Jury Awards $200k for “Horse Teeth”

Horse TeethWhen a Connecticut woman visited her cosmetic dentist for a dental makeover, things didn’t turn out like she’d hoped. The suit alleges Dr. Darren Martinez promised the patient “a big, beautiful Hollywood smile.”

Marvalyn Foster saw her dentist to have a false tooth replaced with a fixed dental bridge. But when she awoke, she found that Dr. Martinez had extracted three teeth. The large bridge he placed in her mouth apparently resembled “horse teeth.”

It took the jury only two hours to find in the patient’s favor.

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Cosmetic Dentistry and Reality TV (video)

Cosmetic dentistry and reality TV makeover showsMany reality TV shows feature dramatic makeovers that include cosmetic dentistry.

This survey found that half (54%) of dentists think this has increased patient demand for cosmetic dental work.

“It has made more people more aware of the cosmetic dentistry options,” said one dentist.

Another dentist was more skeptical. “These days, any dentist who does an all porcelain crown is calling himself a cosmetic dentist, with or with out any formal dental continuing education programs.”

“I’m more concerned about commercial advertisements from products like Lumineers and Invisalign,” added another.

Read more: Has the Media Increased Patient Demand for Cosmetic Dentistry?

General Dental Patients Are the Most Profitable For Dentists

General Dental Patients Are the Most Profitable For DentistsFor most dental practices, a certain percentage of dental patients drive the majority of profits.

But you might be surprised to learn that the more extensive dental treatment patients may not necessarily be the best profit-drivers.

It’s important for dentists to know what type of dental patients are the most profitable to their dental practice. In studying what makes this group profitable, dentists can apply what they discover to other dental patients.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists which type of dental patients they find are the most profitable for their dental practice.

34% of dentists responded, “General dental patients are always the core (profits)!”

Here’s a breakdown of the rest of the dentist’s responses —

24% Dental implant patients
18% Cosmetic dentistry patients
11% Sedation dentistry patients
09% Braces patients
02% Dentures patients
02% Other

Here are some comments from our dentists:

“Our most profitable patients are those that pay in full before treatment begins.” (Texas dentist)

“Dental implant patients seem to always pay on time.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“Patients who pay in full and refer other patients.” (General dentist)

“Sedation patients are the most profitable.” (California dentist)

“Cosmetic patients who want to replace amalgam with a more esthetic composite.” (Arizona dentist)

General dental patients have long been the most profitable type of dental patient for dentists, is this true of your dental practice?

Death by Aesthetic Dentistry

How You Label Your Dental Practice Makes a Huge Difference

Last week we drove a stake through the heart of “Aesthetic” or “Esthetic” as marketing terms to describe your style of dentistry. For the New Year, I’ll be a little kinder to the term “Restorative Dentistry.”

cosmetic dental marketing terms

Restorative Dentistry” ranks number five on our list of top results for descriptive marketing phrases with more than one hundred responses per month. But let’s stop and think about this result for a moment. That’s about 108 searches a month per state! Of all the people searching for a dentist in your state, only 108 referenced “Restorative Dentistry” in their search request. This is not a marketing term on which to stake your practice’s or family’s financial future in the tough months ahead.

Now, some of you are thinking “Cosmetic Dentistry” is still a great marketing term, given there are 135,000 queries, versus only 90,400 for “General Dentistry.” So let’s segment just the “Dentistry” results. I’ll even include the 1,900 people who used the misspelling of “Cosmetic Denistry,” and “Family Cosmetic Dentistry” on the cosmetic side of the equation.

cosmetic dentistry SEO

Let’s compare “Cosmetic” to “Family.”

family dentistry and general dentists

The results favor “Family / General Dentistry,” but not by much. The remaining issue is this: are you going to refer to yourself as a “Family-Friendly” dental practice or a “General” practice? Well, unless your state laws require you to use the term “General Dentistry,” I would strongly suggest using “Family” or “Family-Friendly Dentistry” to cast your marketing net as wide as possible. Further, how many of you want to be one of those “General Dentists” doing “General Dentistry?”

What does this mean for your 2009 marketing? The answer is simple: context.

If you are using signage, you should make reference to “Family Dentistry.” If you have enough space on your sign, use both terms (“Family & Cosmetic Dentistry”), but lead with the more economically friendly “Family” terminology in these recessionary times. (Click here for more details on dental sign design.)

The same holds true for Yellow Pages phone book display and newspaper ads. Lead with “Family Dentistry,” and follow up with “Cosmetic,” “Implants” or “Sedation.”

In terms of dental website marketing for local practices, there are still more than enough people searching for “Cosmetic Dentistry” in conjunction with “Your City Name,” so it makes financial sense to have a specific geo-targeted site for cosmetics.

Because of the way the search engines list results, it is still cost-effective to have multiple dental websites that are each targeted at a different segment of the dental market: Family, Cosmetics, Implants, Sedation, Ortho, etc. Complete Internet campaigns including a local website, directory listing and custom monthly patient email newsletter start at just $280 a month and drop to as low as $160 each for multiple websites.

It’s not hard to justify expanding your Internet marketing when just one additional new patient will generally pay for a full year of marketing. The reality is that you will probably average – worst case – one additional new patient a month. It makes for a great dental marketing ROI in a recessionary market.

Have a Great New Year!
Jim

Dental Safety: BPA Exposure and Dental Sealants (video)

Dental Safety: BPA Exposure and Dental Sealants (video)This week Campbell’s Soup Company announced that they are phasing out bisphenol A (BPA) in their canned food linings.

BPA is a chemical that can imitate human estrogen and is thought by some health care providers to be harmful to health.  BPA is commonly used additive in food packaging and dental sealants.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also reported that they will make a decision by March 30th on whether to the ban the use of bisphenol A in food and beverage packaging.

Dental composites have revolutionized dentistry, especially cosmetic dentistry. But composite resins and dental sealants also contain BPA.

Warned one dentist, “It’s a dangerous chemical that we are placing in a sensitive area, free to leech out 24 hours a day.”

Another dentist said, “The cumulative release of BPA from composites appears to be minimal from the available research.”

Recently there’s been a lot of negative publicity about bisphenol A being linked to heart disease, obesity and diabetes. In light of these recent reports, The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have dental safety concerns over dental composites.

Click on Play to hear how the dentists responded to the survey —

What are your thoughts on the use of BPA in cosmetic dentistry?

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