PatientBond joins Upfront to become the market-leading, personalized patient access and engagement platform.  Read press release

Request a Demo
Watch Overview

How to Improve Oral Health Outcomes for Your Dental Practice in 2019


Often put onto a separate plane from other healthcare verticals, oral health’s importance is not to be overlooked.

Consider these facts from Families USA:

  • About one-third of the American adult population does not see a dentist annually.

  • More than half (51.2 percent) of children age 6 to 11 have tooth decay in their baby teeth.

  • More than two in three adolescents age 16 to 19 (67.5 percent) have tooth decay in their permanent teeth.

  • Tooth decay is far more common than chronic childhood diseases like asthma and diabetes.

How does an oral health practice combat these statistics with improved health outcomes? Here are two strong strategies for 2019:



Dental procedures have, historically, stirred more fear in people than almost any other medical procedure. Consider these statistics from a 2018 survey:

  • 61 percent of respondents said they’re suffering from dental fear, and almost 4 percent of them said they’ve never been to a dentist.

  • The most significant percentage of people (39 percent) are afraid of the pain, followed by the smell of chemicals (24 percent) and the sound of the drill (21 percent).

  • A smaller part (7 percent) said they’re afraid of being stuck in the dental chair, while others said they’re scared of having to keep their mouth open for a long time (5 percent).

  • There are also people (5 percent) who dread these discomforts altogether, along with others who are afraid of receiving the dental bill (4.6 percent).

Fear can be a hindrance to improved oral health outcomes, but you know it doesn’t have to be this way. Two great ways to dispel fear are to educate your patients on your practice and procedures and build a patient-centric experience for them, both inside and outside of your practice.

The importance of oral health and hygiene must be conveyed in a relatable, educational way to all ages if health outcomes are to improve. Go into schools and do demonstrations on developing healthy oral hygiene habits at an early age. Have the practice’s staff and doctors attend community events and get to know patients outside of the environment of the office. Speak with them openly about fears and apprehensions and share your experiences, too. Creating a bond with patients outside of the chair will go a long way to dispelling the real fear some people have about going to see a dentist.

Once patients are in your practice, there are several ways to make the patient feel more comfortable and relaxed. It all boils down to them feeling like they have more control:

  • Give them a tour of the office on their first visit

  • Show them how the machines and tools work before you begin to use them

  • Let them choose the music in the exam room, or choose a show or movie to watch during procedures

  • Provide free WiFi

  • Extend or adjust office hours to make evening or weekend appointments available so patients can choose what fits their schedule best

  • Offer payment plans or a la carte services so patients can spread payments out to better align with their cash flow


When patients leave after visiting your practice, they’re usually sent home with a prescribed hygiene regimen to follow or a directive to come in again after a certain amount of time for a follow-up procedure or exam. Keep them accountable and improve their health outcomes by staying in touch with them using a patient engagement platform like PatientBond.

PatiendBond’s patient engagement technology is based on a proprietary psychographic segmentation method that classifies patients based on their unique attitudes, values, lifestyles, and personalities. Using psychographic segmentation allows you to customize a follow-up plan for your patients according to their own motivations and preferences related to dental health and wellness.

The 2017 Dental Patient Psychographic Segmentation Study notes that Priority Jugglers are more likely to have dental insurance, which makes sense because they are more proactive with their family’s health. They also tend to be busy, so it’s important to make sure they take action on appointment reminders. Grab their attention with messages that acknowledge their busy lifestyle and that taking time to take care of themselves helps them better care for their family. You’ll be able to engage with and activate your patients much more effectively if you’re speaking their language when it comes to oral hygiene and follow-up appointment reminders, which in turn leads to improved health outcomes.

Every oral health practice is different, but these approaches to improve oral health outcomes will put any practice in the best mindset for 2019. For more ways to improve health outcomes, download the PatientBond case study.


How Psychographic Segmentation & Digital Engagement Improve Health Outcomes



Submit a Comment

Request a Demo