Attracting new patients

It is clear that the recent economic recession has had a marked effect on the dental market as a whole and been something of a shock to dentists in particular, who previously had no trouble in attracting new patients via word of mouth or recalling existing patients to attend regular appointments. As finances have been squeezed, patients have been delaying or cancelling routine appointments, while spending on cosmetic treatments, such as whitening, is being postponed until consumer confidence returns. 

However, Mintel’s Dentistry MBD 2013 report is predicting spend in UK private dentistry will increase by £150m in the next three years. These more favourable economic conditions will lead to an increased disposable income for most people, feeding the desire for many people to take up dental care more readily and consider elective cosmetic treatments. This growth, according to Mintel, is set to continue for the rest of the decade and practices should prepare to take advantage of these improving economic times.

Potential business

With these facts and figures in mind it makes sense for dentists to be super accessible to new patients. There is a growing amount of potential private business out there and adopting a consumer-friendly online presence is key to selling appointments to new patients, which forms the gateway to growing your business. 

Successfully supporting the growth of practices, Toothpick estimates that £17m of practice revenue has already been directly generated from new patients delivered by, and taking into consideration follow-up treatments and word of mouth referrals, the real value could be three to four times this amount.

Key to practice growth

This phenomenal growth in patients relying on digital technology to access dental services means today that around one in seven UK general dental practitioners are now enabled to build their business using Toothpick, while helping access to a dentist for more than half a million patients in 2013 and expects to help more than a million dental patients in the coming 12 months, so practices are encouraged to get its slice of this pie.

The key to practice growth is accepting there are barriers to accessing your practice and overcoming these. If you can provide new patients all the information they need online day or night, seven days a week to secure their first appointment, you can possibly overcome the main barriers that is delaying or preventing them to book in with you in the first place.

Dr Sandeep Senghera BDS, is CEO and founder of Toothpick. Sandeep has combined his 10 years of experience and knowledge as a practising dentist with a passion for internet technology to create Toothpick, a dentist finder website. As co-founder and CEO, Sandeep launched Toothpick to be both patient and dentist friendly.

For more detailed information visit, call 020 77681851 or email [email protected]

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