Letters To Introduce a New Dentist To The Practice

A letter that introduces a new dentist (due to retirement or new associate) to the practice should reflect the personality of the practice.  Some are very formal, almost like a legal notice in the newspaper.  Others are very informal, verging on non-professional.  Most are somewhere in between.  Try to make your letter friendly but professional, saving casual language for personal email.

The letter can be written as if it is coming from the old dentist ("I am happy to introduce...").  Or it can sound as if it is coming from the entire office ("We are happy to introduce...").  Some come from the new dentist ("I am happy to be joining...").

General guidelines

Heading section

If your return address is not preprinted on the letterhead, make it the first item on the letter, above the date.  Do not include your name or title, since it is included in the letter's closing. Include only street address, city, state, and zip code.

In most cases, the date the letter is written would be the first item, on a separate line.  Begin one line space below the upper margin, or upper letterhead address.  Write out the month, and use the full year (four digit) format like this:  April 25th, 2012

The name and address of the recipient can be included next.  The name usually does not include a prefix here. Abbreviate state names using standard postal abbreviations.

Salutation section

The salutation (greeting) can take many forms, such as:

Many practice management software programs provide letter merge capabilities.  These can simplify the job of generating personalized salutations, but can appear awkward if not done with care.

Usually a comma is used in the salutation for personal letters or more social business letters.  A colon is used in place of a comma only in American business correspondences, and might be appropriate in more formal introductory letters.  In British English, either a comma is used, or no punctuation mark at all.

Introduction section

Start with the reason for sending this letter.

Examples:

Details section

Main message, with any supporting details.

Tell how this new addition will benefit the patient, such as expanded hours; more services; appointments with less waiting. The bottom line with patients is "How will this change affect me?"

Show off the new dentist.  Include background information, education, degrees, residency, post-graduate programs, dental work history, organizations, awards, special dental interests, research, community service activities, home town, family, hobbies, interests.

Examples:

Conclusions section

Brief closing remarks

Examples:

Closing section

The closing is followed by a comma.

Examples:

After the closing, leave three blank lines, then type the sender's name.  This is usually the name of the dentist.  If it comes from someone else, it should be followed by a line with the sender's title, such as Office Manager. 

The letter is more personal when each one is individually signed by the dentist.  Some offices have the entire staff sign their first names also.

Margins

Generally, one inch margins are used on left, right, top, and bottom margins.  For letterhead, this is one inch from the preprinted part at the bottom, and one line space from the preprinted part at the top.

Indentation formats

Any one of the four traditional formats for business letters are acceptable, but Block is the most common for letters of this type.

Font

The most widely accepted font is Times New Roman, size 12.  Arial may be used as a sans-serif alternative.  If your letter is fairly informal, you might have more leeway to use a different font.  Use the same font and size for the entire letter.  In no circumstance should you use Comic Sans font in any business documents.