dental practice Archives - The Wealthy Dentist

Dental Marketing Tops Dentists’ List of New Year’s Resolutions

Three out of Four Dentists Resolving to Attract More New PatientsNew Years Resolutions for Dentists and Dental Practices

The Wealthy Dentist asked dentists about their resolutions for the New Year. Three out of four dentists said their goal was to attract more new patients. Dentists also cited marketing efforts, knowing that a profitable dental practice needs to market itself to stay competitive. Other goals include retirement, working less, and acquiring new equipment or team members. On a personal level, the number one goal of dentists is to maintain or improve their personal health.

In addition to new patient marketing, dentists had a number of other goals for their dental practices. Here are dentists’ top New Year’s resolutions for their dental practices.

  1. Attract more new patients
  2. Cut costs
  3. Purchase new equipment
  4. Increase Internet dental marketing efforts
  5. Prepare for retirement
  6. Expand treatment options

When asked about their resolutions on a personal level, two out of three dentists cited maintaining or improving their personal health, a befitting goal for health care professionals. Here are their top resolutions for their personal lives.

  1. Maintain or improve personal health
  2. Travel
  3. Lose weight
  4. Spend more time with family
  5. Work less
  6. Learn a new skill

Read the complete New Year’s resolutions dental survey results

Dentists Worry About Long Term Use of NTI Splint (video)

NTI splint surveyThe NTI-splint is a dental mouthguard used to treat headaches, migraines and teeth grinding. But there are dentists who worry about its long-term use.

“I think the NTI-splint does more damage than good. It is only for immediate pain relief, not as a long-term appliance,” said a California prosthodontist.

“NTI causes open bite issues and long-term damage to the TMJ’s,” reported a Texas dentist.

Some dentists worry that improper use of the NTI can cause orthodontic problems or jaw pain.

“The NTI caused a patient increased TMJ pain,” said a Georgia dentist. “The NTI creates anterior open bites if used for the long term,” declared a Hawaii dentist.

To hear more of what dentists had to say about NTI-splints, please click play and watch the following survey video –

In general, it’s great for dentists have more treatment options in their bag of tricks, but the NTI is like almost any other treatment modality: if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can do more harm than good.

What has been your experience with the NTI-splint at your dental practice?

Dental Marketing: A Guide for Avoiding Negative Online Reviews

dentists negative online reviewsIn customer service it used to be said that an unhappy customer would tell nine to fifteen other people about their negative opinions.

Today an unhappy dental patient can influence hundreds of people by leaving a negative review on an online review website, in their Facebook stream or on Google Places.

Negative reviews can be painful, but is there a way to avoid a dental marketing disaster?

Mike Blumenthal of the Rapid Web Division of Blumenthals.com advises the following for avoiding negative reviews — I’ve adapted them for dentistry.

1- Do your follow-up.
Follow up with patients immediately after the completion of treatment with a call and/or an email to be sure that all went as planned. Identify problems early on in the cycle so that you can correct them before they become complaints.

2- Make complaining easy.
Build a culture that is truly ready to receive the complaint at every level of your practice, from the front desk to the doctor. Train your staff and train them well to not be defensive and to solve most problems immediately.

3- Respond quickly to complaints.
When you do receive a complaint, follow up quickly and try to resolve it. Nothing rankles like a dental patient stewing about your bad service like waiting for a return phone call.

4-Respond to negative reviews online.
Once the issue is resolved, circle back with the patient about the review. A recent survey has shown that an appropriate response to a negative can get the negative review removed in a third of the cases. A roughly an equal number of consumers posted a positive review after receiving a response to their bad review. Having a plan and responding appropriately to a negative review is critical to this process.

5-Never fake reviews or enter them on behalf of your patients.
It is imperative that you not provide reviewers with any trace that you are abusing your review corpus. Getting slammed by a patient review that questions your ethics calls into question your trustworthiness and integrity. It is the most difficult type of negative review to deal with, even if it is not true. Responding online to the question, “Do you beat your wife with a stick or a club?” creates a no-win situation.

6- Communicate with your local competitors.
Competitor spam reviews are becoming more common than ever. If you are on speaking terms with them, you are much less likely to fall victim to a puerile spam review attack. The reality is that other similar local practices are not the long-term determinant of your success, nor really your major competition.

Just remember that when you are dealing with a negative review, it’s important to avoid appearing sarcastic and placing blame on the patient.   Try and find out what may have set this dental patient off and see if you can prevent this from happening again in the future.

There may be a hidden opportunity in a negative review — if you handle it right — it can become a dental marketing opportunity

There is a story about an Italian restaurant that received an online negative review about their spaghetti. This lead to another negative review, and another, until the owner sat down one night and ate a plate of his spaghetti. He had to agree that his spaghetti was awful, and here he was running an Italian restaurant.

He decided to run a contest inviting people to taste different spaghetti recipes at his restaurant and vote on the one they liked best. The promotion ended up being a big success, and his restaurant ended up with a new, improved spaghetti recipe that customers loved.

He then went on to promote his restaurant as one that actively listens to what the customer wants. He turned a negative into a money-making positive, and past customers are coming back to his restaurant too.

How would you handle a negative online review?

Dentist Offers Dental Care for Trade

Uninsured Patients Invited to Barter for Dental Care

Dr. Harry Rayburn of Tupelo, Mississippi, experimented recently with a “Trade Day” at his dental practice. He offered fillings, extractions and cleanings in return for traded items. The event was more about helping uninsured patients than bartering for the actual value of the dental work involved.

Patients started lining up before 6am. Not long after the office opened at 9am, 60 patients had signed in, and the rest had to be turned away. Though that’s three times as many patients as Dr. Rayburn sees on a normal day, he was committed to treating every last one.

Traded items include artwork, bicycles, cakes and pies. Some will be divvied up among the practice’s team members, and the rest will be donated to charity. Dr. Rayburn (who cites the movie “Doc Hollywood” as his inspiration) says he’s considering making “Trade Day” a regular event.

Read more

Two Out of Three Dentists Recommend Dental Careers

Majority of Dentists Seem Happy to Be Practicing Dentistry

Dental Survey ResultsIn our most recent survey, two out of three dentists reported that they would recommend a career in dentistry to their children or grandchildren.

Female dentists were far less likely to recommend a dental career than were their male counterparts. While only 28% of male respondents said they would not recommend dentistry, fully 55% of female respondents did.

While 36% of general dentists said they would advise against a dental career, only 7% of specialists felt the same way. This suggests specialists may be happier with their careers than general practitioners.

Here are some comments from dentists…

  • “It is a wonderful career where you can truly be the boss. What could be better?” (Ohio prosthodontist)
  • “I like the profession but dislike the business of dentistry.” (New York dentist)
  • “I don’t know who is earning all that money that I read about in various surveys, but it sure isn’t me.” (Illinois dentist)
  • “Ask any physician. They’ll all admit we’ve picked the right profession.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “I thinks the physical strain is too much. Disability comes fast.” (California dentist)
  • “It is a part of me.” (South Carolina periodontist)
  • “I wouldn’t want my children to have to experience the stress that I had to go though.” (Massachusetts dentist)
  • “Helping other people with their physical and psychological health is extremely rewarding.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “I love the practice of dentistry, and my son is starting dental school this fall.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “It has been corrupted by the influence of dental insurance.” (Pennsylvania dentist)
  • “It has turned out to be the best thing I could have done both personally and professionally.” (New York dentist)

Post your own comments or read the complete dental career survey results…

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