Research Outline

User Journey for High End Dental Work


To determine the user journey in terms of selection criteria, digital touchpoints, and useful content to create a full-funnel marketing strategy for a dental startup.

Early Findings

Preliminary research indicates that information on the high-end dental or dental implant patient journey is limited. What is available tends to be from companies advertising their services (either their own implant services or their marketing services). Initial findings that are directly related to dental implants or other dental procedures are below.


  • In Ireland, the dental implant journey begins with a dental problem that becomes an imposition to the patient.
  • Next, the patient contacts their general dentist practitioner, who typically "prescribes an amount of work that is prohibitively expensive for the patient."
  • At this point, the patient may decide to hold off on completing the dental work, believing they can deal with the dental problems rather than spend the required amount of money to fix them.
  • They may begin seeking solutions from their friends and family who will provide referrals or contribute by telling stories of people they know who got their teeth fixed for a good price.
  • Armed with their friends and family's referrals and suggestions, patients often now turn to Google to research their options.
  • They may consider traveling abroad for cheaper solutions and even begin to get online quotes from various clinics.
  • Once they determine which clinic has the best price, they schedule a consultation.


  • Facebook tends to be the best advertising medium to reach potential implant patients because of its ability to target specific demographics.
  • Facebook is used by 98% of dental practices as part of their patient acquisition strategy. Only 33% use Twitter or Instagram, and just 5% use Snapchat.
  • Since Facebook seems to be a major channel through which orthodontists are selected, Facebook advertising is critical for reaching targeted demographics.
  • Most dental patients do not choose a dental practice based on a single interaction. For instance, the practice may be discovered through a Google search, but then will continue through various channels as they vet reviews and visit the provider's website before calling to make an appointment.
  • Only 2% of healthcare appointments are scheduled online, so no matter how the patient discovered the practice, most conversions come through a telephone call.
  • Thus, making the telephone appointment process simple will likely result in a higher conversion rate.
  • For orthodontics, building potential customer trust is a critical step in the selection process.
  • Patients will want to see "plenty of positive reviews on third party sites like Yelp or... Google Business listings."
  • Personal referrals are "a vital decision point in the customer's journey to choosing an orthodontist."


  • During the journey, patients want to be able to communicate with their orthodontist on social media.
  • An orthodontist's social media presence must be active and "encourage sharing, creating a constant flow of engagement between [their] office, patients and potential clients."
  • Educational content on the orthodontist's website and on social media shows that they care and are knowledgeable.