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7 Low Cost Marketing Tips to Grow your Dental Practice


January 25, 2024


Opening a new dental practice is tremendously exciting. Finally, your vision and expertise can directly serve patients on your terms.

However, patient acquisition requires effort, especially with increasingly crowded dental markets. Simply opening your doors is no longer enough. You must strategically introduce your new practice to stand out and thrive long-term.

Community connection offers an invaluable yet overlooked opportunity to organically establish your practice as a recognized neighborhood pillar quickly.

The most successful new dentists invest in localized brand-building from day one. And the ROI is immense - engaged community members become loyal patients.

Follow this 7-step checklist to establish your new practice into the fabric of your community:

1. Ribbon-Cutting Ceremonies

  Ribbon-Cutting Ceremonies

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies require extensive preparation but maximally announce your practice. Identify key local dignitaries to attend like the mayor, chamber of commerce president, county representatives, fire and police department, EMS, etc.

Send engraved invites and call to secure their RSVP. Hire a professional photographer to capture images for press releases, your website, print ads, and social channels - this event launches your visual branding and marketing assets.

Order banner signage with your logo and practice name to display.

Provide exam coupon booklets and branded giveaways for attendees as they network and enjoy catered refreshments. Overall, a ribbon-cutting ceremony driving early patient acquisition and referral partnerships with invested community VIPs.

Don’t forget to send appreciation gift baskets to the police department, fire department and EMS, and to show your community that you care by thanking them for their service every six months.

2. Local Business Co-Marketing Partnerships

Beyond ribbon-cuttings, maintain chamber relationships to identify possible email marketing opportunities, and co-marketing community partners like spas, gyms, and hair salons.

Offer trial size dental kits and exam discounts to their clients in exchange for marketing materials showcasing your practice in their locations. For example, provide new client whitening coupons and your business cards to an upscale hair salon.

Their stylists then refer clients to redeem the promotional deals.

This achieves expanded exposure to your localized target demographic. Consulting with local businesses about collaborating in social community events is also critical.

Remember to also drop off your business cards and referral forms to local ERs and urgent centers since they receive many dental emergencies that need to be referred.

3. Patient Appreciation Events

Hosting patient appreciation events quarterly at your office itself builds loyal advocates.

Hire a professional caterer and event organizer to manage invitations and decor. Greet patients with a red carpet, welcome banners, balloons, and music to achieve a VIP experience.

Provide passed hors d'oeuvres, mocktails, gift bags and station activities like a photo booth. Also have games, raffles, prizes and discounted dental packages that incentivize bringing friends who turn into new patients.

Send follow-up thank you notes after events along with clinic newsletters to maintain connections.

4. Non-Profit Dental Service Volunteering

  Non-Profit Dental Service Volunteering

Contact local non-profits like children’s hospitals, veteran support groups, homeless shelters and health clinics about providing complimentary dental services 1-2 days per month such as oral cancer screenings and basic cleanings.

Bring plenty of your branded supplies. Not only do you educate those in need while showcasing your compassion but these organizations refer clients long-term who need more complex dental care services that nonprofit events cannot provide.

5. Local Sports Team and School Program Sponsorships

Contact youth sports leagues, high school athletic directors and fine arts departments about annual sponsorship packages. For example, provide funding for new uniforms and equipment in exchange for prominent placement of your practice's name/logo on jerseys, fields, banners and programs.

Families will constantly associate your brand with supporting their children's passions. Also donate raffle baskets to their annual fundraiser galas and buy ad space in event programs.

6. Elementary School Oral Health Education

Make oral health fun for kids! Bring puppets, oversized toothbrushes, tooth fairy costumes and prizes when providing classroom education multiple times per year.

Also give each child trial size dental products to bring home along with newsletters, your contact info and coupons for parents. Position your practice as both informative and family friendly while laying the foundation for a lifetime of preventative care from elementary to adulthood! Thank each school for having you, with a gift basket and continuous support.

7. Targeted Local Social Media Campaigns

  Targeted Local Social Media Campaigns

Widen your reach across additional community touchpoints through social media by running paid ads spotlighting your grand opening, and letting the community see your fun side.

Be sure to join charity efforts every 6 months, donating regularly and displaying a big check of your donation for the community to see that you give back to the community.

Monthly social media giveaways are a great way to encourage social media followers to become loyal patients, in addition to engaging them in healthy, fun discussions.

A smile makeover giveaway would be a catchy way to start, allowing followers to nominate a deserving individual.

This not only increases your audience, but also makes you the dentist who did the nice thing that the dentist down the street never did.

By joining local dental, and non-dental groups on social media, you’ll be able to spread the word about your giveaways, and increase your following by requiring applicants to follow your account, and tag 2 people. You can also benefit from partnering with area influencers and bloggers to feature sponsored dental health content, in addition to posting videos online.

It would also be beneficial to give audiences an inside look at your state-of-the-art practice and friendly team through virtual tours and day-in-the-life footage.

In addition to marketing via social media, a great way to market through email is via monthly newsletters to clients, in which you can provide monthly updates, engagement opportunities, and ways to get involved. They’ll love it.

Learn how to use social media to market your dental practice


Strategic dental practice marketing through consistent community engagement and outreach is key for new practices to stand out and acquire loyal patients in crowded dental markets.

This not only benefits your practice, but also strengthens neighborhood connections. Approach dental practice marketing as a marathon, not a sprint - persistently plant seeds through events, sponsorships, volunteering and social media.

Over time, you will organically grow an invested patient base that fuels referrals and retention. Now get out there and immerse your practice in the fabric of community life!


Rehan Shahid, DDS, MSHM, MBA

CEO and Founder | Visionary | Dentist | Shahid Dental Group | Mount Pleasant Dental Assistant School | Practice Success Coaching


Samad Syed, MS, MBA

CEO and Founder | Investor / Entrepreneur | Author | Healthcare SAAS Expert | mConsent | SRS Web Solutions

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