Strategies to Boost Dental Practice Revenue: Beyond the Hygiene Chair

By Ryan Gross

October 31, 2023

Many of the practices I work with have limited to no capacity for new patients through hygiene. When this occurs, it is important to ensure your operations and marketing are optimized in order to increase revenue. In the last 12 months, we tracked 29 practices who all had limited or no capacity for new patients through hygiene. Limited capacity is defined by not having a new patient hygiene appointment available for four weeks (excluding cancellations). These 29 practices averaged a 7.1% increase in new patients and a 26.4% increase in production over a 12-month period. They were able to increase production at a higher percentage by focusing on growth outside of hygiene.

Here are three tips to help increase revenue without increasing new patients through hygiene.

  1. Focus marketing on emergencies. This is a low-hanging fruit as emergency appointments often have a higher production per patient and fills a spot on the doctor’s schedule. Marketing to emergency patents is often overlooked by other practices and many markets has a lower cost per conversion. Some emergency patients may only want to get out of pain and not equal higher production, but overall we found an increase of over 20% in production compared to an average new patient.
  2. Increase marketing and awareness of services such as sedation, clear aligners/ortho, and wisdom teeth extractions. These are all services that many patients will need or want even during a downturn in the economy. You can create external marketing campaigns for all three of these but be sure to create an internal strategy as well. Many current patients do not know general practices offer these services.
  3. Look into dropping a low reimbursement insurance. If your demand is high enough and you choose the correct insurance to drop, you should see little to no impact on new patient flow. For example, if 15% of your active patients have insurance X and 12% of new patients over the past six months have insurance X, and you can use your marketing numbers, phone data, and how many days until next open hygiene to determine the potential impact of dropping insurance X.

Until next time,

Ryan Gross
Owner CMOShare

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