Do's and don'ts for no-shows

2016 11 18 14 42 01 206 Practice Success2 400

Reducing no-shows is easily within the top 10 best strategies for increasing practice production. No-shows represent open chair time that can never be filled again. In economics, open chair time would be referred to as a nonrecoverable resource. In a dental office, open chair time can literally lead to $3 million to $4 million in lost revenue over the course of a dentist's career.


Build value. Patients should have a clear sense of why it is important to have a procedure performed and completed before they ever arrive back at the front desk for scheduling. This should then be reemphasized in the handoff from the dental assistant to the front desk person who reemphasizes it yet again as the patient schedules the appointment prior to departing.


Don't hesitate to remove habitual offenders. Remove patients who have a third no-show (within a one- to two-year period). These are habitual offenders who will continue to cost the practice money. However, if they do call for an emergency, take them in and try to take care of all their treatment in one appointment. Otherwise, you know what will happen.

Dr. Roger P. Levin is CEO of Levin Group, a leading practice management and marketing consulting firm. To contact him or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit or email

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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