The Top Reasons Patients Leave your Dental Practice

Most of the listed reasons below can be solved with improved practice systems and better communication


  • The practice doesn’t accept the patient’s plan—not in network
  • Billing error not resolved to patient’s satisfaction.
  • Repeated insurance or billing errors.
  • Unexpected charge shows up on their bill.
  • Patient feels the dentist’s fees are too high.
  • Patient not informed what their portion of the bill will be after insurance pays.
  • Unhappy with office’s financial policy.

Dental Personnel

  • Personality conflict or disagreement with an employee.
  • Staff member was rude or not helpful.
  • Treated rudely or abruptly on telephone.
  • Staff did not have a professional demeanor.


  • Treatment questions that were not answered.
  • Pain during treatment.
  • Lack of privacy during treatment.
  • Post-treatment problems.
  • Hygienist was too rough.
  • Disagreement with recommended treatment plan, and no alternative treatments offered.
  • Lack of explanation for treatment being rendered.
  • Patient felt they were being given a sales pitch.
  • Patient felt that they were being rushed through treatment in a production line.
  • Patient was embarrassed, and is ashamed to return.
  • Concerns about sterilization and cross-contamination procedures.
  • Dentist or staff didn’t wash hands when entering operatory.

Dentist Provider

  • Dentist seemed to lack interest in the patient and their concerns.
  • Dentist was a poor communicator.
  • Dentist did not have a professional demeanor.
  • Dentist has bad breath/ poor hygiene
  • Dentist was too rough and insensitive.
  • Patient lost confidence in the dentist’s treatment skills.

Office location/environment

  • Patient moves their residence to a different area.
  • Patient had job relocation.
  • Patient getting older, and prefers a closer office.
  • Unclean office.
  • Old and outdated furniture.
  • Office smells like a dentist’s office.


  • Spouse pressures patient to switch to their dentist.
  • Patient attracted by marketing done by another office.
  • Patient heard about a high-tech procedure or equipment that another office had.
  • Office received bad reviews in social media.
  • Patient kept waiting too long in reception and treatment room
  • Phone message not returned.


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