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3 Practice Characteristics Dental Patients Look For In A Practice

It’s easy to fall into the rut and routine of your daily to-dos and tasks in a dental office.  But have you have stopped to think—really think!—about what dental patients are looking for? We recommend you do, as it could be the key to your continued success.

Here are 3 of the most important things your dental patients are looking for in a dental practice.

An Honest Conversation About Cost

It’s no mystery that most dental work is expensive.  According to a study done by 1 800 Dentist, a resounding 91% of patients said they are more likely to continue patronizing dentists who engage in an honest and clear conversation about costs.

One of the biggest obstacles dental patients face is finding a dentist who is willing to openly discuss dental fees upfront.  Dentistry HQ has some helpful tips on how to be open and upfront with your dental fees:

  • Before discussing the price with your dental patients, communicate the long-term value
  • Always discuss cost upfront and before starting any treatment
  • Establish trust first, then expand the conversation to include a dental treatment plan that is in their best interest
  • Offer different treatment options and costs

Friendly Staff

Observe how your staff interacts with your dental patients. These interactions  truly will set the tone for the entire visit.  Something as painless as a cleaning can be insanely stressful to dental patients.  An honest smile, friendly banter and genuinely listening to them can quickly dispel any stress and put their minds at ease.  The easiest way to keep them coming back is to make them feel comfortable and important.  Looking to hire dental staff?  Here are three things to look for to ensure your staff fits the friendly bill:

  1. Positivity-a positive attitude goes a long way in the dental practice
  2. Someone who is patient, energetic and outgoing will help ease patient’s stress about going to the dentist
  3. Someone who smiles easily and is approachable and welcoming

A Social Media Presence

You do not need to have 20 social media sites for you or your dental practice, but having an online presence will go a long way with potential and current dental patients.  When searching for a new dentist, a patient’s initial instinct is to type in the name of a practice or dentist into a search engine and hit ‘enter’.  Aside from a clean, up-to-date website, they are looking for an active presence on social media—where they can see happy patients, photos of the dental team, how many followers there are and comments.  Maintaining an active social media page will give you an opportunity to showcase happy client testimonials, engage with prospects, answer questions and build trust and credibility.

Whether your potential dental patients are searching high and low for a warm smile or a social media presence, following these 3 tips can help ensure you cover all of your bases and bring more dental patients into your practice!

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9 Reasons You Need a \’91Battle Free\’92 Unified Office


unified_office.jpgAny conflicts that arise in your dental team can make you want to throw your arms up in despair and retreat.  But the need for collaboration is here to stay, and while it\’92s not the easiest thing, it will put more minds on the prize:  to produce better results.  

If your dental team has frequent arguments, or you simply aren\’92t a unified office, how can you get things back on track?  

The Great Divide Between Front and Back Office

Dental practices who successfully blend their front and back dental staff will not only provide exceptional patient service, but also enhance operational performance, improve team morale and reduce costs.   

Here are some of the most common struggles between the front and back office:  

The schedule struggle.  The schedule is the one thing in the dental office that affects every team member and every patient.  If someone doesn\’92t follow the schedule, it can create chaos behind the scenes.  The schedule should be on everyone\’92s radar and doesn\’92t \’91belong\’92 to just the front or back office.  Have your schedule mapped out and available to the front and back office to discuss.  Then, watch some magic happen and the unified office can schedule together harmoniously.  

Treatment planning tug o\’92 war.  Clearly establish who enters the treatment plan, when, who presents it and who schedules it.  

Regardless of why your team isn\’92t getting along, or if there is an office divide, following a few simple guidelines can help you to resolve disputes quickly and work towards a more unified office.  

Step in early.  Emotions run high when there is tension or a dispute starts, the sooner you step in the better.  If conflicts are left unresolved, they will fester which can result in lasting resentment and hurt feelings, making it difficult to diffuse the situation.  

Establish a shared goal & agreement.  An important step is ensuring that whole dental team is focused on the same thing:  the patient.  Whenever possible, connect the resolution back to the dental team\’92s shared purposes, values or identity.  This will help the front and back office see eye to eye.  

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Remember These Key Principles


  • Set up conflict management procedures before a conflict arises
  • Step in early if a disagreement happens between dental team members
  • Get the team working together as quickly as possible


  • Assume that your dental team knows or agrees with its shared purpose, values or vision
  • Let conflicts fester or be left unattended
  • Move on from a disagreement without first talking to the team about the conflict

Ultimately, a unified dental team means a happy patient – which means a successful dental practice.  Follow these simple guidelines to work towards your dental office functioning like a well-oiled machine with happy and satisfied team members.  

Wondering how to deal with stress at your dental office?  What it boils down to is not letting stress take control\’97learn how to control your stress. Here are 3 ways we like to highlight for how to deal with stress at the dental office.

Create a patient experience for your dental practice that gets the ‘wow’ response every time! Download Your Guide to the Ultimate Patient Experience today!  


4 Top Traits of a Perfect Dental Receptionist for Your Practice



One of the most critical elements of any dental practice is making sure you provide the ultimate positive dental patient experience\’97each and every single time.  One of the key components of a killer patient experience is making sure your dental receptionist is an exceptional one.  

The dental receptionist is most always the first person your patients interact with in person or over the phone.  They provide the first impression of your dental office and we all know how critical that first impression can be.   

Make sure you are looking for these 4 important traits and skills when setting out to hire your one-of-a-kind dental receptionist.  

They are friendly.  

Most people hate going to the dentist.  It\’92s a nerve-wracking and scary experience, but a friendly face at the reception desk can work wonders to calm any nerves.  One of the most important traits a dental receptionist can possess is to have a warm, comforting and friendly personality.  

They are organized.  

A great dental receptionist is organized to the max!  One way to see if they are organized is during the interview. Did they bring something to write with and do they take notes during the interview?  Do they ask lots of questions?  Did they review your website or other information? Taking and utilizing detailed notes and to-do lists are very helpful practices used by top receptionists. Organization is important to schedule appointments, keep track of patients and when they are due for a follow-up appointment and to deal with insurance claims.   Falling behind on any of these can really do some harm to the productivity and even profits of a dentist office.  

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They communicate well.  

Another important skill an amazing dental receptionist should possess is being able to communicate well. Strong written and verbal communication skills are equally important for this position.  A dental receptionist will communicate with the dentist, most, if not all, of the dental team, vendors, partners, patients and insurance companies.  The ability to speak well and effectively convey information clearly is vital.  Another vitally important communication skill is the ability to listen well, and to be able to understand and respond to patient needs and requests.  

They are flexible.  

A dental receptionist will be handling a wide range of tasks and dealing with many different people.  Being flexible and quick to adapt to new situations is important.  Someone who doesn\’92t get flustered in a busy dental office will do well in this position.  

We hope these tips help you find your best dental receptionist ever!  

It can be extremely stressful if there are empty dental chairs at your office. Download our 5-Point Checklist to Achieving a Full Schedule here.  The essential secrets to successfully filling your dental chairs await!


Secrets to a Great Dental Team



Dental practices face many common challenges including how to be more efficient clinically, how to reduce their overhead, how to motivate the team and how to get more patients.    You may be constantly searching for solutions but may be overlooking the most impactful and obvious piece of your practice:  the dental team that you are working with every single day.  

Your Dental Team Is the Most Important Asset In Your Practice

Take a moment to consider how every system, every interaction and procedure involves and relies on your dental team.  A motivated and well-trained team will work together to consistently provide high-quality and exceptional patient care while increasing efficiency in the practice.  

Discover the essential secrets to successfully filling your dental chairs.  Download your 5-Point Checklist to A Full Schedule now!

It\’92s critical to instill and develop a sense of teamwork, to be motivated to work hard every day. In addition, creating a sense of investment and satisfaction with their job to stay committed to work with you for years to come\’97keeping the turnover rate low.  A great team is made up of people who have a deep understanding of how their daily contributions are part of a larger purpose.  \’91That\’92s not my job\’92 is never a part of their thinking and it is understood that everyone\’92s role is to contribute to the success of the dental practice.  

Here are a few quick tips to creating the dynamic and effective dental team that your practice deserves:

  • Thoroughly train your team on all systems in your dental clinic
  • Document the step-by-step process for each of your practice systems to serve as your foundation to build a successful team
  • Motivate team members with performance reviews
  • Keep your dental team up to speed with anything new
  • Set measurable goals and communicate to the entire team

Providing the most positive dental experience takes a team.  Having the right dental team in place can have a huge impact on your dental practice.  Make sure your team is great for the straightest road to dental practice success.  

Want to improve your dental practice? Patient Focus can help your clinic find success through dental recall. Contact Patient Focus now to get more appointments.


4 Highly Effective Ways to Motivate Employees in the Dental Office



“Customers will never love a company until the employees love it first.” – Simon Sinek

Nothing kills productivity or negatively affects your bottom line like an unmotivated dental team. For patients to love your brand, you need employees to do the same. Keeping employees motivated is extremely important to the success of your dental practice and plays an important role in them enjoying their job.

Without motivation, your patients will be affected.  It shows lack of caring by your team which could negatively impact the amount of dental patients you see, or even keep them from coming back altogether.  

Keep in mind that motivation can be quite contagious and majority of the time comes from the leader.  A good leader can show their employees how motivated and goal-oriented they are to building a successful dental practice and fulfilling workplace, and more than likely the team will follow suit.  

Is your dental team motivated?  Rev up your dental office and motivate employees with these 4 tips!

Talk about your goals.

Talk about your vision for your dental practice and what makes you passionate about achieving your goals.  When employees understand what motivates you to succeed and feels your passion, it will help them get behind something rather than feeling like a robot coming in each day to punch the clock and go through the motions.  The success of any business, including your dental practice, is built on energy, passion, enthusiasm, willingness to change and evolve, and effective business systems.  Take the time to celebrate when goals are met!

If you\’92re ready to realize increased revenues, discover what this Tempe Dental Practice saw from implementing Patient Focus\’92 services in only one short year.  These results could be yours! 

Don\’92t micromanage.  

One common \’93de-motivator\’94 is micromanagement.  Instead, help team members grow their leadership skills.  There will be mistakes made.  Don\’92t smother them and always try to fix everything yourself.  Instead, teach them how to clean up their mistakes on their own.  You can be a great leader and boss without micromanaging.  

Show respect.

Give your employees the respect that they deserve to ensure that the entire dental team is happy and most importantly, motivated in the office.  How can you show respect?  Acknowledge the good work that they accomplish every day and show them that they are truly appreciated.  We all love feeling respected and getting compliments.   Listen–genuinely listen–to team members.  If an employee feels that their worries are being ignored, they can feel resentful and demotivated.  Dismissing concerns or failing to listen at all is a surefire way to drain enthusiasm.  Be visible, approachable, respectful and open with information.  When you show respect and that you are grateful, employee motivation will soar to great heights!

Success should be shared.

Sharing the success of your dental practice will definitely help to motivate employees.  Raises and bonuses could be used as effective motivators, but more often than not, non-monetary rewards, like verbal recognition or public praise can be even more motivating.  It\’92s important to understand your team as individuals as motivators vary from person to person. Schedule regular performance reviews and offer incentives for when your practice does well.  If your dental team brings in new patients, reward them!

It takes passion and motivation on your own part to motivate employees in your dental office, but it is critical for success\’97the success of your dental practice and also the success of your team members.  

Want to improve your business and motivate employees? Patient Focus can help your dental clinic find success through dental recall. Contact Patient Focus now to get more appointments.


Bringing the Front Office & Back Office Together for a Unified Office



If there is turmoil or trouble brewing between the front and the back office you can count on your patients feeling it.  Patients can sense any frustration or see it on your face if you\’92re disappointed in one of your team members.   A division in the dental office is a recipe for disaster.   Is there a great divide between your front and back office?  These questions may help you figure that out if you are unsure:

  • Do your dental team members only perform a specific function within the practice and hardly, if ever, venture past the boundaries detailed in their job descriptions?  
  • Do your front and back offices rarely communicate?

If you answered yes to one or both of these questions, your practice most likely is not a unified office.  When each department works independently, it leaves gaps in customer service, efficiency and profitability.  

Every single team member\’92s actions will directly affect the patient experience and ultimately can improve office productivity and profitability.

Discover how you can create a powerful dental patient experience in this blog post.

Without a unified office, a dental team will unravel and can miss many potential income opportunities.  A team that is unified results in happy patients and a successful dental practice\’97work together to create goals, develop plans and increase communication and make patients happy.  

It\’92s time to bridge the gap between the front and back office for a unified office.  A unified dental team improves the work flow and information that is vital for both a positive patient experience and your practice\’92s bottom line.  

3 Steps to a Unified Office

Make Communication the Cornerstone of Your Practice.  Effective communication enables team members to work together while providing optimal care for your patients.  Excellent communication will help to build a strong network that is the glue that holds a practice closely together.  Utilize technology and face-to-face conversations to improve communication between all team members.

Establish Attainable Goals.  Create goals with the team that everyone can work towards together.  Goals help to provide a common focal point and focus to bring everyone closer to reaching them.  When we hit goals, morale goes up, we celebrate more often, team members are happier and everyone is further inspired to try setting new goals in different areas\’97\’91always improving\’92 becomes the common mindset.  Goals should be realistic and well defined.  

Hire Passionate People.  A unified office means likeminded people who work there.  Your dental team should be made up of people who are passionate about providing quality dental care.  While skills are very important, you cannot always instill enthusiasm in a team member.  

Working as a unified office results in happy patients and a successful dental practice.  Set standards in your office so patients are always walking away feeling like your office is a well-oiled machine.   

Wondering how to deal with stress at your dental office?  What it boils down to is not letting stress take control\’97learn how to control your stress. Here are 3 ways we like to highlight for how to deal with stress at the dental office.


How to Keep Employees Motivated & Energized in Your Dental Office


howtokeepemployeesmotivatedThere is one thought that sits in the back of every business owner\’92s head: how to keep employees motivated. Employees are the greatest asset of any company, so it\’92s important to keep them motivated so they perform their best at all times.  Do you know how to keep employees motivated?

You might be surprised to find out that financial rewards are not the only means of keeping your employees motivated. In fact, job satisfaction typically depends more on the office environment. Does the team work together well? Do the employees feel appreciated for doing a job well done?

Here are 3 tips on how to keep employees motivated in your dental office.

Give Your Employees the Tools They Need to Succeed

Do not assume that all of your employees have exactly what they need to do their jobs well. They could be missing anything from a specific tool, to training, or simply just support from you or the office manager. Check in on your employees and ask them if there is anything you can do to help them complete a task. They\’92ll appreciate you taking an interest in their work and be motivated to do well.


Make an effort to be present and develop relationships with your employees. A major factor in why employees have low job satisfaction is because they don\’92t like their boss or manager. But this doesn\’92t have to be the case. Communicate often with your staff, and create a dialogue where your employees feel comfortable coming to you when they need help. Share goals with your employees so you are all working together together to improve your dental office.

Engage Your Employees

Include your employees in big decision making. Ask for their input on something that might affect the whole office, and use their ideas if you can. Showing them that you\’92re taking their thoughts into consideration will demonstrate that you value them and their opinion. This is a great way to empower and motivate employees.

Job satisfaction can go a long way in keeping your employees motivated. Strive to create and encourage a positive work environment in your dental office because it will help to keep your employees motivated.

Now that you know how to improve job satisfaction, it\’92s time to improve patient experience!


Listening Skills \’96 A Lost Art in the Dental Office



We were all told as children to \’93be good listeners.\’94 This is because listening skills are something that serve us throughout the course of our lives. However, more and more these days our listening skills are deteriorating.  With the recent surge in technology, it\’92s become commonplace to see someone \’93talking\’94 to another person with their face buried in their phone or computer than seeing two people fully engaged and listening to one another.  So what makes listening skills so important, especially in a dental office?

In a dental office it\’92s important to listen not only to your employees and coworkers, but your patients too. Everyone deserves to be heard and understood. Not listening carefully to what others tell or ask of you can result in unfortunate situations. If you fail to listen to your coworkers, an important task might not get completed. And if you don\’92t listen to your patients, you could have an unsatisfactory visit on your hands.

Here are a few ways you can improve your listening skills in your dental office.

Be In the Moment

Even without technology, it can be easy to get distracted when someone is talking to you. If you find it annoying or disrespectful when people aren\’92t paying attention to you when you speak, odds are they find it annoying and disrespectful when you do it. Be present when someone is talking to you so you are ready to listen.

Don\’92t Talk

It can be difficult, but fight the urge to jump in and talk when someone is speaking to you. A lot of the time people just need someone to listen to them. So just listen.

Use Body Language

Show the person you\’92re listening by using body language. Nod your head when appropriate, and most importantly, maintain eye contact. This will demonstrate that you\’92re really listening to what they\’92re saying and that you\’92re not distracted.

Having good listening skills is key to being an effective communicator. So next time you\’92re at the dental office, make sure you\’92re actively listening to you coworkers and patients. They\’92ll notice the difference and you will too.

Want to fill your schedule? Learn how to improve your communication skills!



How to Get Word of Mouth Referrals for Your Dental Office



While your dental office can make great headway marketing through digital media, it\’92s hard to beat a good word of mouth referral. We see ads and receive newsletters all the time with enticing images and catchy slogans, but nothing beats your best friend telling you that they had a great experience with any given product or service. Why? Because we can trust our friends. In fact, 92% of people say a word of mouth recommendation is the reason they buy a product or service.

So how do we increase the number of word of mouth referrals we get? It\’92s certainly not something you can buy like traditional marketing or advertising services. But there are a few things you can do to get those word of mouth referrals flowing.

Try these 3 tips to get more word of mouth referrals for your dental office.

Incentivize Your Current Patients

If you want your patients to start making word of mouth referrals, offer referral bonuses. For instance, if a current patient refers a new patient, send them a $5 gift card. The reward can be whatever you want it to be, but making it worth their while will encourage patients to start referring you to their friends.

Give Them Something to Refer

Your patients aren\’92t going refer their friends to you for no reason. Ensure that every patient\’92s experience is a great one so they have a reason to make a word of mouth referral. Going the extra mile by following up with patients after procedures, or even just making their overall experience an amazing one can go a long way in getting people to speak highly of your dental office.

Just Ask!

If a patient is leaving the office after having a good visit, kindly ask that they spread the word about your practice. More often than not they will be willing to help out. It never hurts to ask!

Word of mouth referrals are very effective. Try these 3 tips to increase the number of word of mouth referrals for your dental office.

With all the new patients you\’92ll be getting from the word of mouth referrals your practice will be very busy. Improve productivity in your dental office with these three tips!



Dental Practice Administrator:\’a0 3 Remedies for Stress



The day of a dental practice administrator can be quite daunting.  You are a super hero who is devoted to swooping in and saving your team and practice from the dangers and stress of the day\’92s challenges!  It\’92s a tough job making sure the dental office is running efficiently, is organized, your staff is efficiently doing their jobs, everyone is appropriately handling patient scheduling and so on.  

As a dental practice administrator you get TONS dumped on your lap every day\’97stress may seem inevitable. 

Stress affects health, happiness and success in life.  Stress can make or break us but it\’92s up to us to decide which it will be.  If you have a little gray raincloud of stress over your head, it\’92s time to banish it far away and bring in all that positivity.  Combatting stress will not only do wonders for you at work and personally, but it will radiate and rub off on your entire team, ultimately creating a happy work environment for all! 

So dental practice administrators, it\’92s time to say \’91down with stress!\’92  Try these simple and effective remedies for stress to make your workplace a much happier\’97and less-stressful\’97place each day. 

Step back

If you feel like stress is mounting, take a quick break and remove yourself from the stressful situation.  Take a walk outside, meditate in the break room, outside or in your car.  Or even try something as simple as taking a breather\’97stand up and look away from your computer screen and breathe in and out.  Taking a \’91time out\’92 to get some fresh air, exercise or a moment to breathe is fantastic for your body and mental health and can help you reenergize and refocus. 

Practice positivity 

If you\’92re in a positive state of mind, you\’92re better able to tackle everyday stress.  Practice turning negative thinking into positive thinking.  The process seems simple but it does take time and practice.  Some ways to put positivity in your day could be:

  • Adding some humor and laughter to your day
  • Following a healthy lifestyle
  • Surrounding yourself with positive people
  • Practicing positive self-talk


We live in a world that looks at multitasking as a virtue.  However, picking one achievable goal to devote all your focus on can make work feel manageable again.  If you have a huge task, cut it into chunks and start there.  Make a to-do list so you can visually see what you need to do and prioritize each item.  Then, cross each one off with great enthusiasm when you finish! 

Stress-be-gone with these 3 remedies for stress relief!  Now it\’92s time for you to go forth and conquer your workday with these tips in your back pocket.

It can be extremely stressful if there are empty dental chairs at your office. Download our 5-Point Checklist to Achieving a Full Schedule here.  The essential secrets to successfully filling your dental chairs await! 

Happy dental office staff is the key to a pleasant environment in your dental practice. If your staff is frustrated with the policies at the practice, their bad mood may affect a patient\’92s experience at your practice, and that is the last thing you need. Do what you can to make your staff\’92s work experience a pleasant one so that you can benefit from a successful and motivated team.  Here are 4 ways to keep your dental office staff happy.