Dental Patient Lifetime Value and Online Reviews

Dental Patient online value

In a minute we’ll get into the math of online patient reviews and dental patient online value. A big take home message from the numbers you’ll see below is that it is possible in many markets and in “stealth” fashion with minimal to no paid advertising to generate most or all of a practice’s NP flow just from reviews.

Now back to Dental Math.

The great thing about dental practice match needed to be successful isn’t complicated. Yes, P&Ls and Balance Sheets are important and knowing initial new patient value, lifetime patient value, and average case value are also important numbers to know.

For GP patients, it’s easy to discern initial value and lifetime value by pulling reports from your management software.  When niche cases are involved, the numbers come from either the management software or simple manual tracking systems dependent on niche case volume.

Nationally initial patient value ranges from $500-$2500/NP and lifetime NP value ranges from $2K-$7500.

In my general practice, the initial patient value was around $1,000/patient and average lifetime value was between $3500-$4500 depending on which 2-3 year period was being evaluated.   In my niche practice, the average case value was just over $39,000/patient.  Why is it important to know these numbers?

Well, ultimately, knowing them means knowing how much you can spend to get a new patient or a big case by whatever means makes that patient show up predictably.  Those numbers drove what I was willing to spend on acquiring a new patient or big case.  Your personal numbers can and must drive what you spend to create new patients and cases for your practice and that brings us to the economics of online patient reviews and dental patient lifetime value.


I’m often asked “what is the return on investment for upping my ability to get online patient reviews for my practice.” Well, first all, 100 reviews on a major platform like Google or Yelp is the minimum threshold where reviews begin to drive new patient flow. Knowing that threshold, here’s what I see in what I call an “all-American” city with a population of roughly 300,000.

100+ Reviews at Google EQUALS *Roughly 30 New Patients/Month EQUALS*An initial new patient value $15K-$30K/month and *A Lifetime new patient value of $60K-$500K/month

Beyond the actual reviews there are other spill-over affects related to patients who choose you over others from the insurance list based on reviews and the fact that an abundance of reviews improve the results from paid advertising you may be utilizing. In every market there are practices now who get the majority of their patients from their reviews.  There are also scratch practices that open and quickly have NP flow because they focused on reviews from the very first patient visit.

So how do you predictably get 100+ reviews annually to see these benefits? Well, that’s the catch.

To predictably get 100+ reviews every year for a practice with 2,000 patients coming through the door in a 18 month period, you either need a part-time employee who does nothing but works on reviews via manual system OR you will need a technology based solution like Text2Review.

A part time employee is going to cost you $1,500-$2,000/month and require your oversight and the software tool is going to be less than 30% of the cost of the employee and require no additional staff.  So, it’s either hire someone or leverage technology.  Either way, it takes one or the other to have those 100+ reviews happening every year.

Now let’s close the loop on economics for reviews and the return on investment.

The monthly return on investment for using a software tool like Text2Review will range from 120X-1000X return if we are looking at return from a lifetime average new patient value. It ranges from 30-60X return on investment if we look at return from an average initial new patient value.

As a frame of reference, when we look at any and all ways we can promote via expenditures on advertising or other means of acquiring a new patient the return on investment ranges from  1X to 6X or 7X.  [As a real world example, we see 7X returns from All-on-4 implant case marketing and that’s only possible with $10,000+ in monthly advertising.]

No matter how we slice the return side of this, an abundance of reviews (at least for now) is the most cost effective way of generating a new patient phone call. Only a truth math adverse practice owner will ignore the economics of reviews as a vital part of the practice’s economic engine.

So….is there anything else you are doing now that generates a return anywhere near what is happening past the 100+ review threshold?

To get going with a 2 week fully functional trial in the #1 Text2Review app that makes 100+ reviews annually a reality for your practice.  Go here.