Fully 68% of dentists think that they need more new patients. Only 9% say they have as many new patients as they need. 23% are just getting by.
“We need new patients. This is possibly due to the fact that we have chosen not to engage in managed care, i.e., our name is not on these lists,” opined a New Jersey dentist.
Here are just a few of the comments from dentists on needing more new patients:
“New patient flow has tapered off!!” (California dentist
“We need patients with more $$$$” (Minnesota dentist)
“What battle are we fighting? Poor economy? Patients in a general funk and therefore just putting off dental care? Decreasing insurance coverage? Lack of perceived need? Etc? Etc? If we knew the enemy, it would be easier to address.” (Iowa dentist)
“New patient influx is affected by the holidays. We don’t see as many in November and December!” (General dentist)
“I have a unusual practice. I own a walk-in dental ER. We need about 200 new patients in pain. We have been open about 2 years and are starting to get some (50%) referrals. About 15% are now returns. Radio and the Internet account for most. The phone book gets a few older adults. This is a new idea for Springfield MO. and I am pleased with the progress.” (Missouri ER dentist)
“We have gone back to the dirty days of hucksterism and bait-and-switch in this profession. New patients are bought, stolen and traded. The destroy the reputation game on the Internet leaves patients confused and distrusting. Dentists are regaining the reputation of thieving ‘sharpies’.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
“How about a survey asking if dentists feel this recession is ending? Getting worse? Or developed into a depression? The driver of my lab (one of the largest in the state) that is a very good friend/patient says that half the employees are laid off and the other half are forced to take every 4th day off from lack of business from dentists. We are in crisis mode but no one wants to talk publicly about it.” (Indiana dentist)