How to Master Patient Communication for a $1M Dental Practice

Melissa LuVisi
August 13, 2020 | 4 min read

To build a profitable dental practice, you need to dial in every aspect of your business. 

Since it costs an average of $200 to acquire a new dental patient (which is 5 to 25 times more than the cost of retaining an existing patient) and a 5% increase in patient retention rate can lead to a 25% increase in profit, it’s important that you keep patients coming back to your practice.

Not to mention, after you have spent the marketing dollars to attract new patients, the last thing you want are no-shows.

As such, you need to consider the patient experience along the entire patient journey. Your communication strategy can make a big difference in whether patients attend their appointments and come back for follow-ups.

The right patient communication strategy can help you guide patients down your marketing funnel, nurture relationships, and foster loyalty. 

Master Patient Communications For Your Dental Practice

By honing in the three main stages of dental patient communications -- pre-visit, in-office, and post-visit communications -- you’ll be able to deliver a consistent experience that keeps your patients coming back.

Pre-Visit Patient Communications

Your patients’ relationships with your practice start before they come to their first appointments. An effective pre-visit communication strategy helps you build brand recognition, credibility, and familiarity so patients are more likely to book a visit and keep the appointment.

Here are five key components of successful pre-visit patient communications:

  • Optimize your dental practice website: make sure it’s easy to navigate and mobile-optimized. Include important information such as services page, about page, contact page, and testimonials.
  • Leverage online reviews: use a dental practice management software with a patient survey feature to collect testimonials that you can post on your website and other review sites.
  • Increase brand recognition: make sure your social media profiles are up-to-date and include a link to your website so prospects can book an appointment right away.
  • Offer online booking: allow patients to book an appointment directly on your website to improve the patient experience while streamlining your workflow. 
  • Automate appointment reminders: send reminders via text, emails, or voice calls to minimize no-shows. 

In-Office Patient Communications

Effective in-office communications help educate patients, alleviate their anxiety, set realistic expectations, and guide them to make informed decisions to optimize the patient experience and treatment outcomes.

Here are 4 ways to effectively communicate with patients while they’re in your office:

  • Use mobile devices (e.g., iPads) to facilitate patient education: use a cloud dental software with robust dental EHR functionalities to visually share X-rays, patient histories, and treatment options with patients during their visits.
  • Personalize your communications: gauge how each individual patient handles information so you can share just the right amount to make them feel empowered but not overwhelmed.
  • Use patient-friendly and consistent language: explain treatments in terms that laypersons can understand and be consistent with the verbiage you use throughout the patient journey.
  • Text post-op instructions to patients: send online post-op instructions to patients via text to improve patient experience and optimize recovery.

Post-Visit Communications

Maintaining patient relationships can help you deliver a personalized experience and retain more patients. Here are 4 ways to automate post-visit communications to keep in touch with your patients at scale cost-effectively:

  • Send Monthly e-Statements: use a dental practice management software to automate the generation and distribution of e-statements. You can send them via text or email to minimize cumbersome paperwork.
  • Track incomplete treatment: implement an effective follow-up strategy and automate workflow to find and book appointments for patients who have incomplete treatment plans.
  • Stay top of mind with medical history reminders: tab32’s online forms allow you to automatically send out medical history reminders so patients can update their information online securely without taking up your staff’s time and attention. 
  • Leverage patient survey: ask your patients to fill out a survey after their visits to help you address concerns and collect testimonials for your website and third-party review sites (e.g., Google, Yelp.)


Effective patient communication is an essential component in building a $1M dental practice. To streamline the workflow so you can communicate with patients at scale without added overhead costs, use a cloud dental software that allows you to integrate dental EHR, practice management functionalities, and patient communications feature all in one place. This will allow you to deliver a seamless experience that’ll keep patients coming back.

Request a demo to see how tab32 can help you facilitate patient communications and improve the patient experience.

Learn more now!

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