Dental License by State Drives Many Dentists Crazy (video)

universal dental licenseAs we all know, dentists are licensed by state dental boards and they can only practice in the state where they are licensed.

And this drives a lot of dentists crazy like the one who complained, “This is SUPPOSED to be a free country where people can relocate as desired. this current system is just regional protectionism. It sucks!”

The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey that asked dentists if once a dentist is licensed in one state, should he or she be allowed to practice anywhere in the U.S.

Watch this video to hear what dentists had to say on universal licensure

What are your thoughts on universal licensure? Should dentists be allowed to practice anywhere in the U.S. under one license?

Dentists Looking to 2012 for an Economic Upswing

Dentists Looking to 2012 for an Economic UpswingRecent economic reports give U.S. economists hope that 2012 will be an improvement over 2011, and it seems there are many dentists who agree.

“If the economy improves, as it should, we all should do better in 2012!” said one dentist.

In fact, when asked what they expect for 2012, 77% of the dentists who responded to our survey anticipate a better financial picture, while only 23% expect 2012 to be a bad year.

When asked about the past two years, 42% of the dentists said 2011 was economically better than 2010. However, for 40% of dentists, 2011 was economically worse than 2010. 18% saw no difference economically between 2010 and 2011.

Here are some dentist comments:

Dental marketing worked…

“We plan that each year will improve over previous year due to addition of an associate and definitive marketing strategies utilizing the Internet Dental Alliance web sites!” (Oklahoma dentist)

“We didn’t have a better year by mistake. It was due to being proactive and using targeted dental marketing.” (California dentist)

“We streamlined our dental marketing efforts, increased our marketing return on investment, focused more on internal marketing, and tightened our belts on our overall office expenditures. We will end this year with more new patients and economically much better than the previous 3 years. We are riding out the economic storm fairly well.” (Ohio prosthodontist)

“I feel our picture is 50% real and 50% what’s in our head. If we stay positive and use services like yours we can make our results better than average. How much better depends on our head and the help we get.” (Urgent care dentist)

Implementing new strategies helped …

“We are staying afloat because we offer a very wide-range of services for a General Dentist – Invisalign, Sedation, Implant placement and restoration, CEREC, most Endo, Perio, and Oral Surgery. Without this broad offering, we would be doing much worse.” (General dentist)

“We are down 5% but we completely remodeled our office doubling our space, had 5 of 8 staff members pregnant, losing 4 of them, worked through the construction dust and noise, and were still only down 5%, so I am happy with 5% downturn. I look forward to 2012.” (California dentist)

“In order to turn things around, I have completely had to change my practice. I have a management group I am now using and am revamping office systems. We are working hard to maintain the high level of care we have always offered, but am now participating as “in network” with dental insurance, and am now thinking about profit centers and time management. We are trying for a balance that doesn’t diminish our ability to do awesome dentistry, but it will be more difficult with the restrictions that insurance companies place on treatment. Illinois has been hit hard by the economy, with the “reported” unemployment level finally getting down under 11% for the 1st time in 3 years in December with the seasonal Christmas hirings. The actual unemployment is around 21%.” (Illinois dentist)

“I spent time creating additional avenues of wealth.” (General dentist)

“I will continue as I have through thick and thin, modifying as I see necessary, continuing to update skills, and taking very good care of my patients. While this year was a downturn, compared to many of my local peers, it was truly a minor one.” (South Carolina dentist)

“I am dropping Delta Premier. I tried it this year and I can’t give that 25-35 percent discount.” (Illinois dentist)

Looking to 2012 for relief …

“Our goal is to increase by 30% in 2012.” (New Jersey dentist)

“The first half of 2011 was the best ever. The second half saw a decrease relative to 2010. The trend is for 2012 to be flat, so I am playing it very conservative right now.” (Virginia dentist)

“They must improve in 2012!” (General dentist)

“In 2012 I definitely need to change how I do business in regards to PPOs. I use to be an all fee-for-service practice. That dwindled, and now I am busy, but not profitable. (California dentist)

“If President Obama loses we’ll see a much better economy.” (General dentist)

The Wealthy Dentist would like to thank all the doctors and specialists who have participated in our dental surveys over the past year. We find your insights and comments invaluable and we appreciate the time you take to offer feedback.

We wish all of you a very prosperous 2012!

Warning: How Negative Dental Marketing Works

How Negative Dental Marketing WorksTalk about the wrong kind of dental marketing!

Imagine coming into your dental practice one morning to discover that a Hepititius warning about your office had been distributed to your dental patients by your local health services office?

This is exactly what happened to dentist Derek Nordstrom of Edmonton Canada, who knew nothing of the Hepititius complaint.

Apparently, a recorded voice message from Alberta Health Services was calling Dr. Norstrom’s patients to advise them that one of his staff members had hepatitis C, and recommended the patients be tested.

Upon being notified by one of his patients, Dr. Nordstrom cancelled all of his dental appointments and spent the day making phone calls to the Alberta Dental Association and various other health agencies in an attempt to get to the bottom of the complaint.

The only problem was that none of Dr. Norstrom’s staff were sick.

Okay, maybe that wasn’t the only problem…

As if the health complaint wasn’t enough, Nordstrom’s receptionist then discovered websites attacking the dentist and his brother Patrick — also a dentist. According to The Edmonton Journal, one site — nordstromdentist.com — included photos of Dr. Nordstrom alongside anonymous claims of negligent procedures, false billing and even dead ants on his dental chair. The site also included a comment about an Alberta Health Services call about hepatitis C at Nordstrom’s clinic.

Talk about a dental marketing nightmare!

Nordstrom’s lawyer sent notice to the domain registry of the websites attacking the doctor and the sites were immediately suspended.

The bigger question looms as to how someone hacked the 4,000 active patient phone records of Dr. Nordstrom to relay the Hepatitis warning and who is out to get this doctor … and why.

An investigation into the phone messages and malicious websites is moving forward.

Nordstrom told the Edinton Journal that he isn’t sure who’s behind the calls, but finds it troubling someone would raise the question of serious illness to try to discredit him.

“It’s just a sick joke,” Nordstrom said of the hoax. “They’re just trying to hurt me.”

So far Dr. Nordstrom seems to be handling the situation well. I would strongly recommend a very aggressive PR campaign rebutting each accusation separately. While over the years I’ve seen everything from ex-spouse’s fire booming offices to disgruntled employee’s falsely reporting sexual harassment, this particular attack has all the earmarks of an inside job with the help of a professional and enraged computer hacker.

Read more: Hepatitis Claim Against Wainwright Dentist a Hoax, RCMP Say

Dentists: Are Smartphones a Part of Your Dental Marketing Plan?

Dentists: Are Smartphones a Part of Your Dental Marketing Plan?Dentists, is mobile phone marketing part of your dental marketing plan?

Because it should be!

Nielsenwire, the leader in measurement and information, just released their March 2012 stats on U.S. mobile subscribers who own smartphones.

Smartphone usage is up from 47.8 percent in December 2011 to 50.4 percent in March.

Consumers purchasing new phones picked smartphones more often, and among smartphone owners Apple was the top manufacturer of smartphone handsets, while Android was the top smartphone OS.

Smartphone owners in the U.S are the new mobile phone majority.

Smartphone owners in the U.S are the new mobile phone majority

Smartphones are more popular among those ages 25 to 34, but age isn’t the only determinant of smartphone ownership.

According to Nielsenwire, income also plays a significant role. When age and income are both taken into account, older subscribers with higher incomes are more likely to have a smartphone. For example, those 55-64 making over 100K a year are almost as likely to have a smartphone as those in the 35-44 age bracket making 35-75K per year.

A recent Pew Internet report found 74% of U.S. smartphone owners use their mobile devices to get real-time location-based information, and 18 percent use a geo-targeted social service to share their location. 30% used their phone to decide whether to visit a business.

Smartphone owners use their mobile devices to get real-time location-based information

The report also revealed that the young, the relatively well-educated and well-off, and parents of minor children are more likely than other kinds of cell owners to have used their cell phones recently for items such as search.

Juniper Research reports that more than 3.4 billion mobile coupons were redeemed globally in 2011 and MIT Technology Review predicts that smart phones are spreading faster than any technology in human history.

Don’t let your dental web presence be left out of this hot new technology trend.Smart Mobile Dental Marketing

The Internet Dental Alliance New Patient Portals include a full set of specially-designed smart mobile dental marketing pages.

This means that every person with a mobile smart phone, iPad or other tablet can easily view your practice information or site from any location.

Your portal can be viewed on all Apple iPhones and iPads . . . all the Blackberry phones . . . Slates . . . tablets . . . and virtually every smart mobile phone out there.

Dental Marketing: Lawsuit Looks at Slander in Negative Online Reviews

Dental Marketing: Lawsuit Looks at Slander in Negative Online ReviewsDentists, just when you thought there was no hope for combating negative online reviews, Virginia contractor, Christopher Dietz is suing a former customer, Jane Perez for a negative online reviews she wrote on Yelp and Angie’s list.

What makes this case encouraging is that the judge has already granted Dietz a temporary injunction against Perez and has ordered the ex-client to change her online reviews.

Perez had written online that the contractor not only performed shoddy workmanship, but some of her jewelry had also disappeared. She further wrote, “Bottom line do not put yourself through this nightmare of a contractor.”

Dietz didn’t take her negative posts lightly, and sued Perez, stating that not only had he completed the job as contracted, but performed more work than was agreed upon and still has not been paid.

Deitz further contends that the negative online reviews have cost him about $350,000.00 in business.

Slander is a legal term for stating a falsehood and presenting it as true which could harm the reputation of a person or business. In the case of Perez, if contractor Dietz did not steal any jewelry (and apparently there is no police report stating that he did) then Perez could be found libel for defamation of character and Dietz would be able to collect damages.

Some might argue that the lawsuit seeks to squash Perez’s right to free speech, but freedom of speech does not protect you from the consequences of free speech.

Perez can offer an opinion like, “I was not happy with the quality of work.” But she cannot say things like “He is a ripoff artist who steals from his clients.” One statement is an opinion based on feelings the other is a statement that she’d have to provide proof that he is a “ripoff artist who has been convicted of stealing from clients.” Technically, you can’t bear false witness, so when leaving an online review, the review must stick to the facts, like “I had to wait two hours for my appointment,” or “My steak was medium when I asked for rare,” or “The toy broke the minute my son picked it up,” and so forth.

It’s been difficult for dentists, as well as business owners to get used to the idea that a dental patient or a patron can complain about their business in such a permanent, public way and the courts are scrambling to legally catch up to this new technology.

And lawsuits themselves can bring more unwanted negative publicity.

Deciding to sue can paint a dentist into a more negative light with the general public than the damage done by the negative review, but what does a dentist do if the online review is truly defamatory?

Hiring an attorney to manage the process of suing the reviewer in court can be extremely costly, so a dentist would need to weigh the costs against any revenue loss directly attributed to the negative review.

The Wealthy Dentist has advised dentists to instead use the money to initiate an aggressive Internet dental marketing campaign to counter the review. Immediately addressing the review in a calm manner can also help quickly counter what the reviewer has said.

Typically the general public does not search past page two of online search results and this is where a dental practice’s online engagement can help bury a negative review. Facebook Pages, Twitter pages, YouTube videos, and Pinterest pages all show up high in search.

If a dental practice has taken the time to develop an internet dental marketing plan for their online presence (using the dentist’s name and the dental practice name) they can fill the first page of Google with their own social media presence.

Regularly updating a blog and writing press releases can also help control what dental patients find when they search for a dental practice online.

If need be, dentists can use the money they would spend on an attorney to buy Google ad space for their dental practice covering the dental practice name, the dentist’s name and a geo-targeted search term like “North Beach dentist.” This will place the dental practice at the very top of search for a period of time. If a dental practice can push the negative review site from the first page of search with content and social media they’ve created specifically for dental patients, they can begin to counter the damage caused by a negative online review.

Recent publicity surrounding negative online review sites and their vulnerability to false negative reviews by competition, or personal vendettas have caused people to question the validity and trustworthiness of consumer review sites. Parodies like Joe Plummer’s “Real Actors Read Yelp Reviews” have further shown just how ridiculous online reviews can be and the lack of oversight by the review sites themselves.

Bodyform even got into the act by responding to a Facebook rant with a video parody making fun of the cliches surrounding women’s use of their feminine products while directly answering the review. Their humorous video response quickly went viral.

Keep in mind that a negative online review can add validity to the positive online reviews. It can make a dental practice appear more balanced and one negative online review in the mix will make most people think it was a difficult dental patient instead of a bad dental practice.

But no business should have to deal with slanderous, vindictive reviews and eventually online review sites are going to have to figure out a way to deal with the libelous reviews, regardless of anti-SLAPP. Eventually a business owner will win big over a slanderous review and online review sites will be forced to set stricter review guidelines.

Would you have sued if a dental patient made the same type of claims against your dental practice that Perez made about Deitz?

To read more about contractor Deitz’s lawsuit see: Virginia Contractor Sues Woman for $750,000 for Bad Yelp Review.

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