As a dentist, I strive to ensure all areas in our practice create a positive experience for every patient. Yet, when a patient leaves our practice, whether due to insurance constraints or relocation or other reason, I’m disappointed. Of course, my staff and I know that some patients are unable to be a member of our ‘family’ for their lifetime. The good news is ‘returning patients’ are our third highest source for new patient generation. We want those who do leave to know they are always welcome to return!
We know that some patients leave because we are ‘out-of’-network’ with their insurance coverage. This may occur due to a job change or policy adjustment. Our standard of care is such that not every insurance is sufficient for the high standards our patients have come to know here. We have a number of patients who have out-of-network policies, yet prefer the care we provide versus dental offices who are in-network. These patients merely pay for the portion not covered by their insurance and we file so any reimbursement is sent directly to them.
Some patients who leave have moved to a new neighborhood or started a job where a dental practice is closer to their new location. However, we have many return to our office because, as is often explained, “I missed the good feeling I had when I came here and didn’t feel I got the same care you gave.” This is the ultimate compliment and we are always happy to RE-accept these smiles back into our office!
Over the years, I have had VERY few patients who’ve left because they were unhappy with something. In most cases, the patient never voiced an unknown concern until they had become a patient elsewhere. While my staff and I try hard to address all issues to a patient’s satisfaction, I’ve come to know that you cannot please everyone all the time, no matter what you do. It may be a personality clash or a miscommunication, but some things we cannot “fix.”
All of our patients are special to us and are welcome back if their life’s path takes them elsewhere. If you have questions about patient hours, insurance coverage, or any area that has you considering dentistry elsewhere, please discuss this with us. Your optimal dental health is our ultimate desire!