As any other business, Dental practices need to focus on recurring revenue and cost effectively acquiring quality new patients. To understand upfront investments, here is is some average market data which obviously varies by practice and region.

  • 17% : Patient attrition rate
  • 25-50 : Monthly new patient adds needed
  • $150 – $300 : Cost to acquire a new dental patient
  • $700-$1250 : Year 1 spend by a new patient
  • 7-10 years : Average dental patient stay with practice
  • $653 : Average Patient spend per year (ADA average – 2016)
  • $4500 : New Patient revenue over their stay with the practice



The value of a patient can be greater than the sum of the revenues generated. A Patient that  engages in referral or word-of-mouth activity will greatly help offset the cost of new patient acquisition.


In order to retain patients and build trust, the expertise of the dentist(s), excellence of their staff, quality patient care and practice management matters greatly. But beyond this, marketing is key to the growth of the practice. 


If a single dentist needs to be seeing 25-50 new patients per month, it pays to get strategic. Traditional media and direct mailers are increasingly ineffective against the 90 million millennial generation, the largest cohorts in history. Three simple tactics will get you going.

  1. Build word-of-mouth energy to enhance your reputation. Make it easy for Patients to tell friends and family, and vouch for the practice on public sites such Yelp, Google and Facebook
  2. Enhance the practice website with content that enhances discovery via search and social media
  3. Become accessible. Entice new patients to join your membership program and buy directly on your website even before scheduling their first appointment