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Two articles take you into the mindset not only of the patient considering a choice of practices, but of the pediatric dentist deciding whether to refer to a specific orthodontist. Longoria’s “Factors Involved in Choosing an Orthodontist in a Competitive Market” presents the findings from a well-built survey that asked primary decision makers why they chose their orthodontic offices. Another study, “What Influences a Pediatric Dentist to Refer to a Particular Orthodontist?” by Kothari, Pruzansky, and Park, reports the major characteristics considered by pediatric dentists and their staffs when making referrals.

Next, we move to a three-part series by Haeger and Colberg titled “A Strategic Marketing Plan.” These articles explain how to track new-patient exams, monitor conversion to starts, survey patients and dentists, evaluate return on investment for specific internal and external marketing concepts, and develop a marketing plan and calendar. After reading this section, you will know how to create a marketing plan—a crucial requirement when a banker asks where your patients will come from.

Finally, an article by Haeger called “Increase New Patient Starts by Analyzing Referral Sources and Treatment Coordinators” digs deep into conversion rates based on referral source, treatment coordinator, type of recommended treatment, and location.

Anyone who can master the material laid out in these articles will be well prepared for understanding where new patient starts come from and why.



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