OperaDDS Blog

October 5, 2017

Why Same-Day Appointments are Key to Case Acceptance

Topics: Case Acceptance

How many times have you explained the benefits of a procedure to a patient, gotten their verbal agreement, and then never heard from them again to follow up and schedule an appointment?

Even if you make the best case possible to your patients, if you let them walk out the door without making a firm commitment to the procedure, your odds of follow-through go down significantly.


Many dentists shy away from “selling” their procedures, even when they know they are in the patient’s best interest. But the reality is, increasing your case acceptance is crucial in driving a practice that isn’t just surviving, but thriving and growing.

Are you looking to increase case acceptance? We’ve blogged about several strategies before, from coordinating with your dental hygienist to practicing active listening during appointments.

Another key? Schedule that follow-up appointment before they leave the office. Or, better yet, if you have time, offer to accommodate the appointment the same day.

Why Same-Day Appointments Work

Patients are busy! They’ve probably struggled to just make it to the office and telling them they need to come back is a much larger barrier to treatment than most of us realize. Offering to complete the procedure while they are still at the office tells them you want to take care of them and you value their time.

If a same-day appointment does work out, you have achieved what we like to call “zero visit dentistry,” where zero additional appointments are needed to create the outcomes you’re looking for. Zero visit dentistry isn’t just good for your efficiency - it’s also good for your reputation, as you surprise and delight patients who will turn into promoters ready to spread referrals to family and friends.

Even if a same-day appointment doesn’t work into either of your schedules, your patient will appreciate your efforts to take care of their needs as quickly as possible.

Make Your Technology Work for You

Staying up to date in dental care can be expensive. If your practice uses CAD/CAM technology like CEREC or has recently made other large purchases, make these investments work for you. Sure, CEREC technology is cool, and makes your practice more exciting. But it should also dramatically increase your capacity for same-day appointments.

Prepare Your Team for Success

In most offices, a light schedule can be a welcome treat for tired staff. You may get pushback if you propose an increase in same-day appointments. How can you keep your team happy as their workload increases? One way is to implement incentives so everybody (including your staff) wins. 

Another strategy that many dentists use is a dental communication platform. The right technology will allow you to check insurance coverage, schedule an appointment, and prepare an available operatory for a follow-up procedure – all without stepping away from your patient.

Looking for a dental communication platform? Check out this list of elements to look for. The right platform will improve your communication with both patients and your team, while giving you the peace of mind of full HIPPA compliance.

What else can you do to increase case acceptance at your practice? Check out our eBook for a 4-step case acceptance plan you won’t want to miss!

Stop the stress of "selling" your treatment plans. Download our Four Keys to Case Acceptance eBook now.