“Do You Take My Insurance?”

Here’s What Your Dental Patients Are Really Asking

The front office staff on the phone with a potential patient.


The Most Common Dental Question You’ll Ever Get

The phone rings.

Patient: “Hi, I’d like to make an appointment. Do you take my insurance?”

Front Office: “We are not in network with XYZ insurance, now please listen as I confuse you with a complicated explanation of how dental insurance works.”

Patient: “Okay, thanks. Bye!”

Sound familiar? It’s the number one question that dental offices deal with, every single day. It’s also the number one reason we find that patients don’t schedule an appointment.

An image of a patient asking the front office staff the dreaded question: Do You Take My Insurance?


How to Answer The Dreaded “Do You Take My Insurance?” Question

Insurance, as a concept, is frustrating and even infuriating for all of us, whether car, medical or homeowners insurance. Dental insurance is an even harder concept to understand because it works so differently from every other kind of insurance. Most patients have little to no knowledge of how their dental plans actually work, much less that they are essentially a pre-paid discount plan. So, rather than spending hours trying to figure it out, they go right to the source – you. And unfortunately, most offices unintentionally bomb the answer.


What Are Your Patients Really Asking?

When a patient asks, “Do you take my Dental Insurance?” that’s rarely the real question. Patients want to know:

  • How much am I going to pay out of pocket?
  • How do you make my care affordable?
  • Can I still come to you if you don’t take my insurance?


We asked Dental Practice Management Consultant Genevieve Poppe, also known as “The New Patient Whisperer” in call coaching circles, how she handles this very common question. Geni shared her simple but highly effective script for our readers to use:



Patient: “Do you take my insurance?”

Front Office: “I’d be happy to check on that for you! Can I get your name?”

This statement implies that we are willing to help the patient with their insurance

Patient: “My name is Marybeth Williams.”



Front Office: “I’m SO GLAD you called our office Marybeth! Now, while I check on your plan, can you tell me what we need to get you in for?”

Patient: “I broke a tooth and it’s very sensitive.”

Front Office: OH NO! Tell me what happened!

Ask open ended questions and employ active listening with appropriate responses.

The more the patient talks, the more you win!



Front Office: “You wanted to know if we take XYZ insurance. We have SO many patients who work at ABC company who come here and they love Dr. Jones!”

Patient: “That’s good to know, my husband loves it there!”



Front Office: “Let’s do this. Let’s get you scheduled with Dr. Jones. I want him to take a look at you and get you out of pain. Insurance is going to play a really minor role in your treatment. But don’t you worry about that, because I know how to get every last penny out of the insurance company and we offer this amazing no-interest financing to make your care affordable. NOW, before I let you go, let me get a little information from you (get address, insurance, etc).


What Have You Got To Lose? Patients, That’s What.

The truth is, most doctors have no idea how many new patients they lose to the insurance question. Without call tracking, it’s impossible to tell. Most dental practice management consultants, including Genevieve Poppe, see call tracking and the use of a new patient intake form as a valuable training tool, whether or not your practice invests in marketing. A simple tracking number on your website will allow you to capture dozens of calls, allowing you to train your team for success.


Don’t let insurance be a barrier to new patients. Challenge your team to adapt their answer to “Do you take my dental insurance” and watch your new patient count increase almost immediately.


Do you have questions about call tracking and training? Call the Smart Market Dental team at 844-296-SMART (7627) for a demo of our advanced call tracking and performance software.