Activating Overdue Hygiene Patients


Patients are past due for their hygiene preventive care visit.

Desired Result:

Schedule a hygiene appointment and invite other family members to make an appointment.

How To:

A strong hygiene department is the life blood of a general dental practice. To keep patients current requires a commitment of time and a great attitude.  Research shows that a minimum of 4-6 hours per week is required to work this system effectively. Using your computer reports, start with the most current past due patients (the last 3 months). Research your available hygiene appointment times and offer two choices. Use the name of the provider to build the value of the appointment.

“Hello Mrs. Jones. This is Jane from Dr. Smith’s dental office. Deb, your dental hygienist (or Dr. Smith) asked me to call you because she recently reviewed your chart and noticed that you were not scheduled for your preventive care hygiene appointment. She was concerned about you and asked me to give you a call to let you know that we have an opportunity to see you this Thursday at 11:00 or next Monday at 1:00. Which of those would work best for you, Mrs. Jones?”

After you successfully make the appointment, ask about other family members who also may be past due or who aren’t seeing a dentist at all. The patient might have a family member who just moved back to town and needs a dentist, or maybe there’s a young child in the family who needs to come in for a first visit. Inviting family members is a great way to get new patients into the practice.

“Great! We look forward to seeing you on Monday at 1:00. While I have you on the phone, is there anyone else in your family we can schedule an appointment for?”

Leaving a message:

With today’s busy lifestyle, it is common to receive voice mail or an answering machine message. Rather than being specific, try leaving a friendly, yet vague message.

“Hi, this message is for Mrs. Jones. This is Jane from Dr. Smith’s dental office and I have a question I would like to discuss with you. Could you please give me a call at (123) 456-7890.”