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Data Bite: Patient communication—more dental practices are winging it

Dec. 7, 2016
Fewer dental practices are relying on scripting for patient communication. But should they be? Dr. Levin looks at the latest data and provides analysis.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group

Fewer dental practices are relying on scripting for patient communication. But should they be?

Dr. Levin looks at the latest data and provides analysis.

Only 48% of practices use scripting, according to a recent survey conducted by the Levin Group Data Center. In some ways, this statistic is surprising.

In today’s more competitive environment, customer service matters more than ever, and excellent customer service is built upon scripting. When team members know what to say and how to say it, patients are more likely to enjoy their visits and tell their friends about their experiences.

On the other hand, maybe it isn’t all that surprising. Most practices have problems with systems. Either they lack systems or have outdated ones. And scripting––communicating effectively with patients––plays a critical role in nearly every system.

Of the surveyed practices that do use scripting, 93% found it beneficial. However, the majority (52%) of those offices only use it occasionally. Even dentists who were pro-scripting found it difficult to implement in their practices, according to their comments:

  • Staff seems frustrated at having to “learn” a lot of scripted lines and feels that it is “fake.”
  • I have taken the time to write scripts for phone conversations with patients… but I can’t get the staff to use them.
  • I’d like my practice to use it all day, every day. There is much resistance.


Based on what we teach our clients, scripting can transform the patient experience by training your team to say the right things in the right way. Dentists should involve team members in writing scripts, which would encourage greater buy-in from the staff. One final point: Scripts should never be memorized. Instead, they should be used as talking points for staff members to translate into their own words.

Author's note: Do you know where your practice stands? Find out with Levin Group’s new 30-Minute Practice Assessment! Spend 30 minutes on the phone with a dental management expert…free. It’s your opportunity to see how your practice compares, discover your revenue potential, and discuss any business challenge you’re facing at no charge. To schedule your assessment, call (888) 973-0000 or email [email protected].

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group Inc., a leading dental consulting firm. A nationally recognized speaker, Dr. Levin presents practice management seminars throughout the country.


"Data Bites" is a monthly column in the Apex360 e-newsletter. It presents information from the Levin Data Center and analysis by Levin Group, a leading dental consulting firm.

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Editor's note: This article first appeared in the Apex360 e-newsletter. Apex360 is a DentistryIQ partner publication for dental practitioners and members of the dental industry. Its goal is to provide timely dental information and present it in meaningful context, empowering those in the dental space to make better business decisions. Subscribe to the Apex360 e-newsletter here.

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