Quick Fix Tips to Fill Unexpected Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

Quick Fix Tips to Fill Unexpected Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

Hello Friends,

Holes in the dental hygiene schedule, why do we dread this so much? Because, unfilled appointments, canceled, or missed appointments all kill profitability.

So what do you do? You probably are desperate for a quick fix to fill the holes in the schedule. Right? Well, I’ll help you out by sharing some ideas to fill the hygiene schedule as a quick fix. However, I must say a quick fix is typically only a temporary fix. If holes in the schedule are becoming the norm around your office you need something more than a quick fix to figure out why this is happening and work to prevent your hygiene schedule from looking like Swiss cheese every week.

Doctors, if you’re struggling to reach your practice goals or want to enjoy healthier and more productive schedules – feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute telephone consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.

Note, this isn’t the time to point fingers or start blaming someone for having holes in the schedule. Work together, as a team to fill these holes. Ideally, the hygienist should be involved in making these calls to patients, etc. Patients are more likely to respond when it’s their beloved hygienist calling them. Besides, the hygienist(s) are obviously the one(s) with the extra time. So the ideas I share are directed to the hygiene department with the goal of them becoming productive, happy, and profitable.  (Again, you will want to at a later date, work together as a team to determine why this is happening and create solutions to repair the breakdown.) Here are some tips for creating healthier hygiene schedules: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2020/09/01/ten-steps-to-create-healthy-and-productive-fall-dental-hygiene-schedules/

On to the ideas for a quick (temporary) fix:

how to fill holes in dental hygiene schedule
  • Priority List – Do you have any patients that would like to come in at an earlier date for their hygiene appointment?  Call them and let them know you have an unexpected change in the schedule (Refrain from saying you had a cancelation) and can see them sooner.
  • Cancellation/Missed Appt List – Do you have any patients on these lists that can be called? (BTW: If you’re not looking at this report each week, you should be!)
  • Family Members – Check for other family members due for their hygiene appt. Is there someone coming in with hygiene that has family members that are also due in hygiene that may want to take one of those open slots?
  • Doctors Schedule – Check the doctors’ schedule for any patients that may be due for their hygiene appt and are coming in around the time that needs to be filled in hygiene. Invite them to take care of their hygiene wellness appointment at the same time.
  • Incentives – Offer an Incentive for accepting a last-minute appointment. For example, complimentary fluoride, teeth whitening, small gift, or gift card. Use your social media platforms to announce this awesome today (or tomorrow) only opportunity.
  • Continuing care/past-due List – Get on the phone and with an enthusiastic and positive voice make some calls to your patients that are due or past due in hygiene. (Vary the times you make these calls. You’ll reach more patients this way.)
  • Social Media – Engage with your patients, potential patients, and local businesses on Facebook, Instagram, etc. For ideas see: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2020/11/05/dental-office-social-media-platform-tips-and-content-ideas/
  • Spend more time with your patients. If you have open time that couldn’t be filled, take this opportunity to discuss better home care tools, update their information and medical history, do full perio charting, talk about cosmetic services, any recent continuing education courses, place sealants, apply desensitizing agent to any sensitive teeth, take impressions for whitening trays, review incomplete treatment with them, ask them if they’ll kindly leave a review on Google or Facebook, mention how dental gift certificates make great gifts, etc.

Just a reminder before making any calls, it would be a good idea to check your patient’s account balance, remaining insurance benefits/any frequency limitations, and review their clinical notes. Also, be sure to document all calls, conversations, and correspondence made to or with the patient.

Note: If at all possible, try to avoid moving patients’ appointments around to fill in gaps. It can aggravate the patient. It’s always best to keep their appointment as scheduled – they reserved that time for a reason.

If the holes in your schedule are a few weeks out you can try these ideas:

  • Reactivate Patients – Send out “We Miss You” letters to your patients that haven’t been in for a year or more.
  • Special Offers – Focus on a particular service or group of patients to target with special offers or prizes on a day that has a lot of holes. For example, Mouthguards  / Teeth Whitening / Sealants / Desensitizing Agents / Back to School / Spring Cleaning / Kids day / Senior day.
  • Fun Themed days – Superhero, Luau, BBQ, Western, Decades Day, Disney, Sports, etc.

Don’t miss out on any of the ideas that I share each month! Are you receiving my complimentary Practice Management and Marketing Ideas in your email each month? If not, please start following us today. If you prefer, send me your email address (to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com) and I will send you an invitation to follow my blog.

Despite your best efforts to fill the schedule, you may still end up with some holes that just couldn’t be filled. No worries, there is plenty to do to remain productive during this time.

During downtime:

  • Get on the phone and make continuing care calls.
  • Pull Incomplete hygiene treatment reports and call, send postcards, emails, texts, or letters to your patients.
  • Make calls, send emails, postcards, letters, etc. to your patients that are due, past due, or almost due in hygiene.
  • Create some fun and educational Videos – (how to brush, how to floss, what to do in a dental emergency? how much sugar is in your drink? What type of mouthwash should you use? Manual vs Electric Toothbrush, Healthy vs Unhealthy Snacks, Why wear a mouthguard, what type of toothpaste is best? etc.)
  • Thoroughly clean and stock treatment rooms.
  • Get out and visit area businesses. Introduce the office, take them a small gift and a “let’s get acquainted” special offer.
  • Discuss some marketing (practice growth) ideas for the office.
  • Continuing Education. Watch a webinar or video, read a manual, etc. Improve your clinical skills, knowledge of new technology and procedures, telephone scripting, office protocols, etc.
  • Take a tour of the office and look for any areas that could use some improvements, cleaning, and changes.

I hope these ideas provide you with a quick fix to fill those holes in your schedule.

Here are some tips for reducing last-minute changes to the hygiene schedule: https://bettyhaydenconsulting.com/2021/03/31/dental-office-tips-and-ideas-to-reduce-same-day-broken-appointments/

It always brightens my day to hear from you! If you appreciated these complimentary ideas I  would love for you to please take a minute to leave me a review/recommendation here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK.  Thank you!!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and Pinterest

Dental Office Ideas to Celebrate Baseball Season

Dental Office Ideas to Celebrate Baseball Season

Hello Friends,

Whether or not you’re a fan of baseball, celebrating Opening Day and the Baseball season with your team and patients is a great way to have more fun and exceed expectations.

Here are a few ideas that you can use any time during the baseball season…

  • Wear your favorite baseball team gear.
  • Encourage your patients to dress up too.
  • Decorate the office.
  • Take lots of pictures to share on your social media pages.
  • Special Offer on Sport Mouthguards for the Month of April
  • Share sports-related dental health tips on your social media pages.
  • Sponsor a local baseball team.
  • Have a Raffle to win baseball tickets or a baseball themed Gift Basket in exchange for Facebook likes, check-ins, and Reviews/Recommendations on Google and Facebook
  • Hand out some patient appreciation gifts such as imprinted lip balm, popcorn, peanuts, or for additional gift ideas check out my Pinterest board HERE.

Remember that it is important to find and create more ways to have fun at work!

Doctors, if you’re struggling to reach your practice goals and not enjoying dentistry like you used to – feel free to contact me for a complimentary, no-obligation 30-minute telephone consultation at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com to see if a coaching relationship is right for you.

If you enjoy the tips and ideas that I share each month – I would love and truly appreciate for you to please leave a review/recommendation for me here on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK. Thank you!!

Are you receiving my free dental marketing and practice management ideas every month to your inbox? If not, PLEASE take a second and follow today or send me your email address and I will send you an invitation to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. ~ Thank you!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn, and Pinterest

January 2022 Dental Marketing (Growth) Tips and Ideas

January 2022 Dental Marketing (Growth) Tips and Ideas

Hello Friends,

For the month of January I am going to share ideas to help you grow your practice via your office social media platforms. (You’ll find that many of the ideas can easily be used to exceed your patients expectations during their visits to the office as well as to engage with local businesses in your community.)

If you’re looking for Dental Office Management and Leaderships Tips & Ideas for January 2022 Visit Here: January Management & Leadership Ideas

Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google My Business, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Blogs, Online Community News Pages, YouTube, and more help to build your dental practice. Even if you’re not a fan of social media, please remember that most likely many of your patients and potential patients are using these platforms regularly.  You want to be where they are and since first impressions matter – you want to make sure that your office is making a positive impression.  Just like with reviews on your Google listing you want reviews/recommendations from your patients on your office Facebook page too.

How Can Social Media Help Your Practice?  Here are just a few ways…

  • Build relationships between your office team and potential new patients
  • Stay in Touch with your Active and Inactive Patients
  • Increase your Online Presence
  • Learn what your patients/potential patients want
  • Improve Community Involvement
  • Manage and Increase your Online Reputation
  • Great Way to Advertise Special Events, Office Specials, and feature Dental Products/Services
  • Excellent Dental Education Tool

Surely, you can see that in order to be effective and successful with your use of social media, it’s not a case of “if you build it they will come”. Yes, you must build it; however, you must also develop and nurture it. It takes time and effort to build relationships. The key is engagement. Just sporadically posting to your sites will not effectively engage your audience.

Do you find the tips & ideas that I share helpful to your practice?  It would make my day to hear from you! Please take a second to leave a review/recommendation for me on GOOGLE and/or FACEBOOK Thank you!!

Here are several social media content ideas for you to use during the month of January to help encourage engagement…

(Note: If you struggle with regularly posting content to your office social media platforms – I can help you with that.)

The Golden Globes and the Grammy’s are in January: Do a “match the famous smile to the celebrity” contest on Facebook and/or Instagram for your patients and the community for a chance to win a gift card or gift basket.

I’m Not Going To Take It Anymore Day: Jan. 7th – Help your patients to see that they don’t have to take their  Crowded Teeth, Yellow Teeth, Bad Breath, Sensitive Teeth, Snoring, Or Headaches, anymore!  You can help them!

National Hot Tea Month

National Soup Month

National Cheese Lovers Day: 2

Cigarettes Are Hazardous to Your Health Day: 11

National Bagel Day: 15

Belly Laugh Day: 24

National Peanut Butter Day: 24

Dental Drill Appreciation Day: 26

Fun at Work Day: 28

Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day: 31 

For more Dental Tips & Ideas please stop by and follow me on  FacebookInstagram, LinkedIn, and Pinterest

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. Or send me your email address to bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com and I will send you an invite to follow. This way, you won’t miss a single idea.

Doctors, if you would like to grow and improve your dental practice and have wondered what it might be like to work with me and what coaching is all about… please feel free to reach out to me to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation coaching call at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com.

Wishing you the very best January!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty (Dental Coach)