Dental Archives - The Wealthy Dentist

Patients’ Funniest Excuses

Classic Patient Excuses for Missing Dentist Appointments

We did a survey asking dentists about the funniest excuses they’ve heard from patients for missing appointments. The clear winner was the toothache defense: “My tooth hurts too bad to get out of bed.”

Other highlights include, “My windshield wipers aren’t working and it might rain,” “I had to go shopping for my daughter’s bat mitzvah dress,” and “I went a movie instead.”

Here were a few more classics from dentists:

  • “A model doing a photo shoot said she was bitten by a lion. A cop was involved in a shoot out.” (New York endodontist)
  • “The patient was in jail!” (Virginia dental office worker)
  • “One patient wanted to know if his insurance would cover the broken appointment fee!” (General dentist)
  • “We always document patients’ excuses when missing an appointment. Sometimes the same grandparent passes away unexpectedly two or three times in the same year!!” (Texas dentist)
  • “‘I have a hangnail.’ Also, ‘My dog has diarrhea.'” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “‘The goats got loose!'” (Maryland pediatric dentist)
  • “‘My dog ate my appointment card.'” (Arizona dentist)

Have more excuses to share? Post them here! Plus, check out the full results

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.

Dental Dilemmas in Real Estate

When Buying Commercial Property, Dentists Should Think Ahead

dental lease advocate Lewis GelmonSpecial Lease Feature by Lewis Gelmon

Should you lease or buy? This debate often arises from the same question that motivates people to buy a residence: “Why am I paying rent and not paying down a mortgage instead?”

The realities that drive residential property values are very different from those that create or eliminate the value of owning commercial property. Consider this: banks (being risk-averse organizations) typically won’t lend money for the purchase of commercial real estate with less than a 40% down payment. Compare that to as little as 5% for residential purchases.

The main difference is that commercial property, unlike residential property, is valued primarily on a capitalization rate of its rent-producing tenants. Despite a strong revenue stream from a building’s tenancy, there are other social, geographic, and infrastructure issues that can greatly affect a commercial property. These include:

  • construction of new roadways,
  • changes in traffic patterns,
  • opening of new commercial developments that shift retail markets,
  • access restrictions or reduced visibility to the property, and
  • changes in purchasing demographics.

There are three typical property ownership scenarios that dentists seem to purchase. They are:

  • buying into the ownership group occupying space in the same building,
  • purchasing an office condominium, or
  • purchasing a free-standing building and converting it into a dental office.

Buying into the ownership group of an office building can be problematic. Due to the split ownership, you probably won’t be able to control your investment. As a result, it will be more difficult for you to liquidate your ownership or even borrow against it.

Ownership groups of medical buildings can also be fraught with politics of the tenants. As an example, consider the dentist who became a minority owner of the building he was in. This dentist was denied dividends (and even the right to sell) because the other majority owners, who happen to be orthodontists, felt that they did not receive enough referrals from the dentist over the years.

Purchasing a dental or medical office condominium is the most risky because it is unlikely you will be able to sell the property to anyone other than a dentist or other doctor. When you are ready to sell, the volume of your potential successors is lower compared to tenants looking to lease. The outcome is that your property could be at risk of devaluation.

Purchasing a free-standing building and converting into a health care practice is the least risky route. If you buy the building in the right location, you’ll be more able to sell it to others unrelated to medicine or dentistry. Stand-alone buildings also have much greater appeal to retailers and other businesses due to visibility and parking.

If you’re truly interested in purchasing revenue-generating property, you will probably do much better owning a residential apartment, duplex, triples etc. where you receive simultaneous benefit from revenue generation and property appreciation.

Looking for more information on the topic? You can reach Lewis Gelmon at (760) 479-9704 or lewis@lewisgelmon.com. For only $495, he will personally review your lease. Plus, get a $200 discount until October 31 just for mentioning The Wealthy Dentist. All reviews are guaranteed. If you don’t feel you have received the value, he’ll give you a full refund, no questions asked.

Lewis Gelmon is a former landlord, lease negotiator, and shopping center manager. Now a dental tenant advocate, he regularly lectures for dental groups across North America and the UK. He is the most published author on the subject of dental lease negotiations. His Good Leasing Guidelines for Dentists have been critically acclaimed by numerous dental groups. His mission is to raise awareness among dentists on the risks hidden in their office leases.

Dentist Salary: 2 Out of 3 Dentists Say They Are Not Wealthy (video)

Dentist Salary: 2 Out of 3 Dentists Say They Are Not WealthyAccording to the ADA website, the average dentist salary for an independent private dental practitioner who owns all or part of his or her practice in 2009 was $192,680 for a general practitioner and $305,820 for a specialist.

Considering the state of the economy, we wondered if this is still an accurate financial assessment of dental incomes.

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they think that they are wealthy. Two out of three dentists said no, they are not in fact wealthy.

“The idea that all dentists are wealthy is absurd,” wrote a Minnesota dentist. “The public has no idea what it costs to run a dental clinic. Lab bills are $12,000 a month. Salaries are $20,000 a month. Add in equipment, rent, liability insurance, and of course, endless supplies, and now you have some very serious overhead. In reality, dentists must produce so very much revenue before they pay themselves that very few dentists are truly wealthy.”

Click on Play to watch the video and hear what dentists are saying about being wealthy –

Do you feel that most dentists are wealthy? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.

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.

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