Do’s and don’ts for patient ‘discounts’

The word “discount” has always had a negative connotation in dentistry. Back in the 1980s, when the first dental practices started dipping their toe in the advertising waters, dentists who offered a discount on the first visit were seen as undermining the profession. Fast-forward to today when we see dental advertising everywhere. Change the word “discount” to “offer,” and consider how you can make offers to patients that are in the best interest of patients and the practice.

Practice Success Do

Create a new patient family referral program. Offer a new patient the opportunity to invite other family members for no-cost first visits. You should develop an attractive-looking gift certificate, find out how many family members the new patient has during your initial conversation, and then give them a certificate for each family member.

Practice Success Dont

Don’t forget to offer coupons to patients who you haven’t seen in a while. Reaching out to patients who have not been seen at the practice for over two years with the message that you would like to invite them back with a “$25 off” coupon will not only increase production, but it can allow you to recapture them and work to keep them scheduled in the future. 

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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