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Back to Basics in Dental Scheduling

January 25, 2021

If you’re anything like me, you probably overcomplicate things.

No? Okay then. For those of us that do, let’s take a step back and look at the basics of dental scheduling and remember that sometimes the best solution is the simplest one.

Answer every phone call.

This basic principle is one of the hardest to put into practice on your own. Most patients call their dentist between 5-7:30PM and on the weekends, when most dental offices are closed. If they don’t get a live person, they’re likely to call the next practice on their list instead of wait for you to get in the office. Have someone available to answer these calls who can actually schedule the appointments in your practice management software.

Set aside time for recall.

We all get busy. Between insurance calls, greeting patients, filing, and answering billing questions it can be impossible to schedule time to set recall appointments. Dedicate 30 minutes a day to calling 10 people on your overdue patients list and setting up appointments.

Don’t give up.

It takes an average of 21 phone calls to reach one patient. So have patience and stick with it. Overdue hygiene is one of the hidden gold mines of a dental practice. Patients who have lapsed over 12 months are at significantly hirer risk for additional dental work.

Remember to care.

It’s easy to view scheduling as just another task that needs to be done. By remembering that it is in your patients’ best interests to come in for a cleaning, you’ll be able to make connections with them. They’ll know that you’re not calling them for money, but rather out of concern for their oral health.

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