6 Super Easy Ways Dentists Can Stop No-Shows

No-shows dental patients are a frustrating reality most practices face regularly. 88% of dental practices report that they have at least one patient no-show every day, according to a December, 2020 industry survey. Drawing upon our 35+ years of experience working with dental practices, patients and industry experts, we present our top six proven ways to get your patients in the chair on time, every time. 

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1. Develop a reminder system for your “at-risk” offenders.

Start sending your patients automated text and email appointment reminders 2 weeks out. Call anyone who hasn’t confirmed by the day before their appointment and tell them that if they don’t confirm by 2 PM you are releasing the appointment to another patient.  

2. Create a lifetime whitening program.

Offer patients a tray and provide free whitening gel and 1-2 syringes as long as they keep their regular hygiene appointments. The cost to you is minimal compared to the revenue lost from a broken appointment. 

3. Offer a warranty on your practice’s dental work.

Provide a warranty that you guarantee your work for a certain number of years as long as the patient keeps their recommended hygiene appointments. One caveat: accidents are not covered. 

New call-to-action4. Create the expectation that your patients keep their appointments.

At the end of their first appointment, explain the 3-4 things the patients can expect from your practice. Follow that by explaining the one thing you expect of them: “If you make an appointment, you show up.” 

5. Charge a fee to hold the appointment.

Charging a small fee to hold all new appointments is a highly effective way to reduce no-shows. Let patients know the non-refundable $25 charge to their credit card will be applied toward the treatment. 

6. Dismiss the patient.

If nothing else works, dismiss patients who are habitual no-shows. Let them know that you’re happy to recommend another dentist who is more casual about making appointments. 

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