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Patient Prism's Dental Expert Blog

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The coronavirus is impacting every part of society, including people’s decisions about going to the dentist.

It can be tempting to assume no one wants to go to the dentist right now and to reduce your dental marketing efforts. That’s not the case, said Grace Rizza, the CEO of Identity Dental Marketing. She talked to Patient Prism CEO Amol Nirgudkar about the psychology behind patients’ decisions and how dentists can stay relevant right now.


The video has a lot of great information. Here are some key takeaways:

The same people who needed to see a dentist before this need to see one now. They are still going to have cavities and toothaches. They are still going to have infection and loose teeth. They are still going to need dentures and implants.

And health professionals know that one of the keys to having a healthy body is to have a healthy mouth. So, it’s just as important as ever for people to stay on a regular schedule for teeth cleaning and periodontal disease maintenance.

How do you communicate that message?

Implement a Communication Strategy

  • Ensure that everyone in your office knows the reassuring words to use with patients who are nervous about coronavirus. For ideas, download Patient Prism’s guide called Dental Patients & Coronavirus Concerns.
  • Send a reassuring email to your current patients letting them know that it’s safe to receive the dental care they need.
  • Add a reassuring message to your website’s home page to let people know you’re open and you’re committed to providing the same excellent patient care and customer service that you have built your reputation on.

Control the Narrative

It’s important to control the narrative. For example, if Mrs. Jones calls to cancel her appointment, your receptionist may reply with: “Mrs. Jones, I do see that the last time you were here, we found some infection. I’m afraid that if you cancel, then we won’t be able to take care of that and it will get worse. We want your immune system to be in the best shape possible.

“It’s important to take care of your oral health because your mouth is the gateway to your body, and your oral health has a direct impact on overall health. And I want to tell you that it’s safe to come in, it’s safe to get the treatment that you need. We’re healthcare providers, and I can promise you that we always follow all of the CDC’s safety protocols. Just think about the last time you were here. We always wear masks and gloves and change our protective outerwear in between every patient. Everything is sterilized and we’ve increased our already-high standards so we’re hyper-vigilant right now.

“Nothing is more important to us than your health, and that’s why it’s important to us to see you as scheduled. Please will you come in to see the doctor at 3 p.m.?”

Keep Marketing

People are going to be online more than ever right now, so it’s a great time to run Google and Facebook ads.

During a boom economy, many people don’t have time to take care of themselves and they put off going to the dentist.

Now they’ll have the time, but their biggest concerns may be about cost and safety.

If your practice offers affordable monthly payments or other ways for potential patients to get the dental care they need at a price they can afford, let them know!

In every message, reiterate that you’ve built your reputation around providing care that is high-quality, safe, and affordable.

Patient Prism’s guide called Converting Calls During an Economic Downturn provides effective phrasing for dental receptionists and call center agents. You can download it here.

Inspire Confidence

It’s not just patients who may be nervous. Dental team members are too. Grace Rizza reminds dentists that it’s important to communicate with their own team members, inspire confidence, and project security.

Grace points out there are silver linings. For example, this is an opportunity to spend more time with family. If your dental practice is reducing hours or closing except for emergency dental care, download our guide Dental Office Closures During Coronavirus.

Most of all, it’s important to remember that this is temporary.

So take this time when you might actually be able to sit down in between patients and review your business plan, your marketing strategy, and your operations systems to ensure you have the elements in place to attract new patients, deliver excellent patient care, and help people get the dental services they need to stay healthy.

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