Digital Marketing Internet Management

A Great Website is Useless

A website is useless if it attracts prospective new patients who never make an appointment or accept recommended treatment.

Many dentists are spending considerable time and money on websites, SEO and social media to attract people to the office. But what happens when the patient calls?

If your office is getting calls but finding it hard to turn them into appointments or if you are wondering why your team is spending so much time on the phone answering questions instead of scheduling appointments, you may be wasting all the time and money you have spent to develop a great Internet presence.

Follow this link for some communication and phone skills taught by my friend  and fellow AADPA member Danny Bobrow of AIM Dental Marketing. Be sure to check out TAFI (The Art of First Impressions) a complete training and coaching system.




It is a tired old cliché that you never get a second chance at a first impression. That is certainly true. However there is another side to it we also need to consider. We do get multiple chances to blow it and make a bad impression!

Each of these encounters is a “first impression” of sorts. If the dentist or the staff fails at any step the new patient relationship will suffer or worse yet never get started in the first place.

  • Web Page
  • First Phone Call
  • Arrive at the Office
  • Meet the Dentist

Great technology can only take you so far. In the end, it is still our personal relationships that make the difference.


Starting at Perfect

Dental practiceThe expectation from any patient getting a filling, whether it is an indigent getting it free at a Medicaid clinic, a middle class salesman getting it at a typical office paid for by insurance or a well-to-do matron paying top dollar, in cash, at a Beverly Hills boutique practice, all those patients expect a perfect, defect free, functional filling.

There is a disconnect between price and quality. In fact price is not the right word; it is value. If most people do not see a difference in value from one dentist or clinic to the next but see all dentistry as being either perfectly acceptable or a complete failure then dentistry is no longer a valued personal service but a commodity. If dentistry is a commodity, that is one dentist or clinic is just as good as the next, then it is logical to shop for price. After all we will get a perfect filling from any of the options.

This kind of thinking is what allows third parties to control patients. If the service is always the same why not just go where my insurance plan tells me?

On the other hand patients do make value judgments about their dentist based on factors other than the quality of the filling. They judge us on how friendly we are, if we are on time and how up to date we are. The level of sophistication of your office technology and how proficient you are using it tells your patient you have more value. Doing a filling just tells them you are a dentist.

An attractive office in a nice neighborhood with modern technology has greater value to a patient than the quality of the filling, which is considered by default to be perfect. How much more value? How much more will people be willing to pay? If the insurance pays $100 and you charge $200 will the patient say to themselves “That’s OK that is the price I pay for a nice office with superior technology.”? Or is the patient more likely to say to themselves,”What a rip off the dentist is overcharging me.”?

Hardware Office Design

Guide to “Computers in the Back”

Are you planning to remodel or upgrade your office? Technology has become and integral part of any modern dental office. Where you put the computers, the monitors and the inputs is just as important as where the chairs and handpieces go.

Many dentists just stuff the computer somewhere between the sink and the glove dispenser … then wonder why it doesn’t work very well.

My comprehensive technology guide, “Computers in the Treatment Rooms” lists the six keys to computers in the operatory and it will answer the basic question…Why bother?  It then provides step by step help in setting up the computers, including the four access points, avoiding mistakes and resources for hard to locate parts and accessories.

“Computers in the Treatment Rooms” will answer all your questions, provide a plan and show you how to save money… all delivered in a fun and easy to understand style.


Follow the link to order your copy today.


High Tech Budget for 2014

img_moneyAre you planning your practice budget for 2014? Be sure to include technology.

Technology is a cost of doing business in the modern world. As such you should plan for it and include technology as part of a dental practice budget. Standard dental office budgets rarely include technology. We have line items like rent, staff, lab, supplies and of course taxes but technology is left to find a spot hidden somewhere in office supplies and equipment.

One of the most important and cost effective things you can do is to provide ongoing training for both the dentist and the staff on the use of technology including your most basic systems like Dentrix. It is amazing how little most people use the expensive systems they have already paid for.

Plan on budgeting 3-5% of gross production on technology. It is better to plan for these expenses that to be surprised when a bill comes due or you need to replace a component and don’t have the money on hand.

Dental Speaker Management Paperless

Digital Workflow

In many ways work flow is data flow. In the past when the data was on paper or film or even a plaster model, it (the data) could only be in one place at a time and moving it from place to place was time consuming and relatively expensive. Thus we assigned work to a specific place (like a front desk) and a specific person (the front desk person) to that place.

The result was the back office – front office divide. Work flow meant; where does the chart go and who does what task. Once a dental office develops a paperless (digital) system of records, charting and scheduling the work flow changes significantly. Digital data can be accessed anywhere there is a computer, in the back, at the front or somewhere in the cloud. Workflow can now be described in terms of tasks not places. People are freed from the drudgery of filing, typing, looking for lost records and doing all the rest of the busy work needed to keep a dead tree system working. This new pattern of doing things has been called Front Desklessness.

Front Desklessness is not about tossing out a piece of furniture or eliminating a staff person. It is all about doing the non clinical business functions in a different way because technology allows us to handle data in a much more efficient manner.

How to go Paperless:

Future Tech

PayPal Predicts The End of the Wallet By 2015


“We believe that by 2015 digital currency will be accepted everywhere in the U.S. -– from your local corner store to Walmart. We will no longer need to carry a wallet.”

via PayPal Predicts The End of the Wallet By 2015.


What I Am Reading Right Now


Recomended by Rich Madow

Diagnostics General Theraputics

Occlusion Connections Blog

A great source of information on the new science of occlusion by Clayton Chan.

Occlusion Connections Blog.

Cameras Digital Marketing General

Who Owns the Data?

Hmmm, does that mean a dentist is in violation if he/she uses the video camera to record a patient testimonial and puts it on a dental practice website?

…something very important, that the vast majority of both consumers and video professionals don’t know: ALL modern video cameras and camcorders that shoot in h.264 or mpeg2, come with a license agreement that says that you can only use that camera to shoot video for “personal use and non-commercial” purposes (go on, read your manuals).

via Why Our Civilization’s Video Art and Culture is Threatened by the MPEG-LA.

Diagnostics Management

Paying for Velscope

From a very useful dental blog by Michelle Bedard from Patterson. Results of a survey indicate patients will pay extra for an oral cancer check with an instrument like Velscope.

Overall, 92% of participants agreed to pay a fee for the VELscope exam. Of those who initially refused the VELscope ® exam, 78% agreed to the exam after being educated about oral cancer.

via Michelle Bedard of Patterson Dental’s blog.

Hardware Office Design


We’ve set up a number of audio services in dental offices over the years. My favorite is the new Squeezebox Touch. It allows you to play music throughout the office from multiple sources: your music collection, free Internet radio, paid services…you name it. At $300, it won’t break the bank either.

via The Digital Dentist Blog – Dental Technology Consultants.

Health Care Politics Management Paperless

Paperless Dental Records by 2014

Have you heard that there is a new government regulation that requires dentists to have electronic records by the year 2014? I have heard or read a number of variations on this theme in the last month along with various rants and dire warnings regarding the alleged new rules.

Let’s get the really important information out there right now; at this time there is no federal requirement for dentists to be using paperless or electronic records by 2014 or any other date. What there is is a lot of confusion, speculation and scare tactics the same as we saw when OSHA and then HIPAA first plagued the dental profession.

However, as a dental practice consultant, setting up an electronic dental record (EDR) or what is commonly called “paperless” dental records makes sense for many reasons even if the law does not yet require it. Paperless records are: faster, more accurate and less expensive than traditional paper records.

EDR are in essence part of the complete electronic medical record or EMR. This is good as dental health is of course part of overall health and many general medical conditions are important to dentistry and dental conditions affect general health. On the other hand, it is bad as dentistry has become lost in the much larger battle over creation of an EMR which has many more players and much more money involved than we have in dentistry.

In 2004, President Bush set a ten year goal for most Americans to be using an EMR by 2014. The current administration through the dept of Health and Humans Services (HHS) has made stimulus money available to health care providers to help them get paperless by 2014. I assume dentists could get in on this federal stimulus give-away although it is obviously designed for hospitals and physicians.

All of this is made more complicated by the political circus that has become healthcare “reform”. Bureaucrats are meeting to come up with the actual rules and the speculation is that some deadline will be imposed. When that will be and what the rules will be is anyone’s guess. In the meantime don’t wait around for some bureaucrat to tell you what to do, develop EDR for your office just because it is the right thing to do.