Dental Practice Marketing: Is Yellow Page Advertising Dead?

yellow pages advertising for dentistsSome dentists feel they don’t get quality patients from the Yellow Pages anymore, concluding that, running a display ad isn’t worth the cost.

With that being said, a majority of dentists are still advertising in the Yellow Pages as part of the overall dental marketing plan.

One Georgia dentist said, “I don’t really get qualified patients from the phone book, just people looking for cheapest deal or same day emergencies.”

The Wealthy Dentist decided to ask dentists if they are still getting patients from the phone book. Even in the age of the Internet, dentists still aren’t quite ready to give up advertising in the Yellow Pages, even if they aren’t getting many new patients.

Here is how the dentists responded to getting patients from the phone book –

  • 19% — Yes, absolutely.
  • 15% — Here and there.
  • 30% — Very few.
  • 36% — None.

dentists who are getting patients from phone book

Yellow Page advertising makes sense if you are a rural dentist, or if your dental patients are over 60. But the suburban dentists who responded to this survey were the majority of Yellow Page advertisers.

Yellow Page Advertising by location

Here’s what dentists had to say about Yellow Page advertising –

Money is a factor

“Horrible amount of money wasted. My $600 per month bill went to $128 when I went to a simple listing and Internet listing.” (Indiana dentist)

“The Yellow Pages are pricing themselves out of the game!” (South Carolina Dentist)

“What a waste of money!” (Virginia dentist)

“I have spent considerable money there in the past to no avail. I think we generally had a net loss.” (Florida dentist)

Patient quality is an issue

“Honestly, without being judgmental, the people who come from the phone book tend to be less interested in quality dentistry, and less likely to remain faithful to our practice.” (Illinois dentist)

“We get only off hour emergencies looking for prescription drugs.” (New York dentist)

“It attracts mostly druggies and bad debts.” (Minnesota dentist)

Still used by older patients

“We get just a certain older demographic.” (Nevada dentist)

“My patient population is older and still depend on phone books.” (Texas dentist)

“We get new patients only if they’re old and scared of the Internet!” (New York dentist)

“Yes. Older patients — over 65.” (Virginia dentist)

Yellow Pages work

“Patients still look us up in the Yellow Pages. I think it depends on the demographics and age of the patient.” (Suburban dentist)

“They are a very motivated patient if they are looking up dentists in the Yellow Pages.” (Texas dentist)

“We track all our calls, and the ads are very effective with a low cost/call and a high ROI.” (Urban dentist)

“I believe people still keep their main local directory near the phone for quick, familiar use and access. Being visible with a well designed ad demonstrates a successful, viable business.” (Georgia dentist)

“This is unique to our region of the Waikato in NZ where 76% of people still use the Yellow Pages to look for Dentists. This probably reflects the rural aspect and farming community.” (Urban dentist)

It’s dead

“The paper-based phone book model is dead. I even asked our Yellow Pages rep when the last time he opened a phone book (unrelated to his job), and he didn’t have an answer for me. Focus your marketing online unless you are trying to attract potential patients over 80 years old.” (Indiana dentist)

“It is possibly as useful as a buggy whip.” (Suburban dentist)

“The phone book is DOA. Most everyone use the Internet to look up phone numbers and see display ads.” (California implantologist)

Is it misguided for dentists to think that Yellow Pages advertising is dead? Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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)

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?

How Dentists Deal With Dental Practice Burnout (video)

How Dentists Deal With Dental Burnout (video)It has been argued that dentistry can be a stressful occupation.

Possible root causes are demanding patient interactions, negative perceptions about dentistry, financial pressures from running a dental practice, challenging workloads, ever-changing new dental technologies, and lack of resources needed to create change.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey to ask dentists if they have ever suffered from professional burnout.

A Massachusetts dentist responded, “Burnout to me is mainly the result of negative light in which most people view the dental office experience.”

4 out of 5 dentists in this survey answered that they have experienced professional burnout in their dental careers.

One dentist offered his solution to avoiding burnout, “Taking continuing education courses to learn and improve technologies rejuvenates my dental practice. It keeps me fresh.”

To hear more of what dentists had to say about professional burnout, Click Play to watch the following video:

Have you experienced burnout with your dental career?

For more information about burnout see: Dental Practice Burnout: 5 Symptoms and 5 Remedies

Dentist Survey: Is Dentistry Dangerous to Public Health?

Dentistry's public health threatsIn this survey, dentists gave The Wealthy Dentist their opinions on the safety of several dentistry materials that cause controversy within the profession, as well as within general discussions about public health.

What do dentists think is the biggest public health threat facing dentistry today?

Here’s how dentists weighed in on the safety of specific dental materials:

The majority of surveyed dentists think mercury in amalgam fillings (58%) and fluoride in water supplies (68%) is safe, or probably safe.

As for Bisphenol-A in composite and sealants, the majority of survey respondents (53%) think more research is needed to determine whether or not it’s safe.

But when it comes to lead & other metals in tainted dental lab work as , the majority in our dental survey (74%) clearly agree they are public health hazards.

Hazardous dental materials

When asked their opinion about the biggest public health threat facing dentistry today, dentists have a wide variety of views.

Too damn many dental school graduates! Too much “business” and not enough “doing the right thing.” Too many managed care practices only focused on corporate profit (which I still think should be illegal).” Colorado orthodontist

“The misguided attempt to reduce the recommended fluoride level for water fluoridation. It will result in increased caries and decreased oral health to the nation.” Virginia dentist

Offshore, unregulated lab work.” Texas dentist

“Federal and State Governmental regulations.” California dentist

“Dentists over diagnosing due to economic pressure from low insurance compensation, high student loan payments and general lack of ethics.” California dentist

What do you think is dentistry’s biggest public health threat?

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