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How to grow your dental practice by avoiding these 5 simple mistakes

Do you want to get more dental patients in your waiting room? More return patients who stay with you long-term? Managing a dental practice isn’t always easy, especially when you’ve got other priorities like carrying out complex procedures and keeping your staff happy.

Unfortunately, some elements of your dental practice can go unnoticed amidst all the hustle of your day-to-day workload. Quality standards slip, patients aren’t happy, and some things might fall through the cracks.

What if we told you there are five common mistakes we see dentists make all the time that can seriously affect your practice’s growth? In this blog, we’ll give you the lowdown on what you might be doing wrong (or not doing) to harm your practice growth without you even knowing and how to avoid them.

1. You’re not responsive enough

Not answering your phone or replying to an email might be okay if it’s that friend you’re avoiding or cold calls from an insurance provider, but it sure isn’t okay for your patients. You’d be surprised by just how many patients you might be losing because nobody replied to their email or answered the phone.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Make sure you have a voicemail and clear instructions set up for the caller
  • Maybe even direct the caller to email you, so you don’t lose them
  • Add an automated chat function to your website to capture leads
  • Set up automated emails so if someone contacts you through your website, they always receive a response
  • Assess your current email, social media, and phone systems and see what improvements you can make.

2. Your website’s contact form doesn’t work

You wouldn’t believe how often this happens with dental practice websites. Your contact form might be working just fine for months, and then suddenly, an email or website error means you don’t receive your inquiries! A broken contact form can quickly go unnoticed for months. In fact, you might just assume the business has just slowed down and never check!

Don’t worry: there are ways you can avoid this unfortunate situation.

  • Regularly check your contact form is working by sending a test message and making sure it lands in your inbox
  • Ensure the email doesn’t end up in your spam folder; if it does, this is a sign you need better security and protection
  • Make sure your contact form works on both desktop and mobile and is easy to fill in

3. You don’t invest in any marketing

Though word of mouth is fantastic, and you might have a healthy amount of returning patients, if you want to grow your dental practice, earn more, and stand out from competitors, you’ll need to invest in marketing your practice, both online and offline.

Remember: some marketing is better than none at all. So even if you have a small budget for marketing, you can use it wisely with the help of a digital marketing partner, like us, to achieve your goals.

So, what marketing tactics can you implement to attract more patients?

  • Website design: Does your website do your practice justice? Is it easy to navigate, engaging to read, and make the visitor want to take action? If your website is outdated or doesn’t show off your true value, it might be time to invest in a website redesign.
  • Online ads: Whether it’s Google Ads or ads on Social Media platforms like Facebook, and Instagram, investing in online advertising is one of the quickest ways to get more people onto your website.
  • SEO: Search engine optimization involves implementing best practice tactics like including keywords in your content to help people find you online. It’s the best way to get more high-quality traffic to your website and produce a better ROI over time.
  • Traditional advertising: Radio ads, flyers, newspaper ads, signs, billboards, and other print advertising is still relevant, influential, and mighty in driving brand awareness for your dental practice.

4. You have poor chairside manner

Okay, so this one depends from dentist to dentist, but not everyone can put their patients at ease, make them feel welcome, and generally be kind and friendly. For many people, going to the dentist is a stressful, nerve-wracking experience, so they actively look for dentists who make them feel calm and comfortable.

If they’re having a bad patient experience because you didn’t listen to them properly, give them a warm greeting, or make sure they’re comfortable while you’re doing a procedure, you might unknowingly drive them away. Chairside manner also extends to your receptionist and any other team member they may encounter.

So, what can you do to improve your chairside manner?

  • Smile! Be friendly and courteous
  • Distract them by asking them how their day was (not while your hands are in their mouth!)
  • Listen to their worries and try to put their mind at ease
  • Ask them if they’re comfortable in the chair
  • Always check they’re okay before proceeding with the next stage of their treatment
  • Send out patient surveys asking them to rate their experience

5. You have typos on your website or incorrect details

Have you ever been on a website and noticed one or two typos? Doesn’t it make you question the quality and trustworthiness of their business if they can’t even grammar check their website? Or worse, do they have incorrect details that lead you astray? Yes, let us guess – you click away immediately.

While a typo here or there might seem innocent, it’s a huge deal, especially when your prospective patients are likely checking out a few dental practice websites at once, trying to decide which one looks “the best”.

How to avoid making embarrassing content mistakes

  • Employ a proofreader to check your blogs and website
  • Install a grammar checker plugin on your website
  • Use a free tool like Grammarly or the Hemingway App to spot errors before new social media posts, blogs, or website content goes live

Want help growing your dental practice?

These are only 5 of a long list of common mistakes we see dentists making all the time when it comes to growing their practice. We can help you avoid these and so many more mistakes with our business consultancy, digital marketing, and web design services.

We specialize in marketing and business consulting specifically for dentists who are ready to streamline and automate their processes, attract new patients, and upsurge profits. Book a free 15-minute consultation today!


Dickens Yard Dental

Meet Dr. Sahil Thakkar. Owner, founder, and principal dentist of Dickens Yard Dental, a dental practice based in West London. As a brand new business, the main goal was to increase the number of new patients to kick things off.