Gathering Patient Testimonials


Everyday we work with patients we hear compliments about the dentistry, the doctor, the team or the facility. Use these opportunities to gather testimonials and build a library of quotes and stories about your patients’ experiences. These can go a long way in helping others decide to choose you for their dental needs.

When a patient says something nice about the practice ask them “May I quote you on that?” and then inform them that you are gathering testimonials to use on your website and in your practice brochure. You may also want to prepare a reception area testimonial book and include them on any video presentations you may play in the reception area or in the operatories.

Target patients that would be good candidates to give you a recommendation and ask them if they would be willing to share their story with your potential patients. If they agree to do so, inform them that you’ll send an email with a testimonial request. Download a Microsoft Word Testimonial Authorization Form .

How to:

  • Sample email to a patient whom you’ve asked to write a testimonial:

Dear [Patient],

Working with patients like you makes my dental practice a great joy! Thank you for agreeing to provide a testimonial. Your story will help inform our potential patients why it’s good to work with us and how they can benefit.

To help you get started, I’ve included a few questions, but please feel free to write whatever you like.

(Include some questions, using the list below as a guide.)

Thank you for your time and kind support. We value your business and look forward to caring for you again in the future. Please let me know if there is anything further I can do for you.

  • Sample email to a patient asking if you may quote them for a testimonial:

Dear [Patient],

Thank you for taking the time to express your kind comments to me. Your praise brightened my day and patients like you make everything I do worthwhile.

With your permission, I would like to share your thoughts with potential patients. Your words will help them to understand how they can benefit from working with us, and why they should do so. Do I have your permission?

Thank you again for your business, and please let me know if there’s anything further I can do for you.

  • Sample email asking for a testimonial:

Dear [Patient],

I hope all is well. Because I value you as a patient, I would appreciate your feedback. With your permission, I would like to use your comments as a testimonial on our website and in our practice brochure.

To help you get started, I’ve included a few questions, but please feel free to write whatever you would like.

(Include some questions, using the list below as a guide.)

Thank you for your time, and thanks again for your business. Please let me know if there’s anything further I can do for you.

Of course, most of your patients are busy people who don’t have much time set aside for tasks like this. That’s why it’s your job to make it easier for them. One way to do this is to provide them with a few sample questions in your testimonial request email. Here are a few that you might want to put to use:

  1. How do you feel about your dental work? How does this compare with dental work you’ve had in the past?
  2. How do you feel about the way you’ve been treated here in our office? How does this compare with other offices you’ve been to?
  3. What problems were you experiencing before you came in? How were these resolved? How do you now feel about your dental health?
  4. How affordable are our services? How does this compare with other offices you’ve visited?
  5. Do you have any other comments about your dental care or our office?

Whenever a patient provides a testimonial, don’t forget to send them a kind thank-you note. A personal handwritten note is best and a thank-you gift may even be a good idea in some circumstances. The goal is to make your patients feel that they’ve done a good thing, while also keeping your business in their minds so that they’ll provide referrals in the future.

Part 2: What Questions to Ask when Networking. More low cost ways to market your practice

When networking you want others to feel good about themselves, and, to feel good about being in a conversation with us.  We want to ask questions that make others feel good about us as people, even though we have just met and they hardly know us.


Here are our top 10 questions that are not sales oriented in any way.  They are friendly and fun to answer and they will tell you something about the way a person thinks. In one conversation you will not use all these questions.  We recommend knowing them well enough to ask the ones you feel are appropriate for the conversation and the time frame available at your networking function.


Here are the 10 questions:


1.  How did you get your start in your business?

  • People like to share their story

2.  What do you enjoy the most about your profession?

  • The people you want to associate with will love to answer this question

3.  What separates you and your company from your competition?

  • Gives them permission to brag

4.  What advice would you give someone just starting in your business?

  • Mentor question

5.  What one thing would you do with your business if you knew you could not fail?

  • What are your dreams question

6.  What significant changes have you seen take place in your profession through the years?

  • Mature business owner question

7.  What do you see as coming trends in your business?

  • Be a speculator question

8.  Describe the funniest (or strangest) thing you’ve experienced in your business?

  • War Stories question

9.  What have you found to be the most effective ways to promote your business?

  • All small businesses market in some way

10.  What one sentence would you like people to use when describing how you do business?

  • Customer service question


These are questions people will enjoy answering.  You are not being nosy.  Again, don’t plan to ask all 10 questions in one meeting. This is not an interrogation, these questions are meant to establish initial rapport.  When someone answers a question use genuine curiosity, try saying “tell me more”.  Learn as much as you can about your fellow business owners in your community, there may be opportunities to cross promote your business or create a small business breakfast group.  The more people you know, the more people who know you, the larger your practice will become.


What is one networking event you could attend in your community?

Part 1: Networking at business functions or social events. A low cost method to promote your practice

Chamber of commerce, or other business functions, and social events, are excellent sources of networking if used correctly.

Follow these 10 tips for successful networking:
1. Adjust your attitude. Realize that the purpose of attending this function is to work and build your network.

2. Work the crowd. Be pleasant and approachable.

3. Prepare a quick 30 second introductory “elevator” speech to help others understand what you do for patients and how your services benefit others.

4. Introduce yourself to someone new. If possible have that person be a center-of-influence person or someone who is in a complementary profession. Look for cross-promotion opportunities.

5. After the introduction, invest 99.9% of your time asking the other person about their business. Refrain from talking about you or your business.

6. Ask for their business card. (Never attend a function without your business cards)

7. Introduce this person to other people you know at the function.

8. Follow up with a “nice to meet you email”

9. Follow-up regularly with articles or information relevant to their business or your shared business concerns.

10. Give referrals to others.

Keep in mind networking is first about what you can do for someone else, not what they can do for you. If you help others, you will receive help in return, it may not be an immediate payback but it will come with time.

Always remember people find it irresistible when you recognize them and know their name (not just their teeth or dental challenges). This quote says it all:

We are all so vain that we love to have our names remembered by those who have met us but once. We exaggerate the talents and virtues of those who can do this, and we are ready to repay their powers with lifelong devotion. The ability to associate in the mind names and faces is a tremendous asset to a politician, and it will prolong the pastorate of any clergyman.          William Lyons Phelps

Embezzlement: Dentistry’s dirty little secret

Here is an article from that suggests that over 60% of dentists will be victims of fraud.  Read about Dr. Gordon Christensen’s experience.  Make sure that you have embezzlement safeguards in place in your practice! Not sure? Contact us.

Embezzlement: Dentistry’s dirty little secret

By Donna Domino, Associate Editor

April 29, 2011 — Sometimes it’s a spouse, girlfriend, relative, accountant, or business partner.

Unfortunately, more often it’s a trusted, longtime employee who has an insider’s knowledge of your bookkeeping practices and access to your bank account.

Maybe their spouse has been out of work for months and, desperate for money, they begin embezzling from the practice and “cooking the books” to cover their tracks.

But experts say it is often just a matter of greed.

Dental practice embezzlement is not an anomaly; in fact, it’s shockingly pervasive. Some fraud investigators say that 60% of dentists will be victims of fraud during their careers, while others put the figure as high as 90%.

Even Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD, and his wife Rella Christensen, RDH, PhD, have been victimized — not once, but twice — by employees who stole from their nonprofit research group, CRA, now called the Clinicians Report.

“It’s often the most trusted employee,” he told

The first theft involved a woman accountant who seemed extraordinarily dedicated to her job: She came in early and left late. She was also intent on being the only one in the office who made financial entries. She was eventually discovered after the office’s door activator recorded her coming into the office at 3 a.m.

“This is usually a person that you think is working hard and is the most trusted employee.”
— Gordon Christensen, DDS, MSD, PhD

“She was rigging the numbers and embezzling an enormous amount,” Dr. Christensen said. CRA took the case to a state job court, where the bookkeeper/accountant somehow twice avoided being held responsible. Finally Rella filed a civil lawsuit against her and won, but the situation took a toll on the Christensens — especially after the accountant’s husband, who worked for an explosives company, threatened them and even tried to run down Rella with his SUV.

“We did win, but I don’t know if it was worth it,” Dr. Christensen recalled. “The endeavor cost many thousands of dollars and lots of time, effort, energy, worry, and grief.”

The second embezzlement involved a young man, a former missionary, who was responsible for depositing funds from German subscriptions for the Christensens’ research group into German banks.

Despite growing subscription levels, revenue was mysteriously going down, which made Rella suspicious. The Christensens eventually discovered that he had embezzled more than $200,000 over several years.

“At first it was deny, deny, deny,” Dr. Christensen said. “He finally admitted it and brought his parents in, who apologized and wanted to repay the money.”

While many embezzlers involve people who’ve had a run of bad luck, these individuals had no extenuating circumstances that motivated them to steal.

“It was simple greed,” Dr. Christensen said. “It’s just appalling that people do this.”

Should you prosecute?

David Harris, who runs dental fraud investigation company Prosperident, investigates up to 100 dental fraud cases per year using four forensic examiners, but he says he could keep 15 inspectors busy. In the U.S., 5,000 to 6,000 dentists per year will be fraud victims, he told

“It’s just so endemic in dentistry,” he said.

Most embezzlers steal about $100,000, but Harris said the biggest theft he’s uncovered totaled $612,000. Insurance only covers so much. Most policies have a fraud coverage maximum of $75,000, he said, adding that some dentists have no insurance to cover thefts.

Office managers, receptionists, and anyone with front desk access are usually the culprits, Harris noted, and the majority of frauds are committed by people who’ve been with the practice more than five years.

Often, normally honest people are driven by desperate circumstances to steal from their employers, he said.

“Something happens that puts their back to the wall,” Harris explained. “A spouse loses their job or dies, or narcotics or gambling problems threaten their basic financial existence.”

Only about 20% of dentists prosecute the embezzlers, he said. In Harris’ experience, several chose not to because the thief was a relative, girlfriend, or a staffer they were having an affair with and they didn’t want their wives to find out. Some dentists don’t prosecute because they are engaged in illegal activities themselves, such as insurance fraud, he added.

In one case, after Harris uncovered a staffer’s theft, she warned Harris that the dentist should think twice before pressing charges because she “had the goods” on him.

“She knew the dentist had been inflating procedures on insurance claims,” he said.

Harris described the dentist’s reaction to the embezzler’s ominous threat. “He sort of turned pale and said, ‘I didn’t think this would be an issue.’ ”

Not surprisingly, the dentist decided not to report the theft.

But sometimes practitioners decline to file charges because they’re embarrassed. A periodontist who lost more than $100,000 to an employee decided to drop the matter. “If this becomes public, all the general practitioners will think I’m an idiot and will stop referring to me,” he explained to Harris.

While checking references is a good idea, it does little to prevent theft because in most cases, the potential embezzler is already on staff, Harris said.

“The thief isn’t going to quit and go someplace else to steal. They’ll just find a weak spot in the system,” he said. “They need money and their ethics become pliable. You trust them and they know what you look at on a monthly basis, so they have all the advantages.”

Like Dr. Christensen, many dentists have been victimized by fraud more than once. One periodontist Harris worked with was the victim of embezzlement three times. “He had a big office with about 15 staffers,” he said. “It’s the law of numbers.”

And even if the thief is successfully prosecuted, few ever serve jail time, Harris said. Generally, it’s a first offense, they usually have no criminal background, and there are mitigating circumstances. Embezzlers will plead hardship, telling judges that they were forced to steal to pay for their son’s kidney transplant, he said, which in one case was true.

Initially, many dentists who’ve suffered thefts are reluctant to file charges against employees who they’ve known for a long time. But insurers require that dentists file a police report if they want to file a fraud claim.

“They feel bad for the employee and say, ‘She was like family. I don’t want her to go to jail,’ ” Harris said. “The majority say they don’t want anything bad to happen to the person. But as the dentist sees what the person has done to him, they get mad.” After the investigation is over, more are inclined to prosecute, he said.

Usually, embezzlers are caught when something unforeseen occurs. One woman’s stealing came to light when she broke her leg skiing and couldn’t come to work after not missing a day in five years. “The dentist brought in a replacement worker who, after a few days, said, ‘Something doesn’t make sense here.’ She had gotten questions from patients who had paid by cash but had received statements that looked like they paid by credit card,” Harris said.

Dentists who’ve been defrauded by longtime employees understandably feel betrayed, Harris said. “They’re mad, hurt, confused,” he said. “They feel they can’t trust anyone afterward.”

“The thing that hits me hardest,” Dr. Christensen noted, “is this is usually a person that you think is working hard and is the most trusted employee.”

Handling Emergency Patients


Caring for emergency patients and not causing the scheduled patients to run behind or feel like they are not the priority.

Desired Result:

Emergency patients seen on the day they call and the patients on the schedule that day feel a consistent high level of care and excellence.

How To:

  1. Identify the type of emergencies commonly seen in your practice.  Sensitive to Hot or Cold, Broken Tooth, etc…
  2. Determine the provider coding of doctor time and assistant time for each type of emergency.  For example: the patient may be seated and the assistant will spend the first 10 minutes of the appointment taking an x-ray intra-oral photos of the problem tooth, and interviewing the patient.  The doctor spends 10 minutes getting the patient out of pain and prescribing the needed appointment.
  3. The dental assistant reviews the daily schedule and determines the best place to work in emergency time at the morning huddle, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. These are the natural breaks in the schedule or where you know you have an operatory available and the Doctor is able to modify the schedule to accommodate the emergency patient.
  4. Do not hold or block emergency time unless you routinely see 3 or more emergencies per day. You may want to hold time on Monday after the weekend or a vacation, or Friday before the start of the weekend or a vacation, if you see more emergency calls on these days.
  5. Provide palliative care whenever possible, do not “over treat” the emergency, unless you have open time in the appointment book you are trying to fill. Analyze the situation, prescribe any additional needed radiograph(s) or photos, get the patient out of pain, prescribe any medication necessary and reschedule for the needed treatment or refer the patient to a specialist.
  6. When a patient calls with an emergency, offer the two times that have been determined:

    Mrs. Smith, I am sorry to hear you are having a problem. Doctor will want to see you right away. He has emergency time today at 10:20 or at 1:50. Which would you prefer?

  7. If the emergency time has already been taken by other patients, ask the patient to come right over, so that you can work them into the schedule:

    Mrs. Smith, I know that the doctor will want see you right away, please come right over and I will do my best to work you in to the schedule. We do have a full day of patients so please understand that there will be a wait.

  8. Avoid offering the patient the end of the day as an option. This trains your patients to say that they have an emergency to get a “prime time” after work/school appointment.

What are the benefits of your services?

When Linda and I observe teams we are consistently struck by communication skill opportunities. Asking questions, listening, and using benefits are the top three areas all practices can work on. Teams are excellent at explaining the technical aspects of what they are going to do, how strong a crown will be, how beautiful a smile will look but the benefits the patient will receive, that deeper core issue, is generally not delved into. Benefits are why your patients buy.

Think about the following. If I asked you what you wanted (business related) in the next 90 days, many of you would say you wanted more new patients or better cash flow. What does that really give you? Does it actually give you more than money in the bank, or a wallet filled with cash? I’ll argue that what you are really looking for is financial freedom, peace of mind, more time with your family, reduced stress over making ends meet, or some combination these. That’s why most of you hire us, to help you get to the benefits that are most important to you.

The same is true in your practice. Identifying benefits allows you to speak to your patients on a much deeper, more personal, and emotional level. The more questions you ask, the more benefits you uncover, the better the relationship, the more likely it is that you will have case acceptance. As challenging as it is for most teams to believe, patients are buying the benefits they receive first and foremost, not the technical quality of your work. Your role is to understand what benefits the individual patient is looking for and to help them understand how your high quality dentistry will get them those benefits.

When you look over the services offered by practices, the easiest “sell” is the whiter brighter smile, relief from migraines or headaches, (or other pain), or better sleep. Patients don’t know why they would want to replace a filling. How often in your practice do you hear “it doesn’t hurt”? Most patients don’t care that replacing the filling now is better for the tooth, will make it stronger and it will look better. What is the individualized benefit for that patient? Is it so they don’t have a painful experience, is it so they don’t miss work unexpectedly, or perhaps it is so they don’t incur a larger personal expense, or is it something else?

Think about benefits as motivators or concerns. A patient can be motivated to come to the dentist by: their appearance, their spouse (or lack of spouse), pain, embarrassment, or what else? Concerns are those things that prevent the patient from moving forward with treatment (money/insurance benefits, fear, distrust, time and others).

By really listening for a patient’s motivators and concerns you will understand what you need to explain to help them make a decision regarding treatment. This also helps your patient’s feel you really understand them and they will be more strongly connected to your practice. This is the foundation of having a relationship-based practice.

Here is some homework: Identify the potential motivators and concerns of your patients regarding your treatment recommendations. See how many times in the next week you can hear your patients indicating a motivator or concern. Watch how using the patient’s motivators and concerns in conversation helps patients and improves your connection with the patients. Enjoy!

Telephone Etiquette


The person who answers the phone in your practice plays a crucial role. They must multi-task, sound pleasant and happy, have enthusiasm and joy in their voice and love working with people. This attitude ensures patients understand it can be enjoyable and fun at the dental office.

How To:

SMILE!! You are on the phone! People hear your smile or lack of a smile when you answer the phone. Your tone tells them if you are busy or if you are focused on the person at the other end of the line.  Here are seven tips on telephone etiquette.

  1. Studies show the majority of people prefer to hear a live voice on the other end of the line when they call.  Answer the phone by the 3rd ring.
  2. Have a mirror posted where you can see it as you answer the phone. Use the mirror to check on your attitude and smile!!
  3. Say “thank-you” at the beginning of your call. “Thank-you for calling Dental Smiles, my name is Jody, I can help you!”
  4. When you answer the phone be happy, warm, energetic, and enthusiastic. The person that answers the phone sets the tone for the practice.
  5. Hang up last. No one likes the sound of “click” in their ear. The caller might think you were in a hurry to get rid of them and go on to the next patient.
  6. Train everyone on your team to answer the phone in the same way. Assign primary responsibility for answering the phone. When the phone rings more than twice, on the third ring someone else will be responsible for answering.
  7. Watch your intonation and make sure everyone who answers the phone sounds confident and enthusiastic. If you sound stressed and busy, patients will not refer to your practice.

We know that the phone only rings when someone is at the desk trying to check out and you are on hold with an insurance company on another line.  Answering the phone in the practice can be challenging and frustrating.  Here are our recommendations regarding the hold button:

  • Do handle the patient that is first, first. If someone is checking out complete the transaction before answering the phone. If you are on the phone finish with the caller prior to handling the patient. Best case, your team is cross-trained and someone else can check the patient out.
  • Don’t answer the phone with a “Hold Please” – it sounds like you are too busy. Greet the caller the same way you always answer the phone and let them tell you why they are calling. Then ask if they would prefer to hold or if they would prefer you to call them back.
  • If you put the patient on hold, do so for as short a time as possible. 30-45 seconds is the maximum most people withstand. If they hold longer, you will notice a change in their attitude, and it’s not for the better.
  • Try this experiment: Find a clock with a second hand or time yourself on your smartphone. Sit and do nothing for 2 minutes, out of view of the clock or phone. Then glance at the timer. As long as the wait seemed, you probably did not come close to 2 minutes. It is frustrating to be on hold, especially for our time conscious society.
  • If you really cannot answer the phone, have your rollover set to the 4th ring so the caller will get a voicemail that sounds something like this:

“Thank-you for calling Dental Smiles, this is Jody, your call is important to me. I am assisting other patients at the moment and would be happy to call you back within the hour if you leave your contact information after the tone.  I’ll look forward to talking with you soon!”

  • If you say you will call them back, then call them back within the hour. Know how your phone system notifies you of messages during business hours and follow up with the calls.


Create and Keep Your Dream Team

Keep your patients coming back!

What is the key element to keeping your patients coming back to your dental practice? Your team! They are the backbone of your practice and they are the “face” of your practice. They manage every phase of the patient experience, from answering the phone, answering questions, delivering care, and saying goodbye at the end of the visit. Your team keeps your practice running smoothly, your systems working, your patients happy, and the dentist happy. This will not happen without a team that is working together with no drama. Here are 5 tips to ensure you have your dream team.

1. Don’t hire the first warm body with an impressive resume.
Your hectic schedule and the time you devote to patient care are not an excuse. Invest in finding the “right” person for your practice. Without the right people on your team, you will constantly hire and rehire. This makes your team unable to focus on delivering the level of care you expect. We recommend holding a “Job Orientation”. This 2 hour meeting will allow the cream to rise to the top, and the superior candidates to standout. It takes the pile of received resumes and allows you to see who they are as compared to all the others. This will determine who is given your valuable time in a formal interview.

2. Use behavioral based interviewing questions and check references
There are two terrible places to sit during an interview. In front of the desk as the interviewee wondering what is going to happen next, and behind the desk as the interviewer wondering the same thing. The best applicants will be interviewing you as well, don’t show up unprepared, unkempt, or disorganized. Plan the questions you will ask to help you understand their willingness, emotional maturity, manageability, ability to prioritize, and personality. Really listen to their response, don’t focus on your next question. Check references and their previous salary. Realize that some people interview well and become someone else on the job. Let the “Jekyll and Hyde” hire go sooner rather than later.

3. Hold Performance Reviews regularly
High performing team members want feedback. What holds you back from helping them analyze how they are doing on the job? Have performance reviews at least annually and in a way that makes sense for you. Everyone in one week, or on one day, spaced out throughout the year, or on each team members’ anniversary date. Make the team accountable for scheduling the reviews. Set a deadline for their portion of the review to be turned in to you a week prior to your review with them. Start now to define your system for a formal annual performance review. Know some team members will need more than annual review. Coaching the team to improved performance and ensuring everyone is working toward practice goals, is the priority for the leader of the practice.

4. The “Team Integrity Agreement”
This commitment between all members of the team consists of appropriate and acceptable behavior standards for the practice. It includes statements such as: I will treat all patient information in a confidential manner, I will turn off or silence my cell phone during business hours, I will arrive at work on time and be a dependable employee, I will clock out when I am no longer working, I will use the internet for business purposes only. This creates a standard set of expectations for everyone. The Doctor included. When behavior is outside of the agreement, it is easy to discuss because everyone agreed to the standards. Ignoring unacceptable behavior only generates confusion amongst the team and passive aggressive behavior from the dentist or other team members.

5. Develop teamwork
Schedule team events outside of the practice. Do a murder mystery with your team, decorate Valentine’s as a group and have your patients vote on the “best”, go to a sporting event, amusement park, or dental meeting. Be involved in your community by sponsoring or participating in a local event. Go bowling or play softball. Do something together. This allows people to get to know one another on a personal level and have fun!

The interest you take in your team member’s lives outside of the practice is given back. Take each individual team member out to lunch twice a year. Talk about them as part of the practice and about their lives, what’s going well, what they want to see different, how their job impacts their life outside. With genuine curiosity and devoted time, you will get a return on your investment in the form of a committed and dedicated team.

To build a tight knit team takes time, energy, and effort. Once you have a strong team, everyone reaps the rewards. Better interactions with patients, feeling like the team is helping to achieve the practice vision rather than you pulling the team along, and less stress. Follow these 5 tips and create your dream team. If you have questions or need more information, contact us!

Collection Letters


You have attempted to call the patient and collect on the past due balance.  The patient has not responded to your phone calls.  Approximately 2 weeks has past since the balance was due.

This letter series will not correspond to your billing/statement cycle.  The idea is to catch the past due balance as soon as it is past due by reviewing your accounts receivable aging report. Don’t keep sending statements, it may inadvertently send the message that the practice due dates are not actual deadlines.

Desired Result:

Patient to contact the office to set up an arrangement or to be turned over to collections prior to the balance aging to 90 days old.

How To:

We recommend sending a series of 3 letters, each spaced more or less than 2 business weeks apart. The idea is to determine how the patient wants to handle their financial obligation or get them to a collection agency.  Here are some sample letters to adapt to your needs:

Letter 1: We have been waiting for payment on your account, perhaps it was an oversight on your part. I know how things can get busy for us all. Your current balance is $___________ insurance has paid their portion.  Please contact us at the office (123-456-7890) within the next 10 days to arrange how you will handle payment of your balance.


Letter 2: In our letter dated ____________, we kindly requested that you call the office to arrange for payment of your balance due.

Please understand I do not like collection agencies. They cost us money, hurt your credit standing and give the patients the idea it’s us against them.  We would like to do everything we can to avoid turning your account over to a collection agency. I want to help you meet your financial obligations to our practice in a way that is considerate of your financial situation.

You are a valued member of our practice. Please contact me in the next 10 days regarding your balance.  We have several new options available to patients who need to make smaller monthly payments over a longer period of time.

I encourage you to contact me by (date) to work out a financial arrangement.  Thank-you.

Letter 3: Sent registered mail, return receipt requested. Scan the receipt into the patient chart.

We have attempted to call you and have sent previous letters to this address. Your account is seriously past due. The total payment due on the account is $_______________. We have been waiting for payment since ____________.

If we do not receive your payment of $______________ by (10 days from date letter is sent) your account will be sent to the collection agency “XYZ”.  Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter.

Dismissal Letter: Sent after patient has been turned over to a collection agency. Send the letter registered mail, return receipt requested.  Scan the receipt into the chart.

This letter is to inform you of the need to sever our professional relationship due to the financial problems with your account. As of 45 days from the receipt of this letter we will no longer care for you as a patient in this office. I have included a listing from the yellow pages of area dentists for your use. We will continue to see you on an emergency basis until the end of the 45-day period.

Should you wish to return to this practice as a patient and renew your relationship with us, it will be necessary for you to pay all past due balances and any costs associated with your account being sent to the collection agency. Any future treatment would be on a cash only basis. Please contact Mary, our financial administrator, if you are interested in this option.

Preventing New Patient “No Shows”


Preventing New Patient “No Shows.”

Desired Result:

The patient shows up on time, prepared with their paperwork and “wowed” by the practice, so that they refer their friends and family.

How To:

The appointment coordinator reviews the schedule for any new patient appointment and prepares a call list for the doctor. The doctor makes a personal phone call, the day before the appointment, to personally welcome them to the practice and offers to answer any questions or concerns they may have about the paperwork or the appointment.

It might sound like this:

“Hello Mrs. Jones, this is Dr. Tim Johnson. I am calling to let you know that I am looking forward to meeting you tomorrow at 2 pm. I am reviewing the notes that Kim gave me to prepare for your visit, and wanted to offer any assistance with the medical and dental history forms we asked you to complete prior to your visit.”

If you are leaving a message, leave your number for them to call with any question.

“Please feel free to call me at 888-123-4567, and I will see you tomorrow.”

The patient is impressed that the dentist took the time to call and welcome them to the practice. The patient is not only reminded of the appointment but feels a commitment to your practice. You have already begun to develop a caring and trusting relationship with the new patient. You have let them know that you prepare for the visit and that the paperwork is an important part of the appointment. The patient will most likely mention to a family member, friend or work colleague the phone call they received from you and how welcoming everything about your practice has been!