Content Dam Diq En Articles Apex360 2017 02 Data Bite Survey Finds Improving Hygiene Recall Rate A Primary Opportunity For Dental Practice Growth In 2017 Leftcolumn Article Thumbnailimage File

Data bite: Survey finds improving dental hygiene recall rates a primary growth opportunity for practices in 2017

Feb. 20, 2017
Dental hygiene departments are the unsung heroes of successful dental practices. In this article, Dr. Levin looks at current dental hygiene recall (reappointment) rates and four strategies to increase them.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group

Dental hygiene departments are the unsung heroes of successful dental practices. In this article, Dr. Levin looks at current dental hygiene recall (reappointment) rates and strategies to increase them.

Dental hygiene recall (reappointment) rates make or break dental practices. The more hygiene patients dental practices see, the more opportunities there are to identify patient needs (or wants) and present treatment. A full hygiene schedule should always be the goal.

Keeping patients active is one of the biggest challenges faced by practices. Today, people are busier than ever, and fewer of them have dental insurance. Patients will frequently refuse to schedule their next hygiene appointment while in the office, and if they do schedule, they cancel or fail to show.

This new reality is reflected by a rather telling statistic—only 17% of dentists said most of their active patients receive hygiene treatment every six months, according to a recent dental hygiene study by the Levin Group Data Center. Without a steady influx of active patients, it can be nearly impossible to meet growth targets.

What can practices do to make sure hygiene patients are seen every six months? Here are four strategies we teach our clients:

Strategy 1: Build greater value for the hygiene appointment by emphasizing all the care provided, including prophylaxis and screening for oral cancer.

Strategy 2:Don’t refer to the appointment as a “cleaning”—it devalues what you do.

Strategy 3: Make a concerted effort to schedule the next hygiene appointment while patients are still in the office. This will require updated scripts for most practices.

Strategy 4: Confirm appointments 48 hours in advance using calls to cell phones, texting, and emails.

I consider hygiene to be the unsung hero of dental practices. It doesn’t get as much attention as cosmetic dentistry or dental implants, but without a robust hygiene recall system in place, offices will always struggle to increase production.


Need CE for 2017?Attend one of Dr. Levin’s upcoming “Building the Ultimate Practice” seminars in Tampa, Chicago, Austin, or Columbia (Maryland). Visit for more information.

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.


How dental hygiene reappointment rates dramatically affect dental practice growth | By Adam Smith, MBA

Analysis of dental practice data show dental hygiene reappointment rates most frequently separate $500,000 practices from $1,000,000 practices. Adam Smith goes inside the numbers to show why. He then offers four tips for increasing reappointment rates.


"Data Bites" is a monthly column in the Apex360 e-newsletter. "Data Bites" presents information from the Levin Data Center and analysis by the 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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About the Author

Roger P. Levin, DDS | CEO and Founder, Levin Group

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with over 30,000 dental practices. Dr. Levin is a sought-after speakers in dentistry and is a leading authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth. Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10%. He has authored 65 books and over 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing.

Dr. Levin sits on the editorial board of five dental publications and has been named as one of the Leaders in Dentistry by Dentistry Today magazine for the last 15 years. He was recently named one of the 32 Most Influential People in Dentistry by Incisal Edge magazine and voted Best Dental Consultant by the readers of He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Time magazine, and is the creator of the Levin Group Tip of the Day,which has over 30,000 subscribers.

To contact Dr. Levin, visit or email [email protected].

Updated March 7, 2019