It’s a busy world for all of us, with so much to do and so little time! And with everything involved in running your dental practice, the last thing you need is to have to chase down patients to schedule their bi-annual check-ups and actually show up for them. Unfortunately this is not as easy as it sounds. But there are some very effective strategies you can put in place to give your patients a nudge in the right direction.

Here are some of our favorite tips to encourage more patients to both schedule their appointments and show up at your dental practice for their bi-annual check-up.

1. Remind them

It might seem obvious but taking the time to remind your patients about their appointments is often overlooked. We understand you don’t want to bother or annoy your patients, but rest-assured they will thank you for your efforts. With work, school runs, family outings and everything else, it’s easy for patients to simply forget. You can call them a month or so in advance of their due date to make an appointment and follow up a week before the appointment to ensure they are coming.

Even with smartphones in our hands throughout the day, it's easy to forget to add an appointment six months in the future to the calendar.

2. Consider each patient individually

While a phone call might be a great way of reminding some patients of their appointment, it might not work for everyone. An elderly patient may prefer to receive a letter, while a young professional might prefer an email notification. Texting is another great way to reach your patients; it’s fast, it’s direct and it can be automated at the time of booking the appointment. Think about how your patients want to be communicated with and you will find the best way to reach them.

3. Educate your patients

Convey to your patients how important it is that they come in for their bi-annual check-up. Don’t make it an optional visit; explain to them just how important regular check-ups are for their dental health and how important it is they stick to them. Patients will be more likely to not only schedule an appointment but also show up if they are aware of the long term damage they may be doing by putting another dentist visit off.

An estimated one-third of Americans don’t visit their dental clinic on a regular basis. Don’t let your patients become part of this statistic. Do your best to remind them to make an appointment and remind them again to show up for the appointment. Not only will this be great for your patient’s dental health, it will also lead to smoother running of your dental clinic. With patients turning up for the appointments they scheduled, you can plan better for the day. And when your patients see that you are a dental clinic that cares, they will thank you for it.