Ways to Increase Dental Practice Revenue

April 11, 2023

As competitive as the Dental care space may be, in order to remain viable, it’s essential to remain profitable. So, we thought we would provide you with a toolbelt of revenue-generating solutions to have at the ready, so you can pry some more profits back into that bottom line.

With a little time and a little monetary investment, the strategies below could deliver a significant impact in increasing your dental organization’s revenue. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for increasing profits. So, before jumping ahead, you’ll want to put together a plan of attack. We suggest you take some time to evaluate which options hold the highest potential to boost revenue for your practice and target those areas first.

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Have a Friendly Office Staff

Patients go to your dental office to receive care, and treating them in a professional but friendly and agreeable way ensures they enjoy their experience as much as possible and will want to return. Your employees are busy people and have a lot on their minds, but you want them to be accommodating to patients who may or may not be feeling so great, no matter how busy.

A dental practice can be a stressful environment. Although it’s always important to provide feedback on how people and the office can improve, it’s to maintain a positive atmosphere you must ensure they are also given praise or words of encouragement. And remember to celebrate any small wins. Positive daily feedback helps employees feel appreciated.

Spending time together as a group outside of the office can help break down barriers and make teams feel more united. It’s also another nice way to give back a little and motivate your employees to continue putting in their best efforts. Consider scheduling special outings. It could be something as simple as a dinner, or may try something a little more fun like an Escape Room, which is also great for team building.

Although it may seem counterproductive, make sure your employees feel listened to and have somewhere they can voice their discontent or let you know of serious problems that need to be addressed. To help them see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s also a good idea to communicate any improvements you’re working on to the team.

Lastly, ensure you lead by example. Treat your employees well, and they’re more likely to treat your patients well.

Offer Virtual Appointments

Thanks to the global pandemic, people have learned to quickly embrace anything they can accomplish online. Dentistry is no exception. The more convenience you can offer patients, the more opportunities you create to increase revenue. In fact, InstaMed’s Trends in Healthcare Payments 11th Annual Report showed that 78 percent of respondents want contactless healthcare options and are more likely to visit a provider who offers them.

While, in many cases, a standard in-person appointment will be necessary in order to perform any dental care services, virtual appointments can help you kick off the relationship and take care of any conversational portions of patient care that don’t require the doctor or the patient to be in-person or face-to-face. Intake forms, pre-registration, and self-scheduling appointments are other ways to provide new and existing patients with more convenience while reducing the workload on your staff.

Ask for Referrals

Nobody knows more about the excellent patient experience and care you provide than your loyal patients. This is why they make amazing referrals. Happy patients are usually happy to share their positive experiences with your practice with friends and family. And because the information comes from someone they trust, it’s likely to be more trusted than paid advertisements and can be a great avenue for increasing practice revenue.However, people are busy and, unless prompted, may not share their experience, no matter how great it was.

To ensure you maximize your referrals from existing patients, you’ll need to be proactive and make the ask. This can be done by giving out referral cards to patients during their visits, leveraging social media pages to provide links to review sites, or adding referral requests and links to emails.

Your current patient list may also be able to help bring in more patients. An incentive program that awards both existing and new patients with, for example, a discount on teeth whitening or a complimentary dental exam may help bring in new patients.

Also, don’t overlook your employees, but instead of relying on the goodness of their hearts, consider a bonus or incentive program for them as well.

Invest in Marketing

To help encourage new patients to select your dental practice over the competition, you’ll want to create a company Google business page. To stand out, take some time to optimize the page and show off your practice’s personality with images and videos. Make sure to monitor the page and answer any questions, and include all the essentials, such as your practice name, address, and hours of operation.

Have a new service you would like to promote? Is there a topic patients are always inquiring about that you would like to share some insights on? Upload an article on the subject. Google’s My Business Page is a great way to engage with your patients that you don’t want to underutilize.

Chances are you likely already have a website, but when was the last time you updated it? Make sure your website represents your organization in the best light possible, is up-to-date, informative, and, most of all, easy to navigate. If you haven’t yet added a chatbot that can respond to new and existing client inquiries, you’re likely missing out on a huge opportunity to reel in that new potential patient that just landed on your website.

Videos are another great way to make a strong first impression and convert website visitors to patients. Help them “get to know” you and your staff and the services you provide, and perhaps tell them about a procedure or what their first visit would be like. It’s a great way to ease some of their concerns and establish more of a personal connection with your brand.

Offer Quality Services (And Leverage Those Happy Patient Reviews!)

Patient trust is a critical factor in retaining and gaining patients, so reviews matter greatly. In fact, one survey found that 70% of patients said a positive online reputation was extremely important in selecting a healthcare provider.

Today’s consumers want to know what your patients think and are likely to check out your practice’s reviews. So make sure you closely monitor your social media and review sites and respond to complaints in a delicate manner and make it clear your practice takes the feedback seriously. Positive feedback and recommendations should be responded to as well and show you’re engaged and appreciative (and encourage more positive reviews!).

Have a long-term patient in for a visit? Ask them if they would be willing to leave you a positive review and maybe even encourage all patients to do the same through a sign at your front desk. You can even include a handy QR code that will quickly take them to your preferred social page or review site.

Expand Services Offered

Expanding your services gives you a double whammy. Not only do you increase your chances of attracting more patients, but you can increase revenue with existing ones. Instead of fighting your competition with lower prices (a game nobody wins), offering a wider range of services allows you to stand out and avoids having to refer patients out.

Don’t forget to market your new services through your social channels and email campaigns. You could even offer a kick-off limited-time discount or run a social media giveaway campaign to help boost your online presence.Be responsive to patient needs. Perhaps you can widen your operating hours, increase the size of your practice so you can add more chairs and include more associates, or offer new specialties. Although you don’t want to over-extend yourself, now may be a good time for that growth plan you’ve been thinking about.

To increase the likelihood of patients accepting treatment options and maintaining their standard ongoing care, providing patients with a wide range of payment options is critical. Payment options could include cash, personal check, debit, credit, and special financing. The more flexible your payment options, the less likely personal financial circumstances will interfere with dental care decisions.

Improve Your Schedule

Seemingly small things heavily impact your revenue. You may be surprised to know just how much production time is lost through missed appointments, missing paperwork, or locating supplies. Take some time to review your processes and look for opportunities for improvement. Even minor improvements can add up to big dollars.

Prevent delays by having all paperwork ready ahead of time. Ensure all patient information, such as insurance information and patient history, is gathered before their scheduled appointment. Have patient records and referrals ready and waiting when the patient arrives and any necessary forms completed prior to the appointment time.

Clarify your policy for no-shows, ensure it is communicated to patients in as many ways as possible, and then stick to it. Missed appointments cost your practice money, so if you haven’t yet set a policy for cancellations, no-shows, and late arrivals, we suggest you do.You’ll want to do everything you can to help your patients make their appointments (send reminders ahead of time, offer flexible hours, etc.). However, if they do miss, although you have the option to offer a grace period and provide extra warnings, after this point, go ahead and charge re-offenders a penalty fee. This may help motivate them to abide by your policy moving forward.

If your daily schedule is continually running off course, try having patients complete a survey to help you identify bottlenecks. How long was their visit, and how much of it did they spend waiting in the reception or the exam room? Were they comfortable during their wait, and did they feel there was something that could have been done to improve or speed up their visit? To ensure you get an accurate picture, hand out the survey on different days of the week and hours of the day and across weeks. Your patients will be glad to see you value their time and look to improve your service.

Remember, long wait times represent an opportunity to boost efficiency and increase revenue. So although you may not be able to banish them altogether, the goal should be to reduce them as much as possible for your sake and the patients.

Focus on Procurement

Procurement (the purchasing of your dental supplies) can potentially have a significant indirect impact on your ability to increase your revenue. By freeing up cash and your people's time, resources can then be better invested into growth plans.

If you’re looking to increase your revenue and safeguard your practice, pay attention to how you spend your dollars. And by purchasing the right supplies, you could improve your service.

Spend less, make more

No, cutting expenses doesn’t directly impact your revenue. But ultimately, the goal is really to increase profits, and that procurement does well. As we covered in The Impact of Buying Smart, every dollar you save in the purchasing of your dental supplies goes straight to your bottom line. What exactly does that mean? Well, to increase $1.00 in profits, you can either find $1.00 in cost savings or earn an additional $2.94 in revenue.

Lucky for you, you don’t need to choose. Better procurement can help support revenue growth too.

Increase operating efficiencies

Thanks to new cloud-based technology such as Method’s, buying smart can now happen a lot faster. By leveraging automated, streamlined processes, you can improve your operating efficiencies and free up your staff so they can focus on taking care of patients and bringing in more revenue using all the tips we offered above.

Alleviate cash flow and safeguard your schedule

With proper inventory management techniques and an intuitive ordering system, you can buy what you need when you need it, removing unnecessary and wasteful overbuying that erodes your cash flow and your profits. All without risking stockouts, so you always have the supplies you need to service your patients and maintain your efficiencies.

By freeing up cash flow and minimizing the waste that is incurred through damaged or expired products, you’ll have more cash available to scale your business and increase your production capacity.

Top-quality products, top-quality service

By more carefully selecting your vendors and having access to current market pricing and availability, you can ensure to carry the highest quality supplies and offer top-quality service.

Monitor to budget

Looking to grow and planning to lay out some capital? With Method’s procurement software, you can monitor purchases against budget and ensure you remain in control of spending and hit that budget, so you have the cash you need to grow.

Method Procurement Technologies can help you run an effective, efficient practice and make wise purchasing decisions that optimize your profits. Spend wisely, so you can increase revenue and scale profitably.

Ready for a personalized demo? Contact Method now.

Ready to build a better dental practice?

Method Procurement Technologies gives independent dental practices and DSOs the inventory management and procurement capabilities they need to succeed. With our full, end-to-end solution, ordering dental supplies is straightforward and hassle-free.

Learn how Method Procurement's spend management solutions can improve your bottom line. Get in touch with our team today or request a demo to see it for yourself.