Dental Practice Technology: 66% of Dentists Use Digital X-rays

digital xraysDigital technology has reached the dentist’s office. According to Yale School of Medicine, 10 to 30% of dentists have abandoned film for digital X-rays.

When we asked dentists if they use use digital x-rays, 66% said yes. Only 34% reported that they still use film.

“Digital x-rays have improved dentistry so much. I can’t imagine going back to the old way of developing x-rays. It has allowed doctors to diagnose a patient when they are away from the office,” said one periodontist.

“Couldn’t live without digital,” offered another.

A great investment –

“Possibly the best investment I have made in my practice.” (Kentucky dentist)

“One of my best purchases. I’ve been digital over 4 years.” (Florida dentist)

“We implemented digital about a decade ago and would never go back.” (South Carolina dentist)

“One of the most cost-effective things I’ve done. I have been digital since 2000.” (California dentist)

“Yes, who in this day and age doesn’t? It is SO inexpensive compared to what I paid over 10 years ago to do it, that it is a “no-brainer” to do. PLUS the savings in chemicals, processor maintenance, employee time to do these non-essential weekly maintenance jobs, making duplicates for Insurance etc. just makes going digital a “slam dunk” decision! This is why, once I purchased it, I realized these benefits and then lectured on going digital.” (Illinois dentist)

“It’s wonderful! Less radiation the patient and staff is exposed to and the ability to manipulate the images.” (Florida hygienist)

“Higher diagnosable image versus film, no fixer, developer, film, mounts cost, lower patient and ambient radiation levels — truly a no-brainer!” (North Dakota dentist)

Too expensive for some –

“Very expensive to fully implement.” (Missouri dentist)

“Digital has improved greatly, but I am not interested in the investment at this late stage of practice.” (Indiana dentist)

“I would love to have a digital pan/ceph, but at $44K, I’ll have to pass for now.” (Oklahoma dentist)

“Too expensive!” (Nevada dentist)

“I am 67 years old in a month or so and it is hard to spend that much money.” (California dentist)

“Way too costly!” (Massachusetts dentist)

Sensors can be an issue –

“Sensors are too @#*&! expensive!” (Mississippi dentist)

“The technology finally meets or exceeds the quality of film radiology — but with some drawbacks. The cost for the sensors and viewing equipment is very high, compared to the same film-based radiology. The bitewing views are not fully closed-mouth as bitewings done with films, because of the sensor cords. And the sensors have some limitations of placement freedom due to their rigidity and thickness compared to the relative patient comfort with films.” (California dentist)

“Since no sensor has been declared superior, I believe buyers need to evaluate the software. How many ‘clicks’ needed to go through the fmx, to modify contrast/brightness for diagnosing and making notes? You should be able to do this quickly ‘on the fly’ as the patient hears you review their x-rays. The right-click menu and simple keyboard shortcuts should be available so you don’t have to mouse all over the place for everything. I also believe software using the “template” paradigm of x-ray sets is a throwback to the past and is not good use of computer power.” (Illinois dentist)

“They have to make the sensors either less expensive or more durable.” (California dentist)

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist Part 4

How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 4Last week, I shared with you the third step of How to Become Recognized as THE Cosmetic Dentist in Your Community Part 3: Scrap the Tabloids, Share Some Smiles.

So now that you’ve completed your self-evaluation of the practice and cleaned up the clutter of magazines in the reception room and replaced them with a practice promoting photo album and know the value of power educating with collateral materials…

You might be wondering, “What’s next?”

Step 3: EFFECTIVE USE OF A SMILE ANALYSIS FORM

How do you utilize the information gained in your Smile Analysis Form? Do you even have a form or is it a single question on your health history form – asking patients if they want to change anything about their smile? If you do use a form, was it designed to create the comfort level that patients need to confide what enhancements they are looking to have?

Once the form is filled out what does your receptionist do to help create awareness among your other team members that this patient might have some issues they need to address? While the patient is waiting in the reception area what does the receptionist do after reviewing the form regarding addressing the possible services that might solve their esthetic concerns?

Your receptionist will never diagnose, however they should be actively involved in the process. Remember the Power Triad Rx: To inform, educate and remove hidden objections that result in a motivated patient.

THE 80% RULE

Your receptionist is one of the KEY team members who can make or break your cosmetic program. Whether welcoming patients to the practice, answering questions on the phone — or in the office –- your practice and your patients will benefit when your receptionist and other team members have updated their cosmetic skill set.

Sounds easy enough but it does require dedication and effort. The good news is that this new skill set will be seamless with your existing systems when your receptionist works with the Silverman Institute’s 80% Rule.

The concept is simple…80% of the time, while you are in an operatory treating a patient, another team member should be informing, educating and motivating other patients about various cosmetic services.

Dr Silverman teaching the receptionist the 80% Rule at Boot Camp

Dr Silverman teaching the receptionist the 80% Rule at Boot Camp. “The key is not just having your patient fill out a form, but using the 80 Percent Rule in conjunction with the information obtained in the form.”

For example, while you’re completing the final touches on a Non-Invasive Veneer case, a patient is in the reception area talking to your receptionist. In addition to exchanging pleasantries, your receptionist reviews your next patient’s Smile Enhancement Form.

Noticing that the patient would like to enhance some of her teeth your receptionist takes advantage of this time to use the Power Triad Rx described above.

The reception area is where interest is generated while the patient is waiting to be seen by the doctor or the hygienist.

Don’t waste this opportunity to inform, power educate and motivate these patients. The truly cosmetically focused team will want to know how to maximize this key player.

COMPLIMENTARY REVIEW AND FORMS

My suggestion: Consider your Smile Analysis Form as a tool to gather information.

Don’t let it collect dust while the patient is waiting to be seen. Highlight the form with a yellow marker indicating what changes your patient was hoping to have made.

Would you like a complimentary copy of the Silverman Institute’s Boot Camp Smile Enhancement Form?

Simply send me a request to incrediblesmiles@aol.com with a brief explanation of why you hope this form will be helpful to you – and I will be happy to forward a copy of our form to you that you can test and see how it works with your patient population. (If you can include a copy of your office logo letterhead with the email then we can customize the form for your office).

And don’t forget to send me up to 3 photos of your reception area in .jpeg format if you would like me to offer some complimentary advice on how you might be able to enhance your cosmetic dentistry message.

In the next edition of How To Become Recognized As THE Cosmetic Dentist In Your Community:

Step 4: MOTIVATING OFFICE DECOR

About the author:

Dr  Harvey Silverman Dr. Harvey Silverman has successfully coached dentists on how to take their cosmetic dentistry practice to the next level since 1984. If you want information on how the Silverman Institute’s Cosmetic Dentistry Boot Camp Program can take your cosmetic practice to the next level, contact Dr Silverman at (216) 256-4599 or e-mail him at incrediblesmiles@aol.com.

Dr Silverman is the author of Best Cosmetic Dentistry Practices in Dental Products Report as well as Silverman On Smiles in Dentistry Today and is the inventor of the LifeLike Veneer System™ and the EasySmile Tooth Whitening System™ that will be available to dentists in 2012.

Is Your Dental Website Easily Found on the Internet?

Is Your Dental Website Easily Found on the Internet?Three out of ten dentists say that it’s not easy for patients to find their dental website on the Internet, this survey found.

On the other hand, 22% say it’s easy for new and current patients to find them online.

In addition, 48% of dentists say they’d like to improve their dental website search engine results placement.

All dentists want their dental website to show up at the top of the search list whenever someone searches for a dentist. A search-engine optimized dental website seeks to accomplish this goal. It involves a well-researched, geo-targeted keyword strategy for use in your dental website’s content.

The result is a more visible ranking for your dental website in the organic search results on search engines like Google, which brings more visitors to your dental website.

Here are some additional comments from dentists on their dental practice visibility online —

“It’s good, I get a lot of patients through the Internet. You can’t get complacent and must be on top of things, it’s ever-changing.” (California oral surgeon)

“I am never satisfied. It takes constant work. I am hopeful that I will get so busy so I can afford to delegate it. I do enjoy the game and play fairly well. If I was in a large market there is no way I could handle it.” (Missouri dentist)

“I’m looking at providers now because it seems more people are using the web as a means to get the things they want and need, including dentistry. Feel I need to give it a try.” (California dentist)

“We must update and change it to keep it current so we will be found.” (General dentist)

“There are only two of us in town so easy to find me!” (Texas dentist)

When local prospective dental patients search for dentists, you want them to find your dental website quickly and to understand what kind of dental treatments you offer. You want to stand out from your competition with a dental website listing that appears at the top of search engines.

Check out IDA’s New Patient Marketing Machine™ that targets the specific categories of high-value new patients you want to attract to your dental website. Each IDA website is targeted at one Primary Dental Market, and optionally for up to 3 Secondary Dental Markets to help your dental practice become easily found on the Internet.

Dentists: Would a Former Associate Steal Your Dental Patients? (video)

Dentists: Would a Former Associate Steal Your Dental Patients? (video)Dentists, do you think an ex-employee or associate would steal your dental patient lists?

In a survey conducted by the research firm Ponemon Institute, 59% of ex-employees admitted to stealing company data when leaving their prior employment.

Dental patients are a dentist’s most valuable resource, but competition can be so tough that some dentists have seen exiting dental employees steal their patient lists.

One dentist complained, “Every GP associate I’ve had has tried to steal patients. It’s like inviting someone into your home, then finding your silverware is missing after they leave.”

Another dentist said, “I’ve had employees try; the patients usually complain to me personally about the situation. Loyalty is rewarded.”

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have ever had problems with ‘patient stealing‘ by associate dentists or employees leaving their dental practice.

To hear how dentists responded, Click on Play —

What has been your experience with dental pateint stealing at your dental practice?

Dentists: Fake Negative Online Review Nets Business Owner 150K

Dentists: Fake Negative Online Review Nets Business Owner 150KOver the past three years The Wealthy Dentist has covered stories regarding negative online reviews and how dentists should handle them as part of an overall dental marketing strategy.

We’ve agreed that no one should be allowed to post an anonymous reviews against a dentist, because the costs to a dental practice can be high, and the dentist has little hope of investigating the circumstances to turn the situation around.

Not to mention the real possibility that the dentist might be dealing with an anonymous derogatory review that is actually fake.

The best a dentist could do was soften the impact of the negative review online is by responding with positive attributes about his or her dental practice. Any attempt to sue over a negative review always seemed to favor the poster of the review — not the recipient.

But it seems the courts are finally starting to take notice.

Recently, the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld a $150,000 putative damage reward to a plaintiff for defamation caused by 3 fake online reviews.

In 1999, Peter Mitchell and Michael Hosto co-founded a property damage restoration company. Their restoration business was so successful that in 2003 they created BoardUp, Inc., a lead generation service for restoration companies covering five area codes that encompassed significant portions of central and eastern Missouri and the southwestern portion of Illinois.

The partners successfully ran the companies for 4 years until a deterioration in their relationship and the commencement of litigation forced Mitchell and Hosto to dissolve their business associations by entering into a Settlement Agreement in 2007. As a result of the agreement Hosto ended up with BoardUp and Mitchell ended up with the restoration company.

But Hosto was apparently not happy with how the settlement came down.

Hosto went online and posted 3 fake negative reviews about Mitchell and his restoration work. According to court records the first two reviews were posted on March 31, 2008, on Google and Yahoo, respectively. In those fabricated reviews, Hosto used the names of prior customers of the restoration company to create detailed accounting of dealings with Mitchell that encouraged potential customers to avoid contracting with the company.

Here are 2 of the fake reviews:

1. 1st Review on Google (there were 2) –
Grade: F. Dealing with these people was the single biggest mistake I have ever made in my whole life. I[t] was a miserable experience and the job was done so poorly we decided to sell the house. They were great salesman [sic] but their workman [sic] were idiots and the owner was not willing to help in any way. I was so happy just to get them out of my life I paid them much more than I should have because their law firm threatened to lien my house if I disagree[d] with any part of their bill. All I can say is if they show up in your front yard in the middle of the night after your house catchs [sic] on fire, RUN! Do yourself a favor and call your insurance company and get a referal [sic] for legitimate business people.

2. Review on Yahoo –
They were a pain in the neck when I least needed one! Like the other guy [,] The Fire Works Restoration Company showed up in the middle of the night while the firemen where [sic] still putting out the fire. Their emergency board up guys were great. I liked them so much I decided maybe they weren’t so bad when a salesman from the Fire Works Restoration Company showed up the next day. Then they offered to do a “Free Estimate.” So [F]ire [W]orks was a lot higher than the other company. [T]hey got into a long drawn out fight about 1) the cost to remove the water and 2) the cost to dry out the house and 3) the cost to rebuild the house and 4) the cost to clean our stuff. The whole thing turned out to be such a nightmare that I figured it was just easier to deal with the insurance company contractor (the one these guys told me was gonna rip me off!!!!). [S]o when I told them I was not going with them then they sent me a bill even bigger than the first that the insurance company already said they didn’t want to pay. [T]he [F]ire [W]orks guy said it was a “supplement” and the first bill was not complete. [T]hey wanted an additional $1,700 more than the first bill (which was already too high!!!). Moral of the story–––people that seem nice usually are nice but not always.

As soon as Mitchell discovered the negative reviews, he initiated a “John Doe” lawsuit to ascertain the identity of the poster of the online reviews. Yahoo identified Mitchell’s ex-partner, Hosto as the person who posted the negative review on its website. Ultimately Hosto emailed Mitchell admitting that he had posted the negative reviews. Mitchell then brought a defamation suit against both Hosto personally and his company, BoardUp. In response, Hosto filed a counterclaim alleging defamation against Mitchell.

A jury agreed with Mitchell in his personal defamation claim against Hosto and only awarded him $1.00 in actual damages, but awarded him $150,000 in punitive damages. In addition, the jury rejected both Mitchell’s defamation claim against BoardUp and Hosto’s counterclaim against Mitchell.

At first review it might be hard to understand why the jury only awarded Mitchell $1.00 in actual damages, but this may be because it is difficult to prove that a potential customer who Mitchell has never done business with actually decided not to employ the services of his company based on a negative online review.

But the $150,000 in punitive damages does send the message that online posters are responsible for the negative reviews they leave online.

In a research study by Cone, Inc., they found that 80% of consumers have changed their mind about purchases based on negative information that they found online and 87% claimed that positive reviews reinforce their purchasing decisions.

In the future a dentist may very well be able to prove that his or her dental practice was adversely affected by a false negative review and will receive a more sizable actual damages amount.

Have you ever experienced a fake negative online review? How did you handle it?

For help in handling negative online reviews, see The Wealthy Dentist’s dental marketing article, Dental Marketing: A Guide for Avoiding Negative Online Reviews

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