Dental Appointment Reminders: Which Method Works the Best?

It’s no secret that canceled and missed appointments hurt both your dental practice and your patients’ health. Appointment reminders are vital to ascertain that your patients actually show up. However, you need to find out which dental appointment reminder method will work the best for which individual patients.

Read more to learn which method of dental appointment reminder works the best.

Appointment Reminder Methods Used by Dental Practices

A 2016 survey has reported that using the right technique to remind patients of appointments is a perfect way to eliminate no-shows and cancelations at your practice. An effective way to do this is to ask individual patients about their preferred contact method and then use that method. The survey reveals that dental practices generally use the following ways of reminding patients about appointments:

Live Phone Calls - The most prevalent way of reminding patients about appointments, and 85% of dental practices use them.

Text Messaging and Email - Around 76% of practices use email for appointment reminders and text messages.

Automated Phone Calls - 20% use automated phone calls.

Postcards - 38% percent use postcards.

Which Dental Appointment Reminder Method Works the Best?

According to 92% percent of survey respondents, text messages are the most successful way of sending out appointment reminders and confirmations. Communication methods like emails followed closely behind with 85% votes, live phone calls were mentioned by 83% of people, and 59% chose automated phone calls. Even dental professionals who prefer postcards and letters for appointment reminders believe they are not as effective as other methods.

In addition to the above facts, the popularity of automated communication is growing due to several reasons. The most prominent reason as per some recent studies is that 97% of dental patients would prefer to communicate electronically or digitally than by phone with dental offices. Additionally, electronic communication saves a significant amount of time for your dental office staff compared to manual phone calls and voicemail messages.


Patients' preferences for how they want to be contacted will differ. Therefore, you should provide a variety of options for appointment reminders. When patients schedule their next appointments, ask how they wish to be reminded. Make sure to inform them that your practice offers automated reminders via text or email.

You may also like to read:

What Steps Should You Consider When Patients Cancel Their Appointments?

How Paperless Patient Registration Benefits Dental Practice


Steffany Mohan, DDS

Dr. Steffany Mohan, DDS is a highly accomplished dentist, speaker, and coach in dentistry and has been practicing for around 22 years in West Des Moines, IA. She is renowned for her achievements in implant practice management and has established Plaza Dental Group as among the busiest and most thriving dental offices in Iowa