Patient Compliance Monitoring: How to Celebrate Success

DATE: Jan 19, 2018 
AUTHOR: Jen Collins,RDH

Patient compliance monitoring is key to helping your patients stay on track for improved oral health. Some dental patients may only require a print-out of your recommendations to remind them of what they should improve in their daily oral hygiene routine, like flossing every day. Others may need a little extra encouragement.

Little acknowledgments of a job well done may be the missing link in your patients making lasting changes to their oral health habits. Here's how dental hygienists, with the help of the whole dental office, can help.

Make Time

Set aside five minutes of your patients' appointments to discuss with them how their compliance is important to their oral health. Sit facing your patient knee to knee and let them know how important your conversation is. According to RDH Magazine, dental patient compliance hinges on effective communication strategies, such as giving your patient in the chair your undivided attention.

Don't let disruptions around you distract you from your conversation. Listening is just as important as speaking, so make sure to hear your patients' side of the story and the barriers they may be facing.

Include the Team

Being involved in patient compliance monitoring is important for all team members. Put one team member in charge of implementing a system to keep track of each patient. Monthly team meetings are a good time to discuss and nominate any patients who deserve to be acknowledged for their successes.

A simple greeting card or flowers can be sent to patients to celebrate their achievements. Have each team member sign the card and make a personal comment to the patient. You can even enter patients into a monthly office raffle to reward them with items, such as local gift baskets and home care dental product giveaways. 

Patient compliance monitoring will not only boost patient morale, it could help build your practice by getting referrals from patients.


Patient follow-up is important to help ensure patients stay focused and continue their good habits. Keep good chart notes and refer to Gum Health Physical to help educate patients during their appointment. Good notes will also help you remember where your patients started and help you compare one appointment to the next.

Download patients' reports and compare to the previous reports saved in their charts to check for improvements in oral health, and revisit their continuing care frequency. Continual follow-up is important to further encourage patients to stay ahead of dental disease for optimal oral health.


  • Make time during appointments to discuss the importance of your recommendations.
  • Include the entire dental team in encouraging patients who are committed to change.
  • Compare notes from one appointment to the next to monitor your patients' progress.

Why It's Important

Patient compliance monitoring is important to keep tabs on a patient's progress. The future success of patients depends on consistent monitoring and encouragement.