The Patient's First Visit

Guidelines for Practice Success | Managing Patients | Patient Intake

The patient’s first visit to your practice sets the tone for the future of the relationship. A positive initial experience translates to a positive, long-term relationship. Remember that the new patient’s first visit should always end with them being given a special welcome packet that includes the basics (toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, etc.) as well as any pamphlets, brochures, and other appropriate informational materials that relate to the patient’s needs. Avoid materials that depict the less attractive side of dental work, e.g., blood.

A warm welcome puts patients at ease and makes them feel like they’re part of your practice family. When you make the best first impression you can, patients will feel comfortable and confident that they’re in the right place for their oral health care.

  • Train your receptionist to use the new patient’s name to greet them as soon as they arrive.
  • Your front desk staff should welcome each patient with a smile, state his or her name, and ask the patient’s name. Whenever possible, approach new patients before they get to the reception area and shake their hand.

Resources for Managing Patients