Ideas to Fill Holes in the Dental Hygiene Schedule

Hello Dental Friends,

Holes in the dental hygiene schedule, why do we dread this so much? Because, unfilled appointments, canceled or missed appointments all kill profitability.

So what do you do? You probably are desperate for a quick fix to fill the holes in the schedule. Right? Well, I’ll help you out by sharing some ideas to fill the hygiene schedule as a quick fix. However, I must say a quick fix is typically only a temporary fix. If holes in the schedule are becoming the norm around your office you need something more than a quick fix to figure out why this is happening and work to prevent your hygiene schedule from looking like Swiss cheese every week. Please email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com or comment here if this is becoming an issue with your schedule. I can help you prevent these holes from happening.

On to the ideas for a quick (temporary) fix:

Note: If at all possible, try to avoid moving patients appointments around to fill in gaps. It can aggravate the patient. It’s always best to keep their appointment as scheduled.

Also, this isn’t the time to point fingers or start blaming someone for having holes in the schedule. Work together, as a team to fill these holes. Ideally, the hygienist should be involved in making these calls to patients, etc. Patients are more likely to respond when it’s their beloved hygienist calling them. Besides, the hygienist(s) are obviously the one(s) with the extra time. So the ideas I share are directed to the hygiene department with the goal of them becoming productive, happy and profitable.  (Again, you will want to at a later date, work together as a team to determine why this is happening and create solutions to repair the breakdown.)

how to fill holes in dental hygiene schedule

  • Call List – Do you have any patients that would like to come in at an earlier date for their hygiene appointment?  Call them and let them know you have a rare unexpected change in the schedule and can see them sooner.
  • Cancellation/Missed Appt List – Do you have any patients on these lists that can be called?
  • Family Members – Check for other family members due for their hygiene appt. Is there someone coming in with hygiene that has family members that are also due in hygiene that may want to take one of those open slots.
  • Doctors Schedule – Check the doctors schedule for any patients that may be due for their hygiene appt and are coming in around the time that needs to be filled in hygiene. Invite them to take care of their hygiene appointment at the same time.
  • Incentives – Offer an Incentive for accepting a last-minute appointment. For example, complimentary fluoride, teeth whitening, small gift or gift card. Use your social media platforms to advertise this awesome today (or tomorrow) only opportunity.
  • Continuing care/past-due List – Get on the phone and with an enthusiastic and positive tone make some calls to your patients that are due or past due in hygiene. (Vary the times you make these calls. You’ll reach more patients this way.)
  • Social Media – Engage with your patients, potential patients and local businesses on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. For ideas see: Social Media Content
  • Spend more time with your patients. If you have open time that couldn’t be filled, take this opportunity to discuss better home care tools, update their information and medical history, do some perio charting, talk about cosmetic services, any recent continuing education courses, place sealants, apply desensitizing agent to any sensitive teeth, take impressions for whitening trays, review incomplete treatment with them, ask them if they’ll kindly leave a review on Google, Facebook or Yelp, mention how dental gift certificates make great gifts, etc.

Just a reminder before making any calls, it would be a good idea to check your patient’s account balance, insurance benefits and review their clinical notes. Also, be sure to document all calls, conversations, and correspondence made to or with the patient.

If the holes in your schedule are a few weeks out you can try these ideas:

  • Special Offers – Focus on a particular service or group of patients to target with special offers or prizes on a day that has a lot of holes. For example, Mouthguards  / Teeth Whitening / Sealants / Desensitizing Agents / Back to School / Kids day / Senior day.
  • Fun Themed days – Superhero, Luau, BBQ, Disney, Sports, etc.

Despite your best efforts to fill the schedule, you may still end up with some holes that just couldn’t be filled. That’s alright, there is plenty to do to remain productive during this time.

During downtime:

  • Get on the phone and make continuing care calls.
  • Pull Incomplete hygiene treatment report and call, send postcards, emails, texts or letters to your patients.
  • Make calls, send emails, postcards, letters, etc.to your patients that are due, past due or almost due in hygiene.
  • Thoroughly clean and stock treatment rooms.
  • Get out and visit with area businesses. Introduce the office, take them a small gift and a “let’s get acquainted” special offer.
  • Discuss some marketing ideas for the office.
  • Continuing Education. Watch a webinar or video, read a manual, etc. Improve your clinical skills, knowledge of new technology and procedures, telephone scripting, office protocols, etc.

I hope these ideas provide you with a quick fix to fill those holes in your schedule. Let me know how they work for you.

If you are not yet receiving my free dental marketing ideas every month to your email inbox, PLEASE take a second and subscribe today. This way, you won’t miss a single idea. Feel free to share my blog with your dental friends. ~ Thank you!

Yours for Greater Success!

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest

 

 

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Act As If You Are Happy

Hello Friends,

The following is an article that I shared a while ago on my Bacon & Kids blog ( a blog for working parents). I thought you all might appreciate it as well…

Act as if it is the happiest day of your life.  Easier said than done, right?  Especially if you’re having a bad morning, day, week,  month, or year.

Why pretend? Why act as if? Why put a smile on your face, even though you don’t feel at all happy?

I’m not having a good day!

Research shows that even a forced smile can help to boost your mood and spirit. Did you know that if you’re smiling, other people will consider you as being friendlier and more approachable?

Along with a smile on your face, your appearance contributes to your happiness.

Clothing ~  Look the part.  If you’re wearing clothes/or uniforms that are dirty, wrinkled, too big, too tight and or damaged it will only add to your bad mood.  Wearing clothes/uniforms that make you feel good will help

Hair ~  CLEAN hair shouldn’t be a luxury.  You may not have much time to style it but make sure your hair is clean.  Although, taking a few minutes to style your hair will make you feel & look  more confident  and “put together.”

Nails ~ I’m not talking about your hands, we all know that the nails on our hands should be  clean and polish free or clean with a fresh coat of nail polish.  I’m talking about toenails.  A silly, non-important thing right?  Wrong. Have you ever been embarrassed when you caught someone staring at your feet,  particularly your toes? And not just staring, but staring in disgust?  Then you know what I’m talking about.   Clean, trimmed, moisturized toenails is a really good thing. (Ladies, painting your toes may be the last thing on your already too full to-do-list, however, having a pretty colored, chip- free polish on your toes gives the appearance that you have it together and well, sometimes it’s all about appearance 😉 )

So now that you have a smile on your face, and are looking pretty good too, what else can you do to help make you feel happier?

Do a good deed ~ It’s a scientific fact, it makes you healthier & happier. Must be why the scriptures tell us “there is more happiness in giving than in receiving.”  But, you might be thinking: “I don’t have any time to do a good deed.”   Not so, here are some things that you can do that take just a few minutes.

  • Be friendly.   When running errands think about the people who serve our daily needs, say hello, thank you,  have a nice day.  You just might make their day a little happier.
  • Send a text to a friend (or friends) telling them you are thinking of them and hope they have a great day.
  • Be spontaneous, hold the door for someone, pay for their coffee, help with the groceries, bring your neighbor’s  garbage can up from the curb, etc.
  • Clear the clutter –

– Do you have any books you are no longer reading?  Drop them off  at your local library.

– Clothes or household items you no longer need or want?  Drop them in a donation box or to a charity of your choice.

– Any extra non-perishable food items in the pantry?  Take them to a local food bank or shelter.

– Recycle – Do your part no matter how small, to prevent waste, and help keep our world clean.

Instead of focusing on and being consumed by the negative things in life and our own personal problems, focus on what you can do for others, and do good deeds as often as possible without asking for anything in return.

So you might need to start off by “acting” to create your own happiness but when you do before you know it, you’re no longer acting, you truly are happy.

A happy day!

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. This way, you won’t miss a single idea!

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

Dental Marketing Ideas for May

Hello Dental Friends,

“Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom.”
~Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

Spring is such a great time of year. I love seeing the trees bloom and the perennials sprouting in my flower beds. It’s also a time for me to get a lot of spring house cleaning/organizing accomplished and fun summer activities planned before our children are on their summer vacation from school.

Spring can be a great time for your dental office too! It’s a wonderful time to really look at the office through the eyes of your patients and potential patients and make any needed improvements.  This article, Tips to Improve your Dental Office -First Impressions  has many ideas to help get you started.

As promised, here are some dental marketing ideas for the month of May. Last week, I shared some dental marketing ideas to be used during the month of May’s Teacher Appreciation and Nurses week. If you missed it, you can read about them here.

betty hayden consulting may dental marketing ideas

Gifts from the Garden Month

Host a Spring Perennial Plant Exchange at your office. What a fantastic way to meet your neighbors! (It would be awesome to turn this into a “Beautify & Clean-Up” Local Businesses in the Community Event.)

If you are interested in having me help your office create a custom “Garden Month” (or different themed) campaign that includes ideas for special offers, patient give-aways/drawings, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and recare/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

National Pet Month –  People love to talk and brag about their pets. Use this week to ask your friends/patients on your social media sites to post pictures of their pets. Post pictures of your team members pets. Turn it into a contest: the pet with the most likes wins a special treat.

High Blood Pressure Education Month – Why do we take your blood pressure at your dental appointment? High blood pressure is called the silent killer because, although it contributes to such potential killers as stroke and heart attack, those who suffer from it often have no signs or symptoms.

Many people see their dentist more regularly than a physician and could get an early warning about high blood pressure when getting their teeth cleaned or having other dental treatment done. We take your blood pressure because we care about you.

Family Practice & Pediatric Office Marketing Ideas:

National Family Wellness Month –

Target: Families

Product Feature: Cleanings, Sealants, Mouthguards & Fluoride

May Practice Management Reminders:

Insurance/Hygiene Recare/Incomplete Treatment Reminder: Many insurance companies renew their maximum on June 1st. Pull a report of any patients due in hygiene or with incomplete treatment that have benefits remaining before their June renewal. Make Use it or Lose It calls & mail reminders.

Gift Certificates – Gift certificates for Teeth Whitening make great Gifts!

If you have any other thoughts or ideas please feel free to comment below. Should you need any help with your May marketing campaign, please email Betty: bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. This way, you won’t miss a single idea! PLEASE, feel free to share my blog with your colleagues. 

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Dental Marketing Ideas for Teacher Appreciation and Nurses Week

Hello Friends,

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”~Henry Adams

May 1st – 7th is Teacher Appreciation Week. It’s always a really busy and fun week for me as I typically help to make it a special week for all of the teachers at my children’s school.

It is also a great opportunity for dental offices to reach out to the teachers in their community.

How can you do that? Here are a few ideas for you:

teacher appreciation and nurses week dental marketing

First, let’s start with any of your patients that are teachers.

Pull a report with any patients that are school teachers and send “We Appreciate You” cards to them. Unexpected and very much welcomed.

Put together some little thank you gifts to give your teacher patients when they come in for their dental appointment during the month of May. See my Pinterest Board for a ton of ideas: Gift Ideas for School Teachers

Second, reach out to the teachers in the community that are not “yet” your patients at your office.

Host a Favorite Teacher Contest. Invite local students to nominate their favorite teacher. Winning teacher gets FREE teeth whitening and a certificate stating they won for favorite teacher. The classroom with the winning teacher gets a gift card for school supplies or pizza/ice cream lunch.

You could easily ask for donations from local businesses to add to the winning teachers prize or for the classroom.

If you prefer, the above ideas could easily be used to celebrate National Nurses day and week – May 6th -12th. Instead of the teachers and schools, you’ll be reaching out to the nurses at local doctors offices, clinics and hospitals.

There are so many ways to celebrate teacher appreciation and nurses week in your dental office. If you would like some help creating a Teacher or Nurses Appreciation marketing campaign for your office. I have lots of ideas. Campaigns that include:  ideas for special offers, patient give-aways/drawings, office fun, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and recare/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

If these ideas don’t interest you, not to worry. Stay tuned as I’m putting together even more dental marketing ideas for the month of May, I’ll share them next week. (These last few weeks have been busy here in Hayden Consulting Land with school music concerts, science fair projects and several home improvement projects…Ugh!)

Wishing you all a very happy and productive Spring! 

Have you signed up to receive my complimentary dental marketing and practice management ideas that are sent right to your email inbox each month? If not, take a second and sign up. This way, you won’t miss a single idea! Or, if you have a dental marketing idea that you need some help with, feel free to comment here or email me at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Choose Happiness

“Being miserable is a habit. Being happy is a habit. The choice is yours.”

— Tom Hopkins

The quickest way to a happy day is to start it with a grateful heart. happy habit

Stay Warm Friends!

~Betty

October Dental Marketing Ideas

UPDATE: TO SEE OUR LATEST MARKETING IDEAS FOR OCTOBER VISIT HERE

Dental Marketing Ideas for October NOTE: To read about our Practice Management Ideas for October visit here.

betty hayden hayden consulting dental marketing ideas

We’re always looking for ways to keep things fresh & fun in the office. Exceeding your patient’s expectations will help keep them loyal to your office. Here are some fun idea’s for October – I know a lot of offices are focusing on Candy Buy Back’s & Breast Cancer Awareness so I will share some ideas for those events and some other ideas just in case you’re looking for something a little extra to exceed patient expectations. (some can simply be used for Facebook/Twitter/Blog Posts. ) 

Are you ready? Here are your ideas for October…

Breast Cancer Awareness Month ~

 You’ll want to work together as a team to decide how you will promote Breast Cancer Awareness Month and where your donations will be sent to (ie: Susan G. Komen).

 Here are some ideas to get you started…

 Website & Social Media sites –  post pictures of the team all wearing pink.

Collect Donations from your patients and/or Donate a portion of your production or product sales to breast cancer research – 

   There are so many ways to show your support for Breast Cancer Awareness – If you would like me to  create a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign for your office that includes: Ideas for special offers, patient giveaways/drawings, employee contests, community involvement, cross marketing with local businesses and recare/incomplete treatment scripting, please contact me today at bhaydenconsulting@gmail.com

For the Candy Buy Back:

Options:

  •   Collect candy in-office. Open to the public. 

Or you can do this,

  • Team up w/local school(s) and set up collection bins in each classroom where the kids can bring in their candy and the classroom with the most candy wins a cash/gift card  for the classroom and you can have drawings for prizes.    

Here are 3 More Ways to Help your Patients and Team Smile in October!

October is:
Apple Month ~ See Apple Month – Dental Marketing Ideas

National Chili Month Warm up Wednesday’s! Every Wednesday have a crock pot full of chili for your patients to enjoy. Be sure to include all the yummy topping and recipe cards.

National Orthodontic Health Month ~ Use this as an opportunity to promote Invisalign. This time of year people are thinking about gift ideas and want to get their smile camera-ready for the holiday parties.

It is my wish that you all have a wonderful October! Please share with me any other ideas you have or thoughts on how to improve the ideas listed above. I would love to hear about your month and what your office chose to do to help make it special for your patients and the team.

Please feel free to share this blog with your dental friends!

Yours for Greater Success,

~Betty

 P.S. Please stop by and say hello to me on  FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedIn and Pinterest