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Dentophobia is a real thing, and it happens more often than we know. In fact, 8 out of 10 patients report anxiety associated with a dental visit. This fear creates a significant barrier for dental practices working toward building their online reputation and securing positive reviews that highlight the competence and patient commitment of their dental practice and help future patients make educated decisions about your dental practice. (Learn what dental patients really want from online reviews.)

Talking about dental cavities and gum disease is not the first choice for anyone. Because of this, quite often dental practices end up with a disproportionate ratio of negative reviews mainly comprised of rants, but not reflective of the quality of their practice resulting in very difficult scenarios when it comes to cleaning up their online reputation. Finding ways to encourage dental patients to review your practice and highlight positive aspects of their visit will often require intentional revisions to the way a dental practice conducts day-to-day business.

One of the most effective ways to increase online engagement is to provide services that shift the focus from medically needed procedures to elective cosmetic options that patients truly want. Let’s explore four dental procedures that can amplify overall revenue and boost online engagement by triggering positive patient reviews.

Adult-Friendly Orthodontic Options

Most dental practices are seeing more adult orthodontic patients these days. As orthodontic treatments have advanced technologically, the costs and length of treatment have decreased and profit margins increased. Appliances that are barely noticeable have been developed to give adults more discreet choices when it comes to orthodontic treatment, with products like Invisalign. Many adults have become aware that investing in a smile makeover can have significant benefits, socially and professionally. Straightening teeth can be an important part of that confidence-boosting makeover process. A well-managed orthodontic treatment with fast results is something to brag about. Quite frequently, patients that would not otherwise be inclined to write a review about a dental practice are now motivated enough to voice their opinion on review sites or social websites like Facebook and Instagram. 

Bleaching and Whitening Services

Similar to orthodontics, bleaching services provide customers with an aesthetic boost worthy of bragging about. If your bleaching and whitening services are delivered using the latest technologies, then your patient satisfaction is likely to increase significantly, triggering positive word-of-mouth recommendations and possibly reviews. Because the costs associated with bleaching continue to decrease, and the demand is increasing, whitening services are a great low-risk revenue-generating procedure. For many practices, it is also a great method to reach out to new potential patients. Marketing a bleaching service via Groupon or other social platforms can significantly expand your reach, and introduce new patients to the total offering of your dental practice. Check out how running a well-designed Groupon promotion can help any business secure more online reviews.

Spa-Level Pain and Anxiety Management

When it comes to patient satisfaction, it is the small things that count. Tackling stress, pain, and anxiety associated with a dental visit as a first priority can do wonders to boost your online reputation. Incorporating pain management such as laughing gas, or using a syringe micro-vibrator when applying anesthetics, can set the stage for a highly positive patient experience. Go the extra mile by incorporating white noise to reduce the stress associated with the drill or visual entertainment, such as a television to distract the patient from the task at hand. Practices that focus on patient comfort generally have higher retention, increased patient satisfaction, and improved overall profitability.

Advanced Cosmetic Dentistry

Implant and crown technology have come a long way. Providing services with the potential of changing a smile overnight is the secret sauce to patient satisfaction. Cosmetic dentistry, if done right, can take your dental practice to the next level. While for many people this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, this is a procedure almost everyone is willing to talk about. The current patient satisfaction with dental implants for cosmetic reasons ranges between 80 and 95 percent. In addition to producing a highly satisfied patient, cosmetic dentistry is a great revenue center that can widen the reach of your practice and allow you to market with a tangible product that people can see.

Expanding the types of services provided by a dental practice beyond the medically necessary will not only increase patient satisfaction, it will also expand your practice and grow your revenue per patient. Finally, elective procedures have higher traction in the creation of offline and online marketing materials. One of the most effective means of visual advertising for dental practices is ads that include before and after, and makeover photos. This can only be achieved if your dental practice is intentional about incorporating services aimed at giving patients not only what they need… but also what they want.

Kevin Kent

Kevin is the Director of Finance and Operations at ReviewTrackers. Every day he finds creative ways to solve business owners' problems and identifies key issues to help them achieve top results.