5 Tips to Instantly Improve the Patient Experience

Callie Norton
January 9, 2024
5 min read

Effective Orthodontic Practice Management Guaranteed to Impress Your Patients  

As a care provider, you’re always working towards improving the patient experience in your orthodontic practice. In fact, it’s the foundation of your career; you’re in this to make patients confident and happier with their appearances.  

But if you think that’s enough to wow patients, think again.  

The patient experience involves more than crafting beautiful, surface-level smiles. It’s also about making patients genuinely happy with the time they’ve spent in your practice.    

So, if you want patients to leave 5-star reviews and rave about your services, you need to blow them away with stellar experiences. To help you step up your game, here are five tips from Tops that are sure to impress your patients.  

1. Top-Speed Check-In  

It’s no secret that patients want fast appointments. Between careers, schoolwork, and family obligations, they don’t have a lot of time to spare. Throwing off patients' schedules with slow intake can be as irritating to them as a broken bracket in dire need of repair.  

But you don’t have to keep letting your patients suffer. Repairing your practice’s check-in process is quite easy—and it doesn’t involve hiring four more employees to make it happen. An orthodontic management system like Tops can help your practice streamline its intake and decongest your waiting room with convenient and secure features:  

  • Online Intake Forms allow patients to complete important paperwork from anywhere and verify insurance before their appointments. This way, patients can show up and be seen without spending unnecessary time in the reception area filling out forms.  
  • One-touch Check-in via iPad® is easy and eliminates the line at your front desk. It also updates across all workstations, so you can track patients as they arrive.  

Offering a faster, more convenient check-in process is easily one of the best ways for patients to actually enjoy coming to your office. It also cuts back on uncomfortable waiting times—a major plus for the patients that suffer from dental anxiety. With less time to worry, they won’t dwell on an endless list of what-ifs.  

2. Faster & Easier Digital Communication  

To a patient, sometimes nothing can be more frustrating than slow communication with a doctor—especially in today’s fast-moving, digital world. If your practice is relying on telephone calls to engage patients, it won’t work for much longer. No patient wants to stick around with a practice that’s operating behind the times.  

Fortunately, it’s easy to start engaging patients how they prefer. Tops’ modern communication features allow your practice to reach patients quickly, and vice versa:  

  • Communicate in real time through two-way texting and have conversations with patients directly from your dashboard.  
  • Text automated reminders to ensure a smoother schedule for your office and flexibility for your patients, allowing them to easily respond to cancel or reschedule appointments.  
  • Send automated campaigns that can be personalized depending on your audience. Text or email important news, deliver educational content, and keep patients engaged with treatment.  

Faster communication removes barriers to your practice, giving patients easier access to you. You’ll help patients feel supported, keep them in the loop, and ensure they stay on top of treatment—providing them with the quality experiences they deserve.  

3. Mutually Beneficial Patient Education  

When patients are in your chair, half of what you tell them may not stick. This can be a problem, especially considering that their participation is essentially half the equation for effective treatment results.  

While texting patients about their care plans can help, you need educational material to send them. As such, prescriptive videos and images can show patients necessary visual details for the fullest understanding of their treatments.  

So, if you have a Braces Academy® account, you can connect your patient records in Tops. This allows you to text or email helpful videos and images to your patients. You can also monitor who’s watching videos to know what to work on and talk about each visit.  

Overall, your patients want exceptional results, and you want shorter treatment time. These things are only attainable if patients do their part. Helping patients stay on track with the right resources is a mutually beneficial, guaranteed way to improve care delivery and enhance the patient experience.  

The entire patient journey in one place

The technology inside your orthodontics practice should work hard for you. Tops’ complete ecosystem gives you the power, speed, and agility to move on to what’s next.

4. Fun & Memorable Patient Rewards  

Along with educating patients, another secret weapon to make them happier is to reward them for their compliance. If you notice patients are moving along nicely with their treatment plans, you should let them know it’s appreciated. And sometimes the difference between a satisfied patient and a bad experience is a free prize. After all, everyone likes to win.  

Further, like your educational tools, rewards are also mutually beneficial. Your patients will be excited and engaged with their treatment, and they’ll be motivated to stay on track. Likewise, you’ll reduce chair time and garner a positive reputation for providing patients with an exciting and memorable experience.  

But you don’t have to get out a spreadsheet to organize your rewards system. With Patient Rewards Hub within Tops, your practice can easily keep track of your most dedicated clients and giveaways. Then, you can surprise them with well-deserved prizes to make their treatment experience extra special.  

5. Ridiculously Easy Payments  

Payments are essential to your business but processing them can be a real pain. Too often in orthodontic offices, patients have to jump through hoops to pay for their services. First, there’s the almighty obstacle that is insurance. Then, they have copays, deductibles, or out-of-pocket expenses to worry about.  

And it doesn’t stop there. They have to deal with paperwork, manual payment processing, and long wait times at the terminal.  

But with Tops’ secure and integrated payments feature, TopsPay, your patients (and your staff) won’t find payment processing nearly as aggravating:  

  • Auto-pay plans allow patients to schedule recurring payments, so they don’t have to call or visit to pay.  
  • Faster checkout is possible with card-on-file and scheduled payments, so patients spend less time waiting in your reception area.  
  • Fewer hiccups with payments since your office can check upcoming expiration dates and easily update card information.  

TopsPay enables your practice’s payment processing to be easier and far less cumbersome for patients—which is just one more reason they’ll enjoy visiting your practice.  

Get Real Patient Smiles with Tops

With these five tips to improve patient satisfaction, you’ll have five more reasons for patients to visit your practice. And the extraordinary payoff you get from happier patients is worth it. They’ll keep coming back, you’ll get more referrals, and you’ll have a successful business you can be proud of.  

With Tops orthodontic practice management software, you get effective tools like faster check-in, accessible communication, patient compliance resources, and easier payments. Then, you have everything you need to level up your practice’s performance for all-around better patient visits.  

You already know how to make patients smile. Make them really smile with Tops.  


Appukuttan, D. (2016). Strategies to manage patients with dental anxiety and dental phobia: literature review. Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dentistry, 8(1), 35–50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4790493/  

Tops. (2022, September 7). Why You Can’t Afford Not to Switch to Tops. Tops. https://www.topsortho.com/post/why-you-cant-afford-not-to-switch-to-topsortho-tm  

Zallman, L., Bearse, A., West, C., Bor, D., & McCormick, D. (2016). Patient preferences and access to text messaging for health care reminders in a safety-net setting. Informatics for Health and Social Care, 42(1), 32–42. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26864932/  

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