PennWell Dental Group

PennWell Dental Community

Dentistry, like most industries today, is in a state of change. While this isn’t unusual or surprising, what I’ve found does catch dentists off guard is how few consumers realize this. When most people think of going to the dentist, they still think of painful shots and endless drilling. They don’t realize that there are less intrusive and gentler options available today that could eliminate both of them. For many people, this knowledge alone could be enough to convert them from a dental avoider to a regular dental patient.

Of course, I realize that not every practice out there has a dental laser or a Single Tooth Anesthesia (STATM)
system like The Wand
TM, and that’s part of the problem. (I’ll address that particular issue in my next blog.) However, to really capitalize on the changing face of dentistry and use it to our advantage, we need to do a much better job of showing the general public how much our industry has changed.

It would be nice if the big companies on the forefront of the changes would take a cue from the drug companies and buy television ad space to promote CEREC®, The Wand, Waterlase® and all of the other great products making dentistry more efficient and comfortable. However, that’s not likely to happen. And while the Dental Trade Alliance’s “Oral Healthcare Can’t Wait” campaign is a good start at educating consumers about the importance of regular checkups, we also need to assure uneasy patients that dentistry has gotten more efficient and comfortable. That’s a message that’s best spread on the individual level, by dentists who can speak directly to patients and assure them that their unique fears and anxieties about going to the dentist can be laid to rest. In short, if we want to spread the message about how dentistry’s changed, we really need to pick up the torch ourselves.

There are lots of ways to do this at your practice. You can write about new breakthroughs in dentistry in your newsletter, mention the benefits of modern technology in your ads and on your website and most important — talk to your patients about all of this when they’re in your office. It may take a little effort, but if we can help inform our friends and neighbors of how much dentistry has changed, more of our friends and neighbors will stop feeling so anxious about going to the dentist…and wouldn’t that be a change!

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