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July Data Bite: Here's the national average for case acceptance

July 11, 2016
Dentists, here is the percentage of patients who accepted treatment in 2015–2016. Data from the Dental Economics–Levin Group Annual Practice Survey. Analysis by Dr. Roger Levin.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group

Dentists, here is the percentage of patients who accepted treatment in 2015–2016. How does your practice stack up?

Dentists, are you leaving production in the chair? Here is the target we give our dental practices, and here is the number dentists reported in our 2016 Dental Economics–Levin Group Annual Practice Survey


Case acceptance represents one of the best growth opportunities for dental practices. Yet, it’s an area that most dentists struggle with for several reasons:

  • Discomfort—Dentists out of their element “selling” dentistry to patients
  • Too much work—Larger cases and elective treatment usually require multiple, involved presentations
  • Built-in bias—A belief that many patients won’t accept a certain type of treatment, so why present it?

According to the 2016 Dental Economics / Levin Group Practice Survey, dentists are only persuading patients to move forward with treatment 61% of the time. What’s disturbing about this number—30 percentage points below the target we train our consulting clients to attain—is that it includes treatment for caries, which is typically in the 95% to 100% acceptance range.

If caries is removed from this statistic, what then are the acceptance percentages for elective treatment and larger cases?


Look at your own practice. During case presentations, do you emphasize the benefits or just the process of treatment? Are you presenting comprehensive care to every patient, or do you focus mainly on single-tooth treatment? Do you use scripts to stay on point? Your answers to these questions will help you make changes to your case presentation process and move closer to the 90% target.

Look for the full analysis of this year’s Dental Economics / Levin Group Annual Practice Survey in the September issue of Dental Economics.

Arrange for Dr. Levin to present a seminar to your study club or association. A leading expert in practice management and marketing, he’s also one of the most dynamic speakers in dentistry. For details, contact our Seminar Events Manager Rebecca Luwisher at [email protected] or (443) 471-3202.