We’re not talking about a few bad online reviews (every practice gets those). We mean seriously bad publicity that’s doing major damage to your reputation.
- You’re merging with another practice.
- You moved to a new office and want to expand your offerings.
- You want to attract a different clientele.
- Your branding is too similar to that of your competitors.
- You haven’t updated your branding in the past several years.
Dental Practice Branding Dos
For your rebranding to be a success, follow these helpful branding strategies.
Understand Your Target Audience
The coolest-looking branding in the world won’t help if it doesn’t appeal to your target market. These are the specific types of people that your practice wants to attract (for instance, parents or seniors).
To better understand your target patient, ask:
- What are their demographics (age, where they live, income, etc.)?
- What are their pain points?
- What sort of marketing do they respond to?
- What type of dental care do they need?
Fully Understand the Pros and Cons
Before embarking on your rebranding journey, it’s critical to understand the perks and drawbacks. It’s true you’ll get a fresh start, and that can be exciting. You might be able to draw in more patients than you were ever able to before.
However, a total rebranding effort means starting from scratch. You’ll lose any brand recognition your practice had; you may even lose some customers along the way.
Rebranding is a lot of work — and expensive to boot. Can your practice afford it? Are you and your staff up to the challenge?
Think About the Image You Want to Convey
When rebranding, you can’t simply choose the colors and imagery that appeal to you. Instead, think about what your target patient would prefer.
For instance, do you run a pediatric dental practice? You may want to stick with bright, cheerful colors and images of happy kids in the dental chair.
Dental Practice Branding Don’ts
Now that you know what you ought to do when rebranding, here are a few mistakes to avoid.
Don’t Change Your Name Without a Good Reason
Dental practices should never change their name unless they have a very good reason to do so. One of these reasons is negative publicity that your business can’t overcome. You might also need to change your practice’s name if it’s too similar to one of your competitor’s names.
Don’t Use Confusing Jargon
Patients don’t like to feel as though you’re talking over their heads. In your copy, avoid using technical jargon and dental terminology that most patients won’t understand. Stick to simple language that reassures potential customers you can help with their problems.
Don’t Be a Carbon Copy of Your Competitors
If your competitor has beautiful branding, you might consider copying what they’ve done. Don’t! The goal of rebranding is to stand out so that your practice doesn’t look like all the rest.
That said, it does pay to at least check out what the competition is doing. This can give you ideas to use for your own messaging.
Make Dental Intelligence a Part of Your Rebranding Strategy
Dental practice branding can be tough, but Dental Intelligence is here to help! Our software enables your practice to handle online reviews and reputation management, remind patients of appointments, and market your practice to customers. Book a demo today to learn more.
October 8, 2023
The key to getting more treatment accepted is having great case presentation skills Here are 5 tips on how to succesfully communicate and discuss dental treatment options with your patients.
When discussing a treatment plan with patients, they may have to choose between several dental treatment options and struggle to understand their implications. They’ll also have questions about potential costs and how their insurance plan fits in.
Communication is easier when you ensure you and your patient are on the same page. Using smart tools like dental treatment plans and payment plans by Dental Intelligence certainly helps, but you still need open face-to-face discussion to build a rapport with your patients. Check out our top five tips for dental treatment plan presentation.
1. Invest in Patient Education
The treatment plan (and, on a macro level, your entire dental practice) will succeed only if the patient is 100% on board with what you propose. Take the time to explain dental procedures in a clear, accessible way when you present a treatment plan.
Your patient needs to understand:
- Their current dental condition
- Why you are suggesting a specific treatment plan
- Their available dental treatment options
- The potential consequences of accepting or declining the treatment plan you present
Focus on the value you are offering the patient. For example, “If we complete this $150 dental filling now, hopefully, you’ll be able to avoid a $1,000 root canal down the road.”
2. Relate to Patients on an Eye-to-Eye Level
Remember that your average patient isn’t a dentist. Be sure to use simple terms and relate to each patient on an eye-to-eye level, always taking language and cultural barriers into account. When your patient understands their dental treatment options, what they involve, how long they may take, and how much they will cost, they’re a lot likelier to trust you.
Visual aids go a long way toward explaining complex dental procedures. You can use X-rays, 3D scans, dental animations, and other visual tools to educate the patient and help them make an informed choice. Knowing what they may expect will also help the patient feel calmer, especially if they struggle with dental anxiety.
3. Be Up Front and Honest About Pricing
“How much will this cost?” is one of the first questions patients ask when discussing dental care plans. Even if you generally leave billing to your administrative team, you should ensure that your suggested treatment plan falls more or less within your patient’s budget range.
You want to avoid a situation in which the patient gets up after a consultation, thanks you politely, and never returns because the treatment plan you proposed was far beyond what they are able to pay. If several treatment options are available, let the patient know which one would be more affordable. If your practice offers payment plans, mention it and briefly explain how they work.
4. Discuss Insurance
Many of your patients rely on their dental insurance plans to fund treatments. If you provide out-of-pocket cost estimates based on the patient’s insurance coverage, be sure to clarify these are only approximate numbers since it’s not within your ultimate control whether the patient’s insurance covers the treatment.
Predeterminations can help you understand the patient’s coverage, but they may be inaccurate. It’s much more reliable to proceed straight to insurance verification, which allows you to offer a more precise estimate. When you know exactly what your patient’s dental plan covers, processing claims is more straightforward, and denials happen less frequently.
5. Be Ready to Offer Alternatives
Maybe you believe, based on your experience and professional knowledge, that the treatment plan you suggest would be the optimal choice for the patient. But if the patient hesitates because the plan is too expensive or because they would prefer a less invasive procedure, be ready to discuss any other viable dental treatment options. You want your patients to be confident they’re making the right choice for them.
Let the patient know you understand their concerns and are ready to go the extra mile to accommodate their preferences. Validate the patient’s opinions, answer their questions, and take enough time for each patient so the consultation doesn’t feel rushed.
If the patient needs more time to consider a treatment plan, ensure your team follows up within the next few days.
Dental Intelligence Paves the Way to Healthy Communication
Presenting a dental treatment plan is a breeze when you use Dental Intelligence, the ultimate dental software service that includes everything from streamlined digital forms to insurance eligibility verification for dental treatment options. Try our tools and take a step toward easier patient communication, smoother processes, and higher profits. Request a demo today.
October 8, 2023
Fee-for-service practices are becoming more popular in the dental industry. Read on to learn what this model looks like as well as the pros and cons.
Is your dental practice tired of arguing with insurance companies or waiting weeks (sometimes months) for reimbursement? If that sounds familiar, you might consider switching to the fee-for-service dental model.
Fee-for-service doesn’t mean your practice needs to abandon insurance. You can still accept insurance, but rather than waiting for reimbursement, you charge the full provider fee up front.
At Dental Intelligence, we help practices like yours increase dental production and learn how to attract more customers. Below, we explain more about the fee-for-service model and some perks and drawbacks you might want to consider.
The Fee-for-Service Model Explained
Fee-for-service practices are out-of-network dental clinics that charge patients the full provider fee up front. Because these practices don’t rely on reimbursement, they’re not beholden to providing only the services insurance companies will pay for. Patients can get the specific dental work they want rather than settling for what their insurance will cover.
Your practice can define its fee-for-service policy in one of two ways:
- Tell patients the estimated amount due and request this amount at the time of service. Patients receive a statement if there’s any credit or amount due after insurance pays the estimated portion.
- Have the patient pay the full fee at the time of service, then tell them to request reimbursement from their insurance provider. Of your two options, this is the quickest route to payment.
Fee-for-service may sound like a great model in theory, but it’s not right for all practices. Below, we discuss a few pros and cons of the model so you can decide whether it’ll work for you.
Pros of Fee-for-Service
Fee-for-service can be the right choice if your practice wants to get paid now. Here, we’ll talk about the model’s benefits.
A Higher Quality of Care
With fee-for-service, the emphasis is on quality over quantity. In-network practices can see dozens of patients a day simply because those practices accept their insurance. That can make running your practice feel like a chore, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re overbooked.
Because you won’t be in-network, fewer patients will find your practice through their insurance plans. That means you’ll have more time to spend with the patients you already have.
It’s Convenient for Patients
Digging through an insurance carrier’s network directory is a huge pain for many patients. Will insurance cover dental services at certain practices? What if the directory is outdated? When you switch to the fee-for-service model, patients no longer need to spend time hunting for a provider that takes their insurance.
No Arguing with Insurance Companies
Have you ever argued with an insurance company that said your patient didn’t really need that crown or bridgework? This is all too common because insurance companies aren’t charities. Many will fight tooth and nail to avoid paying for care patients desperately need.
With fee-for-service, you’ll no longer spend hours on the phone haggling with insurance providers. That means patients get the care they need right away. Plus, you get paid immediately, which boosts your bottom line.
Cons of Fee-for-Service
Even though fee-for-service has plenty of perks, it also has some drawbacks.
Loss of Patient Referrals
Full fee-for-service practices (i.e., those that don’t accept insurance) no longer get patient referrals from insurance providers. Fewer patients can be good because it allows you to focus on those you already have, but it’s not so great for your bottom line. You may need to spend more on marketing to attract new patients.
Some Patients May Leave Your Practice
Not every patient will be pleased about having to pay their full bill up front. Expect some of your existing patients to bail, which, again, means you might have to shell out cash on advertising to attract new ones.
The Need for Patient Education
Insurance typically covers preventative care, such as cleanings and fluoride treatments. If you don’t take insurance, those services will no longer be covered, which may confuse patients. You’ll need to spend time explaining how your payment model works.
Does Fee-for-Service Make Sense for Your Practice?
Is fee-for-service right for your dental practice? Requiring upfront payments could be a good choice if you’re sick of dealing with insurance companies and want patients to get top-quality care.
And if you’d like to modernize the dental experience, try Dental Intelligence! We have years of industry expertise and know what it takes for practices to run smoothly. Request a demo of our software today.
October 7, 2023
Are you trying to decide on the best software option for your practice? Learn the differences between on-premise and cloud-based dental software, so you can decide what fist your needs the best.
You need convenient, user-friendly dental software that saves time, streamlines operations, and gives you an edge over the competition.
Chances are, you’re already using some type of dental and office management software. Maybe you’ve even tried a cloud-based tool like dental data analytics by Dental Intelligence.
At some point, you might need to compare on-premise and cloud-based software. Which one is the smarter choice for dental practices?
What’s the Difference Between On-Premise and Cloud Software?
On-premise software requires installation and runs on your hardware. In contrast, cloud software runs online, and the provider supplies software hosting solutions. You probably already use ubiquitous cloud-based tools like Gmail, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
On-Premise Software: Pros and Cons
While flexible cloud-based solutions have gained a strong foothold in dental practices, some professionals in the field still choose on-premise software. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of this traditional choice.
The main selling points of on-premise software include:
- One-time payment. By purchasing on-premise software, you avoid paying monthly fees. This could be more cost-effective in the long run compared to the ongoing fees of cloud software.
- Full control. You can choose what hardware to use, which software upgrades to install, and how much to invest in maintenance.
- Offline access. Did the internet connection go down? You can still use your on-premise software.
- Security. When the software is on your premises and servers, you may be able to provide a higher degree of cybersecurity.
However, on-premise software comes with snags, such as the following:
- Expensive setup. You must provide your own hardware and server space.
- Complex maintenance. You’ll usually require an IT specialist to install your infrastructure and provide tech support.
- Potential hassle. You’ll have to handle upgrades and security and navigate unexpected downtimes.
- Lack of flexibility. Do you need to access data when the office is closed? That’s a problem with on-premises software.
- Scalability issues. An on-premises infrastructure may become obsolete whenever you need a bigger database, expand your practice, or open another clinic.
Cloud-Based Software: Pros and Cons
If you run a dental practice, you want to focus on your patients, not IT and software management. That’s why cloud-based solutions are such a popular choice for dental practitioners.
When it comes to choosing between on-premise and cloud software, the latter offers:
- Easy setup. Quick and easy installation; just choose a plan and subscribe.
- Instant, ongoing access. Your cloud-based tools are up and running as soon as you confirm your subscription. You can tap into your data from home or log in while waiting for your connection flight for the ultimate convenience on the go.
- Stability. Once you choose a service package, you don’t need to worry about updates or fixing glitches. The provider takes care of the technical stuff.
- Security. If you choose reputable cloud-based software, you gain a high level of data security.
- Scalability. With cloud solutions, the same software can serve you as your clinic grows or your locations multiply. You may just need a bigger service package.
Despite its many perks, you should also consider that cloud-based software involves:
- Monthly fees. Instead of paying a one-time fee, you will pay monthly to receive the latest updates and ongoing support.
- Limited customization. You’ll typically have to choose a standard service package, which may not fit your practice’s needs.
- Offline access. If the internet goes down, so does your access.
Cloud vs. On-Premise Software: Which To Choose?
The choice of on-premise versus cloud software depends on factors like initial setup costs, your clinic’s available infrastructure, and any plans to scale your practice or expand to other locations.
Overall, modern dental practices tend to choose cloud-based solutions for their flexibility and convenience. Cloud software is a smart choice if you:
- Want hassle-free software maintenance with no extra IT support costs
- Need the option of accessing your system anytime, anywhere
- Might someday decide to move your practice or open an additional clinic elsewhere
Dental Intelligence: Smart Solutions for Dental Management and Analytics
Are you debating between on-premise and cloud software for your dental practice? Check out smooth, cost-saving cloud-based solutions by Dental Intelligence. Save time and grow your profits with effective tools like our dental appointment reminder software and streamlined digital forms. Request a demo today.
October 6, 2023
Reviews can help build your credibility as a great dental practice, but you can also use feedback to your advantage in other ways. Read on to learn how you can leverage patient feedback.
If you run a dental clinic, you know the power of patient feedback. Obviously, you need all the positive reviews you can get to attract new patients and establish a professional reputation. On top of that, tuning in to feedback can help take your practice in the right direction.
Even if you already make every effort to provide an outstanding quality of care, you can lean on input and reviews to improve the patient experience. Follow these six steps to leverage patient feedback for growth.
1. Collect Feedback
Sourcing comprehensive feedback should be your first step in improving the patient experience. Take this opportunity to reach out to active and inactive patients with a request for input if they haven’t left a review already.
To get meaningful feedback, you can:
- Encourage patients to complete a quality of care survey after each appointment
- Ask patients to leave online reviews on your website or Google My Business page
- Send follow-up text or email messages to patients and invite them to provide feedback
- Use an easy automated online review tool by Dental Intelligence
Pro tip: Be specific. Instead of simply asking patients to rate your quality of care, include points like the treatment process, comfort levels, and waiting times.
2. Analyze Insights
Now that you have a solid body of patient feedback, it’s time to extract useful insights for your practice. It’s gratifying to know your average rating is 4.9 stars, but you want to dig deeper by exploring what your patients like about your service and what concerns may crop up.
Use the available feedback to answer the following questions:
- What aspects of dental care do your patients consistently praise in their reviews?
- What are some recurring concerns that may harm patient experience?
- How do your leading competitors’ online reviews compare to yours?
3. Capitalize on Your Strengths
If some sides of your practice garner constant positive patient feedback, see if you can use these elements to reinforce your brand and advertise your unique selling points.
For example, suppose reviews applaud you for addressing dental anxiety with empathy and sensitivity. In that case, you might highlight these reviews on your website and capitalize on marketing your clinic as a place that provides dental care with minimum stress.
4. Recognize Pain Points
No dental practice is flawless. Patient feedback can act as a mirror showing you concerns you need to address if you want to grow and gain an edge over your competition.
Be honest and ask yourself:
- What are your patients’ chief complaints? Do they express dissatisfaction with procedures, follow-up protocols, or waiting times?
- How valid are these concerns?
- What could you do to resolve them? What have you done so far to address these pain points?
5. Respond to Concerns
Reputation management should be high on your list of priorities, along with efficient appointment scheduling and dental office communication. Once a patient expresses concern about any aspect of their care, make sure to give this patient your full attention, address their complaint, and invite them to tell you what, in their opinion, you could do to improve their future experience.
Ideally, you want to catch and resolve negative patient feedback before it goes online. This is easier to do when you’re using the online review tool by Dental Intelligence. However, remember that every dental practice will have some negative reviews. The key is responding to them openly, quickly, and professionally to show that you’re committed to improving your quality of care.
6. Build an Action Plan
Use insights from patient feedback to build a business plan for the next quarter, year, or couple of years. You may work with a business consultant to create an actionable plan based on patient input. Additionally, we recommend that you:
- Prioritize resolving any potential liability issues, like patient safety concerns or cybersecurity breaches
- Start with changes you can make quickly and easily or changes you were already preparing to implement
- Commit to improving the patient experience by addressing points that crop up most often in negative reviews
- Brainstorm strategies that could cement patient loyalty (like introducing more innovative procedures, including convenient payment plans, providing more flexible office hours, etc.)
Gain Useful Feedback and Boost Patient Experience with Dental Intelligence
Measuring patients’ satisfaction levels and managing patient expectations is easier with smart solutions by Dental Intelligence. Improve patient experience, save time, streamline processes, and get meaningful patient feedback with our analytics and engagement tools. Ready to see how it works? Request a demo today.
October 6, 2023
You might think you have all your bases covered when it comes to your marketing efforts, but have you considered internal marketing? Read on to learn how internal marketing can boost your practice's marketing efforts and excelerate growth.
You’re looking at your practice’s returning patients, new patients, and overall growth...and you’re disappointed. You’ve leveraged every external marketing tactic you can think of to draw in patients, so why isn’t it working?
Are you really doing everything you can to boost the growth of your dental practice?
Some dental practices focus so heavily on flashy marketing strategies that they forget about one of their most important tools: internal resources.
Dental internal marketing might just be the key to boosting the growth of your practice. A vital part of internal marketing is ensuring the quality of dental staff training. Internal marketing is a team effort.
What Is Dental Internal Marketing?
Before diving into internal marketing strategies, it’s important to understand what dental internal marketing is.
When you think of marketing, you might imagine websites, brochures, and big signs. These are all forms of external marketing. Internal marketing uses your existing patients to bring in new ones.
Word-of-mouth advertising, formal referrals, and written patient testimonials are all examples of internal marketing.
Internal marketing is effective because potential patients are more likely to listen to someone they trust, like a family member or friend, than they are an advertisement. Internal marketing is personal and makes more of an impression.
It’s also much less expensive than external marketing. External marketing requires money for promo materials, hosting websites, and ad space. Internal marketing begins with talking to your patients.
But how do you get started?
Six Dental Internal Marketing Tips
To begin internal marketing or to adjust your existing strategy, consider these six dental internal marketing tips.
1. Prioritize Patient Satisfaction
If your existing patients aren’t satisfied, the likelihood that you’ll draw in new ones is low. Make an impression on every patient who walks through your office doors.
Every patient’s experience should begin with excellent customer service at the front desk, and that feeling of welcomeness should remain consistent throughout their visit. Treating patients with compassion and respect will make them more likely to recommend you to their family members and friends.
2. Ask Directly for Referrals
You have to ask for what you want. It might not occur to your patients to give referrals to your practice unless you mention it first. Having your staff members ask patients to refer your practice by word of mouth after their visit can maximize your referrals.
To encourage referrals non-verbally, consider having signs in your waiting room or office that express gratitude for referrals. These may make more of an impression on some patients, keeping your practice in their minds.
3. Use Incentives for Referrals
Patients are more likely to refer others to your practice if there is an incentive to do so. Consider introducing rewards for patients who make frequent referrals. You can easily do this with the Dental Intelligence Patient Loyalty Program which has customizable rewards. For example, if patients make a certain number of referrals, you might reward them with a gift card.
Some practices will begin VIP clubs for patients who continuously make referrals. Not only does this incentivize them to continue referring your practice to other people, but it also builds a sense of community.
4. Get Written Testimonials
Word-of-mouth referrals are a great source of promotion, but written testimonials can make a more lasting impact. Ask for testimonials in the form of letters from your patients, then put them on display in your office.
5. Utilize Technology
You can maximize the impact of your internal promotion by using technology. With the internet at your fingertips, you can display reviews and testimonials on social media. Technology helps your message reach beyond the immediate community, building your reputation.
Technology is another viable tool for encouraging referrals. Some patients may be in a rush on their way out or forget that your staff asked them to make a referral. A reminder in their email, like a quick survey, is a great way to keep your practice on their mind.
Dental Intelligence Online Reviews makes it easy for you to request reviews that post directly to Google, Facebook, and other websites.
6. Use Promotional Materials
The brochures and flyers you created for your external marketing strategy can work well for internal marketing, too.
Keeping such light promotional materials in your office encourages patients to bring them home and share. A visual tool can make a word-of-mouth referral even more effective.
Boost Your Dental Practice’s Growth with Dental Intelligence
Dental internal marketing starts with an effective patient referral program, but it doesn’t end there. It can be difficult to prioritize your practice’s growth when you have so much else to do.
With the help of Dental Intelligence’s software, your office will run smoother, and your patients will leave happier. Schedule a demo today to get started.
October 5, 2023
It's just as important to gain new patients as it is to keep your returning patients. Here are some reasons why patients are changing dentists and how building loyalty can keep them coming back.
On average, dental practices lose between 10% and 40% of their active patients each year. While some patients move to a different practice for objective reasons, like relocating, others switch dentists because they’re unhappy with the quality of care or other aspects of their dental experience.
Let’s break down patients’ top five reasons for changing dentists and list a few strategies you can adopt to encourage patient loyalty.
1. Dissatisfaction with Dental Care Quality
A dentist may be highly competent and experienced. However, patients will still be dissatisfied if the appointment seems rushed, the dentist doesn’t take enough time to explain the procedure, or the dental team doesn’t pay enough attention to their comfort level.
Your patients may also consider changing dentists if your dental practice fails to incorporate advanced tools, equipment, and procedures your leading local competitors are already using.
2. Poor Results of Dental Treatment
Patients may be initially satisfied with their dental treatment but later notice poor outcomes, like a restoration that deteriorates too soon or damage to healthy teeth. They may consult another dentist and discover their previous dental care provider failed to diagnose a serious condition or didn’t specify all their treatment options.
When this happens, any trust in the dental practice usually vanishes, at which point patients are likely to change dentists without warning. While this can be disheartening, it’s best to move forward with preventative strategies.
3. Lack of Rapport with the Dentist
The connection between a dentist and a patient is highly personal. Patients look not just for professionalism and efficiency but also personal qualities like empathy, care, patience, honesty, and good communication.
Sometimes, a patient and a dentist just aren’t a good fit. Patients should feel comfortable with their dentist; when that rapport is absent, they will usually move on to a different provider.
4. Poor Communication
Your patients don’t want to waste time coordinating appointments, waiting to talk to a staff member, or filling out paperwork when they’re in a rush. When fruitless communication gobbles up too much time, patients may eventually choose another practice.
Communication flows much more smoothly in clinics using the Patient Portal by Dental Intelligence, allowing patients to fill out forms easily.
5. Long Waiting Times and Inefficient Processes
Your dental patients have busy schedules. A delay in routine processes — for instance, when you need to sign a release form per a patient’s request — can be frustrating.
Patients may also consider changing dentists if they need to wait six months for a simple procedure, spend too much time in the waiting area, or contact you for an emergency appointment and you can’t fit them in. It pays to keep some flexibility in your schedule so you can accommodate your patients more easily.
What You Can Do To Retain More Patients
Retaining a stable patient base is easier and more cost effective than constantly working to gain large numbers of new patients. This is what you can do to foster patient loyalty.
Upgrade Your Office and Equipment
If you haven’t updated your reception area and waiting room in years, now is a great time to do so. Invest in attractive decor and comfortable furniture to keep your patients relaxed while they wait for their appointments. You might also consider upgrading to more innovative, efficient technology, and equipment.
Communicate With Your Patients
Take the time to listen to your patients, address their concerns, and explain treatment options. If necessary, adjust your schedule so you can dedicate more time to each patient. If a patient undergoes a complex procedure, have your team follow up with them to ensure they are recovering properly and following all recommendations. Your team can easily do this with ringless Voicemail Drops.
Examine Your Payment Options
Do your patients hesitate to schedule procedures because of financial constraints? Consider offering discounts or flexible payment plans or accepting more types of insurance coverage. Your patients will tend to be more loyal if you accommodate their budget. You can also offer patient financing to offer more options to your patients.
Reward patients for staying loyal to your practice. You could offer incentives like a free teeth cleaning, a discount on a whitening procedure, a VIP membership option, or a gift card to let your patients know you value them. With Dental Intelligence Patient Loyalty Program, you can create an incentive program with customizable rewards that works for your practice,
Enjoy Higher Patient Loyalty with Dental Intelligence
Efficient engagement tools by Dental Intelligence can help you create a personalized patient experience and keep patients from changing dentists. Our solutions help you save time, boost patient loyalty, and make more money. Request your free demo today.
October 5, 2023
There are a lot of metrics to track and follow as a dental professional. One of the most important ones is active patient count. Read on to learn what is it and why it matters.
Active patient count is one of the most important but least understood terms in dental practice management. Even dentists who know how many active patients their clinic has are often unsure what this number means for their practice.
Knowing your active patient base will help you make better business decisions and manage your dental clinic more efficiently. So, what’s the deal with active patient count, and why does it matter?
What Is Active Patient Count?
First, let’s draw the line between active and inactive patients. The ADA defines active patients as individuals who have received dental care in your clinic within the past year or patients of record treated at your practice within the last 24 months (but not in the past 12 months)1.
Inactive patients are patients of record who haven’t come into your clinic for dental treatment within the last 24 months.
Dental Intelligence defines active patients as those seen in the last 18 months and marked as active in your PMS.
Calculating Active Patient Count
You can determine your active patient count by:
- Performing a full chart audit that involves counting all patients who come into your practice within a defined period
- Using a partial chart audit to estimate the number of active patients
Calculating your active patient count is much easier when you use advanced tools by Dental Intelligence Metrics & Reporting.
What Active Patient Count Should You Aim for?
Your active patient base is easily the most important asset of your dental practice. Building a healthy patient base takes skill, reputation, marketing efforts, and years of providing excellent dental services. But how many active patients should a dental clinic have?
If you’re running a solo practice with one full-time general dentist, a hygienist, and a hygiene assistant, you should aim for an active patient base in the range of 1300 to 1500 patients. These numbers provide a fair balance between profit and quality of care.
Each extra dentist day per week adds around 300 active patients your clinic can handle without compromising care quality or patient experience. For example, if a second dentist comes in on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, your practice may aspire to about 1,900-2,100 active patients.
Maintaining and Growing Your Active Patient Base
Some of your patients will eventually move to a different area, pass away, or (even if you make every effort to foster patient loyalty) switch to a different dental practice. On average, a dental clinic loses about 10%-15% of its active patients every year, which is why you must continue marketing your services and acquiring new patients.
Striving to gain about 25 patients every month for every full-time dentist who works in your clinic is a reasonable growth goal. If you run your practice well and provide high-quality care, most new patients will come from referrals through existing active patients.
Patient referral incentives, efficient SEO and a website upgrade, pay-per-click advertising, and traditional print advertising are some methods you may consider to attract patients to your clinic. However, if you see an especially high patient attrition rate, you might want to examine your work processes and focus on retaining existing patients. Dental Intelligence offers a library of ready to use marketing tools to help boost your visibility and marketing efforts.
What If You Have Too Many Patients?
Dental practice owners often put a lot of effort into growing their active patient base and fitting new patients into a busy schedule. However, if you overstretch your clinic’s resources to accommodate too many patients, the quality of care will suffer. You’ll have less time to devote to each patient, and mistakes and oversights may occur more often.
When this occurs, patient satisfaction, patient loyalty, and annual billings per patient will drop. You’ll find yourself working harder but earning less.
This is where active patient count becomes important. This number can let you know you’re taking on more patients than you can reasonably handle, helping you decide whether it’s time to add more staff to your dental practice.
For example, if your analytics show your solo practice has an active patient count of 1800, you may consider adding an associate. Alternatively, you may choose to cut down on your marketing efforts and reduce the number of new patients you take on each month.
Gain Actionable Insights for Your Practice with Dental Intelligence
Our practice performance solution by Dental Intelligence helps you save time, earn more money, and deliver a better patient experience. We offer all you need for efficient practice management, from determining active patient count to dental patient reactivation and people-friendly communication.
Join over 9,000 clinics across the U.S. already using Dental Intelligence for all their practice management needs. Request your demo today.
October 5, 2023
Are you looking for ways to improve so you can take your practice to the next level? Consider running a SWOT Analysis. Read on to learn what a SWOT Analysis is and how to complete one.
As a dental clinic owner, you always strive for optimal dental practice strategies. You do your best to provide outstanding service and stay competitive.
SWOT analysis is one business method that can help take your practice to the next level. Let’s explain how this approach works for dental clinics.
What Is SWOT Analysis?
A SWOT analysis is a process that should allow you to see what your dental practice excels at, what it could do better, and what it should avoid. You may convert these insights into a practical, actionable plan to promote your clinic’s success.
SWOT stands for:
Breaking Down the Elements of SWOT Analysis for Dental Practices
Running a SWOT analysis requires taking a step back from day-to-day clinic management to gain a macro view of your dental practice as a business. You’ll look into all four elements of SWOT, detailed below.
When you look into your clinic’s strengths, consider what you do best and what helps you gain (and keep) patients. Ask yourself:
- What gives you an edge in your area of dental care?
- What advantages do you offer compared to your local competitors?
- Based on feedback and reviews, what do patients love about your dental clinic?
Your strengths may include state-of-the-art dental tech, highly competent staff, accommodations for clients with special needs, flexible office hours, convenient payment and membership plans, and more.
For a well-rounded SWOT analysis, you’ll need to evaluate your practice’s disadvantages and pitfalls. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at this stage, but remember that your goal is to use your weak points as a springboard to growth.
Be honest and ask yourself:
- Does lack of equipment, staff, or training compromise your quality of care?
- Do you waste time and resources because of inefficient dental practice strategies?
- Do you throw away a lot of money on marketing that doesn’t work?
- What recurring complaints do you notice in patient feedback?
- What, in your opinion, do your competitors do better?
In a SWOT analysis, opportunities tie into your strengths. Look at what you already do well, then build upon that to explore exciting possibilities.
- Is your patient base interested in a procedure you don’t offer but could add to your list of services?
- How can you enhance your dental brand and make your practice more memorable?
- What types of new technology could you introduce into your practice?
- Is it time to add more staff and expand your dental office?
- Should you adopt your competitors’ most successful strategies?
In the context of a SWOT analysis, threats are any challenges, risks, or difficulties that could interfere with your dental clinic’s viability. Often, threats are what might happen unless you address your weaknesses.
Possible threats may include:
- A new, advanced dental clinic across the street that provides services similar to yours
- Severely outdated procedures that no longer align with patient expectations
- Undetected breaches of regulatory compliance, like HIPAA violations
- Inadequate safety protocols that could expose your clinic to liability lawsuits
- A growing body of prominent, unaddressed negative reviews
Who Should Be Involved in a SWOT Analysis?
All the key members of your dental team can contribute to the SWOT analysis. You can use available templates and tools to run this type of survey or invest in working with a professional marketing consultant. Ideally, you’ll run a fresh SWOT analysis every couple of years and update your dental practice strategies accordingly.
Applying the Insights of a SWOT Analysis
Once you have your insights, it’s time to turn them into an actionable, practical business plan that capitalizes on your strengths, helps you overcome obstacles, and seizes opportunities. For example, based on your SWOT analysis results, you may:
- Invest in equipment or technology that creates a better experience for dental patients
- Address direct threats by enhancing safety procedures or improving cybersecurity
- Decide to change or expand your marketing strategies
- Improve your online reputation by responding to negative patient reviews
- Start an SEO campaign to rank higher in search engines
- Engage more with patients on social media platforms
Run an Efficient SWOT Analysis With Powerful Tools by Dental Intelligence
Are you preparing to run a SWOT analysis for smarter dental practice strategies? Do you need help interpreting and acting on the results? Powerful tools by Dental Intelligence can provide actionable insights, improve patient experience, and help you achieve better dental risk management.
October 5, 2023
In order to be successful, you must stand out from your competition. Here are 6 tips to help make your practice unique.
Sometimes, the day-to-day upkeep of a dental practice prevents you from thinking of the bigger picture. You might notice your patient numbers and referrals dwindling.
Maybe you’re losing patients to other dental practices, or patients simply forget to come back for routine appointments. Don’t worry, there’s a solution: stand out.
But what makes a dental office unique? Dental care is more than just teeth cleaning and cavity filling. Dental care relies on a holistic patient approach. Start by using Dental Intelligence Patient Loyalty Program to incentivize patients to return.
6 Ways to Make Your Dental Office Unique
Ensure your patients leave your dental office smiling. Your practice’s impressions on patients should keep them returning and referring friends and family.
To guarantee your patients have the best experience, you should know what makes a dental office unique.
Cultivate a Good Office Culture
Excellent customer service is a must. This requires consistent communication, a friendly atmosphere, and accommodation when needed.
Many patients may associate dental care with fear or anxiety. A warm, welcoming atmosphere can do wonders to ease their discomfort and make their visit a positive experience.
Remember that this doesn’t begin when the patient arrives. When a customer calls to make an appointment, ensure the exchange is positive and sets their visit up for success.
Hire Staff You Can Trust
No individual can guarantee a positive office culture, but they can be enough to ruin it. Every person your patients interact with must treat them with respect and care. The only way to ensure this is through a diligent hiring process and staff training.
Many people in dentistry have similar personality traits. Use this as a way to encourage a consistently productive and welcoming environment. If your staff is happy, your patients are more likely to follow suit.
Your staff should understand the high expectations for customer service. The front desk employees should greet them with warmth, which should be consistent throughout the customer’s visit.
Offer Extra Services
Patients will appreciate the basic services like filling cavities, cleaning teeth, and remedying oral issues. However, offering additional services like cosmetic dentistry, veneer application, and other treatments could increase your clientele.
If you offer these services, ensure patients know about them. Advertise them on your social media and promotional materials and inform existing patients of all your services when they step into your office.
Another way to stand out is by being as transparent as possible with your patients. Patients want to know about the practice they’re trusting with their dental health.
Start with an office tour. Every time a new patient comes in, set aside time for a short tour. Tours let the patient better understand the space they’re entering while meeting more members of your staff.
If you’re not feeling ready to show your space off, it might need a makeover. Remember that the appearance of your practice is the first impression your patients get.
After the tour, being open with your patients about your philosophy and goals is essential. This conversation helps patients feel like their dental work is something you’re doing with them, not to them.
Consider the Patient’s Perspective
As a dental practice owner, you have a different perspective than your patients. Once in a while, it’s a good idea to step into their shoes and consider what their experience is like. The following are a few helpful questions to ask yourself:
- How does the office exterior look? Does it appear clean?
- How does the interior look? Is it welcoming? Easy to navigate?
- How long do patients have to wait? Are there enough amenities in the waiting room to keep them entertained?
You don’t want your patients to only associate your office with the chore of going to their dentist appointment.
Hosting events for existing and potential patients is a great way to stand out. Open house events, for example, allow patients to ask questions and experience your practice differently than at a normal appointment.
Take Your Dental Practice to the Next Level
Focusing on the patient experience can elevate your dental practice. Now that you know what makes a dental office unique, you can move forward and stand out from your competition.
To keep new and returning patients happy, continue to consider office culture, dental office patient flow, and quality of service.
Let us take some of the work off your plate. Dental Intelligence works to help dental practices improve productivity with the latest tools and technology. Schedule a demo today to get started.
October 5, 2023
What does a “good dentist” look like? Most people will immediately assume a good dentist is knowledgeable and experienced. While this is true, it takes more to live up to this title. Read on for 6 qualities that make a good dentist.
When your patients need to schedule their appointment, you don’t want them to dread it. They should associate your dental practice with good experiences. Every dentist wants to be a good one, but “good” is too vague a term.
What are the qualities of a good dentist? What do patients look for?
Take your practice to the next level with a patient loyalty program with Dental Intelligence.
Six Qualities of a Good Dentist
Having the following qualities helps an otherwise average dentist be a good dentist. Being a good dentist means making a difference in your patients’ dental care, which will keep them returning and referring you to other potential patients.
1. Be Considerate About Your Location
Being thoughtful about your location is essential to being a good dentist. When you choose an office location, you must consider more than the space itself. Think about the community around it.
Is your office in a convenient location for people traveling from work or school? Does it have enough parking for staff and patients? Is it accessible for those with disabilities?
Patients won’t be able to experience the remaining qualities below if they can’t reach you. Neglecting to consider these factors when choosing a location almost guarantees patients will arrive feeling frustrated.
Another way to ensure patients have easy access to your office is by offering extended hours during the week or weekend hours for those who cannot take time off of work for their appointments.
2. Be Open About Your Credentials
Putting your credentials on display or discussing them openly with patients creates a feeling of transparency and trust. Putting your Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry (DMD) degree on display is a great way to establish immediate credibility.
If you have any certifications for specialties like orthodontics, mentioning that can also put patients at ease. Having these credentials is important, but a quality of a great dentist is being able to share them with patients.
3. Establish Your Reputation
Having a positive reputation as a dentist does a lot for your career. A good reputation will bring in new patients while keeping existing ones returning. To gauge your reputation, keep up to date with online reviews and your social media presence.
Your reputation will stick with you throughout your career, so you want to ensure it’s solid.
4. Practice Quality Communication
Sometimes, it can feel tempting to prioritize efficiency over quality communication. You might rush through answering patients’ questions or an explanation of treatment. While being respectful of the patient’s time is always a good practice, ensure you’re also communicating clearly.
This means taking your time to thoroughly explain their dental care, carefully answering questions, and being honest about their oral health. Patients will appreciate the extra effort it takes to guarantee their comfort.
5. Always Be Professional
Being professional in appearance and practice is vital. The first impression your patients will have of you is your appearance. Ensure that you and your workspaces appear organized. Taking the time to clean up between appointments helps accomplish this.
Always act professionally when working with a patient or staff member. This all goes back to establishing and maintaining a positive reputation. Patients will appreciate your efforts in respecting their time, working efficiently, and communicating effectively.
6. Remain Empathetic
Many patients enter dentist offices worrying they’ll face judgment for the state of their oral health. Some may come with an abundance of questions; others may prefer to remain quiet. Empathy on a personal level will look different for each patient.
Be honest with your patients, but avoid displaying judgment. Explain to the patient that you’re there to help them meet their oral health goals. Above all, be kind.
From Good to Great: Dentist-Patient Relationships
Patients value a dentist who sees them not just as patients but as people. Caring about their overall health is one of the qualities of a good dentist. Securing a strong dentist-patient relationship can build a community within your dental practice.
If you have the qualities of a good dentist and want to take the next step, Dental Intelligence can help you get there. We have a variety of tools and technology to make your dental practice more efficient and effective. To get started, schedule a demo today.
October 4, 2023
You might seem to have a great dental marketing strategy, but how do you actually know how effective it is? Here are seven strategies on how to track the impact of your marketing efforts.
Dental marketing can feel like taking a million shots in the dark. Even with the best marketing plan, you can’t have an effective strategy until you know what’s working.
If you’re unsure about your marketing strategy, explore Dental Intelligence’s dental marketing tools to help maximize your efforts.
Tracking the results of your dental marketing strategy may feel complex at first. How do you measure its effectiveness? Where should you expect to see growth? Here are seven strategies to help you track the impact of your marketing efforts.
Seven Strategies To Track the Impact of Your Dental Marketing
There are various ways to track the impact of your dental marketing strategy. Using multiple avenues to track the progress of your dental practice is essential. Knowing what needs improvement is the only way to solidify an effective marketing plan.
1. Why Are Your New Patients There?
Most practices will track how many new patients they have. However, some forget to track why they’re getting new patients.
You and your staff should ask new patients what drew them to your practice. Did you come up in their Google search? Did they see a local ad? Did they find you through social media?
Collecting and evaluating these answers is the best way to determine what marketing strategies draw in the most new patients.
2. Why Are Your Patients Calling?
Most new patients will have their first interaction with your practice on the phone. This initial phone call is crucial and will often be a determining factor in their decision to return. You can also use tracking tools to determine which keywords or Google ads triggered their phone call.
Similarly, some patients may choose to contact your practice through email. Track the same information for emails if you receive questions or requests via email. Email marketing can be an extremely effective tool.
If most of your patients use email as a mode of communication, consider leaning into your email marketing strategies.
3. How Is Your Website Performing?
When assessing your website’s metrics, pay attention to:
- Website visits
- Page views
- Load time
- Calls to action
These metrics are the foundation of your digital marketing strategy. Knowing how many website visits and page views your site gets will tell you if your content is drawing people in.
The load time refers to how long it takes for your website to load. This should be 2.4 seconds or less; otherwise, potential patients may switch to another site.
Calls to action like “schedule an appointment” and “call now” increase patient conversion by a significant percentage. Ensure your calls to action are easy to read and follow.
4. Is Your SEO Working?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a strategy to elevate your online presence. Using certain keywords in your content can increase your website’s visibility in search results. For example, if a potential patient searches “teeth whitening near me,” SEO will boost your website to be one of the first results.
To see whether your SEO is effective, evaluate your:
- Organic traffic
- Visibility on search engine pages
- Conversion rates
5. Are You Using GMB?
Google My Business, or GMB, is another tool to track your website’s performance, specifically through Google search. This tool provides insights into how often patients view your pages and click links. With GMB, you can evaluate:
- Average costs per click
- Quality scores
- Click-through rate (CTR)
You can also track their performance through Google My Business when you use Google Ads.
6. What Is Your Monthly Revenue?
Your monthly revenue indicates your practice’s growth or lack thereof. Looking for steady increases in revenue month over month is a great way to determine whether your marketing strategy is working.
Keeping careful monthly revenue records will also come in handy for other purposes, like filing taxes or selling your practice.
7. What Does Your Appointment Book Look Like?
Another simple way to evaluate your practice’s growth is by looking at your appointment book.
Is there a clear shift in the number of appointments booked after you implemented a marketing strategy? Do you have appointments booked weeks in advance? These are indicators that your marketing strategy is successful.
On the other hand, if you have a lot of open appointment slots, you may want to rethink your dental marketing ideas.
Transform Your Digital Marketing With Dental Intelligence
If you evaluate your dental marketing strategy and find that it’s not quite working, Dental Intelligence can help. With analytical and engagement software, Dental Intelligence will help you find and track strategies to grow your practice through email campaigns, Instagram marketing for dentists, and more.
October 4, 2023
Dealing with insurance can be a hassle — especially when claims are denied. Here are 6 common reasons why dental claims are denied and how to avoid them.
Dental practices send claims to dental insurance companies every day. However, there are often instances when an insurance company denies a claim. So, why was a dental claim denied, and can you prevent denials from happening as often in your office?
When your office needs to process insurance claims, Dental Intelligence Insurance has you covered from eligibility verification to sending in the claim to the ERA. Dental Intelligence Payments also offers easy processing for patient co-payments. Learn more about insurance claims and how patients may face denials because of clerical or procedural errors in your office.
Reasons Dental Insurance Companies May Deny a Claim
Insurance claims make up a large portion of administrative procedures at dental practices nationwide. However, dental insurance companies often deny insurance claims for minor missteps in their individual claims processes. But what are the most common reasons for a dental claim denial?
Outdated or Incorrect Insurance Claim Forms
Insurance companies occasionally update their forms and the required information to submit claims. If you send the claim form you have on file without the updated documentation, the dental insurance company will likely deny it.
If the insurance company denies a claim for lacking the proper forms, it will take longer to receive the denial and resubmit the claim with the correct forms than to contact the insurance company and verify you’re using the correct forms before submitting the claim. You can also verify insurance coverage while inquiring about the forms.
Failure To Verify Insurance Coverage
One of the top reasons for denial is failure to verify insurance coverage. You must ensure that a patient carries a certain policy and that their policy covers the scheduled procedures. To verify insurance coverage, confirm that your office’s information for the patient matches the information the insurance company has on file for their policyholder.
This includes not only that your patient has a certain coverage plan but also that your office has the correct patient address, contact information, date of birth, and spelling of their name. Even one error in this regard could lead to delays or a denial of the claim.
Failing To Get Pre-Authorization
Pre-authorization is essential for all dental procedures, even if a patient’s dental plan explicitly covers them. Without pre-authorization, dental insurance companies may deny a claim as an “unauthorized procedure.”
Seeking reimbursement for unauthorized procedures can easily become a hassle for your billing department. Ensure your office administration is securing pre-authorization for every procedure. Filing an appeal for a denial without it could lead to a lengthy claim process.
Missing Claim Filing Deadlines
Most dental insurance companies have different deadlines for submitting claims with the appropriate forms and documentation. Busy offices can easily miss a deadline if they manage claim filing in-house. Using a third-party billing system to manage claim deadlines and forms can help even the busiest dental practice file all their claim forms on time and with the appropriate supporting documents.
Certain Procedures Not Covered by Dental Insurance Policy
While verifying insurance coverage for your patient, you should also confirm that their policy covers all necessary restorative dental work. For example, many policies have a “missing tooth clause” where, if a patient arrives at your office with a missing tooth, the insurer can deny a claim for replacement because the tooth may have been missing before their coverage became effective.
Many dental policies also do not cover cosmetic dentistry, such as teeth whitening, veneers, or fixing teeth gaps for reasons other than injury or illness. However, many dental practices offer dental financing plans to help patients achieve their best smiles without insurance approval.
Other Limitations of Dental Insurance Companies and Policies
Some dental insurance companies may try to define an essential restorative dental procedure as cosmetic to keep from having to offer coverage for the procedure. Patients who lose teeth in an accident or because of weakened bone structure in their jaw from cancer treatment should qualify for restorative dentistry procedures, including implants, crowns, veneers, and orthodontics.
Most policies don’t cover cosmetic procedures for aesthetic purposes. Dental insurance likely won't cover these procedures even if a patient could benefit from a more confident smile for their mental or emotional well-being.
Insurance Claims Solutions for Dental Practices
Is one of your patients dealing with an insurance claim denial? Consider whether one of the reasons above contributed to the insurance company denying their claim. Dental Intelligence Insurance can help you with your claims processing needs. Contact us today to schedule a demo for your dental practice.