Just How Important Is Patient Reactivation?

Posted by Square Practice on Feb 6, 2019 1:00:11 PM

There are many aspects to reactivation that are important for you to understand. You need to know the role each patient has in the success of your dental practice.  When you understand the lifetime value of a patient, you'll begin to see how vital a well thought out patient reactivation strategy is to your practice. Let's take a look at just how important patient reactivation is and why.

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Understanding the Importance of Each Patient

Patient reactivation is your lowest cost option for marketing.  While there are online marketing strategies for dentists plastered all over the internet, that won't matter if your patient base doesn't think you are worth talking about with their friends and family. You can kiss a good online review goodbye if you can't even get them to refer you to their best friend. But if you can give your patients a great experience by simply doing the little things like running your practice on time, greeting them when they enter your waiting room, and having a great hand-off strategy after their appointment, reactivation will be easy! People want to feel like their time is valued and when they do, they'll become loyal patients.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the marketing strategy being used to distinguish my practice from other dentists?
  • What is the rate of return on those marketing efforts?

  • Are you actively engaged in asking for referrals?

  • What system do you have in place for promoting and asking for referrals? How effective is it?

Each patient that is reactivated is another referral source - i.e: another opportunity to create a raving fan. The more you show your patients you value them the more they will want to come back and will refer you to friends that complain about their dentists.



Knowing the lifetime value of a patient will educate your practice and will help with marketing decisions, as well as demonstrate the value of a systemized, efficient, and patient-oriented practice. There are many different variations on how the industry places the lifetime value of the patient and ultimately, you should calculate this for your practice in order to understand your numbers.

However, here is one variation of how to get the generic lifetime value of a patient:

  • Five-year revenue per patient:

    • Revenue for prophy, exams, and bitewings = $250/year or $1,250/5 years

    • One semi-major procedure every five years = $500

    • Total revenue per patient every five years = $1,750

  • Twenty year revenue per patient based on the previous calculation = $7,000

  • One referral every 5 years over a span of twenty years = 4 total referrals valued at $28,000

  • Lifetime (20 years) value of a dental patient:

    • $7,000 / patient - (The importance of External Marketing)

    • $28,000 / 4 referrals - (The importance of Internal Marketing)

    • Total combined value: $35,000

A patient is worth more than their individual production numbers. They bring with them at least $28,000 of referrals over 20 years and that's lowballing it. If you create an incredible experience in your practice, build relationship and trust with your patients, that number will grow exponentially!

Ask yourself:

  • Are you providing care at a level of excellence where a patient would like to stay for 20 years?

That brings us to our next point...



Your patients are worth more than a ‘lifetime’ dollar value. They are individuals that trust you, as the professional, will equip them with what they need to know to have healthy teeth for a lifetime. This is the reason for all of the processes, systems, and analytics set in place and why we must remain focused on Reactivation.

Zig Ziglar said:

“You can have anything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want”.

The mindset of reactivation goes beyond the dollar amount the patient brings to your practice. If you care about your patients and think oral health is key to a person’s well-being you should want to make sure that they are actively engaged with your practice. Every team member ought to know their purpose as to why they are in the dental industry. The front desk personnel are not receptionists. They are the sales team making an impact for the greater good. In order to do so, there needs to be urgency in keeping patients in the practice. Reactivation and preventing attrition is important for both the patient's health and for the health of your dental practice. 


Final Thoughts

Patient reactivation helps not only keep your practice healthy but your patients healthy as well. Don't let them fall through the cracks, miss basic hygiene appointments or even specific treatment plans for major or minor procedures. You're not bothering them by sending them a text to remind them of an appointment or asking them to schedule before they leave the office. You are setting them up for a healthy life.

Finally, ask yourself:

  • Are you making sure no one is falling through the cracks?

  • What processes do you have in place for reactivation?

  • Do you have a dental recall system and strategy?

Throughout this month we will be covering these different topics as they relate to reactivation. Stay tuned into our social media and blog posts for strategies on how to improve your reactivation strategies.

Start creating your Reactivation Strategy today with our Free Guide!

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Topics: Patient Recall