Improving Case Acceptance in Your Dental Practice

Increase case acceptance by explaining treatment to patients, giving them a sense of urgency to complete procedures, making use of dental technology, and using Dentrix reports to find specific patients to concentrate your efforts on.

Patient case acceptance is vital to the success of any dental practice.  If you are not tracking patient case acceptance, then you are losing the opportunity for full schedules and increased practice production. 

When presenting patients with treatment, you want to make sure you are consistent with your presentation with each patient.  Use the following recommendations to increase your case acceptance.

Create and use patient-friendly procedure descriptions

Patients do not understand dental terminology.  It is like a foreign language.  You want to explain procedures to patients in a way they understand.  With Dentrix, you can customize procedure descriptions to make them more patient friendly.  For example, instead of procedure prescription that says “resin composite”, you can change the description to be more easily understood as “tooth-colored filling.”

Create value and urgency on all procedures

Let your patients know what the end result of their treatment will be.  You want to let them know how great it will look and how long it will last.  When discussing treatment, always make sure to let the patient know when you want to see them back to have the treatment completed.  This creates a sense of urgency with the patient.  For example:  “Mr. Smith, you need to have a crown on your top right molar because the filling you currently have is beginning to decay.  I would like to see you back in two weeks to get this taken care of.”

Use an intra-oral camera

We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words.  If you are not using an intra-oral camera in your office, invest in one.  Take photos of the patient’s teeth and make sure the patient can see the pictures.  Use the pictures to show the patient their decay, broken or fractured teeth, and large fillings.  When a patient can see what the tooth looks like, they will want to get it fixed. 

Run the Treatment Manager Report

This is the perfect report to use on a regular basis for keeping your schedule full and reaching out to those patients who need to schedule the treatment you’ve diagnosed.  The Treatment Manager can be set up to help you find specific groups of patients based filters you set, such as:

  • Patients with insurance benefits remaining or insurance renewal within a time frame
  • Patients who already have scheduled appointments (including treatment-planned, continuing care, or any other type of appointment)
  • Patients who have appointments on the Unscheduled List
  • Patients with a certain billing type
  • Patients whose treatment-planned procedures fall within a certain dollar range or procedure code range

When you take the time to explain treatment to patients in a way that they can understand, give them a sense of urgency to complete the procedures, make use of the dental technology you have in your operatories, and use Dentrix reports to find which patients to concentrate your efforts on, your case acceptance will increase.


Learn More

If you found these ideas helpful, learn more about the Dentrix Profitability Coaching Program, where one of our highly skilled and experienced profitability coaches teaches you and your team these and many other great concepts, strategies and ideas.


By Lisa Koenig, Henry Schein One Practice Consultant