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Only one in four dentists has actually calculated the value of a new dental patient to their practice, this survey found.
Overall, dentists estimated their average new patient value to be about $1,000, although there was much variation: some dentists said they’d calculated it to be $200, while others claimed it worked out to be $3,000.
The doctors who have charted their new patient value reported an average of $1,200, while those who haven’t estimated the value of a new dental patient to be an average of $900.
This suggests that knowing how much a new patient is worth is correlated with having higher-value new patients.
"Who cares?" asked a Maryland dentist who estimates an average new patient value of $500.
Don’t forget the value of referrals
- "Consider referrals they sent to you as additional value. Go back and check new your patient list to see how much each one did spend in last 9 months. Since it's ongoing, you do not need to do a large number at one time." (North Dakota dentist)
One dentists breaks it down
"There are several groups of patients…
- "New dental emergencies are $200 for one visit or approximately $3500 for those that follow up, plus 1 referral on average.
- "The average value of a patient from the internet dental directory IhateCPAP.com is $3000-$3500 initially, but about 10% have long term (2-year) worth of $15,000-45,0000.
- "Typical patients are good for 1-2 referrals.
- "New patients who come in for a complete exam have first year value of $2,500 plus 2 referrals.
- "Cosmetic patients typically are shoppers, with about one in three proceeding with value in excess of $12k.
- " Mini dental implant patients have an average value of $3500 plus an average of two referrals.
- "Denture patients average $3500-6000 plus at least one and often several referrals.
- "The best referring patients are ihatecpap.com referrals and mini dental implant patients."
– Illinois dentist
Not all patients have the same value
- "My information is skewed as I do work for the county at deep discounts." (Texas dentist)
New patient value over the first 9 months
- "Why 9 months instead of 12 or 24? Please reply." (Kentucky dentist)
REPLY: Dentists can be tempted to overestimate the value of a new patient, imagining a total lifetime value in the tens of thousands of dollars. But that might never happen — and even if it does, you’re not going to see that money for years!
Stick with something you can calculate objectively and relatively easily – that’s why we advise 9 months.
Note: Survey sample included 68 respondents.