happy dental patient

How often do your patients repeatedly visit for regular dental cleanings and exams? Regardless of how many times we recommend visiting every six months, patients often wait years before their next dental appointment. Dental hygiene recall is a major part of keeping your business running and keeping your patients’ mouths healthy, but when they aren’t listening to your instructions, what do you do?

Getting your dental patients back in the chair every six months could be as simple as creating a dental recall system. This should include these five steps:

1. Educate

For most people, doing something just because you’re supposed to isn’t enough; patients need to understand why regular dental appointments are important. When you or a dental team member is treating a patient, take the time to explain these benefits of regular dental cleanings and exams:

  • Prevents decay
  •  Prevents gum disease
  • Removes stains
  • Prevents overall health issues like heart disease
  • Detects potential problems
  • Saves money in the long run

Once your patients understand why they should attend regular dental appointments, they will be much more inclined to schedule their next visit.

2. Scheduling

Patients are far less likely to schedule an appointment once they leave your office. Train your dental team to ask patients to schedule their next appointment before they even leave the office. Create a script that’s polite and effective so your team members know exactly what to say.

Of course, this doesn’t guarantee the patient won’t cancel or be a no-show, but it certainly will increase their chance of coming back in six months!

3. Automatic Appointment Reminders

When patients schedule their appointments in advance, it’s essential to have some sort of appointment reminders set up. Automatic calls, texts, and emails are preferred, but you can also have a team member send reminders.

These reminders allow patients to confirm or cancel their appointments in a timely manner. This way, you’re certain the appointment time is filled, or you can open it back up for another patient to take.

4. Friendly Phone Calls

In cases where patients don’t respond to the automatic reminders, one of your team members should give them a call. Provide a script for them to recite, but make sure they are also being personable.

Phone calls are also necessary when a patient leaves the office without scheduling an appointment. A team member should call at least three months before the patient’s next dental exam is due.

5. Effective Marketing Strategies

Online marketing is essential to dental hygiene recall. You should be posting blogs, statistics, and videos about the importance of regular dental cleanings and exams on various social media platforms. Sending email newsletters is another way to keep your dental practice in front of patients.

Dental Hygiene Recalls: What Not to Do

When you create a dental hygiene recall plan and prioritize your patients’ experience, you should see in an influx of patients returning every six months. However, be sure to inform your team about what not to do when rescheduling patients.

Recall don’ts include:

  • Don’t be pushy
  • Don’t be condescending
  • Don’t forget to leave voicemails
  • Don’t just try one method of communication

How a Dental Practice Management Company Can Help

We know you’ve got a lot on your plate and want to help relieve some of the pressure! Dental Practice Enhancement exists to help train your team in various areas, including dental hygiene recalls. We can help you create an effective strategy to get patients back in the office and teach your team members how to interact with and talk to patients to get the most hygiene recalls possible.

To learn more about how we can help improve your dental practice, call (833) DPE-FOR-U today.