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Overcoming the Economy’s Impact on Appointment Bookings

Overcoming the Economy’s Impact on Appointment Bookings

The global landscape for dental practices has evolved significantly, with new challenges emerging alongside ongoing changes in the economy and patient behaviour. Amidst these shifts, maintaining a steady flow of appointments and ensuring practice profitability remains a top priority for dental teams. In this blog post, we’ll explore contemporary strategies to address these challenges and optimise productivity in dental practices.


Practices are finding that many patients are content to delay their treatment and active maintenance beyond the ideal timeframe because they were able to get through the pandemic and not see their Dentist and Oral Health Therapist without incident. In Primespeak, we talk about the homeostatic mindset, where patients operate under the thinking that because things are fine now, they will always be fine. People with a homeostatic mindset may focus more on their general well-being and overlook their specific oral health needs. Helping patients overcome this mindset requires the team to take proactive measures. These measures can include actively educating their patients and community about the interconnectedness of various body systems and using metaphors to help patients understand that while cracks, decay and gum disease may not be causing issues, it will only be a matter of time. Highlighting the potential consequences of neglecting dental care can help patients understand the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.


As we know, communication plays an enormous role in the success of a dental practice and is an essential skill for all team members. Utilising communication strategies in the treatment room and reception that help to discover the heart of the patient’s resistance provides the opportunity to help them overcome their concerns. In addition to this, having a communication framework for how the team can deepen concern, prompt appointment scheduling, and handle objections and cancellations is vital to keeping a full and productive appointment book.


Having clear, specific and trained systems and procedures allows the team to skillfully and confidently complete duties that ensure patients receive safe, effective and efficient treatment. The need for sound systems and procedures is across all practice areas, from the sterilising room to the treatment room and the reception. Operating without systems or inconsistent adherence to systems can significantly affect the patient experience, their trust in you as a practice, and their likelihood to return.


The current economy has led to financial strain for many people. While dental care has become a lower priority for some people, others are willing to spend if they know the value of what they will receive. Communicating the value of your treatment and care and offering flexible payment plans that cater to various financial situations can be the key to securing appointments and establishing long-term relationships with patients.


In a post-COVID world, patients are more aware of the importance of infection prevention and control (IPC). Promoting your safe practices can make patients feel at ease and give them the confidence to book appointments.


Whether it be to replace the discomfort of impression materials in the mouth with scanners, allow 24-hour scheduling with online booking, or even use AI to make your latest blog about the oral-systemic link a more interesting read – technology can positively impact your patients (and make your teams life easier)! Technology has revolutionised dentistry, and many patients want to ensure they visit a practice that utilises the tools that result in more effective, comfortable and efficient treatments.

Implementing these strategies may seem daunting amidst the demands of daily practice management. Prime Practice offers comprehensive training and support tailored to the unique needs of dental teams, empowering them to navigate challenges effectively and optimise practice performance. From communication skills development to IPC compliance training, our resources equip practices with the tools and knowledge needed to thrive in today’s dental landscape.

The challenges posed by the current economy require dental practices to adapt and find ways to maintain productivity. By addressing the homeostatic mindset, ensuring your team is skilled communicators, having adequate and consistent systems and procedures, flexible payment plans, being IPC compliant and utilising technology, you can tackle the issue of sparseness in appointment books and ensure consistent production and profitability.

It is essential to remember that a positive patient experience is crucial to maintaining a thriving dental practice. Taking steps to prioritise patients’ safety, comfort, and financial situations can go a long way in building trust and long-term patient relationships.


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