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Dental New Patient Referrals


Patient referrals are the best source of new patients in any dental office.  Encouraging patients to refer their friends and family should be a part of your office routine.  Even though “everyone knows” they should be asking patients for referrals it is rarely done on a consistent basis.


_____1. Assign this program to a specific employee so there is accountability.


_____2. Have at least at a thousand referral cards printed. See attached sample.

_____3. Create a letter to hand out to patients that explains how    the program works.

_____4. Optional: Send the letter out to your entire patient base     with five referral cards to jump-start the program.


_____5. Create a Quality Control Survey similar to the one    attached.

_____6. When a patient completes treatment ask them the questions on the Quality Control Survey. If they are              happy with the service then explain the Referral Program. Give them the explanation letter and five cards.

_____7.  Keep a daily log of how many cards are handed out to track the effectiveness of the program.

_____8.  Include a couple referrals cards in letters that go out such as bills.

_____9.  Always send a thank you note or card to any patient that refers a new patient. Include a couple referral cards.


1. Rewarding a patient or person who refers a new patient is forbidden in most if not all states.

2. In general you can't discount prices agreed upon with insurance companies. Deduct the new patient credit from the patient portion.

Example: The new patient needs a crown and the patient portion is $300.00. You deduct the credit from the patient's portion.

3. You can't offer new patient credits to Medicaid or Medicare patients due to Federal regulations.


Increasing referrals depends on a high volume of Referral Cards in the hands of your patients that they in turn give to friends and family.

New patients through referrals is something that is created, it doesn’t just happen. The following steps will show you how to create referrals in your practice.  


Dental New Patient Referral Card Side One


Screen Shot 2016 06 29 at 1.03.57 PM


Information:  Use this form for every patient that completes treatment with the doctor or in hygiene.  If the patient has had a negative experience you should attempt to resolve the problem immediately if possible.  If you need to get more information before acting, tell the patient you will be calling them within 24 hours to resolve the situation.

Inform the patient:  When patients complete treatment in our office we do a quick Quality Control Survey to ensure their satisfaction with the service they received.


  •  Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your experience at our office?  
  • Is there some way we can change our office that would make your visits more enjoyable?
  • Did you have to wait an excess amount of time before being seen?
  • Were finances explained and was your bill exactly what you expected?
  • Were you treated courteously throughout the office?
  • Based on your experiences, would you refer friends and family to our office?

If the answer is yes, explain the patient referral program.  If no, make every attempt to resolve the problem within the guidelines of the office procedures and polices.


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