Dental Marketing FAQs Comparison

Posted by niche on Jun 20, 2008


What are the most frequently asked dental marketing questions? As a dental marketing coach and consultant working with many dentists over the course of a year, I see that dentistry and marketing have a lot in common.

Dentistry patients have similar questions that many dentists need answered. Some issues are more easily dealt solved; others are more problematic and difficult to traverse. Dentists answer some questions in generalities: like diagnosing over the phone. To dental patients, it can sound like avoidance, but it often falls into the reasonable “we need to do a complete oral exam to make sure” category.

Yet we all desire simple answers with an inexpensive cost to go with it. For my consumer cohorts and me, it is dental care. For you and my dentist clients, it is dental practice marketing. However, we also want to get a high level of value and realize that complexity and unknowns are part of life.

To build value and avoid causing mistrust, both of us – dentist and dental marketer – need to effectively enlighten each other’s constituencies. They need to know how to determine when value should take over from a pure cost perspective and when complexity requires us to do more than throw mud at the “solutions” wall.

Let’s see how these two perspectives, dental care and marketing, compare.

Dental Marketing FAQ Compared To Dentistry
--- Real dentist provided this TOP dental patient FAQ list.

1. Why doesn’t insurance cover more of my dental treatment? (I ask because because your expertise and my dental health are only valuable up to a point.)
1. Why are your dental marketing fees more than I was expecting (and do not reflect the low value I put on this type of service)?

2. Is this dental procedure going to hurt in any way?
2. Can you guarantee my first dental postcard mailing will be successful?

3. Is this dental treatment really necessary?
3. Can I do less dental advertising and still get a good result?

4. My daughter needs braces. What do I need to do? (Asked before an exam)
4. I need to more new patients now. What type of dental marketing do I need to do? (Asked without knowing your entire situation, actual budget, etc.)

5. What age should my son start his dental care?
5. I have never done marketing for my dental office or not very consistently or proactively; I have practices for two months to 30 years. Where should I start?

6. Do I really need dental x-rays?
6. Is a dental marketing plan required?

7. Is it necessary for me to come every six months to get my teeth cleaned?
7. Can I do just one direct mail dental postcard and see if it works?

8. What is periodontal (gum) disease?
8. What value does consistent dental marketing have for my practice?

9. Am I a good candidate for Invisalign - that new high-tech removable braces treatment?
9. Is my dental office really a good candidate for these new concepts (as my referral network falls apart, etc.) since it could be risky? 

  • SEE Dental Marketing FAQ #10 Below

Our Dental Similarities: Difficult/Value Versus Easy/Cost
Dentistry can be complex. Yet consumers usually want a quick and easy answer. Dentists' education and training, the professionals they employ, and the products and technology they use require significant financial resources – especially if they want to offer newest, coolest dental treatment.

And even though consumers "want" new, amazing dental treatments, they often expect it to have very little impact (at least obvious) on their pocketbooks. This big value and reality difference squeezes things quite a bit. Without effective communication (dental marketing) the area for success will stay very small and get smaller.

Dental marketing has its complexities as well. Yet almost anyone can do it, even dentists— without a state dental board and health officials requiring they do 75 hours of dental marketing CE each year. This – I can do it on my own if I want AND the reality of time needed, increased trial and error potential, and constant changes in dental marketing techniques – creates a value disconnect as well.

How many hours do dentists spend on their own marketing to "save money" but then their trial and error rate is double or triple that of a middle-of-the-road dental marketer? Yes it might cost more "out of pocket" to get the results you really want, but is that not what you tell your patients. I do have an idea of how we could make things better -- develop a dental marketing insurance plan. Think of the bureaucratic marketing bliss we could achieve. I will send you the appropriate forms as soon as they are available.

How Can We Solve This Dentistry Dilemma?

First, decide what is most important. Is it value or cost? Should we avoid complexity (and hope for simple answers when they are not there) or go beyond simplistic marketing of dentistry and be more creative in addressing the challenges?

Once you make your decision, start communicating it consistently: whatever “it” is. Dental marketing in a consistent way is 50-90% of success. Of course, “success” depends on your competition, what methods are employed, and the frequency. (That darn complexity again.)

Next, consider what your value is and what person or entity can best develop it throughout your communication system (you, someone you know, a dental marketer, dental consultant, etc.).

Finally, rather than following the herd – be creative so you standout consistently. Choosing the generic – often the cheaper but little standout value – dental marketer – means at some point you will be (or continue to be) thought of as any dentist – which means your value will be generic and only covered by dental insurance.

Sincerely, Dick Chwalek - Niche Dental President

CALL 866-453-1026 ext 251

Dental Marketing Coach and Dentistry Consultant



> I came up with both of these dental questions.

10. Is there a dentist near you that has extra training and knowledge like you do (from sources like LVI, AACD, Pankey, John Kois, Peter Dawson, AGD, and dental labs AND does smile makeovers, dental implants, neuromuscular dentistry, dental exams, crown and bridge dentistry, porcelain veneers, braces, and/or smile whitening) but charges less than you do and will achieve the same value and result as you do?

10. Is there any place I can get dental marketing cheaper – but will also put the same level of value into my message, image, dental website writing, dentist brochure, cosmetic dentistry postcards, dental practice logos, dental PPC online advertising, dentistry stationery, and dental websites SEO?

> I like building value because simplicity is boring and contributes to the dumbing down to the lowest common denominator of what is possible. More importantly, your patients deserve all dentistry has to offer. When you are ready to get them that level of care, we should talk.

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