Do’s and don’ts for reducing cancellations

Dr. Roger P. Levin.
Dr. Roger P. Levin.

Pre-appointing works for many patients, but not for everyone. Segment your patients based on their behavior. If a portion of your patients consistently cancel after they’ve been pre-appointed, contact them a month before their next hygiene appointment and then follow up with one-week and 48-hour reminders.

Practice Success Do

Customize your confirmation method. You want to standardize processes as much as possible, but realize your patient base comprises different generations -- boomers, Gen Xers, millennials, etc. While texting and emailing confirmations may work for a large percentage of your patients, some may respond better to a phone call. Remember, the ultimate goal is to motivate patients to show up. Use a variety of confirmation methods, if needed, to get the best results. 

Practice Success Dont

Don’t lose track of patients who don’t pre-appoint. Set a reminder in your practice management software to contact these patients a month before they are due for their half-year hygiene appointment. Actively managing the patient base keeps patients from falling through the cracks. 

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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