Dentists Don’t Know Average New Patient Value

Post your comments about dental patient value to our blog.

Dental marketing keywords include cosmetic, family and general dentistryOnly 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 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 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.

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