Average Dentist Spends 75 Hours Annually on Continuing Education

Dental Continuing Education Is an Important Part of Dentistry

In our most recent survey, we asked dentists how many hours of formal continuing education they log in an average year. The mean response was 75 hours per year, more than enough to meet state requirements. Interestingly, general dentists reported more CE hours than did specialists.

“More continuing should be required,” wrote a Georgia dentist who logs 200 hours/year. A Michigan orthodontist (logging 120 hours/year) agreed: “The orthodontic world is exploding with information and the state CE requirement is 20 hours a year. Hopelessly inadequate!”

“I’m a CE junkie,” said a Tennessee dentist boasting 150 hours a year. “I also chase extraneous awards and distinctions from various organizations.”

Check out the full results of our dental continuing education survey for more data and comments from dentists.

Invisalign Cost: Invisalign Braces Fee Analysis

According to the Invisalign website, the national average cost for Invisalign treatment ranges from $3,500 to $8,000, with the national average at about $5,000.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey to determine what dentists and orthodontists are charging for Invisalign.

The results from the survey revealed that Invisalign treatment costs an average of $4,622 when provided by a dentist and $6.945 when treated by a specialist.

“We adjust our cost according to how long treatment takes. Times can range from 5 – 18 months (rarely more). We are willing to “deal” on Invisalign because the actual Dr. time is so minimal,” reported a Minnesota dentist.

The cost of Invisalign treatment is on average $500 higher than the cost for regular braces treatment. The dentists who responded to this survey noted that the higher cost reflects the lab fee that they pay for the Invisalign trays.

Here’s a sample of what dentists had to say about the cost of Invisalign treatment:

“I take into consideration material cost of impressions for both initial and refinement, the lab cost and shipping. We charge $5,000 for a full treatment.” (Georgia dentist)

“I have wrestled with the most appropriate fee levels for Invisalign for a long time. We have historically kept the cost of a ‘full’ treatment a bit higher than traditional orthodontia. Although the ‘full’ treatment cost is $5800 — I charge $3200 for express.” (Washington orthodontist)

“Specialists usually get ‘tougher’ cases, so they charge more. We have three fee structures for simple, medium, and complex.” (California dentist)

“My Invisalign rep suggests that I should lower my fees or offer financing that takes a bite out of my profit due to the economy, but I don’t see them lowering their lab fees to me!” (Illinois dentist)

“I hate how high the lab fee is!” (General dentist)

“Invisalign pre-treatment of prosthetic cases greatly reduces the complexity and cost of many restorative challenges. Talk about a revenue enhancer! Invisalign is the best thing this GP has added to the bag of tricks in the last 4 years!” (Florida dentist)

“I am thinking of lowering my fees to compete with the general dentists in the area …” (Oregon orthodontist)

“Clear Choice is much lower in cost to the dentist (and the cost savings can be passed along to the patient). Clear Choice appears to be just as good, if not better than Invisalign. I’m so fed up with Invisalign and our local rep is not very helpful either.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“Our cost includes whitening and first set of retainers, which we make in house.” (Connecticut dentist)

“There is no free lunch!” (Ohio dentist)

For more on this survey see: Fees for Invisalign Treatment Average $4,622 – $6.945

Dentists Turn to Central Call Centers To Market New Dental Patients

Dentists Turn to Central Call CentersWhen it comes to assisting new dental patients, some dentists have turned to dental call centers to improve their exposure in the patient community.

It used to be that when a dentist opened a new dental office, his or her ability to market new patients over the phone was limited to a receptionist and an answering machine after hours. Needless to say this was not a very effective way to market new dental patients.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey to ask dentists what they think about utilizing a highly trained central call center to answer new patient phone calls or to talk with patients when the office is closed.

47% of the dentists surveyed were excited about the idea of a central call center. Another 21% were interested in the idea for when their office is closed. 7% liked the idea for new patients only, while 25% didn’t like the idea at all.

As usual, our dentists had a variety of responses to the idea of a central call center. Several dental practices are already using them. Below is what they had to say.

Love the idea –

“An excellent idea! I hope someone offers this service. It would be ideal if the service could connect with the office’s PMS, (practice management system), so appointments could actually be scheduled.” (Florida dentist)

“Already using Ultimate Phone Consierge. Excellent results 140+ phone calls per month 15-31 patients scheduled.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

Depends on the service –

“I have 4 practices and am ready to do it myself, but if it can be done better… I am all over that!” (Ohio dentist)

“I would have to be convinced for the new patient calls.” (Texas dentist)

Depends on the training –

“If they are highly trained I would support it, but I doubt seriously you are going to find ‘highly trained” in dental field working in a call center . . . something is wrong if they are.” (General dentist)

“Who trains? Where will they be located? Is it National?” (Minnesota dentist)

“They would need to be able to make appointments. “ (New Jersey dentist)

Depends on the cost –

“It must be comparable in fees with regular services except better for new patients.” (California dentist)

“Possibly interested. Obviously would depend upon the cost involved.” (Illinois dentist)

Depends on size of the dental practice –

“I think it is great for large offices, but for small single doctor practices probably not cost efficient.” (Rural Tennessee dentist)

“We are in a very small town; people expect to speak to someone they know. I do hate missing calls when we are closed.” (Rural Texas dentist)

Absolutely not –

“No way. Anything less than a direct contact with me or my staff would be inappropriate and delay treatment. I provide a phone line for emergencies and a sub when needed.” (Indiana dentist)

“I think it is worse to call somewhere and just be told that they are only an answering service and can’t help you vs. leaving a message if the office is closed. If new patients are calling our office during business hours, we better be answering the phones ourselves! ” (Michigan front-office employee)

“In this day and age with instant access via e-mail, cell phone or pager, why would anyone want to do this? The call center would probably have to get in touch with the doctor via e-mail, cell phone or pager so why even have it?” (Illinois dentist)

“I would rather pay to have my staff trained and then let patients be able to put a face with a name and a voice when they come to my office. An answering service is valuable for when the office is closed and no one is here to take calls.” (Kansas dentist)

16 Percent of Dentists Do Not Have A Dental Website

dental websitesWhen dentists consider building a dental website they tend to think in terms of one massive site instead of several websites covering their areas of expertise. Having a multiple website marketing strategy can help you dominate search in your geographic area.

In our most recent survey, we asked dentists if their dental practice has multiple websites.

More than half (58%) said they have only one website. 15% replied that they have at least two dental websites, while another 11% have at least three. Urban and suburban dentists were more likely to have more than one dental website.

Shockingly, 16% of the survey respondents did not have a dental website at all.

Here are a few of the things our dentists had to say on the subject —

“We have dental website that we can change the content ourselves without paying the webhost and we have an optimized site that draws much more traffic.” (California dentist)

“We have 2 dental websites – 1 through your company [Internet Dental Alliance] which we are very pleased with and another through another company which I am very disappointed with and have switched companies 2 times and still am not getting what I want.” (Georgia dentist)

“We have multiple web addresses linked to one website.” (New York dentist)

“We just stated with second dental website — thought it would help.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“We have only one website, but we have a Facebook Page also.” (Washington dentist)

Dental market domination should always the goal of your dental website. Instead of the traditional, one website approach, here at The Wealthy Dentist we believe in having several specialty-specific dental websites that support certain search phrases in addition to the dental website you may already own.

Having multiple dental websites helps you casts a wider reach across the top search results for your services as well as your dental practice itself. Multiple dental websites simply hedges your search position for a large set of dental keyword phrases creating a market monopoly strategy for a dental practice.

Multiple dental website marketing has all the features of search engine optimization and Internet dental marketing, but is easier to manage, more cost effective in the long run, and in many cases dramatically better at building targeted dental patient traffic.

What is your dental website marketing strategy?

Some Startling Facts About Dentists Using Google Plus for Dental Marketing

Some Startling Facts About Dentists Using Google Plus for Dental MarketingWhen a new social media platform like Google+ is launched on the Internet it’s easy to understand why dentists might become overwhelmed and want to ignore this new dental marketing vector.

But a social media service launched by a company as large as Google has the potential to impact you and your dental practice marketing, whether you understand it or not.

Here at The Wealthy Dentist we believe that ignoring Google Plus would be a huge mistake for any dentist seeking to create new relationships with dental patients and potential new dental patients through social media.

We do understand our dentist’s social media angst, so we decided to conduct a survey asking dentists if they are using Google Plus.

We were excited to see that 36% of the dentist respondents are currently using Google Plus, but 48% are not.

“I haven’t done a thing with Google Plus since I got on,” confessed one orthodontist.

Another 16% are planning on using Google Plus at some point in the near future.

Here are some dentist comments:

“I don’t trust GOOGLE! Their products are useful, however, I can’t buy the excuse of a bunch of computer geeks not knowing they are disabling security systems and collecting/selling way more personal information than they want us to know!” (General dentist)

“Google Plus doesn’t seem to have any impact as of yet though, not enough people using it as with Facebook.” (Oregon dentist)

“Love it – it’s better than Facebook.” (California dentist)

“I don’t know that we need it.” (Oklahoma dentist)

“What is Google Plus?” (Georgia dentist)

“Definitively need to spend some time looking into this.” (Illinois dentist)

“We are finding that we don’t like the recent changes to Facebook so we are ready to look at using Google Plus.” (Pennsylvania dentist)

“I think it could confuse ability to monitor your own website results.” (General dentist)

“How can Google Plus help my dental practice?” (Florida dentist)

Bottom line — if you can’t see the dental marketing value in engaging with your dental patients on social media, then Google Plus probably won’t grab your attention.

But if the prospect of engaging with your patients and exposing them to more of your services through social media, it might be to your benefit to get to know Google Plus.

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