A growing number of adults have stopped making dental appointments regularly. If you have a substantial number of inactive patients, take steps to maintain your relationship with them and, ideally, bring them back in for a visit. Otherwise, you may lose them forever.
Stay in touch and express concern for their oral health. Task your front desk coordinator with contacting inactive patients to suggest they come in for a routine hygiene visit and exam. The coordinator should remind them that only dental professionals can detect some problems before they become serious. If nothing else, such a call will "freshen" the patient-practice relationship and show that you care -- helping ensure that if these patients ever decide to see a dentist, they will come to you.
Don't be afraid to invest in patient reactivation. The perceived value of a free exam ("to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy") is much greater than its cost to you. The potential lifetime production from a patient makes this modest investment worthwhile.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group. You can connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) to learn more strategies and share ideas. Also, check out Dr. Levin's free practice management videos at www.levingroup.com/gp.
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