Doctor, What Is Your Practice’s Regeneration Rate?

(Statistical Snapshot from APM’s Database):

Is your dental practice growingPresumably, the bigger a practice’s Active Patient base is, the more referrals it will generate per year.

More people saying good stuff about you. Also, the bigger your practice is, the more new patients it needs to replenish itself. Through normal attrition, a practice with 2,000 patients will lose more per year than one with 1,000.

We measure a practice’s regeneration rate by dividing the total number of new patients per year by the active patient count.

Regeneration rate


For the average practice in our database, the regeneration ratio is about 11% per year. Strong patient flow growth is usually indicated by a ratio of 20% or more.

If your practice has a low regeneration rate, it’s very likely that your practice will shrink over time. Our analysis of the “average lifetime” of a patient in a practice is about 9 years, which, coincidentally or not, matches up pretty closely with the average replenishment rate.

Replenishment rates in our data base range from about 4% to over 30%. As with most statistics, we use them to just help frame an issue. When we are managing a practice, we are looking for the movement of the numbers—the statistical trends are more important than just the reading.

Want To Know Your Regeneration Rate? Your consultant can assist you in getting an updated Active Patient Count (2-year criteria), calculating your ratio and interpreting the results.

If you want to refine things further and you’ve been tracking new patient sources closely, you can look at your pure “referral ratio”, which would be a reading on the number of referrals you get per 100 active patients per year.

Speaking of Referrals: If you go with the general assumption that about 1 out of 10 patients refer you to another in a given year, then ask yourself, “What would happen with practice growth if I could just get 2 or 3 out of 10 patients to send another patient in per year?”