How to Grow Your Dental Practice

Mia Jensen | Jan 26, 2023 | 22 min read
26 Ways to Grow Your Dental Practice

Are you looking for ways to attract new patients to your dental clinic and grow your business but need help knowing where to start?

You’re not alone!

No doubt, a successful dental practice needs to have a consistent flow of new patients.

However, for healthy dental practice growth, smart dentists must focus on patient retention, streamlining office operations, and investing in the right tools.

For this, they need to look beyond traditional marketing techniques and be willing to understand the ever-evolving digital landscape.

If you’re ready to grow your dental practice to the next level, here are 26 effective ways to grow your dental practice and boost your bottom line!

1. Have a Strong Website

Websites are important for converting visitors into patients. Think of it as a 24x7 salesperson working tirelessly for you!

Your dental practice must have a strong website to remain competitive in today’s digital world. It is more than just a place to advertise your services.

It needs to be interactive, engaging, and informative, with up-to-date information about your practice, so visitors can convert when they visit the site.

Brush Dental Website

2. Invest in Dental SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can help you drive more organic traffic to your website. Follow SEO best practices, such as:

  • incorporate related medical keywords into your website content,
  • optimize your website for mobile devices and voice search,
  • build quality backlinks to build authority
  • target local keywords to boost your conversations

Local dental SEO is important for a dentist because their target audience is patients in a specific area.

In local SEO, you target local keywords to help people find your practice—for example, dentists in NJ, dentist Toronto downtown, etc.

Below are the Google local search ads result, which shows that they are valuable for dentists to appear in:

Google Rankings for Dentists

3. Provide Excellent Patient Care

No marketing strategy matters if you don’t deliver exceptional patient care.

Keeping your patients happy is essential to maintaining a successful dental practice. They will become your loyal brand ambassadors and help promote your services if you provide excellent patient care.

Treat each patient with care and respect and educate them about their dental health. That will help create an environment of trust between you and your patients.

Moreover, clear communication will help your patients know exactly what to expect. Spell out the details of their procedure beforehand.

There are many financial and medical concerns that patients worry about when it comes to dental work. Ask and address any problems they might have, such as what to do if their insurance information has changed and what they should plan to pay out of pocket.

To ensure excellent patient care, hire qualified professionals and train them on how to interact with patients.

4. Leverage Social Media for Practice Growth

Social media is a powerful way to engage with current and potential patients. The stats below show how important it is to add social media to your dental marketing strategy:

  • 40% of patients say they use the information they find on social media to make health decisions.
  • 71% of patients would recommend the practice to others if a business quickly responds to complaints through social media.

Make sure you are active on major social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Post content regularly that is engaging and useful. Depending on the platform, this could be in the form of videos, infographics, social media captions, before and after images, blogs about dental health tips, or industry news.

Brush Dental Instagram

Social media allows you to build relationships with your patients by promptly responding to their comments and messages. A personalized response goes a long way and shows you care about patients.

5. Utilize Email Marketing

Email marketing is an effective way to reach and engage with current and potential patients.

Create an email list by asking patients who come into the office or online visitors to sign up for your newsletter.

Send emails regularly with dental health tips, special offers or promotions, new services, appointment reminders, and more.

Example Email

You can also segment your email lists based on patient demographics, such as age and location. That will help you send more tailored emails relevant to each patient group.

Make sure you keep your emails concise and informative. Otherwise, they may get ignored or deleted by the readers.

6. Encourage and Manage Online Dental Reviews

Encouraging online reviews should be a key part of your practice growth strategy. When choosing a dentist, online reviews are one of the most important factors that patients consider.

70% of healthcare consumers read online reviews when considering a new doctor. And 80% of patients deem healthcare businesses with five or more reviews trustworthy. Source: Reputation

Respond to patients’ reviews, whether negative or positive. Managing your online reviews will help you identify issues and improve your practice. It shows the potential patients that you value your patients’ feedback.

Asking for review through text is the best way to get them more quickly. 60% of customers will read a text within 1-5 minutes of receiving it.

Review management platforms can help you send automated text messages to your patients after their appointments, reminding them to leave a review.

It can also help you get more positive patient reviews, monitor them, and engage with them in one centralized platform.

7. Never Ignore The Negative Reviews

Negative reviews are inevitable but ignoring them can be damaging to your practice.

Instead, you should respond and try to resolve the issue with the patient. Apologize for their bad experience, address the concern, and offer a solution.

45% of consumers say they’re likelier to visit a business that responds to their negative reviews.

Responding to negative reviews helps build trust with current patients and show potential patients that you’re attentive and willing to make it right if something goes wrong.

Negative reviews can also act as a guide to help improve your practice. Use them as feedback to gain insight into your patients’ expectations and how you can improve their experience.

Negative Review Response Example

Pro Tip! Some reviews can be fake or malicious. If you suspect this is the case, contact the review platform directly and ask them to investigate.

8. Understand Patients’ Preferred Communication Channels

Knowing your patient’s preferred communication channel is important to increase your conversion rate.

Using the wrong communication channel might frustrate patients and make them more likely to switch practices. By understanding their preferred channels, you can communicate in a way that’s convenient for them.

Consider using a patient engagement platform like DemandHub. It helps you engage with patients via text messages, social media, emails, and more.

9. Use Text Marketing For Seamless Patient Communication

Strong communication with patients is imperative to the success of any dental office. But, your front desk can’t provide a positive patient experience when things get busy with appointments and procedures.

Luckily, text marketing is a cost-effective and efficient solution to that problem. It allows practices to automatically send appointment reminders and special offers and answer patients’ queries.

It also helps practices save time and valuable resources, as the messages are automated and don’t require manual follow-up. By providing timely communication, you can keep your patients happy and coming back for years!

Practice text messaging solutions like DemandHub can help ensure your texts are HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant.

General Guidelines to Follow for Dental Office Texting Although dental office texting can help your dental practice, there are some guidelines you must follow:

  • The privacy of your patients should always be at the forefront of your mind when sending them messages. Use secure text messaging platforms to keep doctor-patient-staff communication confidential.
  • Not everyone loves texting, especially older patients. So be sure to give your patients a choice to indicate their preferred communication method (text, email, phone calls, etc.).
  • Always get consent from your patients before sending them text messages. Failing to receive consent can violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and carry serious fines.
  • Primary care physicians must receive written consent before dental texting begins; verbal consent is not enough.

10. Incorporate a Swift Appointment Scheduling Software into Your Website

To make it easier for patients to book appointments, you should integrate appointment scheduling software into your website.

Online scheduling softwares allows patients to avoid long wait times and the hassle of calling your office to schedule an appointment.

Online Scheduling with DemandHub

It boosts productivity and creates better patient flow while decreasing stress levels for staff and patients. The result is superior customer service for your patients, something they expect and deserve.

That’s why you must ensure your dental practice has the most efficient, and flexible online scheduling software.

DemandHub offers a comprehensive online appointment-scheduling tool that integrates seamlessly with your website and lets patients book appointments in a few easy steps.

11. Assess Patient Satisfaction to Stay On The Top

Patient satisfaction directly impacts patient retention. It is also the number one reason for patient referrals.

Dentistry, though clinic-based, has heavier social aspects that include oral health and cosmetic dentistry — something that matters to every individual’s social persona. So, it’s no surprise that people are more likely to talk about a dentist who has provided great care and services.

To be successful in such a review-driven market, conduct satisfaction surveys and ask patients about their experiences with your practice. Monitor the feedback you receive from these surveys and use it to make changes that can help improve patient experiences.

Display customer reviews and testimonials on your website to increase trust and show potential patients that you are committed to providing the best care.

By assessing patient satisfaction, you’ll be able to stay on top of your game and gain more referrals.

12. Train Your Staff and Create a Positive Environment at the Clinic

The first person patients encounter at your office - whether a receptionist or medical assistant - will make or break their opinion of your practice.

The staff’s attitude should ooze confidence in the clinic so that patients get the message, “This is a great dental clinic that offers outstanding service.”

Happier and savvier staff means happier reviews from your patients.

How to train your dental team to deliver exceptional customer service?

  • Answer the phone promptly with a delightful voice.
  • Make sure that the paperwork is properly filled out. Help the patients who have trouble completing it.
  • Keep a friendly attitude and listen to the patient’s needs.
  • Manage the office with efficiency and accuracy.
  • Reassure the patient that their concerns will be addressed.
  • Provide support to patients after their appointment.
  • No caller should be on hold for more than two minutes to avoid patient frustration.
  • “Let me find out” is a more helpful response to a question than “I don’t know.”
  • Respond to phone calls on time.
  • Ask for feedback politely and professionally to get reviews for your dental practice.

Share patient satisfaction surveys, testimonials, and reviews on your blog, social media pages, and website.

Furthermore, take things to the next level by listing your practice on other dental review sites to allow patients to post their feedback.

These small gestures can make a huge difference in how patients perceive your clinic. By implementing these, you could have happier patients, more referrals, and increased business.

13. Create a Referral Program

A referral program is a great way to promote your dental practice and increase patient flow.

Create a referral program for patients who refer their family and friends. Make sure to ask your patients for referrals after every visit and emphasize the benefits they’ll get in return.

Motivate patients by offering a referral reward program, such as a free cleaning or a discount whenever they refer a friend successfully. The bigger the prize, the more likely your patients will refer others to you.

This strategy will bring in big revenue and create a wider network of referral possibilities.

Pro Tip: If you are a new practice or don’t have a single patient yet, you can always use this strategy with your employees. They might have a lot of friends and family in town, encouraging them to refer them to your practice.

14. Start Dental Blogging

A blog is a great way to show patients that you are an authority in dentistry. Write blog posts or articles about topics that would be relevant to your patients, such as “5 Tips for Choosing a Dentist” or “What to Expect at Your First Dental Appointment.”

Remember to include backlinks to your website in your blog if you are writing on a third-party website. So people can easily find your practice’s website and get more information about you.

Publishing blogs on your own website is a better option as it gives you more control over the design and content, which can help reinforce your brand.

15. Provide a Seamless Online Payment Process

The easier it is for patients to pay, the more likely they will return. Incorporate a secure and user-friendly payment system on your website, so patients can easily pay online.

With an online payment system, patients don’t have to wait in line or fill out paperwork. They can simply enter their credit card information and pay in just a few clicks.

DemandHub offers a contactless payment experience for your patients via text messaging. Just send your patients a text message with a secure link and get paid from their cell phones within minutes.

DemandHub Online Payments

16. Advertise Your Dental Practice: Pay-per-click (PPC) and Social Media Marketing (SMM)

Pay-per-click or PPC marketing is a popular choice among dentists. Google Ads is the largest PPC platform. When you use Google, your ads will appear above organic search results, making it easier for your patients to see them.

Dental Google Ad Example

What is PPC or Pay-Per-Click? PPC, or pay-per-click, is a form of online advertising. It enables businesses to bid on keywords to have their ads appear when someone searches for those keywords.

The good thing about PPC is you don’t have to pay to display the ads. You only pay Google when someone clicks on the ad.

To make your ads more relevant to searchers, bid on your industry-specific keywords. It is a great way to reach more people who are interested in your services.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) Social media is an extremely powerful tool for online marketing. However, many businesses are not promoting themselves accurately on social media.

Setting automatic posts without engaging the readers is a big mistake. Engaging with your followers is the key to gaining more likes and followers. So, create content that encourages people to interact with you and respond promptly to comments or messages.

You can also run paid campaigns on social media like Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads. They allow you to target potential patients based on their interests, location, age group, etc. They are very effective in reaching out to the right audience.

Pro Tip: If you want to join bigger conversations related to your industry, start using hashtags related to dentistry. Some of the most popular dentistry-related hashtags are:

#dental #dentist #dentistry #smile #teeth #dentista #odontologia #dentalcare #tooth #dentalclinic #dentalhygienist #orthodontics #oralhealth #dentalimplants #dentalhygiene #dentalphotography #teethwhitening #cosmeticdentistry #dentalassistant #odonto #veneers #dentalstudent #dentistryworld #health #di #dentaltechnician #smilemakeover #dentallab #doctor #braces

dental social post example

17. Build Relationships With Local Professionals

Building relationships with other local professionals, such as doctors, optometrists, and chiropractors, is important. When they refer a patient to your practice, it will help increase patient flow and boost your reputation in the community.

You can also form relationships with local businesses, such as restaurants and wellness spas. Offer discounts to their customers in exchange for referrals. It will help you build a strong network of loyal potential.

Take advantage of online networking tools such as LinkedIn or Twitter to connect with local professionals and businesses. Also, attend local events and conferences to meet other professionals in your area.

18. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices

Many people are using their phones to look up dental practices nowadays. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices so patients can easily find and navigate your website from anywhere.

19. Get Listed on Dental Review Sites

Ensure you’re listed on all popular dental review sites and that your information is accurate and up-to-date. Popular dental review sites are 1-800 Dentist, Yelp, and Healthgrades. Monitor these sites for reviews and respond to them accordingly.

A comprehensive study by Harvard Business School found that a 1-star increase in Yelp rating can lead to a 5% to 9% increase in revenue. That’s the power of listing your practice on dental review sites.

20. Utilize Video Marketing to Reach Out to New Patients

Video marketing is becoming popular and is a great way to connect with potential patients. Video will account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022 (Cisco, 2019). So, incorporate videos into your marketing strategy for maximum reach.

Consumers watch an average of 16 hours of online video per week. In addition, 84% said that watching a brand video had convinced them to buy a service or product! Source: Optinmonster

You can create video content to educate and inform your patients. Some video marketing ideas for healthcare are:

  • Explainer videos to teach your patients how to improve their overall health or any specific condition.
  • Facility Tour videos can help demystify patients’ stress related to healthcare facilities and increase traffic to your website! For example, the following video from UCLA takes us on a tour of their Mattel Children’s Hospital, making it appear far less frightening for sick children.
  • How-tos and Demo videos can show off the value of your healthcare-related product or service.
  • Staff Interview videos to let your patients get to know your staff before they visit.
  • Patients’ testimonials can provide reassurance, guidance, and valuable connection for your potential patients.

21. Engage with the Community through Events and Volunteer Work

Engage with the local community through local events and volunteer work. Join health fairs, participate in school health programs and offer free dental check-ups in your clinic.

Teaching proper dental skills

Be a speaker at local clubs and organizations or host small campaigns targeting seniors in assisted living centers.

Volunteer your services at local charities and homeless shelters. This will not only provide free dental services to those in need but also boost your reputation as a compassionate dentist.

22. Focus on Patient Retention

Even if you’re great at attracting new patients, it won’t do any good to your practice if they only visit once and never return.

New patients are always great, but it’s important to ensure you’re not losing more patients than you’re gaining.

It costs 5 times more to attract a new patient than to retain an existing one. The odds of selling to an existing patient are significantly higher (60% to 70%) than to new patients (5% to 20%).

Make sure to have a patient retention plan to reduce attrition rates. Offer incentives like loyalty programs, discounts, free follow-up visits, or free teeth whitening services for returning patients.

You can retain patients by making them feel exclusive by staying in touch with them and resolving their issues promptly via web chat, text messages, or social media.

As a result, you will develop a great rapport with your patients and keep them happy, leading to higher patient retention rates.

23. Offer a Membership or Loyalty Plan

Offering memberships or loyalty plans can be a great way to increase patient visits and revenue. You can offer packages that include service discounts, free products, in-office perks such as VIP waiting rooms, and other benefits.

For example, suppose a full exam and cleaning at your practice costs $250, while a bitewing x-ray only costs $30. You could package multiple services with it and offer an annual membership at $500 that covers the following:

  • 2 Full Exams
  • 2 Teeth Clean
  • 2 Bitewing x-rays
  • Additional 10% discounts on all services

24. Use Appointment Reminders To Reduce Patient No-Shows

No-shows can be a major issue in any healthcare practice. It costs you money and causes delays, impacting other patients’ appointments.

Appointment reminders are an effective way to reduce the number of no-shows. You can send reminder emails or text messages to your patients before their scheduled appointment time.

25. Expand Your Dental Services

Patients are always looking for new and innovative dental services. It’s important to keep your practice up-to-date with the latest treatments and technology and expand your services to stay ahead of the competition.

For example, if you don’t offer cosmetic dentistry services like teeth whitening or veneers, consider adding them to your services. You can also expand into orthodontics or dental implants to increase patient flow and revenue.

26. Adopt a Dental Practice Growth Platform

A dental practice growth platform can automate your dental marketing, patient communication, online payments, and scheduling.

In short, it can streamline all aspects of running a successful dental practice in one single system.

DemandHub is the answer to all your patient satisfaction problems. It helps you manage your online reputation, get more positive reviews, and streamline your patient journey.

We bring new patients to you by integrating DemandHub’s CX tools into your dental websites, such as text messages, Web Chat, Online Scheduling, and much more.

With DemandHub’s modern messaging capabilities, you can start a two-way conversation with your patients. Send messages with review links directly to patients and enable them to post a review in 30 seconds or less — all with just a few clicks.

Book a free demo today if you’re looking for an easy and effective way to grow your dental practice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Dental Practice Growth

How can online marketing help grow a dental practice?

Online marketing, including SEO, social media, and email marketing, can increase visibility, attract new patients, and maintain relationships with existing ones, helping a dental practice grow.

What is the role of patient retention in growing dental practice?

Patient retention is vital, as maintaining a loyal patient base is usually more cost-effective than acquiring new patients. Satisfied patients can also refer others to your practice.

How can a dental practice improve its services to promote growth?

A dental practice can promote growth by enhancing patient experience, adopting the latest technologies, offering a wide range of services, and implementing effective marketing strategies.

How can partnerships help grow a dental practice?

Partnerships with other healthcare providers or local businesses can enhance your reputation, extend your referral network, and lead to more patient appointments.

How can I expand my dental business?

You can expand your dental business by adopting multiple strategies. Focus on improving patient experience, marketing effectively, offering diverse services, and potentially opening additional locations.

What is the expected growth in dentistry?

As per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of dentists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations. The global dental services market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.5% from 2023 to 2030, reaching USD 610.4 billion by 2030. The global dental market is projected to grow from USD 38.84 billion in 2022 to USD 63.93 billion by 2029.

How do you keep a dental patient happy?

You can keep your dental patients by providing high-quality services, maintaining clear communication, offering a comfortable and friendly environment, and showing genuine care for their oral health. Simple gestures like remembering personal details and following up after procedures can also make patients feel valued.

Business growth begins here.
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