The Hidden Patients in Your Practice

By Roger P. Levin, DDS


According to a recent AAO survey, 27% of ortho patients in North America are adults. This begs the question… what are you doing to turn parents into patients? Imagine if you could convert 1 in 4 parents to become patients. That would be a nice bump in starts.

While not all parents are candidates for ortho treatment, many in fact are. They’re seeing firsthand what a great job you’re doing with their child. If their teeth aren’t as straight as they would like, they’re thinking about what ortho treatment could do for their smile. 

So how do you get parents to take the next step?

Make it easy for them. Here’s how:

  1. Mention the family discount during the initial consultation. Most ortho practices offer a discount when two or more family members undergo treatment at the same time. Highlight this discount during the consult and specifically emphasize that it all applies to both siblings and parents.
  1. Use adult-friendly marketing materials. With more and more GPs offering orthodontics, specifically aligners, you want to demonstrate to parents that your office is the best place for them if they choose to have treatment. During the consult, the treatment coordinator should hand parents a brochure on adult ortho treatment options. Your reception area and treatment bays should feature posters of smiling adults with aligners and braces.
  1. Offer patient financing options. If parents are funding their child’s ortho treatment, they may need help paying for their own. Offering patient financing from a reputable provider often turns a “maybe” or “let me think about it” into a “yes.”
  1. Turn your practice into a temporary kid-free zone. Set up a specific time each week when you only see adult patients. Maybe it’s one evening and one morning a week. While many parents won’t have a problem being seen at the same time as their child, others may prefer a different appointment. It’s always good to give patients options.



Parents represent one of the best opportunities to grow your practice. They’ve already chosen your practice once. The second time should be easier. Just follow these four steps!

Are the ortho systems in your practice fully supporting your production potential? Visit  to find out.

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