The average patient attrition rate for dental practices is 40%, which is the main hurdle that prevents most dentists from sustaining a profitable operation. Not to mention, it costs more to acquire new patients than to retain existing ones. 

Lots of dentists throw money at promotion tactics like billboards and direct mails. However, if you’re just getting a bunch of new patient exams but not bringing those patients back in, you probably aren’t getting a high return on your marketing dollars.

To run a profitable dental practice, you need to address patient needs across the entire care continuum. Your sales and marketing efforts will take you much further when you implement a patient retention strategy.

Check out how tab32 can help you execute these strategies by booking a demo now! 

Book a demo now!

Top Patient Retention Strategies For Dental Practices

Sales and marketing go beyond capturing new patients. You also need to maintain those relationships so your existing patients keep coming back. The good news is that you can improve your bottom line by doing what you do best -- providing the best care.

1. Implement a Re-care Program

As many as 40% of new patients don’t return to a dental practice. Get more patients who are due for a re-care appointment to come back by sending automated reminders via text or email using a patient communication tool. Also, include an online scheduling link to make it as easy as possible for them to book their appointments.

You can increase production per appointment by implementing a standard of care. Establish a process to identify relevant procedures you can recommend to patients in their upcoming appointments. You can also optimize your hygiene program and stay on top of comprehensive exams by using tab32’s Revenue Discovery module.

2. Introduce a Membership Plan

Keep patients who don’t have dental insurance or require treatments that aren’t covered by their group plans coming back by offering a membership plan. This can help you tap into the vast market that comprises 50% of Americans who don’t visit a dentist regularly.

A membership program also allows you to develop a recurring revenue channel for more predictable income. You can offer a range of customized plans to attract more patients and use our auto payment feature to streamline workflows and lower administrative costs. 

3. Loyalty and Referral Programs

Reward patients who refer others to your practice, and they’ll be more likely to come back. Not to mention, referred patients are more loyal. A referral program will not only help you retain more patients, but also attract more of those who are more likely to stay for the long-run. 

Ask your patients for referral (e.g., by sending automated texts or emails) and thank them for their support. You can incentivize patients with rewards and provide referral materials to make it easy for them to spread the word (e.g., business cards, brochures, links.) You can also offer a special promotion to prospects who are referred to you by loyal patients.

4. Build a Culture of Loyalty

Patient loyalty isn’t achieved by a single gesture or program. To keep patients coming back for years to come, you need to build a culture of loyalty in your practice. Get to know your patients and their families to show that you care. Note each patient’s preference on the EHR in your cloud dental software, so your staff can deliver the best care.

In addition, stay in touch with your patients by sending out emails using a patient communication tool. You can keep them engaged by sharing valuable information, announcements about your practice, and special offers. You should also proactively ask for referrals and testimonials -- the more you ask, the more likely your patients will share their experiences with others.


Retaining patients and building patient loyalty requires consistent efforts. To take the repetitive tasks off your staff’s plate while ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks, you should automate as many workflows as possible with robust dental practice management software. For example, tab32 offers various features (e.g., patient communication, auto payment, membership plan) to make patient retention more cost-efficient.

Request a demo to see how we can help you increase production and generate more revenue.

Learn more now!

No Comments Yet

Let us know what you think