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9 Best Practices to Improve your Dental Case Acceptance Rate


December 19, 2023




Any dental office that wants to succeed must make sure that their case acceptance rate is high. It not only indicates patient pleasure but also makes a substantial financial contribution to your clinic. We'll look at some tried-and-true best practices in this blog article to assist you in raising your dentistry case acceptance rate and eventually expanding your business.

Effective Communication

Effective Communication

Clear, open, and patient-centered communication is the cornerstone of any successful dental practice. How you consult with patients regarding their recommended treatments significantly impacts your case acceptance rates. Here are some best practices:

Actively listen to each patient's unique concerns, goals and financial situation. Never assume you know what questions or hesitations they may have about suggested procedures. Allow them to fully voice their thoughts.

Take time to thoroughly explain the patient's specific oral health issues and conditions, outlining short and long term risks if untreated. Use visual aids like x-rays, intraoral camera images, models and diagrams to illustrate problem areas and demonstrate proposed solutions. This helps patients clearly visualize their needs.

Avoid overwhelming patients with complex dental terminology. Translate clinical jargon into easy-to-understand language using relatable analogies and layman's terms. Confirm their comprehension regularly. 

Encourage all patient questions. Then address concerns completely and thoughtfully without rushing. Patient education is key to case acceptance.

Close the consultation by clearly summarizing the treatment plan, next steps, timing, costs and financing options customized to the patient's situation. Invite final questions.

With an empathetic, tailored and patient-focused approach to treatment consultations centered on open communication, you gain trust and alignment critical for case acceptance.

Build Trust and Credibility:

Patients are much more likely to accept recommended treatment if they completely trust their dentist. Establishing trust starts with being transparent about diagnosis and costs, communicating with empathy, and prioritizing the patient's best interests.  

Showcase your expertise and results through before-and-after photos, patient video testimonials, online reviews, awards, continuing education, and any advanced certifications like Invisalign. This builds confidence in your capabilities.

Ensure a welcoming office environment where patients feel respected and cared for by the entire dental team at every interaction. This fosters trust.

Personalized Treatment Plans:

Personalized Treatment Plans

Every patient's dental needs and personal circumstances are unique, so their treatment plans should be tailored accordingly. Do not take a one-size-fits-all approach.

Consider the patient's specific oral health issues, symptoms, goals, financial situation, availability, anxiety levels, and any other concerns raised during consultation. 

Thoroughly explain the pros and cons of each treatment option so patients understand why you are recommending a particular plan customized for them. This facilitates informed participation.

Financial Transparency:

Providing clear, upfront cost estimates is vital for gaining patient trust and improving case acceptance. Patients want to fully understand the financial investment before agreeing to major treatment. Avoiding monetary surprises also demonstrates respect for patients. Here are some best practices:

  • Give each patient a printed breakdown of costs for recommended procedures, including itemized fees for materials, dental work, lab work, anesthesia, etc. Refine estimates as needed.
  • Explain exactly what insurance will cover, noting deductibles, copays, coverage limits or exclusions. Run verification checks so estimates are accurate.
  • Discuss affordability openly. If a treatment plan seems daunting financially for a patient, explore options like stretching payments over 6-12 months, applying discounts for prepayment, or facilitating low/no interest financing through care credit.
  • Utilize digital estimation tools, insurance portals and accounting automation to generate personalized estimates efficiently based on each patient's coverage and benefits. Accuracy builds trust.
  • Provide cost estimates upfront before treatment instead of surprising patients with bills afterward. Be transparent if costs increase so patients can adjust plans.
  • Focus on the long-term value of dental investments over short-term expense. Set costs in context of oral health goals.

With transparent finances, patients can make fully informed decisions without money being an obstacle. Share costs readily, offer flexible payment options, and utilize automation to provide accurate estimates efficiently. Financial clarity leads to case acceptance.

Utilize Technology:

Incorporating the latest dental technology into your practice can greatly improve case presentation and acceptance. Advanced tools allow you to show patients detailed digital views of their oral health and simulated previews of treatment outcomes. This enhances their understanding and decision-making.

Specifically, invest in and maximize use of:

  • Intraoral cameras - Provide vivid images of decay, fractures, gum disease and other issues from different angles. Patients see their problems up close.
  • Digital radiography - Crisp 3D x-rays and CT scans give 360 degree views of underlying tooth and bone health. Abscesses, nerve damage and more are clear.
  • CAD/CAM dentistry - Preview custom-designed restorations digitally before fabrication. Patients visualize their flawless new smile.
  • Imaging software - Show simulated previews of veneers, implants and other outcomes on a digital model of the patient's mouth. This brings treatments to life.
  • Lasers - Demonstrate advanced sterilization and cutting techniques using laser technology during procedures and consultations. This wows patients.
  • Digital patient education - Use informative videos, presentations and imagery to explain procedures and reinforce your recommendations.

Patients who can visually understand their current oral health and preview treatment results are much more likely to move forward. Use technology to showcase your modern techniques while educating and motivating patients.

Offer Flexible Payment Options:

Offer Flexible Payment Options

To improve case acceptance, it is essential to offer patients flexible payment arrangements that align with their financial means. Take an individualized approach rather than rigid payment terms. Provide options like:

  • Extended payment plans - Allow patients to spread payments over 6, 12 or 24 months interest-free for more affordable monthly costs. Set up automated installments.
  • Prepayment discounts - Offer 5-10% discount for prepaying a full treatment plan in advance. This incentivizes acceptance.
  • Down payment with balance due - Allow a smaller down payment upfront with the balance due before treatment completion.
  • Outside financing partnerships - Maintain relationships with healthcare lending companies like CareCredit to provide low or 0% interest financing.
  • Credit card payments - Accept major credit cards and highlight extended 0% APR period many offer for large healthcare purchases.
  • Creative arrangements - Consider barter or service arrangements for patients with unique situations. For example, website design services in exchange for dental care.

When presenting costs, emphasize paying for oral health as an investment rather than a burdensome expense. Offer customized plans so money is not the barrier to great care. Patients will accept ideal treatments when payments align with their budgets.

Follow-Up and Reminders:

Consistent follow-up and reminders after case presentation are key to keeping patients engaged, informed, and committed to accepting optimal treatment plans. Best practices include:

  • Schedule brief follow-up contacts after presenting major treatment plans to answer questions and address concerns. Quick access to your expertise offers reassurance. 
  • Provide pre-appointment reminders a week before and then again a day before scheduled procedures. Send or email clear instructions on the preparation needed. 
  • Call patients a few days after intensive treatments like oral surgery to monitor healing and complications. This personal touch means a lot.
  • During multistage treatments like orthodontics or implants, periodically review evolving oral health and re-confirm the original treatment plan is still appropriate. Adjust plans as dental needs change.
  • Use patient engagement software to automate appointment reminders, and follow-up sequencing. This provides consistency at scale. 
  • For patients who are undecided about treatment, stay in contact offering encouragement and support. Answer concerns promptly to nudge them towards acceptance.

When patients feel consistently informed, cared for, and valued throughout treatment, they are more likely to show up for appointments and say yes to optimal dental care. Ongoing communication and reminders nurture compliance and trust.

Continual Education and Training:

Continual Education and Training

Patients want to know their dentist is continuously expanding their skills and knowledge by pursuing ongoing education and training in the latest dental advances. This instills confidence and trust. Ways to demonstrate your commitment include:

  • Attend major dental conferences yearly to discover cutting-edge techniques in areas like dental implants, orthodontics, pediatrics, oral surgery, and cosmetic dentistry. Bring back knowledge to improve care.
  • Seek specialized certifications through accredited institutes in fields like sleep apnea treatment, Invisalign, and sedation dentistry. Display certifications prominently. 
  • Enroll in hands-on workshops and webinars monthly to sharpen clinical skills in new procedures, technology, and best practices.
  • Read widely - skim dental journals, publications, and blogs weekly to stay current on emerging research, materials, protocols, and trends.
  • Pursue postgraduate degrees like a Master's program to gain advanced expertise in complex treatments.
  • Mentor with leaders in dental specialties to learn their techniques firsthand.

Broadcast your commitment to continuous learning by showcasing your activities on your website, social media and office walls. Patients will have more confidence and interest in treatment plans involving new methods you've proactively sought training in.

Track and Analyze Case Acceptance Rates:

Consistently track your dental practice's overall case acceptance percentage as well as rates by procedure, provider, patient demographic, and other factors. Analyze this data regularly to identify patterns, gaps, and opportunities to improve.

  • Record case presentation outcomes in your practice management system for each patient encounter and extract reports monthly. Look for positive or negative trends.
  • Compare acceptance rates across different treatments, insurance plans, patient ages, providers, and referral sources. Discover where your case presentation is excelling or needs work.
  • Survey patients after appointments to gather feedback on their decision-making process, perception of recommendations, and overall experience. Analyze responses to refine consultations.
  • Shadow your dental team during case presentations periodically to audit communication styles, patient engagement, and effectiveness. Provide coaching.

This process of collecting data, seeking insights, and iteratively enhancing your approach to case acceptance will drive continual improvement. Patients will appreciate your commitment to honing your care.


Implementing these dental case acceptance best practices takes consistency and dedication, but the payoff in patient satisfaction, treatment compliance, and practice growth is immense. Additionally, modern solutions like mConsent's automated treatment plan reminders have proven to boost case acceptance rates and engagement.

Combining personalized consultations with technology to optimize case acceptance makes sound clinical and business sense.

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