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Understanding why some patients leave

Patients sitting in chairs in a waiting room

While a certain percentage of patients have simply moved out of the area, the average dental practice still loses 5-10% of its base every year for other reasons. Understanding what these reasons are can help put strategies in place to lower the attrition rate.

Decided to switch to a more convenient dentist

Patients will often drive further to a dentist they like even if other options exist closer to home. Be cognizant of what it is about your practice that makes patients go out of their way to choose you. Keep an eye on what your competition in the area is doing so that you can stay ahead of the game and keep your advantage.

Switched to an in-network dentist

Losing patients because you don’t accept their dental insurance can be tricky. One long-term solution is to offer an in-house membership program that provides benefits similar to the ones patients receive through their dental insurance. Find ways to show patients the non-financial benefits your practice offers that they may not get from another doctor.

An issue with doctor or staff

Patients sometimes say they chose to leave a practice because of perceived discrepancies in billing or that they feel like the doctor is trying to push additional treatments. An issue can happen at the front desk, or with the hygienist. Dealing with issues like this can be challenging as you are often unaware there is an issue until the patient has already decided to leave. Work to find solutions that leave the patient feeling like you are on their side.