Dental Intelligence


February 21, 2023

Payment Technologies and Why Your Dental Practice Should Embrace Them

We live in an age of rapid advances in technology, especially when it comes to digital payments. Spending money has never been easier. In this article, we cover a few reasons why you should harness the latest technological innovations at your dental practice.

Providing top-quality care for patients and staff should be your dental practice's highest priority. However, you cannot ignore the fact that your clinic is a business. By embracing payment technologies, you can better balance your healthcare priorities and business goals. 

Why Should Your Practice Use Payment Technologies?

Upgrading payment processing technology like Dental Intelligence Payments might seem overwhelming and unnecessary at first, but it will help your business stand out from the crowd now and in the future. At Dental Intelligence, we have the resources to help you embrace these technologies.

Faster Transactions

Paying for dental care should be as fast and hassle-free as possible. However, filling out lengthy forms, waiting in line, and writing a check can be frustrating after getting a tooth pulled. The more hoops a patient has to jump through, the less likely they will be to even start. 

Payment technologies make the payment process quick and painless. You can collect bills on time and let patients move on with their merry lives. A fast, convenient payment process means more money for you and more satisfaction for your clients.

More Flexibility

Most people carry very little cash and hardly use their checkbooks, preferring to make payments online with credit or debit cards. However, many healthcare facilities still require paper payments. It creates a significant issue for some patients — younger generations, particularly.

One of the biggest reasons your dental practice should invest in payment technologies is the flexibility factor. Contactless payments come in various options to suit everyone's preferences and needs, so your patients can pay using the method that works best for them.

Recurring Payments

Recurring billing is another reason to upgrade your dental clinic's payment technology. This type of billing is essential for any industry where customers make regular, frequent purchases. It keeps you from requesting the same credit card information over and over again.

Patients may want to use recurring payments for regular treatments, such as teeth cleaning. Online and mobile payments make it possible. Clients can set the amount and frequency of each payment, ensuring that they pay the bills promptly and correctly.

Increased Security

Have you ever entered your personal and credit card information online and worried about security? Unfortunately, many patients feel the same way when paying medical or dental bills. Transaction security is a must to protect your clients and business reputation.

Modern payment technologies come with PCI-DSS and HIPAA-compliant features to keep every transaction safe and secure. No more nervous customers using digital currencies. No more checks getting lost in the mail. 

Security is critical to building trust with your patients. It is the first step toward your dental practice establishing long-lasting, valuable relationships.

Reasonable Costs

Some healthcare clinics hesitate to purchase new technology due to pricing concerns. It does not cost a penny to pass a check from hand to hand. However, online transactions might include a substantial processing fee.

If additional fees and costs are your primary concern, you can rest easy. Mobile payments typically cost no more than other payment methods. That said, you should speak with your bank or credit card provider to learn about potential charges.

Integrated Solutions

Paper payments require paper statements and physical places to store these records. With payment technologies, you can integrate the process with other powerful tools that turn time-consuming manual tasks into efficient, automated ones. For example, your clients can access paperless statements anytime from anywhere in the world.  

In addition to efficiency, integrated payment solutions help your clinic keep in step with advancing technology. The next big thing in payment technologies will inevitably build on what is available currently. Upgrading today will ensure you stay ready for tomorrow.

Dental Payment Solutions That Benefit Your Practice and Patients

If you are looking for ways to upgrade your dental practice, consider investing in payment technologies. Contactless payments offer flexibility and convenience, making the payment process go as smoothly as possible. They also keep transactions secure and your clinic on the road to success.

Want to learn more about HIPAA-compliant payment processes for dental practices? At Dental Intelligence, our team has you covered! Schedule a demo today and see how we can help.

Dental Intelligence


February 17, 2023

How to Create the Best Meta Title and Description for Dental Clinic SEO

The meta title and description are an important part of your overall SEO. Learn best practices to optimize your website.

The meta title and description of your web page play an essential role in your site’s search engine optimization (SEO). By using SEO best practices, your dental clinic can climb the search rankings to appear at the top of the results when someone searches for local dental practices.

Below, we give a rundown of the best practices for creating optimized meta titles and descriptions, also known as meta tags.

How Do the Meta Title and Description Help with SEO?

Your meta title and description describe the content of your web page, providing a short summary for individuals using Google or other search engines to find dental practices.

Meta tags have two important functions:

  • Letting search engines know what your content is about
  • Influencing users to click your link instead of the competition’s

Optimizing your meta title and description for each page is the key to increasing your website’s click-through rate, leading to more new patients for your dental clinic.

Why You Should Optimize Meta Title Tags for Dental SEO

The title tag represents the title of your web page, allowing users to quickly identify what the blog post or service page is about. It should be unique and eye-catching, leading to more clicks from potential dental patients. 

Follow Title Tag Best Practices

SEO experts have determined the best practices for creating title tags for Google and other search engines. When deciding the right title tag for your dental web page, you should follow these guidelines for best results:

  • Keep titles under 60 characters
  • Use action words to answer what, how, why, and where
  • Avoid using duplicate title tags

Use Target Keywords

Target keywords are a vital part of SEO, so you should include them in your title tags. The keywords you use depend on the page content, but they should be words or phrases that users commonly search for to find the dental service you’re offering.

Examples of these include:

  • “Dentist near me”
  • “Dental implants”
  • “Teeth whitening cost”

Write with a Unique Voice

If you’re competing with other dental practices, it’s crucial to make your title tags stand out from the competition. Potential dental patients are more likely to click on a link with an interesting title that matches their search intent. Use descriptive words to highlight the unique selling points of your dental practice, such as “Affordable Dental Implants in New York.”

Optimizing Meta Descriptions for Dental SEO

While meta descriptions don’t directly influence search engines to improve your ranking, they can indirectly help your dental practices reach the top of search results by improving your click-through rate.

Use the Right Character Limit

You should keep your description under 155 characters. If the description is longer than 155 characters, Google will cut off the text, making it less likely for users to click on your web page.

Add a Strong CTA

One of the most important aspects of a meta description is the call-to-action (CTA), which prompts the user to take a specific action that leads to the solution they’re searching for.

For example, a CTA can be:

  • Learn more
  • Call us now
  • Schedule an appointment today

Include Target Keywords

It’s crucial to include your target keyword and other related keywords in your meta description. It does two things to help optimize your web page’s performance. It influences Google to use your meta description in the results and attracts more users by matching their search query.

Use Actionable Language

A description with an active voice can draw more potential dental patients in by addressing their problem and describing the solution your web page provides. A clear, actionable description is much more attractive to users than one that gives a dull summary of the content.

Make it Unique but Relevant

Your description should be unique and compelling, but it should always relate to the content on the page. Search engines will know if you use a description that isn’t relevant to the content on your page, hurting your ranking in the search results.

Optimize Your Dental Practice with Dental Intelligence

With Dental Intelligence, you can discover the most important details about the state of your dental clinic using our innovative software that connects with your existing systems. With the information we give you access to, you can streamline your office operations and save hundreds of hours monthly.

Schedule a demo today and see how Dental Intelligence can help intelligently shape the future of your practice.

Dental Intelligence


February 17, 2023

What Is Structured Data for SEO, and How Does It Boost Your Dental Practice Website?

Using structured data for SEO can help boost the visiblity of your website to your new and existing patients. Learn tips on how to get started adding structured data markups.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing practice that helps your website reach the first page of Google. When you use structured data for SEO purposes, you can significantly enhance the appearance and functionality of your dental practice’s web page links in the search results pages of Google and other search engines.

Read on to learn the purpose and benefits of structured data, including tips for how to get started adding structured data markups to your dental clinic’s website.

What Is Structured Data for SEO?

Structured data is a tool for helping search engines like Google understand how to interpret and display the content on your web page. While languages like the one you’re reading now are a great way for humans to communicate, they’re too ambiguous for search engines. 

By using structured data for SEO, you’re speaking the language of the search engines, explicitly labeling specific content on your web pages with information that Google, Bing, or Yahoo can use to create a rich version of your page’s search result.

You can create structured data using supported markup vocabulary, such as Schema. Using Schema’s website1, you can find standardized markups for whatever data type you want to tag on your site.

Some Examples of Structured Data

You can find hundreds of schema markup types, which typically fall into the following categories:

Rich Snippets

Rich snippets are enhancements for your web page in search engine results pages (SERPs), displaying information like reviews, images, and location data. Rather than simply having the title and description, your web page result shows users helpful information to enrich the search experience and increase organic traffic to your site.

Rich Cards

Rich cards are the mobile version of rich snippets. When someone types their search query into a mobile device, rich cards will be at the top of the page. Considering how many people use smartphones to find information, rich cards are highly beneficial to boost the visibility of your dental website.

Knowledge Panels

In Google search results, a knowledge panel appears to the right of the results and includes key information from the web page’s content. The typical content in a knowledge panel about a local business includes:

  • Images
  • Address 
  • Opening hours 
  • Phone number
  • Reviews


Breadcrumbs replace URLs above the title of search results pages, indicating the relationship of the web page to the rest of the website. Breadcrumbs help users understand the hierarchy of your site’s web pages and could lead them to click other links on your website.


You can add structured data to your blog post or news article to help Google understand the page’s content and display improved title text, images, and dates in search results. Using this strategy helps your articles become features at the top of search results for specific topics.


People looking for information about a business often turn to the questions and answers (Q&A) section of Google search results. With structured data for SEO, you can help potential or existing dental patients find answers to their questions about your dental practice.

How You Can Use Structured Data for Your Dental Practice SEO

You can find many tools and plug-ins to help you add structured data to your site. Below, we give an example of how you can implement structured data using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper:

  1. Open Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
  1. Choose the type of content data you want to add (i.e., Articles, Local Businesses)
  1. Click “Start Tagging”
  1. Highlight components of your web page to assign data tags
  1. After adding tags, click “Create HTML”
  1. Download the structured data markup
  1. Add HTML markup to web page source code
  1. Test the markup with Google’s Rich Results Test and fix errors

Get More Clicks for Your Dental Clinic Website with SEO

Our Dental Intelligence software provides your dental practice with tools for analyzing your clinic’s performance, addressing office inefficiencies, and improving communication with patients and team members. We help you dig up the data needed to identify problems in your practice and offer solutions for the issues you find. 

With our Analytics and Engagement modules, you can save your dental team tons of time, allowing you to focus on patient experience. We can also help improve your dental marketing strategies, so your business can continue to grow.

Ready to practice smarter? Try our demo today!


1 Schema

Dental Intelligence


February 16, 2023

A Brief Guide for Preparing Your Dental Practice for Scheduling Conflicts

‍Scheduling conflicts can create stress for your dental staff and patients. See how your practice can deploy professional communication to keep clients happy and avoid unnecessary delays.

Professional business-to-client communication is essential when managing your dental practice. However, surprise scheduling conflicts can make it challenging to keep up with appointments, phone calls, and quality customer service. Your staff can avoid these problems with practical training and time management tools. 

What Are Some Common Scheduling Conflicts Your Staff May Encounter?

Without a practical scheduling policy, your staff may regularly book overlapping appointments. Overbooking can reduce your staff’s quality of service and discourage clients from booking with your practice in the future. These common schedule conflicts create long waiting room times for patients and force your employees to work harder to keep up with demands.

Scheduling conflicts could also force you to make a difficult decision for your business when a patient needs emergency attention. 

For instance, you could gain a loyal customer by accepting them as an emergency patient. However, doing so will delay everyone else’s appointments. On the other hand, denying an emergency patient can make your practice appear unreliable or unethical to other clients. 

How Does Scheduling Software Keep Patients Happy During Scheduling Conflicts?

Not all scheduling conflicts are avoidable, but it is essential to contact your clients well in advance if you need to make changes to their appointments.

Dental Intelligence Online Scheduling helps your front-office assistants avoid time-consuming phone calls when they need to greet clients by allowing patients to book on their own time. 2-Way Communication is allows your assistants to answer patients’ questions via email and text.  

How Can Automated Waitlists Prevent Lost Time in the Office?

If you schedule appointments with clients months in advance, they could forget about them as the date approaches. Set up automated reminders over the phone to alert patients at least one week before their appointment. Reminders keep patients on time and prevent wasteful gaps in your schedule that other patients could fill.

Creating a waitlist policy can also help your practice save time during last-minute cancellations. This convenience gives your patients the option to see their dentist sooner than expected, improving your customer-business relationship.      

Will Allocating Resources Prevent Scheduling Conflicts?

You can avoid creating your own scheduling conflicts with adequate staff training and attention to resource allocation. Ensure all your dental assistants have access to the same scheduling software and calendars. This way, employees on opposite shifts don't accidentally double-book appointments.

Scanners, fax machines, phones, and computers also help your front office staff save time when printing documents and organizing patient information. Keep an eye on computer updates and schedule them for the end of the day to prevent surprise delays during peak hours. 

Keeping a record of patient data can give your staff an idea of what to expect when scheduling individual clients. Some patients regularly need more attention from their dentists than others during their appointments. Reserving a longer block of time for these patients may help your staff avoid overbooking.

What Should New Staff Consider as They Start Booking?

Newer front office hires may not be aware that the back office staff needs several minutes to wash up, put away equipment, and sanitize their spaces before seeing another patient. Train your staff to allow 10 to 15 minutes between appointments to prevent double booking.

Your new hires should also have the information they need to identify emergency requests and prioritize them accordingly in the schedule. For example, an emergency appointment may be necessary if a patient calls complaining about pain or swelling. However, suppose a patient calls about a chipped tooth. In that case, it may be practical to prioritize their treatment within a few days — reserving unavailable time slots for those with serious health concerns.

Streamlining Your Dental Practice Operations for Patients and Staff

Managing your time more efficiently and communicating with patients during scheduling conflicts will help your practice maintain a positive reputation. Develop your scheduling policy as soon as possible to free up your workforce and accommodate more patients.

At Dental Intelligence, we offer modern software programs to simplify your communications. Our products include Online Scheduling, Virtual Check-In, and more. 

Don’t let scheduling conflicts prevent you from delivering world-class patient care. Schedule a demo today!

Dental Intelligence


February 16, 2023

5 Ways To Improve Dental Front Desk Communication in Your Dental Practice

Facilitating open communication between your front desk and back office staff is crucial when running a dental practice. Learn five ways you can increase employee cooperation without stress.

Your dental front desk employees are the first line of communication between patients and your back office staff. Without the proper training and technology, communication breakdowns can result in scheduling errors and dissatisfied patients. You can avoid these problems by adhering to five simple practices to streamline communication between your dental front desk and back office.

1. Ensure That Your Employees Share a Common Purpose

Dental professionals work better as a team when they share a common purpose. For example, most practitioners dedicate themselves to serving their patients with outstanding care and ethical treatments. It’s important to ensure that all your employees know which values your dental practice promotes to avoid conflicts of interest.

Encourage a friendly and productive environment, giving staff a reason to come to work and stay engaged throughout the day. One way to accomplish this is by greeting your front and back office employees each morning as a group. Alternatively, you could host company events that give your staff time to socialize and connect outside regular office hours.

2. Establish Accessible Pathways for Communication

Depending on the size of your dental practice, communication between staff can be challenging without an internal phone system or a shared computer network. Team Chat allows your dental front desk team to send instant messages to the back office when patients arrive or have questions.

3. Coordinate Employee Responsibilities Clearly

Coordinating employee responsibilities is vital for your dental practice management. Each of your employees should understand their individual roles in the office and how they contribute to the team.

You should invest time in quality training for dental front desk new hires. This way, they are confident in their ability to greet patients and correctly communicate information to the back office.

Set clear expectations to prevent back office employees from demanding more from dental receptionists than their job requires, or vice versa. Adding extra responsibilities to their role can slow down daily operations and lead to miscommunication. 

Hosting a weekly meeting is an excellent way to coordinate responsibilities between your employees, discuss expectations, and let your staff offer recommendations to improve workflow.

Alternatively, you could arrange short huddles in the morning between your front desk and back office employees. Our Morning Huddle feature makes it easy to run through your schedule and make plans for the day.

4. Designate a Space for Employee Concerns

Many dental offices do not offer a way for employees to communicate concerns to staff openly or anonymously. This problem can create resentment, hindering communication between the front and back offices. Create a safe space for your team to communicate problems, and provide non-judgemental solutions.

Try to discourage staff from airing their grievances during routine morning huddles. Instead, set aside time or an anonymous suggestion box for employees to discuss group cohesion and problems they may be experiencing.

5. Always Work Toward Better Solutions

One or two meetings will not be enough to establish strong communication in your dental practice. You and your staff must continue to work toward better solutions to improve the efficiency and performance of the front and back offices.

Your dental practice may need to readjust when inactive patients return or your team grows with new employees. In these scenarios, it’s always a good idea to regroup with your team and discuss effective ways to move forward.

You can determine what works by reviewing communication strategies that failed in the past. This way, you don’t repeat the same mistakes. Remind your dental teams that they have shared values, and continue to acknowledge their hard work to build trust.

Dental Practice Solutions That Improve Communication In Your Workplace

Facilitating productive communication between your dental front desk and back office is essential for your practice’s success. With these communication tips for improving dental team performance, you can explore new ways to manage your staff without stress and deliver incredible customer service to your patients.

At Dental Intelligence, we help you build your strategy from the ground up with convenient tools like Digital Forms, Payments, and more. 

Schedule a demo today and learn more about we can help you improve communication.

Dental Intelligence


February 16, 2023

Five Tips to Avoid Unproductive Dental Staff Meetings

‍Routine dental staff meetings help you coordinate office responsibilities and highlight relevant data to your staff. Learn how to plan a productive group huddle with these five tips.

Finding the time to complete all your daily tasks can be challenging when managing a dental practice. Still, you need to make time for routine dental staff meetings to address office concerns and keep the wheels of your business turning. Without proper planning, your next team meeting could result in a waste of productive work hours. Get the most out of your meetings by following these five helpful tips. 

1. Set an Agenda with a Purpose

You should always create a meaningful agenda before meeting with your staff. Many dental practices only call meetings during emergencies or when disgruntled employees need to air their grievances. However, on-the-fly meetings rarely yield solutions and can distract the entire staff from their responsibilities.

Plan your meetings to address one or more goals you want your staff to accomplish within a specific time frame. Making an agenda beforehand lets you present action items quickly, so you aren’t wasting time trying to remember points during the meeting.

A good agenda may include updates on company policies, group training, or a briefing on what to expect during the upcoming week. 

If you don’t have substantive information to share with the group, it may not be worth calling a meeting in the first place. The last thing your employees want to do before finishing their coffee is to sit through a tiring morning huddle with information that could have fit in an email.

2. Find an Appropriate Time to Call Your Meeting

Some employees can not afford to attend a dental staff meeting during the middle of the day.

For some practices, it's best to hold morning sessions before patients arrive. Others prefer to hold end-of-week meetings after the office closes. 

It may also be practical to ask your employees what time works best for them. This method is not always the most efficient for you as a planner. However, it can optimize workflow efficiency during the week and gives your employees more flexibility. 

3. Support Your Meetings with Technology

Always prepare for your meetings with reports, PowerPoint presentations, or other relevant documents. These resources keep employees engaged with the orders of business and provide helpful visuals. 

For example, you can increase dental production with Dental Intelligence Morning Huddle. These analytic tools allow you to review practice goals and present patient data with easy-to-read charts.

You can also upload your meeting itinerary or presentation to your practice’s shared network before everyone gathers. This method allows employees to review action items ahead of time and come prepared with questions or comments.

4. Focus on the Items at Hand

It can be easy for individuals to derail staff meetings with complaints, gossip, or other disturbances. However, these gatherings are not the place for this kind of behavior. Dental staff meetings are only suitable for discussing concerns that impact the workflow and performance of the entire team.

Encourage your employees to focus on the items at hand and engage professionally and respectfully at all times.

Some of your employees may have valid concerns about behavior or actions taking place in the office. In this case, it’s best to plan a separate meeting with relevant parties or direct them to Human Resources.

5. Remember to Acknowledge Your Employees’ Time

Whether your meeting lasts ten minutes or two hours, you should acknowledge that your employees are taking time out of their day to attend. Remind them that they provide an important service to their community and that their hard work is evident in their accomplishments.

The end of your meeting may also be an appropriate time to recognize individual employees for the value they bring to your dental team. These small moments can give your office staff the motivation they need to get through the rest of the day.

Resource Management Tools That Improve Your Productivity

Many dental practices waste hours of their week on unproductive meetings that could be time spent with patients. When you plan your next meeting, remember to include material that will help your staff optimize their workflow or better understand their responsibilities as dental professionals.

If you need to come up with new dental staff meeting ideas, explore how our team at Dental Intelligence can help. We provide unmatched tools to help your practice stay up-to-date with Metrics & Reporting. 

Schedule a demo today to learn more about how your dental practice can accomplish its goals.

Dental Intelligence


February 15, 2023

Best Practices To Ensure Accurate Dental Recordkeeping

Although providing excellent service is rightfully the top priority for most dental practices, ensuring accurate, detailed dental recordkeeping is critical to quality patient care and the business’s success. Read on to learn the best practices for keeping patient records and the significance of accurate information.

In the not-so-distant past, keeping clinical records often involved file cabinets full of folders containing patient paperwork, which made maintaining accurate, up-to-date information somewhat challenging. These days, most dental professionals have transitioned into the digital world, using electronic records instead of physical ones to streamline the process of documenting patient histories. 

Electronic patient records have simplified the recordkeeping process by introducing an unprecedented level of convenience when filing and storing sensitive data. This technology allows dental professionals to organize files with ease while ensuring accuracy and confidentiality. You can keep patient intake forms, treatment overviews, and digital images in the same place. 

With the Dental Intelligence Patient Portal and Digital Forms, you can easily collect patient information. These tools allow individuals to update their records anytime, securing the latest and most accurate information for your practice and empowering your patients to participate in their care.

Ensure a Higher Standard of Care

While accurate dental recordkeeping can benefit your practice in several ways, it can also ensure a higher standard of care for your patients. By including relevant and detailed information about a patient’s visits, past procedures, and current concerns, you, as a dentist, can make more informed decisions about their care.

Likewise, if a patient were to move and find a new dentist, you could easily send their electronic health record to a practice of their choosing. Sharing that updated information with the new provider ensures proper care and mitigates any possibility of confusion about past procedures.

For best practices, remember that the dental professional responsible for a patient’s treatment must be the one to document it and digitally sign or initial the record. Additionally, regardless of which team member provided care, you, as the dentist, are ultimately responsible for ensuring that all the entered information is accurate and current.

Generally, an electronic health record may include the following:

  • The patient's name and date of birth
  • Contact information, such as a mobile number and the patient’s address
  • Place of employment
  • Treatment records 
  • Discussions of care, including those held over the phone
  • List of medications
  • Radiographs
  • Referral letters

How Accurate Records Can Protect Your Practice

Integrity is essential for all healthcare professionals, and you must take accountability for mistakes. However, it’s also important for you to have a protocol in place in the event of a lawsuit or legal complication. Accurate dental recordkeeping can serve as security for your practice.

As the dentist or leading physician, you have the legal responsibility to ensure accuracy and privacy regarding patient records. Still, it’s critical for the sake of your business that all team members receive adequate recordkeeping training. This process should involve learning your practice’s documentation structure and federal and state regulations regarding patient health files.

Should your practice face a lawsuit for malpractice or otherwise, the accuracy of your dental records may influence the course of the case. You and your team must ensure detailed, up-to-date information to protect your business. Poorly kept records containing inconsistencies, incomplete documentation, or notes irrelevant to treatment may not be useful in addressing claims.

Also, understand that if a patient files a lawsuit, you will be legally obligated to share any information in their files. With this in mind, remember to keep all notes relevant to the treatment and avoid including personal comments that may compromise your credibility in the future. Keep it strictly professional.

The Importance of Performing Regular Audits

Regularly auditing your patient files is a simple way to prevent miscommunication and confusion. While your dental recordkeeping practices should prioritize inputting accurate information in the first place, you can avoid complications by routinely checking patient records.

If you plan to make any changes to recordkeeping, arrange a meeting to address those changes with staff. Consider providing a write-up of your changes so each team member can reference the new format moving forward.

Keep Better Records With Dental Intelligence

Dental Intelligence strives to help dental professionals take the guesswork out of dental recordkeeping and ensure quality patient care. Check out our informative blog to learn about improving patient experience and how to avoid dental HIPAA violations. Dental Intelligence is here to help you intelligently shape the future of your practice. Schedule a demo today!

Dental Intelligence


February 15, 2023

How Dental Electronic Health Records Improve Your Practice

Dental electronic health records can transform the way your practice operates. This article discusses why so many medical professionals are making the shift and how your business can benefit from following suit.

Many healthcare practices have adopted the use of electronic patient forms, but dental providers seem to be a bit behind when it comes to digital health record adoption rates. A lack of digital recordkeeping might’ve been acceptable a few years ago, but these days, paperless filing has become the new standard, and patients may expect or prefer this method of documentation.

If your practice hasn’t begun using dental electronic health records yet, now is the time to integrate them into your recordkeeping process. At Dental Intelligence, we designed our Patient Portal to help dental practitioners streamline the patient intake process by allowing patients to use our Digital Forms and ensure the most accurate, up-to-date information. 

With such high-quality management software, you can improve the patient experience and increase efficiency for your team.

The Benefits of Dental Electronic Health Records

Using dental electronic health records can help you achieve a higher patient care standard and improve how your practice runs to ensure optimal care. At Dental Intelligence, we can help you make the transition to digital recordkeeping without the hassle and bring you one step closer to enjoying the following array of benefits.

Improved Organization and Efficiency

Physical paperwork slows the intake process considerably. Patients must fill the forms out by hand, and if any issues arise, such as missed questions or illegible handwriting, the patient will have to make corrections before your staff can file their answers. 

Manually getting copies of IDs, insurance information, and other personal details may prolong this process, and keeping all of it organized can be a challenge. Digitizing such records provides easy access to all pertinent patient information, allowing you to avoid lengthy intake procedures.

Increased Patient Retention

Though this may have always been the case, in the modern age especially, patients expect convenience. Giving your patients access to their treatment plans, necessary forms, and relevant medical records can expedite appointments and allow individuals to participate in their care more actively. 

Likewise, without piles of paperwork to organize, your staff can focus their energy on providing quality service, which will likely improve the overall patient experience. With quick, efficient recordkeeping and attentive care, you can increase your practice’s patient retention rate.

Reduced Supply Costs

Consider the supply costs for your practice, which probably include things like printer paper, ink cartridges, and writing utensils. Dental electronic health records eliminate the need for excessive printing supplies — costs that add up quite a bit over time!

Additionally, if you remove the need for filing cabinets and bulky printers, you can free up space in your building. The reduced clutter may improve workplace morale and your office’s overall appearance, contributing to a smoother workflow.

Improved Security

Beyond the clutter and troublesome organization, paper forms pose a threat to patient information security. Staff may more easily lose paper forms. Likewise, any damage to your storage solutions could result in lost data if the papers within get damaged, torn, or destroyed.

Dental electronic health records eliminate these possibilities. Every medical record you upload to your files is safely stored, and staff members have quick and easy access at all times. Digital documentation provides a solution to the potential risks of paper filing and allows for patient record security you simply can’t guarantee with paper forms. 

More Effective Care

Oral health is a key indicator of what may be going on in the body, and it’s important that an individual’s dentist and primary care physician can easily share information and communicate to ensure comprehensive care.

The implementation of digital records allows you to share diagnoses, imaging results, and other pertinent information with providers outside your office. This will improve communication between you and other professionals treating your patients and allow those patients to receive the care they need sooner.

Modernize Your Practice With Dental Intelligence

Dental electronic health records allow oral health professionals to simplify the patient intake process and improve efficiency for staff. Schedule a demo today to see how our Digital Forms can save you time, money, and energy while ensuring the best possible patient experience.

Dental Intelligence


February 15, 2023

Missed Phone Calls: How They Hurt Your Dental Practice and Practical Solutions

‍Your patients rely on over-the-phone service to book appointments and ask questions. Learn how missed phone calls can hurt your business-client relationship.

Online Scheduling makes booking dental appointments simple. Despite this convenience, your front-desk staff should still allocate the time and resources to keep up with phone calls throughout the day. Missed phone calls can pose trouble for your dental practice and encourage potential clients to book with your competitors.

How Can Missing a Phone Call Hurt Your Dental Practice?

Missing calls from your patients is a sign of bad customer service. Your patients expect you to be available when needed. Failing to pick up the phone leaves them feeling ignored. 

Some potential customers may not try to call your practice again if you don't pick up the first time. As a result, you can miss out on opportunities to grow your business.

Why Might Your Practice Struggle to Keep Up with Calls?

It can be challenging to keep up with these demands if your office experiences high-call volumes throughout the day. In this case, you should consider hiring more front-office workers to avoid keeping patients on hold for too long.

Your customers might abandon calls to your office if you do not have an answering machine or the inbox is full. If you set up voice mail for your front desk, ensure your message is less than 20 seconds long to avoid annoying your patient.

Many of your customers may not have time to call during regular office hours. Without an after-hours answering service, you could lose potential patients. If you can't afford to hire after-hours staff, you can establish a phone tree that directs callers to frequently asked questions or automated scheduling features.

Sometimes, your office staff might not have the conversational skills they need to navigate phone calls professionally. In this case, building dental office receptionist scripts help your team members avoid off-putting responses when callers ask questions.

How Can You Optimize Your Customer Service Over the Phone?

State-of-the-art communication software — such as Dental Intelligence 2-Way Communication — offers more ways to simplify your customer service. Screen Pops lets your team members know who is calling in and allows them to easily access their patient profile while on the call.

Call recording also helps you compile information on your patients' needs or concerns. For example, you may collect information from several patients that indicate your website does not provide clear office hours or service details. Call recording can help you plan your phone script according to your patients' commonly asked questions.

How Can You Train Your Office Staff for Over-the-Phone Service?

Missed phone calls could stack up if your front desk employees lack proper instruction or discipline. Fortunately, training can significantly improve their responsiveness to incoming calls, leading to a much more rewarding experience for your customers.

It's always best to pick up the phone as soon as it rings. However, sometimes your assistant may be too busy to answer the phone. In this case, they can redirect it to a second front office worker or kindly place the caller on a short hold. 

Your dental assistants should practice a customer-first approach when answering the phone — asking questions to understand patients’ needs and responding with practical solutions.

For example, suppose a client calls your office asking to schedule an appointment. It’s important to ask questions like, “Are you a new or returning patient?” and “What date works best for you?” while providing alternative dates if the schedule is already full. 

Enhancing Your Day-to-Day Operations with Practical Phone Services

Not every dental practice invests in the workforce and technology they need to provide productive over-the-phone service. At Dental Intelligence, we can help your business stay ahead of the competition.

We provide products like dashboard reporting features, customizable appointment reminders, and ringless voicemail drops for your patients to help boost dental office efficiency and patient satisfaction. Reach out to us and schedule a demo today to learn how we can help you improve your office operations.

Dental Intelligence


February 14, 2023

Are You Making These Common Dental Patient Communication Mistakes?

Dental patient communication mistakes can hurt patient retention and profitability. Learn the most common communication errors your practice could be making and how to improve patient communications.

Effective dental patient communication is one of the most important skills you can have as a dentist. While effective communication is important for reasons like patient experience and the success of your practice, it also impacts the level of care and treatment you offer your patients.

However, the obstacles in your path that can hinder dental patient communication aren’t always easy to see and avoid. Below, we’ll talk about the most common mistakes many dentists make when speaking with their patients and why it’s so important to keep those lines of communication open.

The Top 4 Patient Communication Mistakes Made by Dentists

Did you know that 30% of all medical malpractice claims1 result from communication breakdowns? For dental practices and the professionals who work there, knowing how to speak to their patients and their staff is integral to ensuring a safe environment and happy patients.

Below are the four most common dental patient communication errors.

1. Breakdowns in Scheduling

Miscommunications in patient scheduling are common in the dental industry. For example, if patients show up late or not at all, or if another procedure takes longer than you initially thought, it can impact your entire dental schedule. Not only does it make it harder to practice efficiently, but it can waste patients' time. 

To avoid this issue, try using our Online Scheduling and Team Chat features we offer here at Dental Intelligence. With automated appointment reminders and virtual check-ins, scheduling breakdowns will become a thing of the past.  

2. Failure to Explain Treatment Plans Thoroughly

Another breakdown in communication between the dentist and patient occurs during the discussion of the patient’s condition and treatment plan. If your patient can’t understand their condition or how to manage it at home, they’re not going to make much progress towards becoming healthy again.

To prevent this problem, ensure that you speak with patients in a slow voice and use easily understandable language. Avoid using too much dental industry jargon that can complicate the discussion. Stick to the main points and avoid going on tangents. Another option is using treatment plan templates so patients can easily review their recommended treatment. 

3. Disagreeing or Interrupting Patients

We know that while most patients are pleasant and professional, some can become angry, frustrated, or hostile. However, it’s critical to avoid interrupting or disagreeing with patients during these situations. If a patient has a request and you refuse to comply, it’s sending the message that you don’t value or respect them.

Interrupting is also taboo. Nobody likes it when they’re speaking, and someone interrupts them, and it’s a trait that can make you seem unlikeable, arrogant, or unfocused. Instead, just wait for the patient to finish first before you speak. If you need to, take notes to help remind you of the point you want to discuss.

4. Treating Patients Like Numbers Instead of People

Your dental practice is, first and foremost, a business. Yes, you’re in the business of helping people, but not for free — you need to profit from your services so you can afford to live, just like everyone else.

While it’s always good to view your dental practice analytically to discover issues where you could improve efficiency to cut costs, remember that your patients are more than just numbers. They’re human beings, many of whom have anxiety about going to the dentist and can feel upset or overwhelmed once they’re in your chair. Your chairside manner should be professional and friendly yet firm, and don’t forget that a smile goes a long way!

Contact Dental Intelligence Today

Patient communication is one of the key factors in every successful dental practice. At Dental Intelligence, we know how easy it can be for small communication breakdowns to have a big impact on your dental practice and bottom line. We offer cutting-edge software solutions and resources for dental professionals. Schedule a free demo with us today to see our advanced solutions.


1 PR Newswire

Dental Intelligence


February 14, 2023

How to Set Realistic Dental Office Goals for Your Staff

Are you struggling to establish and communicate realistic dental office goals? If so, you’re not alone. Learn the best ways to set goals.

Many dentists find it challenging to establish short-term and long-term goals for their practice and then have further difficulty communicating those goals to their team and staff members.

Learn the best way to set goals for your dental team and how to get your team members to work together smoothly to accomplish those goals and give patients the best dental health care possible.

What Are SMART Goals?

For any dental practice, setting realistic goals is an important part of engaging employees, encouraging motivation, and increasing productivity. When each team member knows exactly what they’re working towards, it becomes easier to accomplish those goals.

SMART stands for:

  • S – Specific: The goal you set should be specific and clearly definable, not a general statement.
  • M – Measurable: Instead of saying, “I want to talk to more potential patients,” you should say, “I want to increase the number of new patients by three per week.”
  • A – Attainable: Nobody wins when you set goals that you and your staff simply can’t achieve. For example, you’re not going to improve your collection rate by 80% in three days.
  • R – Realistic: The “realistic” factor also goes hand-in-hand with “attainable.” The goals you set for your practice must be realistic and possible for people to accomplish.
  • T – Timely: You need a precise timeline for goals. We recommend setting a few short-term and long-term goals, like for each week, month, and year.

Common Obstacles to Avoid When Goal-Setting in a Dental Office

When you’re finally sitting down and brainstorming the goals you want to achieve for your practice, there are a few common pitfalls to avoid. Here are some great tips on what not to do when working with your team to set and reach goals:

  • Don’t focus so narrowly on goals that your staff misses “the forest for the trees.”
  • Be reasonable when setting goals for employees so as not to overwhelm them.
  • Don’t create situations where ethics, morals, or safety could be in jeopardy to achieve goals.
  • Don’t focus too intensely on goals that you forget to build a strong relationship with patients.

How to Measure and Evaluate Your Goals

Brainstorming and setting goals are only half the equation. Once you’ve got goals set and assigned to each staff member and the office as a whole, it’s time to consider how you’ll measure and evaluate progress. Here are a few tips and suggestions to streamline the process.

Consider Upgrading to More Efficient Communication

How strong is your dental office communication? By upgrading to technology like our Team Chat, you can improve internal communication between you and your staff, making it easier for them to collaborate and connect throughout the workday.

It’s just like texting, except you can choose between individual and group chats. Plus, there’s a mobile app so you can continue communicating using a mobile device for even greater convenience.

Use Analytics and Reporting

Do you remember how we said that a SMART goal must be measurable? One effective way to evaluate and benchmark progress is by using advanced analytics and data reporting. With our cutting-edge software for Metrics & Reporting, we take the unique goals of your dental practice and use that to provide you with data-driven results. We use practice management data and transform that into clinical opportunities, helping your dental office boost productivity and streamline your workday.

Reward Initiative and Achievements

Once your staff begins accomplishing their goals, it’s important for you to reward their contributions. Keep your eye out for members who show extra initiative or productivity. While it’s vital to encourage your staff along the way, once they finally achieve their goals, it’s time to celebrate their accomplishments and hard work.

Showing your staff appreciation and how much their contributions provide value toward the practice is an excellent way to foster stronger team bonding, improve team building skills, and increase employee engagement levels. When they feel their hard work is recognized, they’re more likely to put in extra effort and become more productive.  

Let Dental Intelligence Help You Reach Your Goals

Don’t forget setting dental office goals requires you to be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. If you’d like to learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Dental Intelligence team. Schedule a demo today to see how our software can help you achieve your goals and intelligently shape the future of your practice.

Dental Intelligence


February 14, 2023

Dental Patient Dissatisfaction: The Most Common Reasons Your Patients Are Unhappy

‍Is your dental practice struggling with patient retention? Learn the most common reasons your patients are unhappy — and what you can do about it.

Dealing with patient dissatisfaction is an unfortunate but inevitable part of running a dental office. As you know, happy patients are the key to running a successful and thriving practice. However, in today's day and age, patient retention is more difficult than ever before.

Patients want high-quality care for minimal cost and expect to have an excellent patient experience where they feel valued and respected. Below, we'll dive into the most common reasons for dental patient dissatisfaction and discuss what issues can cause patients to leave your practice for another.

Avoid Making These Common Mistakes That Lead to Unhappy and Dissatisfied Dental Patients

As a dental professional, you offer a service-based business. If you can't provide quality service to your patients, they're unlikely to return. In today's ultra-competitive landscape, patients have more options than ever before and zero qualms about switching to a new dental practice.

Therefore, it's essential to provide a top-notch experience and avoid making the following mistakes, which are the most common contributors to unhappy and dissatisfied dental patients.

1. Cold or Unfriendly Staff

One of the biggest mistakes you and your staff can make when dealing with patients is coming off as cold, unfriendly, indifferent, or uninterested. Even if you're dealing with characteristics of patients that are negative or rude, it's absolutely essential to remain calm, polite, and professional.

When a patient walks into your office, they should receive a smile and a warm greeting from the front desk staff and clear instructions about where they should sit, if they need to fill out paperwork, etc. Encourage your staff to smile and be kind, even when they have bad days.

2. Long Wait Before Appointment

One of the biggest grievances among patients — especially a new patient — is showing up on time to an appointment and then waiting an excessive amount of time to be seen. 

One study showed that long wait times in healthcare settings resulted in low patient satisfaction scores1 and negatively impacted the patient's perceived quality of care and overall confidence in their provider. Simply put, the longer the wait time, the higher the degree of dissatisfaction of the patient.

If you're having trouble fitting in all your patients during the day, consider upgrading your technology and using software solutions for scheduling and communicating with your staff throughout the day. Modern technology can make it faster, easier, and more convenient for you, your team, and your patients and prevent ineffective communication from leading to longer wait times and patient frustration.

3. No Sense of Appreciation or Value

When patients come to your dental practice, they want to feel as though they're receiving quality service for the money and that you value their business. So instead of treating patients as a means to an end (more profit and a bigger bottom line), show them how much you appreciate their loyalty by implementing a reward program.

For example, you can start with the Dental Intelligence Patient Loyalty Program. It's easy: patients earn loyalty points for completing actions like making on-time payments, referring friends, and more.

Once they collect enough points, they can redeem them for rewards that you choose ahead of time. Loyalty programs foster a fun office environment and show your patients that they're an essential part of your practice — and, after all, they are!

4. Inefficient Office Operation

Providing your dental patients with excellent service and treatment is only half the equation. Another common reason why people have bad experiences at their dentist is because of sloppy, inefficient office operations, such as staff losing paperwork, inconvenient payment methods, excess charges, unexpected scheduling changes, etc.

Instead of using physical paperwork (which takes up a lot of storage space and can get lost easily), consider upgrading to Digital Forms and Patient Portal. These solutions make it easier and more convenient for patients and improve the efficiency of your office.

You may also want to invest in 2-Way Communication, which can help keep the day moving and reduce wait times and patient dissatisfaction.

Shape the Future of Your Dental Practice with Dental Intelligence

Would you like to learn more about the best ways to handle dental complaints and unhappy patients? First, check out the Dental Intelligence blog for more information. Then, schedule a demo with our team of our advanced software solutions for dental professionals.


1 National Library of Medicine

Dental Intelligence


February 13, 2023

Your Complete Guide to Customer Review Responses

Online reviews can do a lot to establish your online reputation. However, while knowing what customers think is crucial, how you respond is equally important to how potential customers view your practice.

Office Operations, Patient Loyalty, Reputation Management

Customer reviews, both positive and negative, can be powerful tools to manage your online reputation and build trust. Customer review responses show that your practice takes an active interest in what patients think and is willing to take their feedback seriously. 

However, keeping track of all the review sites can be challenging. Having a tool for managing these reviews like online reviews by Dental Intelligence can be a great asset to ensure you stay in control of how people view your practice. 

Reasons to Respond to Reviews

If you have a busy practice, the idea of responding to each and every review can feel overwhelming, and many practices simply give up. Some will still try to respond to negative reviews, but this uneven approach may seem disingenuous to potential customers who only see you trying to downplay bad comments. 

The key reasons to respond to reviews include the following:

  • Staying in control of the narrative: Customer review responses are an opportunity to give context to a bad situation. Your response can shape how other customers see the review, which is especially important when dealing with negative comments. 
  • Build loyalty: Customers want to see that you care, and if they’ve taken a couple of minutes to review your practice, you should be able to do the same. Unique and genuine responses to comments show that you value your patients. They are also a great way to foster loyalty and create life-long customers.
  • Reviews get the ball rolling: A business with plenty of reviews will automatically seem more reputable than one with one or two. Responding to reviews will encourage other patients to leave a review, making it much easier to gather reviews, especially in the early stages of the strategy. 

Responding to Positive Reviews

The key to responding to positive reviews is to keep your responses sincere and personal. Spamming “thanks!” to every positive review seems disingenuous and fake and will likely cause patients to distrust your practice.

Personalized responses show that you value the customer leaving the review, but remember to stick to HIPAA guidelines about giving out private treatment information. So instead of saying, “Thanks for the amazing review, Bob, we look forward to seeing you to finalize your crowns,” stick to something like, “We appreciate the detailed review, Bob, and can’t wait to see you again next time!” 

One great aspect of responding to positive feedback is that you can share it with the team. Many patients will compliment specific team members in their comments, providing a great opportunity to share the compliment and motivate the practice. You can even include the team member’s response in your review comment. 

Responding to Negative Reviews

Very few dental practices have exclusively positive reviews, and in fact, negative reviews make your business seem more genuine. The most important aspect is handling them appropriately without being defensive or dismissive. 

When responding to negative reviews, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Give yourself time to cool down: Even warranted comments can be hurtful, and it’s often tempting to try and defend yourself. However, this knee-jerk reaction will often do more harm than good for your practice reputation. Instead, take a few hours to cool down, see the situation from the customer’s perspective, and formulate a sincere and appropriate response. 
  • Keep your customer review responses simple: Avoid getting into long discussions, as they will make you sound defensive and won’t resolve anything. Rather, stick to short, appreciative responses that acknowledge the problem and outline what you plan to do to prevent a similar situation from happening again.
  • Resolve complex issues privately: If you see a negative review, reach out to the customer by phone and see if you can come to an agreement. In most cases, patients just want their comments acknowledged, and if you are willing to admit your mistake and attempt to make up for it, most customers will either edit their review or remove it completely. 

Use Management Tools to Stay Ahead

Customer review responses can be rewarding and provide valuable insight into what your customers think of your practice. At Dental Intelligence, we believe that customer review management is one of the most important and successful patient retention strategies for your dental practice, and we’re ready to help you implement your own. Schedule a free demo today and find out how our tools can keep your business thriving. 

Dental Intelligence


February 13, 2023

How Establishing a Positive Dental Office Environment Benefits Your Practice, Staff, and Patients

‍Building a positive dental office environment can benefit patients, staff, and your bottom line. Learn how to improve your office environment.

Patient Experience, Team Culture, Reputation Management

What adjectives would best describe your dental office environment? You may not think much about the overall mood and atmosphere at your dental practice, but it has a significant impact on the happiness and productivity of your staff and the satisfaction of your patients.

However, building a positive company culture isn’t something that can happen overnight. Read on for expert tips to help dental practices foster an uplifting environment and ensure that every patient leaves happy and satisfied.

The Importance of Creating a Positive Environment and Company Culture

Your dental office environment impacts not only the patients but also your staff. Consider these statistics that demonstrate the importance of creating a healthy and positive workplace culture:

  • Happy employees are 12% more productive1
  • Approximately 56% of workers2 agree that a strong workplace culture is more important than a big salary
  • Happy employees take 10x fewer sick days3 than their unhappy counterparts
  • Voluntary turnover increases by 50%4 in high-stress work environments

Ultimately, the general atmosphere of your dental office has a considerable impact on productivity and profitability.  Patients may also be able to sense when staff are unhappy, impacting their experiences as well. 

5 Steps to Help You Build a Happy and Healthy Work Environment for Dental Staff and Patients

1. Start a Patient Loyalty Program

Creating a positive dental office environment involves more than just focusing on the happiness of your staff. Instead, put your patients in the spotlight by starting a patient loyalty or reward program.

If you don’t know where to begin, that’s okay. We’ve already done all the hard work for you with the Patient Loyalty Program from Dental Intelligence. Patients can earn points for completing tasks, like showing up on time or referring friends and family. Then, they can redeem those loyalty points for rewards. It’s an effective way to enhance the experience of dental visits for your patients, boost satisfaction, and create a fun and positive work environment.

2. Foster Strong Communication Among Staff

The breakdown of effective communication is one of the biggest contributors to an unhappy and toxic work environment. To improve the lines of communication, start by implementing an “open door” policy. Create a safe space where employees can speak their minds without feeling any judgment or ridicule.

Another effective way to improve communication between your staff is by utilizing technology. For example, at Dental Intelligence, we offer Team Chat, a centralized dashboard where your staff can communicate individually or in groups. Our Morning Huddle is also an excellent way to start each workday with efficiency and open communication.  

3. Create a Comfortable and Inviting Office and Waiting Room

Many people experience symptoms of anxiety at the dentist. If your office and waiting room are drab, uncomfortable, dirty, or too “sterile,” their dental anxiety will inevitably increase.

Of course, the exam rooms need to be clean and sanitary. But, the waiting room should feel warm and inviting and have comfortable seating for patients. Offer free Wi-Fi, purchase quality furniture, and use artwork or décor that promotes feelings of relaxation.

4. Recognize Your Staff’s Achievements and Successes

When employees feel their hard work is valued and recognized, they become happier, more engaged, and more productive. You can show your staff how much you appreciate their hard work and value their contributions by celebrating every time an employee achieves a goal or succeeds at a difficult task.

You could throw potluck dinner parties, splurge on a catered lunch, or hold out-of-office get-togethers. Celebrating successes fosters team bonding and keeps motivation levels high.

5. Build Genuine Relationships with Your Patients and Employees

One critical key to creating a positive company culture within your dental office is by establishing relationships with your team that count. Take that same genuine approach with your patients. Be kind, patient, and caring. Show empathy and respect. If a patient or team member is talking to you, don’t just nod. Stop and really listen to what they’re saying.

Build a Happy and Productive Dental Office Environment with Dental Intelligence

At Dental Intelligence, we offer advanced solutions for dental professionals to help them streamline their practice, boost productivity, and increase patient satisfaction and retention. With the advice we just discussed, you can build a positive dental office environment with friendly staff, happy patients, and – best of all – a bigger bottom line. Schedule a demo today and see how we can help you intelligently shape the future of your practice.


1 Warwick

2 CNBC Make it

3 The Lorman Blog

4 Harvard Business Review

Dental Intelligence


February 13, 2023

How to Properly Deal with Bad Customer Reviews

With more patients finding their dentists online than ever before, bad customer reviews can be devastating to your reputation, and ignoring them can make matters worse. Learning how to handle online reviews gracefully helps build trust in new and existing patients while keeping your online reputation pristine.

Office Operations, Patient Communication, Reputation Management, Patient Experience

Potential customers regularly use the internet to find information about prospective dental practices and will often incorporate reviews into their decision-making process. Using management tools from Dental Intelligence can help build up your portfolio of online reviews, but you will still have to implement strategies for dealing with the occasional negative review. 

While bad customer reviews can feel like a potential landmine, they can be a great marketing opportunity if handled correctly. Showing your customers that you can handle negative feedback and take their complaints seriously can foster trust. Properly addressed online reviews will also reassure new patients that they won’t have the same unpleasant experience at your practice as you’ve implemented methods to address the problem.

Best Practices for Handling Bad Customer Reviews

Correctly responding to negative reviews can be tricky, so it’s vital to have several best practices in place. These ensure your staff has the tools necessary to deal with unhappy customers appropriately and that your response to the poor review cements your reputation as a dental practice that cares about its patients’ experience and wellbeing.

Remember HIPAA Compliance and Consent Regulations

HIPAA regulations can present a barrier to how you respond to unhappy patients. By law, you cannot respond in any way that reveals any patient health information, including the fact that the patient was at your practice, without their consent. So while patients can discuss anything about their experience at your practice, if you respond with any patient-specific information, you could face steep HIPAA fines. 

Similarly, some states have restrictions on how you can communicate with patients. For example, you may need to obtain written consent before responding to any complaints via email. A smart alternative to email is to simply phone patients — phone calls often provide a more meaningful communication channel where it’s easier to resolve complex concerns without worrying about HIPAA and state regulations. 

Take Time to Cool Down and Plan Your Response

While you need to respond to bad customer reviews, it’s also a good idea to wait a few hours before responding. This break is the perfect time to plan your response while giving you time to cool down and look at the situation from the patient’s perspective. Planned responses have a better chance of sounding genuine and turning a bad situation into a positive opportunity. 

Own Any Mistakes Your Practice Made

Even the best-run practice will make mistakes; the best way forward is to own the mistake and learn from it. As long as the concern is legitimate, you can respond appropriately by:

  • Admitting you made a mistake, without any deflections or defending arguments
  • Offering to fix the mistake, either through compensation or additional treatment
  • Outlining the steps you’ve taken so that other customers won’t have the same bad experiences

Avoid Prolonged Discussions

It’s incredibly easy to get into arguments online, which can be extremely damaging to your online reputation. Not only do extensive discussions improve the visibility of the negative review, but they also legitimatize it and make your practice seem defensive. Instead, craft a one-time response, and if the discussion continues, ask the customer to contact the practice directly. 

Understand How Review Sites Work and Remove Potentially Libelous Reviews

Not all bad customer experiences are legitimate, and some bad actors may use review sites to defame your practice. It’s important to understand your options, including knowing what tools you have available to respond to and resolve conflicts.

Most review sites have policies to prevent libel, including removing the offending review and banning the poster. Following the site’s terms and conditions is often sufficient to prevent actively defamatory reviews from impacting your practice. 

Reach Out to Unhappy Customers

Proactively reaching out to unhappy patients can do a lot to repair the situation. Simply contacting the patient by phone and discussing further options or offering compensation for their bad experience can often lead to patients updating their bad customer reviews and ratings. 

Stay On Top of Your Reviews

Your online reputation is essential to your success as a dental practice, and review management is a key component to developing and maintaining your reputation. Whether you want to learn how to get more online reviews or discover how to respond to reviews appropriately, Dental Intelligence is here to help. Schedule a free demo today!