Dental Practice Marketing for Existing Patients

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Dental Survey Results

In this survey, we asked dentists if they do a regular mailing to their patient base – and you dentists were split right down the middle! While 51% said it
didn't seem worth the effort, 49% think it pays to keep in touch. But fully 90% of dentists say they send out appointment reminders. "The best advertising is treating the patient as a guest in the office," said one respondent.

Read the dentists’ comments for more insight into their thoughts.

We also asked dentists what communication methods they use to stay in touch with their patients.

  1. Appointment reminders/postcards 90%
  2. Regular US Postal mailings 35%
  3. Email patient newsletter 31%

Urban, suburban and rural dentists

Geographic location also played a particularly interesting role. Two out of three urban dentists in this survey do regular mailings. Half of suburban dentists do. Only one in five rural dentists reports doing so.


For more insight, check out these comments!

Direct mail marketing seems so old-fashioned

  • “It’s a complete waste of time. Patients ask not to send them any more junk mail. This is not the 1970's.” (California dentist)

Tell your patients what you offer

  • “Dentists must offer these services and make it known to their patients that they do, otherwise patients will seek it elsewhere.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “Excellent service provided by OUR profession and NOT the P&G's of the world. We are not recognized by the public and not marketed by organized dentistry! Why?” (California dentist)
  • “It is a great service to offer patients who are seeking a whiter and brighter smile.” (Illinois dentist)

Internal marketing is profitable

  • “In a well established practice, internal marketing has been successful for me.” (Ohio dentist)
  • “Internal marketing by far is the best bang for the buck.” (Illinois dentist)
  • "Vital today. It is worth it.” (Washington dentist)

Different areas call for different strategies

  • “Most of the marketing that is successful in the no-growth area that I live in is distasteful to me. Internal marketing to my own patients works well and is cost-effective.” (New York prosthodontist)
  • “Definitely a good idea, but it depends on the region and the target you are shooting to.” (Macedonia dentist)

There’s more to marketing than mailing

  • "It works, but there is nothing better than the patient being ready and financially able for treatment!” (General dentist)
  • “Somewhat… The best advertising is treating the patient as a guest in the office.” (California dentist)

But is it worth it?

  • “It seems necessary, but it’s hard to tell if it pays off.” (California dentist)
  • “Profitable enough, but very competitive.” (South Korea dentist)


Note: Survey sample included 69 respondents.

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