Our 9 Top Tips on How to Grow Your Dental Practice

Last updated on December 22nd, 2023

Every dental practice needs a steady flow of new clients — and a solid base of loyal clients — to thrive and grow. 

Through our collaboration with dental professionals and practices, we have discovered nine effective strategies to expand your dental practice. These tips are cost-effective and impactful. 

We’ve gathered our wisdom in this article and made each of our tips highly actionable — so you can start growing today.

1. Create a Positive Practice Environment

A positive practice environment turns dental dread into peace and calm. Your patients should know you will answer the phone pleasantly, listen to their concerns during a visit, and always treat them with gentleness and respect. These simple actions to show that you care will keep your patients happy and raving about your practice to their friends and family. 

Every dental professional in your office can partner with your patients and seek health together rather than acting as overbearing authorities who ignore and fail to inform their patients. Shifting to a client-centric relationship will improve your patients’ and your staff’s experience, resulting in top-performing employees. Check out our articles to learn more about the effects of a fulfilled and well-resourced staff on your practice: 

5 Proven Ways to Improve Healthcare Employee Retention and Keep Top Dentists and Specialists Long-Term

4 Ways to Increase Healthcare Worker Appreciation for Happier Teams and Healthier Patients

Try These 8 Healthcare Employee Engagement Strategies for Better Patient Outcomes

2. Assess Patient Satisfaction and Adjust Accordingly 

To become a dental professional with a mastery of how to grow your dental practice, take a proactive and holistic approach to your practice reviews. This means asking for face-to-face feedback, requesting online reviews, and leveraging reviews to enrich patient relationships. 

Positive reviews can be celebrated and used in your online marketing, posted to your website, and shared via print materials in your office. Negative reviews provide valuable feedback. They allow you to address concerns and improve patient experiences. Make a genuine effort to respond and resolve issues with your patients.

3. Have a Strong Dental Marketing Strategy

In crafting a strong dental marketing strategy, the digital footprint of your practice is paramount.

Invest In SEO

A well-designed website is crucial for dental SEO. Incorporating local SEO strategies is essential to appear in local search results. This is vital for attracting patients in your area. An effective social media marketing approach will serve as the cornerstone of your online presence. When potential patients search for emergency dental care or cosmetic dentistry, it ensures that your practice ranks prominently.

Grow With Social Media

Engagement on social media channels is equally important. Regularly update your social media accounts, sharing content that highlights positive patient experiences, oral health advice, and current dental trends. This will foster community and patient loyalty. Strategic online ads can effectively target new customers. They are particularly effective on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. These ads can introduce new customers to the services your practice offers.

Don’t forget the power of patient feedback. Displaying positive dental reviews on your website can enhance your practice’s reputation. You can also showcase them on platforms like Google Reviews. Encourage satisfied patients to share experiences online. This builds credibility and serves as a testament to quality patient care.

It’s essential to have an ongoing dialogue with your patient base. This can be done through automated email marketing and timely reminders. This level of attentive communication not only demonstrates your commitment to patient care but also supports the long-term growth and revenue maximization of your practice.

You can read our in depth article here for more details on marketing a dental practice

4. Focus on Patient Retention

Quality dental services and excellent customer service build lasting patient relationships. These relationships are essential for growing your dental practice. Gaining new patients is far more expensive than retaining the ones you already have, so patient retention will ultimately build you a more efficient and cost-effective practice.

You can offer ‘legacy’ patient incentives when they reach milestones. Send thank yous to patients who have been with your practice for a year or more. Engage on social media to build rapport with your patients. Local outreach and events can also enhance patient retention. Patient retention efforts will supercharge all of your strategies for practice growth.

5. Use Appointment Reminders

One of the easiest ways to increase your patient retention for practice growth is to keep your office and your patients’ upcoming appointments on top of mind. We recommend doing this through SMS text reminders. We’ve covered the topic of dental appointment reminders and offered every template you need to get started in our article here. Integrate these text reminders into your practice’s systems to reduce no-shows and keep your staff busy.

6. Create a Referral Program 

While fantastic service will get you referrals at some point, you can motivate your patients to bring you more referrals, more often by rewarding them for doing so. Just make sure your referral program isn’t a secret that only those who have given you a referral know about! Ask your patients for referrals after each visit and emphasize the benefit they’ll get in return. You could even snap pictures of happy patients with their referral rewards to post with a referral request flier near your checkout area.

You can offer the same reward to all your patients or choose a value amount for your referral rewards and customize each reward. A standard reward could include: 

  • A gift card to a local business.
  • A complimentary cleaning or other treatment. 

Customized rewards could include:

  • A bottle of your patient’s favorite mouthwash that they have purchased from you in the past.
  • A gift card to a pet store for a patient who always talks about their beloved dog. 

Which method you use may depend on the size of your practice and the number of referrals you receive every week. 

7. Engage With Your Community Through Events/ Partner with Local Businesses

A robust dental marketing strategy includes organic marketing through relationships and networking. Seek out local professional networking groups that would allow you to connect with family doctors, optometrists, and chiropractors. These local professionals can become mutual referral relationships. When a respected professional refers their patients to your office, it boosts your reputation in the community. This recommendation can have a positive impact on how others perceive your practice. 

You can collaborate with these professionals to brainstorm creative referral marketing strategies. This collaboration will help your presence in the local community lead to long-term brand growth and patient referrals. You can offer discounts or special offers to their staff or patients in return for a discount or offer of equal value to yours.

Local events, expos, and conferences have two purposes. They are for making connections and engaging with your target audience. Engaging in this can bring organic traffic to your dental practice. It helps establish your name as a well-known provider of family dental care. If you serve many families with young children, for example, a baby or parenting expo would be full of your ideal patients.

8. Provide Employees with a CE Allowance and Encourage Training 

Sometimes, practice growth starts within your office. Plant the seeds of growth by encouraging your employees to attend conferences and training events. Since all dentists must maintain CE credits, a standard CE allowance isn’t enough to set your practice apart. Get the most out of CE training by making learning accessible, relevant, and applicable to your practice.

  • Accessible — Ensure that your staff has the time, financial, and administrative resources they need to arrange CE courses and take time off to attend them.
  • Relevant — Urge your dental professionals to attend CE courses that you believe would benefit their career and your practice.
  • Applicable — Empower your dental professionals to implement what they’ve learned.

9. Expand Your Services

Your employees can bring new skills and technologies back to your practice from their CE courses. Water the seeds of growth you planted with CE by expanding your services.

  • Take time to reflect on new skills and explore new technology. 
  • Determine which services would meet the needs of your ideal patients. 
  • Create an implementation plan for these services with your staff.

Patient retention can be improved with service expansion through ‘upselling.’ Upselling is where you offer a more comprehensive service to an existing customer or sell them an add-on to the service they already receive. This isn’t just about increasing your revenue. It’s also about bringing the best possible services to your customers. 

When thinking about how to grow your dental practice, you can also consider how service expansion will connect you to new patients. Services that are trending, becoming popular in your area, or are needed to serve a population you want to reach will help you bring in new business. 

We’re more than a recruiting partner, we can support your team in creating your dental marketing strategy and amplifying your growth efforts, too. Get in touch with our team today!


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