Top-level domains, those extensions at the end of Web addresses, are about to become part of a much larger, more diverse family. Today their number stands at 22 (not including country codes), but the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has just revealed over a thousand more that will be joining them soon.
There have been several attempts to introduce more top level domain names to the Internet. Most significantly for dentists was the domain suffix dot pro that was supposed to be used by professionals such as dentists, physicians and lawyers. For a variety of reasons the dot pro domain is almost never used. Not the least of these reasons is public perception. Everybody has heard of dot com and we type it in to our browsers automatically, which leaves the dot nets, dot bizes and dot pros out in the cold of cyberspace.
How many of the current crop of 22 top level domains can you name? (I come up with seven.)
According to the linked article there are over 1000 new domain names being considered and many are specific to a business. The example they site is Canon setting up domains specific to their business that no one else could use. There are a lot of reasons this could be a good thing and there is a lot of money riding on it. On the other hand dot com has become a generic term for web site and changing behavior is fraught with difficulties.
I advise dentists to acquire as many variations on a practice domain as possible. For example get yourname.com, get yournamedds.com get yourpracticename.com etc. As new domains are introduced be aware and if we do see a move away from the ubiquitous dot com to something like dot pro jump on it.