Dentists Frustrated by the Limitations Dental Boards Put on Dental Marketing (video)

dental boards and advertisingThe purpose of state dental boards is to make sure that dentists stay in line both professionally, clinically and ethically. They make sure dental marketing stays in line too.

The Wealthy Dentist asked dentists if they feel that state dental boards unfairly restrict dental practice marketing. Two out of three dentists said no – dental boards are just protecting the public’s best interest. But one out of three dentists was frustrated by the limitations dental boards put on advertising and other dental marketing efforts.

Watch the Video to hear more of what dentists have to say –

What are your thoughts on state dental boards and dental marketing?

The Truth About Dentists Needing More New Patients

Fully 68% of dentists think that they need more new patients. Only 9% say they have as many new patients as they need. 23% are just getting by.

“We need new patients. This is possibly due to the fact that we have chosen not to engage in managed care, i.e., our name is not on these lists,” opined a New Jersey dentist.

The Truth About Dentists Needing More New Patients

Here are just a few of the comments from dentists on needing more new patients:

“New patient flow has tapered off!!” (California dentist

Our town has had no growth in several years, so new patients are hard to come by.” (Texas dentist)

“We need patients with more $$$$” (Minnesota dentist)

“What battle are we fighting? Poor economy? Patients in a general funk and therefore just putting off dental care? Decreasing insurance coverage? Lack of perceived need? Etc? Etc? If we knew the enemy, it would be easier to address.” (Iowa dentist)

“New patient influx is affected by the holidays. We don’t see as many in November and December!” (General dentist)

“I have a unusual practice. I own a walk-in dental ER. We need about 200 new patients in pain. We have been open about 2 years and are starting to get some (50%) referrals. About 15% are now returns. Radio and the Internet account for most. The phone book gets a few older adults. This is a new idea for Springfield MO. and I am pleased with the progress.” (Missouri ER dentist)

“We have gone back to the dirty days of hucksterism and bait-and-switch in this profession. New patients are bought, stolen and traded. The destroy the reputation game on the Internet leaves patients confused and distrusting. Dentists are regaining the reputation of thieving ‘sharpies’.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“How about a survey asking if dentists feel this recession is ending? Getting worse? Or developed into a depression? The driver of my lab (one of the largest in the state) that is a very good friend/patient says that half the employees are laid off and the other half are forced to take every 4th day off from lack of business from dentists. We are in crisis mode but no one wants to talk publicly about it.” (Indiana dentist)

Dentists Looking to 2012 for an Economic Upswing

Dentists Looking to 2012 for an Economic UpswingRecent economic reports give U.S. economists hope that 2012 will be an improvement over 2011, and it seems there are many dentists who agree.

“If the economy improves, as it should, we all should do better in 2012!” said one dentist.

In fact, when asked what they expect for 2012, 77% of the dentists who responded to our survey anticipate a better financial picture, while only 23% expect 2012 to be a bad year.

When asked about the past two years, 42% of the dentists said 2011 was economically better than 2010. However, for 40% of dentists, 2011 was economically worse than 2010. 18% saw no difference economically between 2010 and 2011.

Here are some dentist comments:

Dental marketing worked…

“We plan that each year will improve over previous year due to addition of an associate and definitive marketing strategies utilizing the Internet Dental Alliance web sites!” (Oklahoma dentist)

“We didn’t have a better year by mistake. It was due to being proactive and using targeted dental marketing.” (California dentist)

“We streamlined our dental marketing efforts, increased our marketing return on investment, focused more on internal marketing, and tightened our belts on our overall office expenditures. We will end this year with more new patients and economically much better than the previous 3 years. We are riding out the economic storm fairly well.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“I feel our picture is 50% real and 50% what’s in our head. If we stay positive and use services like yours we can make our results better than average. How much better depends on our head and the help we get.” (Urgent care dentist)

Implementing new strategies helped …

“We are staying afloat because we offer a very wide-range of services for a General Dentist – Invisalign, Sedation, Implant placement and restoration, CEREC, most Endo, Perio, and Oral Surgery. Without this broad offering, we would be doing much worse.” (General dentist)

“We are down 5% but we completely remodeled our office doubling our space, had 5 of 8 staff members pregnant, losing 4 of them, worked through the construction dust and noise, and were still only down 5%, so I am happy with 5% downturn. I look forward to 2012.” (California dentist)

“In order to turn things around, I have completely had to change my practice. I have a management group I am now using and am revamping office systems. We are working hard to maintain the high level of care we have always offered, but am now participating as “in network” with dental insurance, and am now thinking about profit centers and time management. We are trying for a balance that doesn’t diminish our ability to do awesome dentistry, but it will be more difficult with the restrictions that insurance companies place on treatment. Illinois has been hit hard by the economy, with the “reported” unemployment level finally getting down under 11% for the 1st time in 3 years in December with the seasonal Christmas hirings. The actual unemployment is around 21%.” (Illinois dentist)

“I spent time creating additional avenues of wealth.” (General dentist)

“I will continue as I have through thick and thin, modifying as I see necessary, continuing to update skills, and taking very good care of my patients. While this year was a downturn, compared to many of my local peers, it was truly a minor one.” (South Carolina dentist)

“I am dropping Delta Premier. I tried it this year and I can’t give that 25-35 percent discount.” (Illinois dentist)

Looking to 2012 for relief …

“Our goal is to increase by 30% in 2012.” (New Jersey dentist)

“The first half of 2011 was the best ever. The second half saw a decrease relative to 2010. The trend is for 2012 to be flat, so I am playing it very conservative right now.” (Virginia dentist)

“They must improve in 2012!” (General dentist)

“In 2012 I definitely need to change how I do business in regards to PPOs. I use to be an all fee-for-service practice. That dwindled, and now I am busy, but not profitable. (California dentist)

“If President Obama loses we’ll see a much better economy.” (General dentist)

The Wealthy Dentist would like to thank all the doctors and specialists who have participated in our dental surveys over the past year. We find your insights and comments invaluable and we appreciate the time you take to offer feedback.

We wish all of you a very prosperous 2012!

Dentistry Gone Wild! Can a Dentist Talk to Zoo Animals at Night?

Dentistry Gone Wild! Can a Dentist Talk to Zoo Animals at Night?Does scaling a fence at the zoo relieve stress for dentists?

Maybe one dentist thought so before getting into hot water over a nighttime wall-climbing stunt.

Louisiana dentist Dr. Matt Sanderson is being investigated by the Monroe Police Department for entering the Louisiana Purchase Zoo by scaling the fence after hours.

The dentist told the Star News that he picked up his 14-year-old daughter and six of her friends from the movie theater  after seeing the movie “Man on a Ledge” and decided to take them on an adventure.

“One of the girls said something about seeing a movie about a zoo, so I said, ‘Well, let’s go to the zoo.’ We got there about 8 p.m. The fence was not very tall so we climbed it and went inside and took some pictures,” Sanderson said.

Upon leaving the zoo, the dentist was approached and questioned by the police, but not arrested.

Monroe Police Chief Quentin Holmes confirmed that Dr. Sanderson has not been charged with trespassing, but said the investigation is expected to conclude next week.

Dentist Sanderson spoke with zoo officials the next day and apologized. He also ended up apologizing to the girls’ parents. He claims only one mother was upset because she believed he took her daughter into an unsafe area.

Once the story hit the news Sanderson confessed to The Star that, “Right now, sitting here in the light of day, it wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve done a lot of fun adventures, but I agree it went too far.”

He’s one lucky dentist, many of us here in California remember what happened to the youths who entered the San Francisco Zoo at night and were mauled by a tiger.

I actually think this doctor handled the potential blow-back on this escapade fairly well. Just about everyone has done something that ” in the light of day, it wasn’t the smartest thing I’ve ever done.”  That doesn’t make right but by apologizing publicly and profusely he has mitigated the incident as best as possible under the circumstances.

Next time he might want to take the girls to an indoor rock-climbing facility instead.

For more: Dentist Says Climbing Zoo’s Fence After Hours Was Mistake

Facebook Dental Marketing (Video)

Dental marketing with FacebookFacebook dental marketing is picking up steam.

But a lot of dentists still don’t know how to use social media for internet dental marketing.

“It’s educational for new and current patients,” said a Minnesota dentist. “Facebook is a necessity in today’s social media driven society.”

“Not a huge hit yet, but lots of potential for referrals from our patients that not only ‘Like’ us, but love us: our raving fans,” said an Illinois dentist.

We conducted a survey asking dentists if they have a Facebook Business Page. About two thirds of the respondents have one.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss how dentists are using Facebook in their dental practice marketing:

Most dentists use Facebook for dental practice marketing in the following ways:

  • to share basic information about their business
  • to share content like videos and images
  • to connect with current dental patients
  • to offer specials and discounts

About one third of our surveyed dentists use it for connecting with peers in dentistry.

Half of the dentists who aren’t on Facebook said they’re just not sure what to do.

“I don’t use it very well or very much,” said a California dentist. “I also don’t really know what to do. I’m sure it’s something I SHOULD be doing. I wish I could learn and arrange time to do everything I SHOULD be doing.”

“I’m not sure how the best, most cost-effective way to use it in a way that fits our practice,” wondered an Alabama dentist.

The best thing to do is to use Facebook as just one part of your overall internet dental marketing strategy — link your dental website and your practice’s Facebook profile to attract more new patients.

“We are able to connect not only with our own patients, but also with their Facebook friends when they like or share one of our posts or videos,” said a Missouri dentist. “It helps us to get the word out.”

Does your practice have a Facebook page?

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