Generally, I am not a fan of an infomercial and a great deal of this book revolves around how to use a proprietary device, the Smile Light MDP, with your own cell phone to make dental photographs.
That knee-jerk reaction out of the way, it is possible there is no device similar to the Smile Light MDP available and the book does a fair-handed job of comparing dental photography using a conventional digital camera and all of its attendant gear to making those photographs with your cell phone, the MDP device and a few other pieces of kit, the mirrors and retractors needed for either type means of capturing the images.
The 2022 July/August issue of Today’s FDA is available online for Florida Dental Association (FDA) members NOW! Check it out for great articles about peer review – an exclusive FDA member benefit, how to create an emergency action plan for your dental practice and tips for being the most interesting person in the world when it comes to contacting your legislators about issues that are important to you. So, what are you waiting for? Head to floridadental.org/publications or just click the cover image below to read the issue.
If you’re looking for ways to generate new patients for your dental practice by using Google, you may have heard of Google Ads. Google Pay-Per-Click (PPC) is a simple method for your practice website to appear when a prospective patient searches and convert them into a valuable patient.
What is Google PPC Advertising and How Does it Work?
Google Ads are based around keywords that businesses bid on so they can show up at the top of a search result. Whoever bids the most money for key phrases will show up as the first result (up to four results are shown) with the small “Ad” indication. Every time one of these ads are clicked on Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP), the business pays a preset fee.
For example, a dental practice may use the phrase “Family Dentist” so they can show up as the first result when a patient searches for “Family dentist Tallahassee Florida.”
Google Advertising is a form of pull marketing, which means that Google Ads target patients with a goal in mind who are trying to find a certain service or product. It is also conversion-driven, meaning that the end goal is to “convert” searchers from potential patients to actual paying patients. As such, you can theme your Google Ads around services or a general goal.
PPC advertising gets you in front of the patients you want because you can build a unique audience based on demographics, along with specific geographical areas you want to target.
Do Google Ads Work for Dentists?
Google Advertising is one of the most effective ways to reach your potential patients at the exact moment they are searching for certain keywords.
How Do I Get Started with Google PPC?
Work with your marketing partner to discuss your PPC goals. A few factors to consider when building your strategy are:
Services that generate revenue for your practice.
Services you’d like to promote.
What kind of patients you’d like to target.
Establishing a Sustainable Budget
Dentists that invest a minimum of $1,500 per monthly ad campaign see more calls, contact forms and scheduled appointments. Data will show that prospective patients are consistently searching for keywords related to dentistry at all hours of the day. The higher the budget you set, the more clicks you will receive.
We are at a critical moment for the dental profession. What we do now, or what we don’t do, will define the entire profession of dentistry for decades to come. The pandemic has brought unprecedented disruption to our personal and professional lives, but it’s really what comes next that is the game changer. What’s approaching us is not just a guess. We have seen and will continue to see major acceleration in several trends that will have a profound impact on the profession.
The future is now being painted clearly and several factors once thought to be short-lived fads are now well established trends. From the patient’s perspective, we know that there is a shift in the mindset of how patients are perceiving health care overall. This includes dentistry and is particularly common amongst millennials. This phenomenon coupled with intensified consumerism and public and private insurance replacing the self-pay market is leading to a change in patient base. This will challenge our previous outlook when we analyze the future consumers of our dental care services.
Furthermore, we know that practice modality is transforming at a dramatic pace. This is fueled by the transition of the dental workforce to a younger, more diverse generation that will soon assume their roles as the new recognized dental care providers in the next decade. A decreasing percentage of dentists own their practice. Most dentists in Florida and much of the U.S. now practice in groups, with solo practice slowly disappearing (figure 1). More and more dentists are joining dental support organizations (DSOs) and a conservative estimate is that 15 percent of Florida dentists practice in these models, much higher than the U.S. average. As millennial and Gen X dentists replace baby-boomers, these trends will continue to intensify.
The educational format has also shifted to an integrated and holistic approach to patient care. Dentistry has been very successful in supporting the thought processes of wellness and prevention. This has become the main focus of the general public’s expectations for their individual wellness. However, we also need to acknowledge that our current system of dental care financing and delivery is not serving all Americans. We know that half of the U.S. population is not going to the dentist regularly and that cost barriers are the biggest reason why. Although we have made vast improvements over the last two decades in many aspects of children’s oral health, we have little progress to show when it comes to oral health for adults and seniors. In fact, income and race disparities are widening among adults and seniors for several indicators of oral health and access to care.
What is all this leading to? It brings us to a critical point for our profession. What we do now, or choose not to do, is critical to our future. Are we ready to accept that practice models are evolving and, inevitably, dentistry will too, like all other health care professions? Are we ready to advocate for policies that will work toward finding a routine dentist for all Americans? Are we ready to transition dentistry into a core component of primary care in order to align with the conversion to a holistic approach to patient care that we’re seeing within the educational format? Changes like these have the potential to grant access to primary care dental providers to millions of Americans. If the answer is ‘yes’ to these questions, then the ADA and FDA will need to shift priorities in terms of how we support dentists and what we emphasize in our advocacy efforts.
This is a time for bold and defined leadership. You have heard both of us say that what is in the windshield is much more critical than what is in the rear-view mirror. The scenery around us will continue to change whether we move or not. The question is, are we choosing to move forward, or stand by and watch it all happen? Our profession is at a crossroads and our view through the windshield is vastly different than what’s staring back at us in the rear view mirror. We must ask ourselves: are we ready to embrace a bold new vision for the dental profession, or are we going to sit back and watch as change happens around us?