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How to Revamp Your Dental Practice Post Pandemic

It would be natural, with everything going on, to return to what you were doing for marketing before the pandemic; running the same internal initiatives and resuming whatever external efforts you had in place. Will this work? 

While we don’t know for sure, considering patients may be hesitant to return to care quickly, the possibility of a resurgence of the virus, and the fact that dental practices will be competing for patients – signals a change to your approach may be in order. Even if your practice has pent up demand now – marketing is vital to what happens in your practice 3-6 months from now. Creating a road map for your practice’s marketing efforts will help you implement recommendations to ensure your practice stays on track.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

We encourage you to have an overarching strategy for your approach. This is not the time for disjointed efforts. Consistent messaging is key.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

Once you know your audience, craft content that is consistent with what they want to know. Appealing to your overall community? You might want to show your social responsibility as a dental practice and business. Appealing to current patients? Consider content about safety and cleanliness. Looking for new patients? Discuss convenient hours, virtual consultations, safety procedures, and readiness to serve.

As part of your plan, consider:

  • What are your business growth goals for the rest of 2020?
  • Re-visiting your marketing budget for 2020 
  • What marketing already exists that you can leverage?
  • Outlining the new initiatives you want to focus on
  • Measuring your results
  • Re-evaluating your efforts quarterly


You should have an external and an internal focus to your marketing efforts – all sharing consistent messaging, designed for your target audience, all linked so you are marketing smarter and using resources wisely.

 External Marketing

1.  Website

Your website is a powerful platform that forms the bedrock of your marketing efforts. All other marketing efforts should lead a patient and prospective patient back to your site. Ensure this by:


  • Updating your site, if it is not responsive or loads slowly. Prospective patients will move on to the next practice. According to, website users’ attention spans lie somewhere around 8 seconds.
  • Maintain or enhance SEO efforts to keep your organic search optimization high. 
  • Consider adding a Safety page to your site; detail what your practice is doing to keep patients safe.
  • Add an FAQ page spotlighting hot buttons for patients right now: convenient practice hours, teledentistry offering, your membership plan, payment options, and treatment to support a job search like whitening.
  • Make necessary changes to ensure easy navigation to find your office hours, phone number means to schedule and a bio for the doctor(s)

 2. Social Media

  • Post 1-3 times per week on the top two platforms in dental – Facebook and Instagram. Keep these posts positive, real, personal, forward-looking, and fun.
  • When you post, be sure to include your branded hashtag and a “follow us on” any other platforms the practice is on.
  • Social distancing has prompted a higher social media engagement from people searching for social connections. Consider boosting your Facebook posts. Boosted posts are an inexpensive way to capitalize on the higher-than-average social engagement during this time. 


Reputation Management

Update review sites (Google, Yelp, HealthGrades, and Facebook) with open announcements, stressing steps you have taken to keep patients safe. (The opportunity to complete a review on Google was turned back on at the end of April.)

  • Ask for reviews. A recent survey showed that almost 70 percent of customers are willing to provide feedback when requested. 
  • Put direct links to your feedback profiles in multiple places, for example, in a thank you or follow-up email.
  • Focus on your average ratings (4.5 and above is key), getting recent reviews, and getting more reviews.
  • Respond to reviews, positive, neutral, and negative. Prospective patients need to hear the voice of the practice as well as the reviewer. Keep responses to negative reviews short by inviting the patient to call in, so you can help resolve their issues, while respecting HIPAA laws


Internal Marketing

While marketing efforts often focus on gaining new patients, some of your current patients could be considering a change in dentist due to a change in benefits, job, or perceived lack of care or safety measures from your practice during the pandemic. Be proactive and be sure to reconnect with current patients. They are the most reliable revenue source for you right now.

1. Connect with Patients

Call or email your patients personally, to connect. This will leave a lasting impression. If you have a large patient base, contact those with outstanding treatment first, long-term patients next, followed by the remaining patient base.

  • If you are unable to call, connect via email and text through your patient connection software. Messages ending in “we are looking forward to seeing you again; call for an appointment” will leave your patient feel cared for.
  • You may have postponed community events. Take this opportunity to test digital alternatives to stay in front of current patients, referring dentists, and community groups.
  • Email newsletters – This format has a 25-30% open rate right now.1 Constant Contact or Mailchimp are easy and inexpensive online marketing platforms to use.
  • A: Ask for Referrals
  • Now more than ever, your entire team needs to be personally asking for referrals.
  • Carve out time at a team meeting to share times and ways to ask.
  • When a patient compliments the office… “Thank you. We really appreciate your feedback. We are accepting new patients, so if you have a friend or family member who’s looking for a new dentist, we would love to see them.”
  • Send a hand-written thank you note to patients who have referred to you.


2. Patient Experience

Future referrals depend on creating a patient experience that leaves patients feeling as though they are well cared for by skilled, caring professionals. Review your patient experience and make any needed changes. Solicit suggestions from your team, review other practices’ websites and social media for ideas.


Above all, consistent focus on your marketing efforts and consistent messaging should empower your practice to not only rebound but slingshot to greater success. If you’d like professional support with your marketing, we have vetted referral sources. The Practice Support Team will be standing by to support you.

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Innovation for Effective Care

Greater adherence to recommended care, better clinical care, and health care quality outcomes are associated with positive patient care experiences. It applies to all forms of health care including dental. A patient should have access to dental care when it is most needed. In that way, the patient scheduling process gains importance as it contributes to patient experience and overall satisfaction. Patients will stick on to a dental practice only when they get prompt appointments and needn't have to wait for long periods. Otherwise, it will lead to negative responses and reduced revenue.

The handling of patient scheduling has a direct impact on the overall performance of a practice. A hassle-free patient appointment process boosts the reputation and helps the practice gain more patients through the reference. Technology tools can be used to make scheduling an easy and smooth process for the patients.

  • Online scheduling: Patients should be provided with the facility to book their dental appointments online. It helps them choose the most convenient time for consultation. Online booking can be either through your patient portal or through a mobile app. As all the patients won't be using an online booking facility, the practice staff has to make sure that online appointments are synchronized with appointments booked offline, i.e, through phone or in person.
  • Digital intake form: Online booking can be accompanied by a pre-check-in facility to fill in details like patient health history, allergies, medications, insurance, and method of payment, etc. A digital intake form for the patient to key in all these details is a must in a comprehensive care system. This will considerably reduce the waiting time while the in-office visit happens.
  • Appointment reminders: Patients need to be reminded of their scheduled appointments from time to time. For this pre-scheduled auto-reminder systems can be used to send out appointment reminders to patients via text or email. This system ensures the presence of the patient for consultation as per schedule eliminating no-shows. These no-shows have several adverse implications on a dental practice including poorer health outcomes for patients and disruption in your organizational workflow. Auto-reminder systems save precious time your staff otherwise have spent manually notifying patients through text or call.
  • Automated recalling: All patients who require periodic appointments may not reschedule. For patients who require recurring or regular appointments, automated recalling systems are great. This can also be used to make the best out of healthcare-focused national observances by reaching out to patients to get their various screenings done, with some waivers and offers. This is done by sending automated emails and text to your patient base.

A practice needs to develop a scheduling policy that contains all the details like what happens with a missed appointment, canceling less than 24 hours prior, no-show fees if any, etc. The policy should be communicated to the patients in advance. The staff at the dental office need to be given advanced training to use and manage the technology used. The staff should also be thorough about the policies implemented so that they can explain it to the patients easily.

Recent studies have found that 44% of patients prefer online scheduling and paperless onboarding. This has encouraged dental practices to go for technological innovations that will boost their patient experience. The CS Enterprise from CareStack is one such example, purpose-built for dental enterprises to maximize efficiency through centralization, automation, and analytics. It is an enterprise-grade cloud-based practice management software with capabilities for centralization that will help to achieve the full potential inherent in scale. Its usage among practices results in lower no-show rates, increased capacity to see patients, better patient adherence, and above all higher revenue.

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