7 Ideas to Improve Your Orthodontic or Dental Practice for the Long Term


Reading Time: 3 minutes

Reading Time: 3 minutes

An efficient, well-managed orthodontic or dental practice has happier patients and higher patient retention rates.

Orthodontists and dentists are aces at oral healthcare. However, improving the orthodontic or dental practice over the long term requires equal deftness concerning office management.

Office management is a pivotal yet heavily undermined aspect of an orthodontic or dental practice. While doctors typically relish the clinical side of things, they often struggle with the business side. Improving your practice requires excelling at both.

This is particularly crucial because dental practices have the highest patient attrition rates among all healthcare sectors. According to the American Dental Association, an average dentist retains only four out of ten patients after the first visit. Moreover, patient acquisition in dental practices is approximately twenty-five times costlier than patient retention. Therefore, having sound systems in place, using case management software, and having the entire team make a deliberate effort will improve your practice over the long term.

Seven Ideas to Improve Your Orthodontic or Dental Practice

Improving an orthodontic or dental practice is not easy, but researchers in dental practice management have devised proven, results-based strategies that have helped doctors enhance their practice over time. Read on for ideas to retain a steady stream of happy patients!

1. The 7/12 Patient Touchpoint Strategy

A 2019 study published in the British Dental Journal accessed the importance of this novel approach in improving a practice through patient retention and acquisition. The 7/12 patient touchpoint strategy emphasizes the importance of preventative and self-care for oral health. It revolves around promoting awareness by connecting with patients seven times over twelve months.

According to the study, the 7/12 patient touchpoint strategy brought an 87% increase in active patients and 38% new patient gains. The method focuses on preventive care and oral health maintenance.

2. Build an Office Culture in Your Practice

Many doctors pay no heed to their office’s physical environment and overall culture. However, most patients want to see an aesthetically pleasing and clean interior. Therefore, you should pay close attention to your practice’s physical environment and office décor.

Implementing an office culture within the practice is another way to enhance your orthodontic or dental practice. Regular meetings with the staff to discuss routine operations and big-picture goals keep the team motivated and on the same page.

3. Offer Several Financial Options

While it may sound trivial, all other strategies to boost practices will be in vain if your patients have limited financial options. Offering several financial choices can make regular visits more convenient for your patients. Options that you can provide to your clients include:

  • Insurance coverage
  • Debit, credit, personal check, and cash
  • Special financing

4. Engage with Your Patients

One of the best ways to build trust and create long-lasting relationships with your patients is to stay connected. Leverage the power of digital platforms and cross-channel marketing to check in with your existing patients. Feeding your regular clients valuable oral healthcare information will also motivate them to take charge of their dental health.

You can stay engaged with your patients by:

  • Maintaining a prominent online presence across leading social media channels
  • Being accessible to your patients by phone, email, social media platforms, and live chat

5. Don’t Undermine Word-of-Mouth Referral

Do you know that 92% of consumers have reported that word-of-mouth reference is the biggest reason that they avail a particular service? That’s precisely why a single negative tweet, poor rating, or Facebook rant can drag your reputation down the drain.

To improve your dental practice, harness the power of word-of-mouth referral by:

  • Proactively requesting patient referrals from existing patients
  • Offering referral bonus programs, such as loyalty programs
  • Getting video testimonials from happy patients

6. Use Updated Software for Case Management, Appointment Scheduling, and Tracking

Gone are the days of manual case management and appointment scheduling—instead, leveraging technology can save both time and money!

There’s data to back this up: a 2004 study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association revealed that using integrated office technology can help improve practice efficiency and enhance patient care.

7. Train Your Staff

Professional training and continuing education programs are imperative in orthodontic and dental practice. Training staff members, including receptionists and front-desk team members, with a quality program, is a great way to boost your orthodontic practice.

A 2021 study on upskilling front-office personnel in dental care practice revealed that training results in high confidence in new skills and knowledge.


An orthodontic and dental practice is a highly competitive space, where surviving and thriving depends on various factors.

Using these strategies, you can level up your dental practice for the long term, be more efficient at work, and eventually win entrusting patients.

Here at EasyRx, we help orthodontic practices by giving them the tools that they need for comprehensive case management to streamline their workflows and achieve maximum clinical efficiency.

To see how we can help your practice get away from paper documentation, confusing spreadsheets, and costly workflow errors, contact our specialists today!