Festivals Are for Dental Practices, Too!

Editorial
by Jim Du Molin

Summer’s here, and it’s festival time for your dental marketing!

Just about every community has a summer festival of one sort or another. In the last month alone, my little town of Tiburon, California has had a wine festival (we have no vineyards), an arts festival (I’m sure we have artists), an antique auto show (yes, we have cars) and a “Friday Night on Main Street” get-together (people eating and drinking in the street while listening to music). However, I’ve yet to see a “Shark Festival,” although tiburon is Spanish for “shark.” I have yet to see a local dentist take advantage of these marketing opportunities, though I can imagine a giant Jaws-style shark float with big teeth.

On a national level, I can report on at least one great creative approach to festival marketing by a dental office. Dr. Jim Sparaga and his wife Kathy of Machias, Maine, put together a great float for their town’s Wild Blueberry Festival. That’s Dr. Jim driving the tractor with some kids from his practice riding the float. And yes, those are blueberries stuck in the giant smile.

On the other side of the float he had his team passing out balloons. Needless to say, they won first prize for this creative endeavor – not to mention a tremendous amount of local good will and recognition for the practice.

I’m still trying to figure out what the chair on the back of the float was for, but let’s not quibble about the details. If you have done some festival marketing, feel free to email your photos and ideas to Jim@TheWealthyDentist.com.

Dental Marketing: The 3 Elements to Successful Radio Advertising

Dental Marketing: The 3 Elements to Successful Radio Advertising

Radio can’t sell everything.

But for dental marketing, we know it can sell high-end dentistry.

Any dental advertiser who says, “radio doesn’t work,” used it wrong.

The 3 elements to successful dental marketing with radio advertising –

1. The right audience.

The first element to successful radio advertising is picking the right audience. This is done by selecting the proper radio station and the appropriate time of day to reach your target demographic.

2. The right frequency.

Next you need to find the right frequency. Radio is a frequency medium. Your results get better as time goes on, and you make repeated impressions on the same listener. Media buyers have different opinions as to how many commercials, or spots, is enough. The key is to spend just enough, without wasting money.

Underfunding a campaign is even more inefficient than over-funding it. If you can’t afford enough frequency on the most popular station in town, pick one you can afford or use another medium besides radio.

3. The right message.

The most important element to a successful radio campaign is the message. This includes the words, the voice, the music and the length of the commercial. Remember that we’re not trying to win awards for the most clever commercial – the only thing that matters is that the audience we are targeting picks up the phone and makes the call.

The simplest-sounding commercial often out-produces the slick polished spot with the smooth voice and the professional jingle. Don’t take your eye off the ball here. It’s not important that your staff, friends, and family all like your new commercial.

The only thing that matters for successful radio advertising is whether the commercial generates income.

Ed Ridgway has executed dental marketing campaigns for hundreds of businesses in the U.S. and Canada. He is nationally recognized for his ongoing campaigns with many of the top dental practices across the country.

Dental Marketing: Cosmetic Injectables, A Smart Economic Move for Dentists?

Dentists offering injectablesDepending on the dentist surveyed, the use of injectables in the dental office is either not a part of general dentistry, a smart economic move, or something dentists can do very well.

To dentists who support offering injectables as part of their dental marketing, they see it merely as a natural extension of the cosmetic treatments that they already provide. To dentists who dislike the idea, injectables are just an invitation to a malpractice lawsuit.

One thing is for sure: Injectables have become one of the most popular cosmetic medical procedures in the United States. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of non-surgical cosmetic treatments, such as injectables, has jumped 228% since 1997.

Who will fill the demand?

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they have started administering injectable treatments such as BOTOX® and Dermal fillers for cosmetic reasons. 85% of the dentists surveyed responded, “No!” for a variety of reasons.

Here is what they had to say –

Not a part of dentistry…

“These procedures should not be done by a dentist.” (Indiana dentist)

“They’re cheesy and unprofessional!” (California prosthodontist)

“They’re not dental procedures. I don’t care if some dentists want to do them. I know one who does them and he says women can get their husbands to pay these bills from the dentist, but would be more scrutinizing about bills from a plastic surgeon.” (Illinois dentist)

“It’s not part of dentistry.” (California dentist)

A smart economic move …

“I think I will get myself trained to be able to expand my cosmetic dentistry packages.” (General dentist)

“Patients pay up front for a quick procedure with no insurance paperwork. What’s not to like?” (Florida dentist)

“A great way to see patients several times a year since these patients need regular touch-ups. It can be added to a treatment package with routine dental cleanings.” (Arizona dentist)

Something dentists can do very well…

“Of course! This is something we as dentists could do very well. However, in California the oral surgeons seem to have cornered the market, so to speak…keeping the generalists out.” (California dentist)

Dentists give more injections than any other healthcare professional, so why not?” (Nebraska dentist)

“Who’s more qualified than a dentist that is already injecting patients needing fillings, or more extensive work every single day?” (West Virginia dentist)

Just an invitation to a malpractice lawsuit …

“I don’t believe extra oral injectables are within the scope of my dental license. I believe it verges on malpractice.” (Nevada dentist)

“The liability is too high; I’d rather leave it to MD’s with higher coverage.” (Texas dentist)

“I’m not sure about the complications with state and the malpractice issues with injectables.” (California orthodontist)

What are your thoughts on dentists offering injectables?

To participate in future The Wealthy Dentist surveys, please sign up for our newsletter in the right sidebar.

Dental Practice Technology: 66% of Dentists Use Digital X-rays

digital xraysDigital technology has reached the dentist’s office. According to Yale School of Medicine, 10 to 30% of dentists have abandoned film for digital X-rays.

When we asked dentists if they use use digital x-rays, 66% said yes. Only 34% reported that they still use film.

“Digital x-rays have improved dentistry so much. I can’t imagine going back to the old way of developing x-rays. It has allowed doctors to diagnose a patient when they are away from the office,” said one periodontist.

“Couldn’t live without digital,” offered another.

A great investment –

“Possibly the best investment I have made in my practice.” (Kentucky dentist)

“One of my best purchases. I’ve been digital over 4 years.” (Florida dentist)

“We implemented digital about a decade ago and would never go back.” (South Carolina dentist)

“One of the most cost-effective things I’ve done. I have been digital since 2000.” (California dentist)

“Yes, who in this day and age doesn’t? It is SO inexpensive compared to what I paid over 10 years ago to do it, that it is a “no-brainer” to do. PLUS the savings in chemicals, processor maintenance, employee time to do these non-essential weekly maintenance jobs, making duplicates for Insurance etc. just makes going digital a “slam dunk” decision! This is why, once I purchased it, I realized these benefits and then lectured on going digital.” (Illinois dentist)

“It’s wonderful! Less radiation the patient and staff is exposed to and the ability to manipulate the images.” (Florida hygienist)

“Higher diagnosable image versus film, no fixer, developer, film, mounts cost, lower patient and ambient radiation levels — truly a no-brainer!” (North Dakota dentist)

Too expensive for some –

“Very expensive to fully implement.” (Missouri dentist)

“Digital has improved greatly, but I am not interested in the investment at this late stage of practice.” (Indiana dentist)

“I would love to have a digital pan/ceph, but at $44K, I’ll have to pass for now.” (Oklahoma dentist)

“Too expensive!” (Nevada dentist)

“I am 67 years old in a month or so and it is hard to spend that much money.” (California dentist)

“Way too costly!” (Massachusetts dentist)

Sensors can be an issue –

“Sensors are too @#*&! expensive!” (Mississippi dentist)

“The technology finally meets or exceeds the quality of film radiology — but with some drawbacks. The cost for the sensors and viewing equipment is very high, compared to the same film-based radiology. The bitewing views are not fully closed-mouth as bitewings done with films, because of the sensor cords. And the sensors have some limitations of placement freedom due to their rigidity and thickness compared to the relative patient comfort with films.” (California dentist)

“Since no sensor has been declared superior, I believe buyers need to evaluate the software. How many ‘clicks’ needed to go through the fmx, to modify contrast/brightness for diagnosing and making notes? You should be able to do this quickly ‘on the fly’ as the patient hears you review their x-rays. The right-click menu and simple keyboard shortcuts should be available so you don’t have to mouse all over the place for everything. I also believe software using the “template” paradigm of x-ray sets is a throwback to the past and is not good use of computer power.” (Illinois dentist)

“They have to make the sensors either less expensive or more durable.” (California dentist)

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)

Disclaimer

© 2017, The Wealthy Dentist - Dental Marketing - All Rights Reserved - Dental Website Marketing Site Map

The Wealthy Dentist® - Contact by email - Privacy Policy

P.O. Box 1220, Tiburon, CA 94920

The material on this website is offered in conjunction with MasterPlan Alliance.

Copyright 2017 Du Molin & Du Molin, Inc. All rights reserved. If you would like to use material from this site, our reports, articles, training programs
or tutorials for use in any printed or electronic media, please ask permission first by email.