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New Year, New Benefits: How to Remind Dental Patients That Their Benefits Have Renewed

by | Jan 5, 2017 | Dental Appointment Scheduling

A fresh year inspires many people to set new goals and resolutions. A lot of your patients are probably setting healthy goals for 2017 including working out more and eating right. That is why now is a peak time to send them a recall reminder that addresses their oral health.

Preventive dental care may or may not already be on their resolutions list, so give your patients an extra push. Maintaining a fit smile coincides with living a healthy lifestyle. Your patients are already thinking about how to improve themselves this year. Why not start with their teeth?

Motivate them at just the right time by sending an email or postcard in early January to mid-February. The message should let them know that their benefits have reset. We recommend sending a postcard to those who don’t have an email on file and send an email to everyone else. Most people prefer to respond to an email to request an appointment. They are able to take action immediately instead of having to call at a later time after receiving a postcard.

This reminder will effectively target:

  1. Patients overdue for a cleaning.
  2. Patients with unfinished treatment. Perhaps they were waiting for their benefits to renew or maybe they just got busy toward the end of the year.
  3. Patients who waited too long to schedule and were unable to make an appointment in December.
  4. New patients. January is a great month to acquire new patients because many people are motivated to check things off their to-do lists. Finding a new dentist or visiting the dentist after a long hiatus might be one of their intentions.

Use YAPI’s Recall Manager to view your Recall List. You can sort your list to view a patient’s time past due, treatment needed, last appointment date and other metrics to help you create a targeted message. A general “Happy New Year” message might work for everyone. Though, you might also choose to send a unique reminder message to the four groups mentioned above.

Consider Implementing A Reactivation Project

To take your recall efforts a step further, it’s a good idea to conduct a “Reactivation Project” every January as recommended by consultant Sandy Pardue of Classic Practice Resources. Its purpose is to bring back overdue patients who have “fallen through the cracks.” Send a postcard to all patients who have not visited your office for at least six months, dating back three to five years.

Write “Return Service Requested” on the front of the card. This step is very important because if the card is returned, you will know that their address has changed. Your team can update their information and send out another card. There is sometimes a small fee for this service but it is cost effective and worthwhile.

New Year’s Resolutions Email Templates

The beginning of the year presents less urgency than your “end of the year” insurance reminder but still works to bring patients to your office. Vary your medium to keep it interesting. You can send an email, postcard and even text message reminder. If you send out an email to your patients in January, you can follow-up with a postcard a few weeks later.

If your practice is too busy in January finishing up December’s cases, wait until the beginning of February or March to send this reminder. You can even turn the message into a “spring cleaning” reminder.

We’ve created four sample email templates for you to send to your patients. Feel free to use them as is or to make adjustments.

Sample Email 1 

Subject: A New Year Means New Dental Benefits

Dear [patient name],

Happy New Year! We want to remind you that almost all insurance companies renew your dental benefits at the start of each year.

You can take advantage of these benefits for yourself and your family to maintain a healthy smile in 2017. If you are overdue for a cleaning or have been postponing dental treatment, now is the time to make an appointment!

Kick start your health goals for 2017 and make an appointment today. Your oral health directly contributes to your overall health. Remember, if you don’t use your insurance benefits, you lose them. Your dental insurance plan works best for you when you put it to work on a regular basis.

Please call our office at [number] or reply to this email to schedule an appointment or if you have any questions about your benefits. We hope to see you soon!


Your dental team at [practice name]

P.S. If you have friends or family who you feel would benefit from our preventive approach to healthy gums and teeth, please send them our way. We’ll take good care of them!

Sample Email 2

Subject: Smile into the New Year

Dear [patient name],

The start of the year is always buzzing with promises to make positive and healthy changes. Now is the best time to make those resolutions come true!

Please call us now to schedule an appointment for a dental cleaning and checkup to rejuvenate your smile. This is the best time to get in before the lazy days of summer begin.

Call us at [phone number] or contact [email] to schedule.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Your dental team at [practice name]

Sample Email 3

Subject: Insurance Benefits in the New Year

Dear [patient name],

Do you make New Year’s Resolutions at the start of each year? Is one of them to take better care of your teeth?

Whether or not visiting our office is on your resolutions list, maintaining your oral health hugely impacts your overall health.

Start the year off right by scheduling an appointment today! Almost all insurance companies renew dental benefits at the start of each year. Daily brushing and flossing is not enough. It’s important to see us on a regular basis. We can even polish away stains to reveal a sparkling smile!

Call us at [phone number] or contact [email] to schedule.

We are looking forward to seeing you soon!

Your dental team at [practice name]

Sample Email 4 (patients with incomplete treatment)

Subject: We miss seeing you in the office! Complete your treatment using your renewed dental benefits

Dear [patient name],

Happy 2017! The New Year brings with it positive energy, a fresh start and renewed dental benefits.

Make an appointment today to complete your outstanding dental treatment and start the year with a healthy smile.

Take advantage of these benefits for yourself and your family so they don’t go to waste. If you have been putting off treatment, now is the time to come in for an appointment.

We would love to schedule a convenient appointment time for you. Please give us a call today at [office number] or respond to this email. We hope to see you soon!


Your dental team at [practice name]

How to Send an Email Blast in YAPI:

Read our HelpDesk Article to learn how you can send an Email Blast in YAPI.