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Q&A Library

For answers to all your dental marketing questions, click below:


  • Why should I listen to you?

General Marketing

  • How do you feel about patient review sites like Yelp? And what should I do if I get a bad review?
  • Why should I attend a trade show?
  • Where can a dentist turn for training in practice management, etc.?
  • I want my dentistry to sell itself. How do I make that happen?
  • Should I concentrate more on internal or external marketing?
  • Should I go to a marketing firm?
  • Are office giveaways important?
  • Should I add non-dental services to my practice?
  • Do you recommend joining professional organizations?
  • What's the best way to identify your marketing weakness?
  • Is it worthwhile to pursue an MBA — would it enhance my practice?
  • Why do my patients leave?
  • What does “dental IQ” mean?
  • I'm feeling the recession. How should I adjust my marketing?
  • What’s the simplest way I can improve my practice marketing?
  • What can my staff and I do to make our marketing more effective?
  • Is there a wrong time to market my practice?


  • What are your thoughts about social networking?
  • What are your thoughts on billboards and bench advertising?
  • In your opinion, what makes a good direct mailer?
  • What is direct mail and how do I do it?
  • How well do newspaper ads work for attracting new patients?
  • Is radio an effective way to attract new patients?
  • What about discounts?
  • How much time do I give an ad or a direct mail piece before I know whether it’s working or not?
  • Should I include a photo of myself in my ads?
  • Who should my target audience be?
  • Should I do local television advertising?
  • Isn’t it true that only new dentists need to advertise? If you’re doing a good job, shouldn’t you get enough word-of-mouth referrals to keep you busy?
  • What’s the most important thing I can do to make my advertising work?
  • What’s wrong with just advertising in the Yellow Pages?
  • How do I write and design a good advertisement?
  • Why do my ads attract no-shows?
  • I know I need to advertise, but so far nothing has worked. What do I do?
  • What’s the difference between advertising and marketing?

Online Marketing & E-mail

  • Beyond having a website, what are your thoughts on other forms of Web advertising like keywords and Google Local?
  • Are there ever any times when you shouldn’t optimize your website?
  • How important is it to collect my patients’ e-mail addresses?
  • What's the best way to market online?
  • Yellow Page ads, coupons, Web sites - which type of marketing is worth the investment?
  • What’s the big deal with e-mail?
  • Should I create my own practice Web site? And if so, how do I go about it?

Tracking, Budget & ROI

  • How much should I be spending on advertising?
  • Why isn’t my practice growing as quickly as it used to?
  • What is the lifetime value of a patient?
  • I can't tell which advertising is working and which isn't. What can I do?
  • What the heck is ROI?
  • How do I measure the effectiveness of my advertising?

Internal Marketing

  • How do we make sure our patient files stay up to date?
  • How do we promote to consumers how much dentistry has changed in the last 20 years?
  • How do I get my patients to offer up testimonials that I can use in my marketing pieces without sounding desperate for their praise?
  • My recall postcards don’t seem to do any good. How do I make my patients come back?
  • I hear some doctors are using text messaging to contact patients. Is this the next wave of patient communication?
  • Should I be writing my own practice newsletter?
  • I just bought a CEREC machine. How do I promote the benefits to my patients?
  • What is Patient Activator?
  • Why do I need to do internal marketing?
  • What is internal marketing and how is different from other advertising?

Attracting New Patients

  • I’ve heard it’s illegal to reward patients for referrals. Is this true?
  • What should I be willing to pay to get a new patient?
  • Should I promote whitening as a discount?
  • I feel like my neighborhood is different from most. How do I figure out what they want to hear?
  • How do I attract more implant patients?
  • What advice do you have for new doctors looking to build a patient base?
  • Should I discount my services to attract new patients?
  • I don’t like emergency patients. Am I wrong?
  • How do I get new patients who want complex care or big ticket treatment?
  • I’m right in between a middle-class neighborhood and a very upscale neighborhood. What kind of advertising should I do to target high-end patients?
  • How can I target patients who have a high dental IQ?
  • My advertising brings in too many shoppers. How do I stop this?
  • What is aesthetics marketing?

Patient Interaction

  • How important are my intake forms to patients’ experience?
  • What’s the difference between a satisfied patient and a loyal patient?
  • How can you find out over the phone whether a patient will be able to pay for treatment?
  • I'm uncomfortable with the idea of having to "sell" patients on dentistry. Won't they eventually come around on their own?
  • How can I convince patients that what I'm charging them is fair?
  • How do I bring up asking for referrals when my patient is in the chair?
  • How do we change our patients’ perception of dentistry?
  • Why do my patients from advertising behave differently than word-of-mouth patients?
  • My ads bring in patients, but they get scared off the second I start to diagnose. How do I speak to media-generated patients to get them to accept treatment?
  • Why don’t new patients accept comprehensive treatment?
  • What are the biggest mistakes dental practices make with new patients?

About 1-800-DENTIST

  • How can 1-800-DENTIST possibly generate enough calls to satisfy all of their member dentists every month?
  • Why does 1-800-DENTIST advertise so much?
  • How does a consumer find a dentist on 1800dentist.com?
  • I always thought 1-800-DENTIST was some kind of dental insurance company. What exactly do you do?
  • What exactly happens when a consumer calls 1-800-DENTIST?
  • What kinds of patients call an 800 number to find a dentist?
  • I’ve heard anyone can join 1-800-DENTIST. How do you control which doctors are on your service?
  • Is there anything about 1-800-DENTIST that you think the general dental community doesn’t know or understand?
  • What is this 1-800-DENTIST program all about?

Office Staff

  • Is it more beneficial to have a fun, casual atmosphere in your office or a professional, clinical one?
  • Should staff praise the dentist to new patients?
  • How much should I pay my staff?
  • How beneficial is it to have staff members who speak another language?
  • I hear a lot about the benefits of "Scripting." Doesn't this just make the practice staff sound insincere?
  • How should I incentivize my front office staff to work harder?
  • How can I bring marketing into my daily or weekly huddle?
  • How should I incentivize my staff in order to get better marketing results?

For Office Managers

  • The doctor blames us when things go wrong, even things that are out of our control. What should we do?
  • I’d love the chance to get more training on anything that would benefit our practice. Where can my team turn for training on best practices, insurance, technology, etc.?
  • How can we tell if our phone skills need work; and how do we improve them?
  • I can’t convince the doctor that we need a newer, faster computer and other newer technology. What do I do?
  • We’re overbooked and can’t fit new patients into our schedule. What’s the best way to fix this?
  • I know the doctor needs me to stay late, or come in early sometimes, but I have family obligations too. How do I tell the doctor I have to stick to my schedule as often as possible?
  • How do I keep the stress level low for the team? And how do I make sure they all get along and work together?
  • I feel like I’m always way too busy to devote my attention to everything that needs it. How do I juggle all the many “hats” I wear in the practice?
  • It's difficult to keep on schedule during the day. What do you recommend?
  • It can be a challenge to fit emergencies into the schedule, and frequently they don’t show up. What's the best way to handle this?
  • Our practice needs to be busier. How do we do it?
  • How do we attract patients in a highly competitive area?
  • How should our team deal with our dentist’s weaknesses?
  • What do I do about low quality patients?
  • The doctor holds me accountable for case acceptance. What do I do?
  • How do I fend off sales calls?
  • What's the best way to deal with shoppers on the phone?
  • How do I handle collections issues?
  • How can we avoid getting so many no-shows?
  • Do you have any advice for answering questions about insurance?
  • How do I keep our schedule full?

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