7 Dental Metrics Every Practice Should Be Tracking
Published
 - December 22nd, 2022

Dental metrics, like key performance indicators (KPIs), help dentists develop actionable plans to accomplish short- and long-term goals. In fact, tracking dental metrics can reveal the fundamental health of your business.   

Without the right metrics however, you have no concrete goals to strive for. To add to that, you have no clear strategy to assess performance. 

So, to make it easy for you, we’ve listed the seven essential metrics that every dental practice should record and pay close attention to.

7 dental metrics you should be tracking

1. Pre-appointment rate

This metric tells you how many existing patients have scheduled future appointments. A healthy rate for pre-appointments is between 30 and 40 percent. If your rate is below 30 percent, your practice isn’t influencing patients to revisit your facility. 

Since patient acquisition is costlier than retention, you need to ensure that your front desk staff is scheduling future appointments for existing patients — even if you’re getting a good amount of new patients monthly.     

2. Annual patient value

The annual patient value (APV) is the breakdown of yearly revenue per patient. If your APV is growing, your patients are spending more at your facility. This is an excellent tool to know whether you’re seeing your patients regularly and how accepting they are of your suggested treatment plans. 

This metric will be helpful as your practice grows because it provides insight into whether you can bring on more help at a profit. Such as hiring an associate doctor, bringing on another hygienist, or adding another specialist to your front desk staff. 

3. Production per visit 

While APV combines all the visits a patient would have made to your practice, you also need to know how much you’re earning per visit. That’s where production per visit or PPV comes into play. It shows your revenue per patient per visit. This metric will reveal the acceptance level of your treatment suggestions.

Most practices focus on the annual revenue and forget this crucial metric. If your APV and patient visits are high, you are not earning what you need to per appointment. 

4. Hygiene production

A healthy dental practice should generate close to 25 to 35 percent of its total production from hygiene. This metric is vital because it correlates to how your team is diagnosing and treating hygiene patients. 

Hence, ensuring you have a healthy hygiene mix is important since these patients typically make up 75 percent of restorative treatments. (There’s a reason they say the hygiene department is the backbone of every dental practice.)

5. Hygiene reappointment rate

While this metric is one that most dentists are aware of, only some dental practices track it with precision. The hygiene reappointment rate tells you how many reappointments you’re able to make from patients who visit you for dental hygiene treatments.

Hygiene appointments provide a stable revenue stream for dental practices. More importantly, they also give you an opportunity to diagnose any problems and suggest treatments. If the patient’s satisfied with the hygiene procedure and your diagnosis, they’re more likely to commit to another treatment appointment.   

6. Percentage of new patients 

While patient retention is critical to the success of your business, no dental practice should neglect patient acquisition. Even when providing the best of service, there will still be some patient loss over time. For example, some patients might move away or find another dentist to go to (sorry to say).

Consequently, new patient acquisition will tilt the scales in your favor when there’s attrition. So, if you want your practice to grow and be successful, it must have a steady amount of new patients bringing in sufficient cash flow to support the business. 

7. Outstanding accounts receivable

It’s important to ensure that 80 percent of receivables fall within the 0 to 30 days range. Every time a patient account ages over 30 days, your practice loses money. Realistically, patients have the best intention of paying the dentist when they are in pain or want a beautiful smile. 

However, if the patient leaves your practice and you have not secured payment, their level of priority to pay for services rendered takes a backseat to other issues. Therefore, it’s crucial to make payment arrangements at the time of visit, and with electronic claims, there really isn’t a reason for claims to age over 30 days (allowing for a few outlier claims that require resubmission).

Innovative solutions to help you track vital KPIs

A dental practice, like any other business, needs to regularly measure its performance, in real numbers, against predetermined goals. So, if you haven’t been tracking your practice’s KPIs, then it’s definitely time to start. 

Remember, you can only manage what you repeatedly measure. Therefore, if you want your practice to get ahead and bring in more profits, then you need to implement a system to help you track vital metrics and KPIs.

The seven dental metrics listed above, which are key to understanding where you currently stand and what needs to be done to produce better numbers in the future, will reveal patient loyalty, operational efficiency, and conversion rates. 

If you found this blog helpful, we would love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment or question below with your thoughts.

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