A growing orthodontic practice requires a steady influx of new patients. But if potential patients and parents have to wait weeks for a consultation, they will look elsewhere for orthodontic care. In today’s atmosphere of increased orthodontic shopping, practices have to do everything they can to accommodate potential patients.

Levin Group recommends seeing all prospective patients within 7 days. The sooner the consultation, the more likely patients will start. Once parents agree to treatment, it is imperative to schedule patients within 7 days. Don’t give parents and patients time to have second thoughts or go to another practice.

Some orthodontists may be thinking, “How can I schedule new patients that quickly? My schedule is booked several weeks in advance.”

No Room in the Schedule

One issue that undermines a practice’s ability to efficiently schedule new patients is the growing problem of overdue debonds. These are patients who have missed one or more appointments, causing their treatment to be extended past its original completion date. Once patients are off track, it can be nearly impossible to complete treatment as scheduled.

Practices must be vigilant about monitoring patients throughout the treatment process. When patients miss or cancel appointments, they must be rescheduled as soon as possible. Remember, any time a patient deviates from the agreed-upon treatment plan, the danger of an overdue debond exists.

The target for overdue debonds should be 2% or less. Anything more than that percentage will have a negative impact on your ability to schedule new patients. The more effectively you and your team manage the treatment process, the more successful your practice will be.

For more advice on how to run a more profitable, efficient, and satisfying practice, visit the
Levin Group Resource Center. You can also connect with Levin Group on Facebook and Twitter (@Levin_Group) for learning strategies and sharing ideas.