1 September 2022

Best Email and SMS Dental Appointment Reminder Templates

Best Email and SMS Dental Appointment Reminder Templates

Does your front desk team spend an inordinate part of their day tracking down patients via phone call to ensure they make their appointments? Are they sending email and postcard reminders with little effect on no-show and cancellation rates? This is a common challenge that the medical industry struggles with, costing a practice $150,000 in lost revenue annually!

Fortunately, dental technology has come a long way, especially when it comes to practice management software. Normally tedious and time-consuming tasks that waste valuable production time are now easily automated. Appointment reminders are one aspect of your day-to-day operations that can benefit from technological solutions. However, you still have to use effective messaging to get the most out of its use.

This article will cover how automated appointment reminders can transform a frustrating process into a revenue-boosting strategy. We'll also provide examples of effective templates and messaging that your team can rely on to keep patients returning for care year after year.

The Financial Impacts of No-Shows and Repeat Cancellations

The Financial Impacts of No-Shows and Repeat Cancellations

A March survey conducted by the American Dental Health Policy Institute, found that despite increasing patient volumes since the arrival of COVID-19, appointment capacity was still only at 83%. This limitation creates significant amounts of lost revenue for dentists and practices trying to recover from the economic shutdown in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Imagine having one appointment canceled or no-show every day for a year. Take the value of that treatment, and any associated overhead costs, times the amount of days to get an idea of the financial harm your bottom line would suffer. For many dentists, this ranges between $50k to $100k dollars in lost revenue.

Why do dental patients fail to make their oral healthcare visits? There are a number of reasons, including:

  • Forgetting
  • Didn't receive a reminder
  • Lack of transportation
  • Economic issues
  • Anxiety/shame
  • Unavailability

You might notice that these excuses could be addressed with an effective appointment reminder strategy. Remember, this is about keeping your chair full. Communicating with your team in a timely manner when one can't make the visit is essential to fill the slot with a different patient.

In all of these instances, automated reminders could achieve this goal because your team doesn't have to wait on a phone call. Instead, your system can automatically send out messages to patients based on their preferred contact method, to their phone via SMS, email, and voicemail.

Responses can be sent back via text, and your PMS can automatically update their appointment or notify your staff of a change. Cloud-based software options like those provided by Adit can also include a link to your online schedule where patients can cancel and rebook in real-time. This means open slots are immediately available to others needing an appointment.

Primary Benefits of Automated Appointment Reminder Software

Primary Benefits of Automated Appointment Reminder Software

While the overwhelming contribution that automated reminder software makes to a dental practice is saved time, there are additional benefits to consider:

Fewer Missed Appointments

You increase your patient attendance rates by sending email and text reminders on the day of the appointment instead of calling them directly. Why? Notifications via email and text are more convenient and less likely to be missed than a call.

Fill Empty Appointment Slots Quicker

No one likes waiting weeks to visit a dentist or any medical professional. Automated appointment reminders enable timely cancellations so other patients can book the open slot, and staff (or your software) can message others waiting for a sooner visit date. This feature also increases patient satisfaction.

Take Back Lost Revenue

Automated reminders help you maximize practice availability and control your workflow to avoid bottlenecks and lost productivity. With this level of control, you also reduce no-shows and cancellations. This allows you to reduce how often you lose revenue in these situations.

Keep Your Patients Engaged

Even appointment reminders are crucial to patient engagement. Regular communications from your office keep patients up-to-date on how to contact your dentists and staff. Cloud-based platforms like Adit also offer message customization to nurture trust and loyalty.

Give Your Staff a Needed Boost

Your front desk team and schedulers will send you thank you notes for weeks after implementing an automated appointment reminder platform. Lightening their daily workload to focus on providing patients with a top-notch dental experience will further support their efforts and create a more productive work day.

Top Dental Appointment Reminder Templates with Examples

Top Dental Appointment Reminder Templates with Examples

The challenge of creating an appointment reminder process is developing effective messaging. Below you will find easy-to-use templates ready for immediate use to communicate upcoming visit information and requests to your patients. While every dental practice has its own voice, tone, and brand style, you can adjust these templates or create your own based on the elements shared below.

Dental Appointment Reminder Ideas for Text and SMS

Dental Appointment Reminder Ideas for Text and SMS

Before sending your patients reminders by SMS or text, keep the following quick tips in mind to maximize engagement:

  • Be concise and keep messaging clear. Avoid lengthy messages when communicating with patients via text. Only share relevant appointment information, such as the scheduled time and date of their visit and which dentist they're seeing.
  • Include a simple call to action. Every reminder sent should have a requested response. Such as responding "yes" or "no" to confirm the appointment.
  • Observe all HIPPA requirements. Even text messages from your office must be HIPAA compliant. This means leaving out personal health information such as the reason for their dental visit.
  • Use your brand voice in the message. Every communication you send is an opportunity to share your dental brand with your patients. Use the same style for voice and tone in your reminder messaging.
  • Share your no-show policy. Appointment reminders are a great opportunity to reinforce your practice's cancellation and no-show policy. Be sure to include this information to encourage timely rescheduling if unable to confirm.
  • Ask for updated contact information. While not necessary for every message, remind patients to update their contact information when arriving for their visit.
  • Allow patients to opt out of messaging. When initially filling out their paperwork, patients often agree to receive text messages from your business. Always include a simple opt-out response feature in your message.

Basic Message Example

This text/SMS message provides them with everything they need to know in a few concise sentences:

Your appointment to see [Dentist's name] on [Date] at [Time] at [Business Name and Address] is scheduled.

Reply “Y” to confirm your appointment or "N" to cancel. Thanks! Text STOP to opt out of further messages.

Friendly Message Example

Remind patients why they come to your dental practice with a more personal tone to your message:

Hello [Patient Name]! [Dentist’s Name] here. Just a quick reminder that we are looking forward to seeing you on [Date] at [Time] at [Business Name and Address].

Reply “Y” to confirm your appointment or "N" to cancel. My office is looking forward to seeing you! Text STOP to opt out of further messages.

Appointment and Paperwork Reminder

For new patients coming to their initial appointment, your team can include a reminder for needed paperwork to complete their onboarding:

Hi [Name], this is a reminder for your upcoming appointment with [Dentist’s Name] on [date] at [time] at [Business Name and Address]. Also, please remember to bring [Important Documents] with you. Please reply YES to confirm or NO to cancel. Thanks! Text STOP to opt out of further messages.

Appointment Reminders Including Special Instructions

When patients come in for dental procedures, or need to supply missing insurance information, you can include a short special instruction. Examples include, "remember to come in 15 minutes early to complete the paperwork" or "don't eat anything two hours before your appointment."

[Insert Patient’s First Name],

You have an upcoming appointment with [Insert Dentist's/Hygienist’s Name] on [ Appointment Date] at [Time] at [Business Name and Location]. Please remember to [Special Instruction]. Confirm your appointment with "YES" or cancel with "NO." Thanks! Text STOP to opt out of further messages.

Message Using Emojis

If you want to create a more casual voice that uses a touch of fun, emojis are a great way to communicate details for an upcoming reminder:

🦷 Don't forget you’re scheduled to see [Dentist’s Name] on [Date] at [Time] at [Business Name and Address]. 🦷

Reply “Y” to confirm your appointment or "N" to cancel. 😁 Text STOP to opt out of further messages.

A Day's Notice Reminder Message

Reminding your patients of their upcoming dental visit 24 hours in advance is a great way to help them ensure they can definitely make it or reschedule timeously.

Hi [Patient's First Name]! Tomorrow you're scheduled to see [Dentist’s Name] tomorrow at [Time] at [Business Name and Address]. Reply with "Yes" to confirm or "No" to cancel. Text "STOP" to opt out of further messages. Thanks!

One-Week Appointment Notice

To keep waiting patients engaged, send out an appointment notice a week out from their scheduled visit:

Hi there, [Patient's First Name]! [Dentist's Name] is looking forward to seeing you next week on [Date] at [Time] at [Business Name and Location].

Reply “Y/N” to let us know if this is still a good time.

Reply "STOP" to opt out of receiving messages.

Virtual Appointment Reminders

If your dental office provides teledentistry appointments, those patients will also need an appointment reminder. The only difference between an in-office and virtual messaging will be the inclusion of a link to the secure online consultation room:

Hello, [Patient’s Name]. This is [Dentist's Name] reminding you of our virtual appointment today at [Time]. Please join using your phone or computer here: [Meeting Link]. Reply "Yes" to confirm or "No" to cancel. Respond with "STOP" to opt out of further messages.

You can also send a reminder just before the dental appointment begins:

Hi, [Patient’s First Name]. This is [Dentist's Name] reminding you of our virtual appointment beginning in 10 minutes. Please log in to your visit using your phone or computer here: [Meeting Link]. Reply "Yes" to confirm or "No" to cancel. Respond with "STOP" to opt out of further messages.

Schedule Next Appointment Reminders

Keep your patients returning for care by sending appointment scheduling request reminders for annual exams, follow-up visits, and more.

Hello [Patient’s Name]. It's time to schedule your annual exam and cleaning with [Dentist's Name]. We hope you're having a great week and look forward to seeing you soon! Please schedule your next appointment here: [Link to Online Schedule]. Text STOP to opt out of further messages from our office.

Reschedule Appointment Reminder

Whether your patient missed their booked cleaning or had to cancel, follow up with a reschedule request to ensure they get back into your office soon:

Hello, [Patient’s Name]. We missed seeing you today for your appointment with [Dentist's Name/Business Name] at [Time]. Don't forget to reschedule as soon as possible so you don't miss out on important dental care! Just book your appointment online here: [Online Scheduler]. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Patient Review Reminder

Another important reminder that should follow every appointment is a review reminder. Automated messaging can make getting online feedback easier and makes the process convenient for patients:

Hello [Patient’s Name]. Our team hopes you had a wonderful dental experience with [Dentist's Name]. We'd love to hear your feedback about your visit today. Could you please leave us a quick review of how things went? [Review Link]

Email patient reminder templates and examples

Email patient reminder templates and examples

Before sending your patients reminders via email, it's important to remember to keep details at the very beginning of the message. Email has a low open rate compared to text messaging and SMS, so keep these tips in mind when creating appointment reminders:

  • Keep your email message to the point. Only share details about the appointment.
  • Use the subject line to communicate urgency. Make sure to use language in the subject line that differentiates the appointment reminder from the rest of their inbox.
  • Bullet points can streamline the message. These are especially helpful if you have instructions for the patient.
  • Focus on the appointment date and time. Emails are typically skimmed more than read, so make these elements stick out with highlighting or bolded text.
  • Send emails at the best times for the patient. Unlike text messages, the public tends to check their emails only a few times a day. Send reminders when your patients are likely to read and respond, such as after working hours or on the weekend.
  • Include the option to add their appointment to their personal calendars. Many email platforms have built-in calendars, so when a patient opts to add their scheduled visit, they will automatically receive an additional reminder.

Basic Email Reminder Example

A direct message that only entails core details of an upcoming dental appointment to keep the patient focused on the importance and expectation of their attending:

Subject line: Reminder: Appointment with [Dentist's or Practice's Name] on [Date]

Dear [Patient’s Name],

You are scheduled to see [Dentist's Name] on [Date] at [Time]. If you can't make the appointment, please respond to this email or call our office at [Phone Number] as soon as possible.

We look forward to seeing you!

Sincerely,

[Practice Name]

Friendly Message Example

Even though your emails should be to the point, it doesn't mean your messaging should be devoid of approachability:

Subject line: Hi [Patient Name]! Your appointment is coming up soon with [Dentist or Practice Name]

Hello [Patient’s First Name],

This is just a quick reminder of your upcoming appointment on [Date] at [Time] with [Dentist's Name]. We have a few other things to remind you of as well before arriving for your visit:

  • List important check-in information here with bullet points.

If you cannot keep your appointment or will be late, please reply to this email or call our office directly at [Phone Number] as soon as possible.

See you soon!

Sincerely,

[Practice Name]

Appointment and Paperwork Reminder

Whether you have a new patient to onboard or need updated insurance information, email appointment reminders can request these details:

Subject line: Appointment reminder and paperwork request for your upcoming appointment with [Dentist Name]

Hello [Patient’s First Name],

You're scheduled to see [Dentist's Name] on [Date] at [Time]. Also, please remember to bring the following documents with you to complete your visit:

List [Important Documents] using bullet points.

If you cannot keep your appointment or will be late, please reply to this email or call our office directly at [Phone Number] as soon as possible.

We look forward to seeing you!

Sincerely,

[Practice Name]

Appointment Reminders Including Special Instructions

Much like reminders that request paperwork, you can also send emails outlining any special instructions patients should know about for their dental visit, such as bringing someone with them to drive afterward or not taking specific medications beforehand:

Subject line: Appointment reminder and special instructions for your upcoming appointment with [Dentist Name]

Hello [Patient’s First Name],

You have an upcoming appointment with [Dentist's Name] on [Date] at [Time]. Before your visit, please remember to follow the below instructions prior to your visit:

List [Important Instructions] using bullet points.

If you cannot keep your appointment or will be late, please reply to this email or call our office directly at [Phone Number] as soon as possible.

See you soon!

Sincerely,

[Practice Name]

Email Appointment Reminder with Emojis

A lot can be said using pictures and can cut down on wordiness in your messaging to keep your patients' attention. You can use emojis to highlight important details while keeping things friendly and casual:

Subject line: Hey [Patient’s Name]! Ready to get your smile sparkling on [Date]? 😁

Dear [Patient’s Name]

Your appointment date is almost here! 🗓️

Our team is excited to see you on [Date] at [Time] for your dental appointment. You'll enjoy a stress-free visit while here and leave with a healthy smile. 😃 Remember to get here 15 minutes early and call us at [Phone Number] or reply to this email if you need to reschedule.

We look forward to seeing you!

[Practice Name]

A Day's Notice Appointment Reminder

For many patients, a day's notice is beneficial since they likely had forgotten about their booked appointment since scheduling it or are unsure what to expect if their first visit:

Subject line: Tomorrow is your appointment with [Dentist's Name]

Hello [Patient’s Name],

This is a reminder that you have an appointment with [Dentist's Name] tomorrow at [Time]. If you need directions on how to get here or questions about your treatment tomorrow, feel free to give us a quick call at [Number]. If your plans change and you won't make it, please call us or reply to this email right away to reschedule your visit.

We look forward to seeing you!

[Practice Name]

One-Week Reminder Email

Sending an appointment reminder a week before their visit keeps your patient engaged when waiting a few weeks. It also helps them plan their week accordingly, making it unlikely their schedule will cause a conflict forcing them to cancel:

Subject line: Your appointment on [Date] with [Dentist's Name] is coming up!

Dear [Patient’s Name],

This is a reminder of an upcoming appointment you have scheduled for [Date] at [Time] at [Business Name]. Your oral health is important to our team, and we look forward to seeing you then!

If you can't make this appointment or have any questions, please call us at [Phone Number] or reply to this email right away. If you think you'll be more than 15 minutes late, call us to reschedule so we can get you in at a more convenient time.

Add this appointment to your calendar [Add Link].

Thanks!

[Practice Name]

Email Reminders for Virtual Dental Appointments

It's easy to get sidetracked and forget about an upcoming teledentistry appointment ,so send two different reminders: one for the day of and another right before it begins:

Subject line: Your virtual appointment with [Dentist’s Name] is today!

Hi [Patient Name],

You have a virtual dental appointment scheduled today with [Dentist's Name] at [Time]. You can join using your phone or computer here: [Meeting Link]. We recommend being in a room that is private during the visit. If you cannot attend, please respond to this email or call us directly at [Phone Number].

See you soon!

[Practice Name]

Click here to add this appointment to your calendar [Insert Link]

You can also send an email reminder just before the dental appointment begins:

Subject line: Your virtual appointment with [Dentist's Name] is starting in a few minutes!

Hi [Patient Name],

Your appointment with [Dentist Name] is starting in approximately 15 minutes! You can join this meeting using your mobile phone or computer using this link: [Meeting Link]. If you're having difficulty getting in, please call our office at [Phone Number] for assistance.

If you can't make the appointment, call us to reschedule for a more convenient time.

See you soon!

[Practice Name]

Schedule Next Appointment Reminder Emails

It's not uncommon for dental patients to leave their appointments and forget to schedule a needed follow-up appointment. Fortunately, practice management software like Adit can automate these requests via the patient's chosen communication channel, including email!

Subject line: Don't forget to book your next appointment with [Dentist's Name]!

Dear [Patient’s Name],

Our schedule indicates it's time to book your next dental appointment with [Dentist Name]. Scheduling a visit has never been easier and can be done without needing to call our office. You can go to our online calendar here [Scheduler Link] and book it using your phone or computer.

If you have any questions about your care or would prefer to schedule your next appointment over the phone, feel free to call our office at [Phone Number].

We look forward to seeing you soon!

[Practice Name]

Reschedule an Appointment Email

No matter how many reminders you send, there will always be a few patients who miss their dental appointments. When this happens, you should reach out to reschedule as soon as possible and emphasize how important their oral health is to your practice:

Subject line: You missed your appointment with Dr. [Physician’s Name] on [date]

Dear [Patient’s Name]

We missed you at your scheduled appointment today with [Dentist's Name] at [Time]. Healthy smiles are important to us, so we would love to get you rescheduled as soon as possible. You can pick a new date and time here [Online Scheduler Link].

Please also remember that we charge [Missed Appointment Fee Amount] for missed appointments and last-minute cancellations, so please try to make your next visit.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to our office at [Phone Number].

See you next time!

[Practice Name]

Patient Review Reminders

Online reviews are crucial to your marketing efforts to attract new dental patients. If you're struggling to get this important feedback, set up automated email reminders to encourage your patients to share their experiences:

Subject line: Your opinion about [Practice Name] matters to our dental

Hi [Patient’s Name],

On [Date] you came in for a dental appointment with [Dentist's Name]. We would love to hear about your experience and any suggestions you might have to improve our practice.

A review of how your visit went only requires a few minutes of your time. Here is the link to send your feedback [Link to Review Site]. We sincerely appreciate your taking the time to share your thoughts and help us offer the best dental care and services to our patients.

Thanks again for sharing your experience with us!

[Practice]

Innovate Your Appointment Reminder Process with Adit

Innovate Your Appointment Reminder Process with Adit

Appointment reminders are an essential function in any dental practice's day-to-day. However, automating this process saves time, money, and helps your team communicate effectively. Patients need these messages to ensure compliance, but your office needs to determine the best time of day to reach them before sending.

Adit helps dental offices to reclaim valuable productivity by automating many aspects of practice management that normally bogs down your day. Our team of talented developers are innovators and have created over 15+ tools designed for dentists.

Some of the features we offer to dental offices and companies include:

  • Adit Voice
  • Patient Recall
  • Call Tracking
  • Telemed
  • Pozative Reviews
  • Adit Pay
  • Internal Chat
  • 2-Way Patient Messaging
  • Practice Analytics
  • Online Scheduling
  • Patient Forms
  • Appointment Reminders
  • And so much more!

Ready to learn more about developing a successful appointment reminder strategy? Schedule a free demo with us today and learn how Adit's automated tools benefit your dental practice.

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