Letters To Introduce a New Dentist To The Practice
Dental Consultants recommend a letter that introduces a new dentist (due to retirement or new associate) to the practice should reflect the personality of the practice. Some are very formal, almost like a legal notice in the newspaper. Others are very informal, verging on non-professional. Most are somewhere in between. Try to make your letter friendly but professional, saving casual language for personal email.
The letter can be written as if it is coming from the old dentist ("I am happy to introduce..."). Or it can sound as if it is coming from the entire office ("We are happy to introduce..."). Some come from the new dentist ("I am happy to be joining...").
- Be concise and clear.
- Keep sentences and paragraphs short and simple.
- Rewrite any sentence that does not seem perfectly clear.
- Use active (vs. passive) voice whenever possible.
- Use proper spelling, grammar, style, punctuation, margins, and indentation formatting.
- Single space paragraphs; blank line before each new paragraph.
- Keep your letter limited to one page. Anything longer will not be read by most.
- Consider having a professional photo of the new dentist printed on the letter...if it can be printed on a photo printer and will print with good results on the office letterhead (or if the letter can be professionally printed). This will catch patient's eye, and will also generate familiarity right from the start.
- The letter should be printed on high-quality office letterhead, and sent in matching high-quality envelopes. Letterhead should include doctor/office name, address, phone number. Some include web site and email.
- Regular postage stamps appear more personal than postage metering.
- Have numerous people proofread the letter before finalizing it. Look for spelling and punctuation errors. Even the smallest of errors will be noticed by people, and can leave a lasting negative impression.
If your return address is not preprinted on the letterhead, make it the first item on the letter, above the date. Do not include your name or title, since it is included in the letter's closing. Include only street address, city, state, and zip code.
In most cases, the date the letter is written would be the first item, on a separate line. Begin one line space below the upper margin, or upper letterhead address. Write out the month, and use the full year (four digit) format like this: April 25th, 2012
The name and address of the recipient can be included next. The name usually does not include a prefix here. Abbreviate state names using standard postal abbreviations.
The salutation (greeting) can take many forms, such as:
- Dear patients,
- Dear valued patient,
- Dear ____,
- To the ____ family,
- To our dental patients,
- To the patients of Fantastic Family Dentistry,
Many practice management software programs provide letter merge capabilities. These can simplify the job of generating personalized salutations, but can appear awkward if not done with care.
Usually a comma is used in the salutation for personal letters or more social business letters. A colon is used in place of a comma only in American business correspondences, and might be appropriate in more formal introductory letters. In British English, either a comma is used, or no punctuation mark at all.
Start with the reason for sending this letter.
- I would like to introduce Dr. ____ .
- I am pleased to announce the addition of ____ to our dental team.
- I am pleased to welcome Dr. ____ to the practice.
- I am very proud to introduce Dr. ____.
- I have decided to take a leave from dentistry, and transfer my practice to Dr. ____.
- It is with mixed emotions that I am announcing my retirement from dentistry.
- ____ is thrilled to announce the addition of ____ to their practice.
Main message, with any supporting details.
Tell how this new addition will benefit the patient, such as expanded hours; more services; appointments with less waiting. The bottom line with patients is "How will this change affect me?"
Show off the new dentist. Include background information, education, degrees, residency, post-graduate programs, dental work history, organizations, awards, special dental interests, research, community service activities, home town, family, hobbies, interests.
- It has been a pleasure to provide your dental health care over the years.
- I want to personally thank you for the trust and confidence.
- I have truly enjoyed working with all of you over the past ____ years.
- I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your trust and confidence in permitting me to take care of your dental needs through the years.
- I have taken great effort to find someone who can uphold the high quality of service that patients have appreciated.
- After an extensive search, I have chosen Dr. ____ to take over my dental practice.
- I chose Dr. ____ out of numerous candidates because...
- I have been fortunate to find just the right dentist to step in and continue to provide you with the very best dental care.
- Because I want to be certain that my patients continue to receive the best possible care, I have carefully evaluated a number of candidates, and have selected Dr. ____, whom I believe possesses the highest qualifications and is extremely well skilled in all phases of dentistry.
- I feel confident that Dr. ____ will continue to provide you and your family with the best dental care possible.
- I will continue to see patients until ____.
- I will be working along with Dr. ____ to ensure a smooth transition.
- The wonderful staff will be the same, and will be there to assist you any way they can.
- As always, the staff (Jean, Jane, Joann, Jenny, Jill, Judy) will be here to take care of your needs and answer your questions.
- To assure a smooth transition, all of my staff will be staying and working with Dr. ____.
- Dr. ____ will be joining our staff beginning ____.
- Dr. ____ will become the newest member of ____.
- I trust that you will show Dr. ____ the same loyalty and friendship that you have shown me.
Brief closing remarks
- I look forward to...
- Dr. ____ and his/her staff are looking forward to serving you.
- If you would like more information...
- If you have any questions...
- Thank you again for your loyalty and confidence.
- I will miss all of you very much, but I know you will really like Dr. ____.
The closing is followed by a comma.
- Sincerely yours,
- Respectfully yours,
- Best regards,
- Cordially yours,
After the closing, leave three blank lines, then type the sender's name. This is usually the name of the dentist. If it comes from someone else, it should be followed by a line with the sender's title, such as Office Manager.
The letter is more personal when each one is individually signed by the dentist. Some offices have the entire staff sign their first names also.
Generally, one inch margins are used on left, right, top, and bottom margins. For letterhead, this is one inch from the preprinted part at the bottom, and one line space from the preprinted part at the top.
Any one of the four traditional formats for business letters are acceptable, but Block is the most common for letters of this type.
- Block: All text is aligned to the left margin, paragraphs are not indented, and paragraphs are separated by double or triple spacing.
- Semi-Block: All text is aligned to the left margin, and paragraphs are indented.
- Modified Block: All text is aligned to the left margin, except for the author's address, date, and closing; and paragraphs are not indented. The author's address, date, and closing are usually indented three inches from the left margin, but can be set anywhere to the right of the middle of the page, as long as all three elements are indented to the same position.
- Modified Semi-Block: All text is aligned to the left margin, except for the author's address, date, and closing; and paragraphs are indented. The author's address, date, and closing are usually indented in same position
The most widely accepted font is Times New Roman, size 12. Arial may be used as a sans-serif alternative. If your letter is fairly informal, you might have more leeway to use a different font. Use the same font and size for the entire letter. In no circumstance should you use Comic Sans font in any business documents.