Most patients prefer more “modern” dental practices—those that send both appointment reminders and payment requests via text messages, for example—according to a February survey of 1,137 random dental patients by Weave. However, the survey also found lazy and forgetful oral hygiene habits among its respondents.
“Being a dentist is tough, not just because caring for teeth is a complex profession, but because most patients don’t like going to the dentist. Many people are fearful of dental visits because their poor oral hygiene habits almost always end in painful treatments,” said Jeff Lyman, chief product officer at Weave, which provides tools such as automated appointment reminders designed to remove such stresses from the patient experience to dental practices.
According to the study:
- 41% of patients would forget to schedule a cleaning if they didn’t receive a reminder from their dentist.
- More patients like to be reminded about dental appointments by text than by phone call or email.
- 86% of patients say they will pay attention to a text from their dentist.
- More people say bad breath is a dating deal-breaker than being broke.
- Nearly 60% of people who avoid going to the dentist regret it.
- 41% of patients would prefer to pay their dental bill via text, but only 12% say their dentist accepts text payments.
- Nearly 70% of patients would gladly leave an online review if their dentist sent them a link to do so.
- 74% of respondents want someone else to tell them if they have bad breath, but 77% definitely aren’t comfortable telling someone else they have bad breath.
- 30% of people have had their day ruined because they walked around with something stuck in their teeth without knowing.
- 23% of patients want more laughing gas but are embarrassed to ask.
- 50% of people avoid smiling because they don’t like their teeth.
- 53% of patients have gone more than three years without getting their teeth checked.
- Top moments ruined by food stuck in teeth include job interviews, first dates, work presentations, sex, family photos, wedding photos, and speaking in public.