How to Provide a Better Patient Experience in the Dental Practice


Integrating Jive’s Cloud-based Telephone Service with Curve Dental’s Practice Management Software


In the dental world, the battle for new patients is never ending. In some communities, where a handful of dentists duke it out for a finite number of potential patients, the deciding factor is branding. The practice that controls all facets of their brand usually wins. Consider the following:

  • The dentist in the nicer building is perceived as the better doctor.
  • The dentist with the nicest staff is perceived as the better choice.
  • The dentist with the coolest technology (digital x-ray sensors, overhead video monitors for movies, video games in the reception area, etc.) usually wins.
  • The dentist with the funky logo and vibrant practice name attracts more new patients.

All of these impression points add to a patient’s image of a particular practice, which creates a brand. If all of these interactions are carefully managed by the dentist the brand can be controlled.

A hot topic for dental marketing has been centered on the telephone. Dental management consultants regularly raise a red flag when it comes to how the dentist’s team answers the phone. Most of us can probably share a story or two about less-than-stellar customer service when calling your dentist or other healthcare professional. For a new patient, how that phone call is answered is a make or break the interaction. For existing patients, how that phone call is answered either reinforces the patient’s decision to see that particular doctor or validates their thoughts on looking for a new doctor.

What if the telephone call went something like this?

Receptionist: Good morning, Mr. Smith! I see you’ll be visiting Dr. Jones next Friday. How can I help you?


Mr. Smith will be impressed. Even if Mr. Smith is the practice’s biggest pain in the butt, surely he’ll be impressed that his preferred dental practice treats him like a rock star. That experience differentiates the practice from the one down the street. That experience defines Mr. Smith’s image of the practice and contributes to the perceived brand. Do you think Mr. Smith is going to say something to a friend whenever the conversation turns to dentists? You bet, he will!

How is it possible for the receptionist to answer the call in that manner?

A new integration between GoTo’s cloud-based telephone system and Curve Dental’s cloud-based management software provides the receptionist an opportunity to treat every patient in a personable and relevant manner; personable because the patient is greeted by name; relevant because the greeting can reference the patient’s current relationship with the practice, such as an existing appointment, or lack of appointment. The integration empowers the practice to really outshine the competition.

Practice Management Call Notification

Curve Dental with Jive Call Notification Call Out July 2015


In its simplest term, I think you can call the integration a super useful caller ID feature. When a patient calls a notification will appear in the bottom right-hand corner of Curve Dental’s management software (see illustration). In the notification, the receptionist will see a picture of the patient, the line number, the patient’s name, status, and phone number. With an additional click, more of the patient’s data appears in the software. Instantly, very important information can be reviewed before the call is answered, such as next appointment date and balance.

I probably made a mistake when I called this feature “a super useful caller ID feature.” Functionality wise, that’s what it is in its current form. But this is only one step on an adventurous journey to further integrate Jive’s cloud-based telephony with Curve Dental’s practice management software. Lots and lots of fun things are on the horizon.

Cloud-based telephone systems are offered by many different companies. But Curve Dental chose Jive for these reasons:

  • Jive is an Experienced Technology Company. Jive is a growing, well-established organization with hundreds of employees. When I recently visited their office I was told that they now had employees in two different locations because they had outgrown their current space. Small businesses, like dental practices, are signing up with Jive every single day.
  • Jive: Movers and Shakers. From the very first day that I met the Jive Team, I was impressed with their can-do attitude, confidence, and big smiles. Jive wants to do business and they are prepared to do whatever it takes to earn trust and then new business. I like these guys. They’re go-getters, just like Curve Dental.
  • Curve Dental Uses Jive, too. Earlier this year we switched from an old analog phone system to Jive’s cloud-based system. Now, any one of our team members can answer calls from anywhere by simply taking their phone and connecting it to the Internet. No configuration is required. If we are aware of pending inclement weather, our team can take their phones and work from home. We can also configure our messaging so much easier than before. Jive’s user interface provides a graphical view of how a call is handled and what options are available to the caller. It’s all very slick. And, as a web-based system, we can access reports or make changes to our messaging from anywhere! All of those benefits are natural advantages of doing business in the cloud.
  • Save Money with Jive. Another Jive advantage is the price. For Curve Dental, the switch to Jive reduced our operating costs, allowing us to re-invest those dollars into our development team. From what I’ve seen our customers should also see savings when switching to Jive

The integration between Curve Hero and Jive is complimentary. If your practice is using Jive and Curve Hero then you got it. Making the two work together takes a quick phone call to the Curve Dental customer service team.


Andy Jensen is a 20-year veteran of the dental software business. He currently holds the position of Vice President and CMO for Curve Dental, Inc., a developer of web-based dental software available in the United States and Canada.

Andy is a frequent contributing columnist for Dental Economics magazine, frequent blogger, Curve Dental Blog, and avid Youtube contributor.