The Gold Mine You Are Missing in Your Dental Practice

Having worked with Dental Practice for 15 of the past 20 years in my coaching practice, I notice that many of them fail to exploit an obvious source of extra revenue that sits right under their proverbial noses.

Case in point. I was walking through one of my clients’ clinics and as the tour ended, I noticed a door leading to a basement. I asked, “What’s down there?” The response I got from the office manager was “Oh, nothing really, just old patient files.” “Can I take a look?” I asked. “Umm…..ok” the Office Manager answered clearly bewildered why I wanted to go down there. When she opened the door I saw racks and racks of patient files, hundreds, of them just sitting there. “Where did these patients go?” I asked. “Not sure” the Office Manager responded. “Have we ever stayed in touch with them” I asked? “Nope” the Office Manager quipped. 

I had the Office Manager assign one of her assistants to start calling all these patients. It took almost two months to reach out to each patient in these old files. Many had moved away or were at different dental practices, but about 10% of them came back into the practice, netting the clinic owner hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional revenue for his office.

So, let’s look at your old files (even if they are stored electronically). How many past patients do you have? What have you done to get them back into your clinic?

 If you are thinking to yourself “Why bother, I can just go out there and get new patients” you are missing the cost factor point. If you have, say, a dental assistant who has a light schedule on a particular day, and you have this person make 10 phone calls in one hour to these patients, let’s say that they can only get 1 out 20 patients to come back into the clinic, you will have spent about $50 in labor to get that patient back into the office. 

However, looking at modern methods of getting new patients, it will probably cost you $200+ in advertising to attract a new patient. So, which is most cost effective?

Start looking at your own base of lapsed patients as a marketing database and begin efforts to bring your old patients back into your clinic. It’s cost effective and with a script and a team dedicated to contacting them directly (phone, text, email) you can get them back on your schedule.

Kevin Weir - 10/3/2022


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