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Monday, December 19, 2011

More Americans see dentists rather than doctors | Dental Tribune International

More Americans see dentists rather than doctors | Dental Tribune International

The study is the first of its kind to have compared the number of visits in children and adults to general health care providers and dentists. For their analysis, the researchers used data taken from more than 31,000 individuals that took part in the National Health Interview Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2008.
Over one third of children, who did not see a general medical provider that year, visited a dentist, whereas only 13 per cent of adults saw a dentist despite having access to general health care through private health insurance or Medicare.
Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that dentists should play a more prominent role in identifying chronic physical illnesses by using methods such as regular blood pressure checks or X-rays to detect risks for systematic diseases.
A recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation in Menlo Oark, California, found that patient visits to physicians in the U.S. have dropped significantly since 2009. According to the non-profit health organisation, visits to general medical providers plunged from 160 million to only 129 million per quarter in 2011.
In contrast, latest figures released by the National Centre for Health Statistics show that dental visits by children and the elderly increased during the last decade, and dipped only slightly in adults.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Patient Retention Formula

Number of patients in the last year (active)                          _____________

Divide the above # by 2  (at least 2 visits per year)              _____________

Divide the above # by 12 (months)                                     _____________

Multiply the above # by your goal retention percentage
(ex. 80%)                                                                          ____________   = GOAL

Current new patient average per month                              ____________

Add goal # and new patient average                                  ____________

Multiply your # from line 3 by your periodontal goal
(ex. 20% of recare appointments)                                     _____________

Add the numbers from line 3 and 4 above
(equals number of predicted new patients a month)           _____________

Multiply #5 by 12 months                                                _____________

Number of appointments in hygiene for the year              _____________

Divide your number on line 7 by line 6's number and
multiply by 100                                                              _____________  %
                                                                                     PERCENTAGE OF 
                                                                                  RECALL RETENTION


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I want to thank Iron Oak Farm for awarding me with the Leibster Blog award! Iron Oak Farm is a blog about creating art, enjoying nature and raising animals . It's a soul nourishing blog, like a breath of fresh air, filled with informative blog about   beauty both on the inside and out.
 Thanks Jennifer!

How this works
"Liebster," comes from the German word meaning "dearest" and the award is kind of chain letter that is awarded to up-and-coming blogs with less than 200 readers.

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. List your top 5 blog picks for this award and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and past the award on your blog.

4. Spread the love to 5 other bloggers.

5. Have fun!!!

Here are my 5
1. Iron Oak Farm 
2.Health Edge (Tips and information on health)
3.Blue Cricket Design (great ideas on crafting)
4.Musings of a Housewife (ideas on everything)
5. Blogging Basics 101

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reducing Patient No Shows and Cancellations

Below is a copy of a commitment form that we have patients sign at their first appointment in our office.
By making patients aware of our policy we have seen our last minute cancellations and no shows drastically reduced.

Feel free to copy the content below and use it for you office or email me at and I will email you the file.

Name: __________________________________ E-mail Address _______________________

Home ( ) ___________________________ Work ( ) _____________________________

Cell ( ) _____________________________ Other ( ) ____________________________

Emergency Contact: _________________________________ Phone: _____________________

Our Commitment

At __________________, we are committed to excellence. We feel that you deserve nothing less when it comes to your health. We use the best materials and techniques available in order to provide you with the quality you have come to expect from us.

We believe that our relationship with you, as with all relationships, needs open and clear communication. We will try to communicate all of your dental needs and estimate your financial information as soon as it becomes evident. We want you to be as informed as possible to help you in your decisions concerning your dental health.

We understand how valuable your time is, so we make every effort to remain on time. We do not double book our appointments. We feel that you deserve our complete and focused attention so that we may provide the best care possible. Your reserved time is exclusively yours.


Your Commitment

We want you to be comfortable with our team. If you ever have any questions about your dental treatment, financial or insurance questions, or any concerns at all, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible. We will be glad to clarify any uncertainties that may arise.

Your portion of your treatment is expected at the time of your services. For your convenience we do accept many forms of payment including, cash, check, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and we also offer third party financing, which includes both interest free programs and extended financing.

Your scheduled appointment is reserved exclusively for you. We have a 48 hour cancellation policy in order to provide you with this personalized attention. We understand that circumstances may arise that require an appointment to be rescheduled. We are happy to change your appointment time if a 48 hour notice is given. If sufficient notice is not given, your account will automatically be charged a $50 missed appointment fee. We ask that you make every effort to keep your reserved time.

Patient/Guardian: _________________________ Team Member/date:___________

Friday, December 9, 2011

10 Reasons Your Dentist Probably Hates You Too

1. The first thing you say when you sit down in my chair is, “I hate the dentist.” Really?!? Did your parents teach you any manners? Did they ever teach you that it is impolite to tell someone you hate them the moment you greet them? What I really want to say back is, “aww, I hate you too.”

2. You come to your appointment, and it’s obvious you haven’t brushed your teeth in days. I’ve had some people with great hygiene come in and apologize because they’ve just eaten lunch and couldn’t brush. This is not what I’m talking about. I mean food and thick plaque everywhere. After 10 years of seeing blood and rotten teeth and some really nasty things, this is still the 1 thing that makes me dry heave. You know when you come to us that we have to be in your mouth. Would you clean your home before having company? Additionally, I have spent hours literally bending over backwards repairing your teeth. Could you at least pretend that you are caring for the work that I have struggled to complete for you?

3. After we have spent hours of meticulously repairing your teeth, you complain about the bill. Would you walk out of the grocery store with a bag full of groceries and expect not to pay? I’ve just helped you to continue to smile and eat comfortably, two pretty valuable things that help your quality of life.

4. I tell you that you have a cavity and you need a filling, and you wait months or even years to get the necessary work done. Eventually the tooth starts hurting. Two weeks of pain go by, and you call me on a Saturday night while I am at dinner with friends because your tooth that needed a filling a year ago and that started hurting 2 weeks ago is suddenly an emergency.

Read this entire list click here

Friday, December 2, 2011

The 8 Most Artery Clogging Cities

These urban centers have the highest rates of heart disease and obesity in the country, perhaps because they seem to promote sedentary lifestyles and diets heavy on fast food but light on fresh produce. We sorted through the latest statistical research from the CDC on obesity and heart disease rates to come up with this list of eight metropolitan areas with a population of over 200,000 that are most likely to clog your arteries. And because studies show that unhealthy habits are contagious, anybody moving to or spending time in these places should be extra careful to take care of their tickers.

1. Detroit, MI Detroit residents report more heart disease diagnoses than any other big city in the nation, according to CDC data, and 33% of them are obese. One thing the city's hearts do have in their favor: A vibrant urban agriculture movement is transforming empty lots into veggie-filled community gardens, increasing access to fresh produce in neighborhoods where it was previously scarce.

Read this entire article

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Personalized Message from Santa

Click on the link below to create a personalized video from Santa for free

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Bone Grafting 101

This is a run down of some basic bone grafting information, terminology,codes, etc....


-Autogenous: patients own bone, usually taken from chin,ramus,tuberoristy,shavings of hip -used 3% of the time (best with membrane)
-Allograft: human cadaver bone- used 44% of the time (Zimmer) with membrane (Biohorizons)
-Alloplast: synthetic,ceramic,polymer, titianium... 33% (Kerr) no membrane- doesn't shrink but not good for implants
-Xenograft: cow bone 20% (Osteohealth)

-7953 Bone Replacement graft at time of extraction
-4266 or 4267, Membranes
-Plus extraction code and fee
-Some insurance companies pay for grafting and many do not

Bone requirements for conventional diameter implants with out grafting
-6mm in a facial- lingual dimension
-10 mm in a crestal-apical dimension
-1-2 mm or more from vital structures (sinus, IA canal, mental foramen)

Monday, November 14, 2011

How often are you updating health histories for your patients?

Health histories should be updated at every appointment for patients. New health histories are a good idea every 2-3 years, patients tend to forget about important medical happenings if you don't specifically ask- did you have heart surgery or a joint replacement since I saw you last?
One hygienist recommends gearing the small talk before the cleaning around what has happened to them medically since their last visit rather then asking about the family vacation.

Here are a few sample health histories- click on the picture to view the full documents

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Office Newsletter

Click on the newsletter to read content

I recently started putting together my offices quarterly newsletter. This is the first one that has gone out since I took it over.
Constant Contact seems to have a good system. After the newsletter goes out I will get an email letting me know how many people opened it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Best and Worst Candy for Teeth

Halloween candies divided into five distinct types and rated, on a scale from 1-10 (1 being good for your teeth, 10 being the absolute worst cavity-causers)
Taffy and hard candy are the two worst offenders. Use this Halloween guide to safeguarding your children's teeth, as always, be wary of excess consumption of any trickery treat.

Fear Factor Score: 9 out of 10
Traditionally, dentists have always known that the longer a food sticks to the teeth the longer bacteria has to feed on it to produce cavity-causing acid.One of the best ways to avoid cavities during Halloween is to avoid the sticky candy that can plaster your teeth and wedge itself into the nooks and crannies of your mouth.

Hard Candy
Fear Factor Score: 8.5 out of 10
Although hard candies like Jaw Breakers and Everlasting Gobstoppers don't have that stick factor, they hurt your mouth from the amount of time they take to dissolve,The longer food sits in your mouth, the more acidic the environment becomes.

"People naturally assume that if they can't feel the candy sticking to their mouths, they are okay, but that isn't true. If you leave a hard candy in your mouth for a lengthy period of time, this can be even worse than a sticky candy."

Peanut Butter Cups
Fear Factor Score: 6.5 out of 10
Safer than candies like taffy, the ever-present peanut butter cup is still a hazard to your mouth. Studies have indicated that chocolate is especially good at creating acid buildup in your mouth and the stickiness of peanut butter doesn't help.

Candy-Covered Chocolate
Fear Factor Score: 6 out of 10
Most people assume that when chocolate lacks the sticky peanut butter, it has to be better for their teeth. Again, while it lacks that attribute, it suffers from the time factor. Candy-covered chocolate is typically consumed in a bag where the consumer is continually chewing on the candy. While a peanut butter cup is typically consumed in one or two bites, a bag of M&M’s can last for minutes. This extra time gives the bacteria plenty of time to generate cavity causing acid.

Sugar Sticks
Fear Factor Score: 5 out of 10
Most parents automatically toss out their kids' Pixie Stix with the assumption that a little bag of sugar must be awful for teeth. Contrary to popular belief, these little sacks of sugar are some of the safest Halloween treats out there.

Pixie Stix are typically poured directly onto the tongue, avoiding chewing and your teeth altogether. They are then quickly consumed and out of the mouth before any major damage can been done. So while it may not make sense, those sacks of sugar may be the best candy for your teeth.

Read this entire article Chicago Tribune

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Anesthetic Review

Occasionally I will refer back to these two videos when I need a refresher on my anesthetic technique:

IA nerve block

Infiltration Technique

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Hygiene Visits Down?

I recently started following the Henry Schein blog- these are a couple of their posts- they have some good information-Click on the following link to follow Henry Schein on facebook

Have your patients moved dental care from a need to a nice-to-have?

recent survey shows that 35% of people who regularly visit the dentist have cut back on their dental visits. It’s an alarming percentage when we consider the ramifications of undiagnosed oral cancer, untreated periodontal disease and potential oral systemic health issues. What this survey tells me is that at least 35% of patients do not truly understand the importance of oral care. If they did, dental visits would always be prioritized as a need. As an industry, it is our responsibility to educate not only our own patients, but all consumers. Fortunately work towards this goal is already in progress with a public service ad campaigncurrently being developed by the Ad Council and the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Health Lives for launch in 2012. However, we don’t have to wait until next year to start spreading the message. Every patient interaction with the dental team is an opportunity for education. Every phone call, every hygiene appointment, every exam, even time spent in the reception area or on your website provides a valuable opportunity to share the importance of oral care.  If you’re not sure how to get started, visit theWellness page for ideas. Start spreading the news today – oral health can’t wait!

Avoiding the Summer Slump
Summer is finally here and with it comes vacations, camps, family get-togethers, ballgames, festivals, and much more. People are busier than ever during the summer and it can be easy for dental care to slip down the list of priorities. Putting a summer plan in place for your office can help prevent cancellations and openings in your schedule. Use these ideas to get your own summer plan started:

  • Confirm all appointments 48-72 hours in advance.
  • Reinforce the importance of regular oral care by providing patients with systemic health articles and brochures.
  • Share summer oral care tips in your newsletter, website or other marketing materials (lip balm with sunscreen to help prevent oral cancer, brushing immediately after sugary summer foods).
  • Run promotions capitalizing on summer activities (whitening specials for wedding parties, etc.).
  • Add a special summer bonus to your referral program.
  • Review your broken appointment protocol and update as needed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Do's and Don'ts for Job Interviews

Follow these simple rules and you should achieve success in this important phase of job-hunting.
  • Do take a practice run to the location where you are having the interview -- or be sure you know exactly where it is and how long it takes to get there.
  • Do your research and know the type of job interview you will be encountering. And do prepare and practice for the interview, but don't memorize or over-rehearse your answers. 
  • Do dress the part for the job, the company, the industry. And do err on the side of conservatism. 
  • Do plan to arrive about 10 minutes early. Late arrival for a job interview is never excusable. If you are running late, do phone the company.
  • Do greet the receptionist or assistant with courtesy and respect. This is where you make your first impression.
  • Don't chew gum during the interview.
  • If presented with a job application, do fill it out neatly, completely, and accurately.
  • Do bring extra resumes to the interview. 
  • Don't rely on your application or resume to do the selling for you. No matter how qualified you are for the position, you will need to sell yourself to the interviewer.
  • Do greet the interviewer(s) by title (Ms., Mr., Dr.) and last name if you are sure of the pronunciation. (If you're not sure, do ask the receptionist about the pronunciation before going into the interview.)
  • Do shake hands firmly. Don't have a limp or clammy handshake!
  • Do wait until you are offered a chair before sitting. And do remember body language and posture: sit upright and look alert and interested at all times. Don't fidget or slouch.
  • Don't tell jokes during the interview.
  • Do make good eye contact with your interviewer(s).
  • Do show enthusiasm in the position and the company.
  • Do brush your teeth, use mouthwash, or have a breath mint before the interview.
  • Do avoid using poor language, slang, and pause words (such as "like," "uh," and "um").
  • Don't be soft-spoken. A forceful voice projects confidence.
  • Do have a high confidence and energy level, but don't be overly aggressive.
  • Don't act as though you would take any job or are desperate for employment.
  • Don't say anything negative about former colleagues, supervisors, or employers.
  • Do make sure that your good points come across to the interviewer in a factual, sincere manner.
  • Don't ever lie. Answer questions truthfully, frankly and succinctly. And don't over-answer questions.
  • Do stress your achievements. And don't offer any negative information about yourself.
  • Don't answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no." Explain whenever possible. Describe those things about yourself that showcase your talents, skills, and determination. Give examples.
  • Don't bring up or discuss personal issues or family problems.
  • Do remember that the interview is also an important time for you to evaluate the interviewer and the company he/she represents.
  • Don't respond to an unexpected question with an extended pause or by saying something like, "boy, that's a good question." And do repeat the question outloud or ask for the question to be repeated to give you a little more time to think about an answer. Also, a short pause before responding is okay.
  • Do always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing. Never close the door on an opportunity until you are sure about it.
  • Don't answer cell phone calls during the interview, and do turn off (or set to silent ring) your cell phone and/or pager.
  • Do show what you can do for the company rather than what the company can do for you.
  • Don't inquire about salary, vacations, bonuses, retirement, or other benefits until after you've received an offer. Be prepared for a question about your salary requirements, but do try and delay salary talk until you have an offer. 
  • Do ask intelligent questions about the job, company, or industry. Don't ever not ask any questions -- it shows a lack of interest.
  • Do close the interview by telling the interviewer(s) that you want the job and asking about the next step in the process. 
  • Do try and get business cards from each person you interviewed with -- or at least the correct spelling of their first and last names. And don't make assumptions about simple names -- was it Jon or John -- get the spelling.
  • Do immediately take down notes after the interview concludes so you don't forget crucial details.
  • Do write thank you letters within 24 hours to each person who interviewed you. 
Please visit Quint Careers for the full list,additional helpful links and  information- its a very helpful site~

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Does your office have a website?

A majority of dental offices have a website- I thought it would be interesting to take a minute and look at a few.                                          
Below are some websites of dental offices where I have worked :


I'm always amazed at how much I learn by scrolling through other offices websites:

  • Often times it refreshes my memory on things that I haven't thought about in a while
  • Some times I get new ideas that I think would work well in my office
  • Some times I read a statistic or fact that I didn't know.

Email your offices website address to me and I will include it in a future blog post:

This website has a live video stream of its waiting room aquarium- click the 
image below to watch the fish!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


FALL for SMILES  is a grassroots campaign promoting awareness of vital oral health habits in children and adults.

4 key messages:
  1. Dental Self Care
  2. Healthy Nutrition
  3. Routine Dental Visits
  4. No tobacco use
Fall for Smiles strives to bring healthy mouths to life.

All entries must be received by October 31,2011

For additional ways you or your dental office can get involved visit the Fall for Smiles website

Monday, September 5, 2011

2 New Products- Have you seen these?

Two new products that you may not have seen yet...

  • Kills 99.9% of bacteria in 24 hours
  • Protection last the lifetime of the pen
  • Help prevent the growth and spread of bacteria

A new way of doing fillings that seems to make a  lot of sense...
This technique uses a special hand piece and composite that allows the filling material to be placed in a single step. As sonic energy is applied to the hand piece the modifier causes the viscosity of the the material to drop making it more flowable.  When the sonic energy stops the material returns to a viscous state allowing for  carving and contouring.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

If you grab my button- I'll grab yours


A blog button allows us to cross promote our blogs to visitors who may be interested in each others content.
If you have a button already- I will grab yours if you grab mine. Just email me your blog address and I will post your button on my site.
You can grab the code by copying and pasting here:
<center><a href=""><img border="0" src=""/></a></center>

Or you can grab it off of my blog by following the link below and scrolling down a little on the right hand side.

Go to Help For Dental Hygienists
If you don't already have a button- add one to your page by following the information on the link below- then we can exchange:

These are what the buttons look link when you put them on your site

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Digital Picture Frame Giveaway

I'm to trying to spread the word and  promote my blog and  Facebook page.
My goal is to get 100 " page likes". When the goal is reached I will randomly select a
winner from the 100 to receive a new Panimage 7" LED Digital Photo Frame.
Anyone who is already a member is instantly entered.
Good luck and thank you for helping me reach my goal!

Click HERE to "like" Hygiene Help from my blog

It stores up to 2000 images and is great for personal use or at the office.

I like to display pictures of my family in my operatory at work.

In the waiting room of your office you can display pictures of:

  •  your team members
  •  before and after photos of patients
  •  "no cavity club members" 
  • (Don't forget to get releases signed)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Educating Your Patients

Its one of the biggest challenges we face as dental hygienists- educating our patients. Often times we are trying to  teach them things they could care less about, you can see their eyes glaze over when you start to talk about floss.

Here are a couple of things that I have found helpful in my quest to educate the masses -

Although I have never  found handing a patient information to be extremely beneficial, this brochure tends to get the point across when addressing periodontal disease- the pictures say it all. I like to run through it with the patient while in the office.
 I have worked in a few offices that have different computer programs designed to educate patients on all types of oral conditions. It has been my experience that these programs don't get used very frequently. I decided to add a section to my offices website. I titled it "PATIENT LIBRARY" and I added information on different topics. When a patients has a question or I want them to have some additional information I will email the link to them.
This section has also come in very useful for our offices SEO- when we post blogs we back link to this section and we also post links on our Facebook page.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

A Few Ideas on Ways to Donate Time and Services

The doctors that I currently work for are very generous and enjoy giving back to our community.
Donating can be very rewarding personally, professionally and financially.

Donating time, money and services can also provide more then a warm feeling it can come back to you in the form of new patients. When we participate in charitable events we let our community know. We have done press releases, news stories, facebook posts... if you don't put it out there no one will know.

Every year we host a charity dental day, we join forces with our local nonprofit organization that helps the under privileged children in our area. We will schedule a full day and provide preventative as well as restorative treatment. Last year we provided over $8,000 of treatment and services in a 6 hour day.

Every year the Leader Dogs for the Blind in our community host an auction to raise money.
Our office donated a smile makeover- it was such a hit that they ended up donating 2.

We donated tooth brushes to one of our patients who went on a misson trip to Africa- this photo is on our wall and was posted on facebook.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

101 Top marketing ideas

This is a list that was posted on Hygienetown 
recently, we aren't sure who compiled the 
list but it has some good ideas/ review 
of things we have all heard before.

101 Top Marketing Ideas for Your Office


   1. Children can be one of the best ways to build a practice. 
Treat them right and the family will follow. First the child comes in, 
then the mom, then a referral from the mom, and finally the dad c
omes in with a toothache.

   2. On a first visit, let young or apprehensive children experience 
a “happy” visit where they can be introduced to you and the office.

   3. Children love toys. Have a special prize box with unique and 
interesting prizes from which they may choose. Reward with double or triple 
prizes for especially good behavior. Have monthly drawings for larger prizes. 
You can do this for your adult patients also.

   4. Give a child a gold dollar after treatment or give the coin to the 
parent to place under their pillow after an extraction. Learn a few magic
 tricks to entertain the kids during treatment.

   5. Provide a children’s play area complete with video games,
 books, and a television.

   6. Have a camera available to take pictures of young patients and
 let them post the photos on a wall.


   7. Give away a coffee mug with your name and logo on it filled with 
goodies such as toothpaste and floss. Have it shrink wrapped by a 
local organization such as Easter Seals.

   8. Send to or give patients magnets embossed with your logo and 
phone number that they may place on their refrigerator.

   9. Remember your most important asset. Treat your staff to a surprise
 shopping-spree at Christmas time. Offer only two rules—
they have to spend the money on themselves and you get to keep 
the change. Provide simple perks throughout the year.

  10. Keep dinner gift certificates on hand to give to patients when you are 
running late or to celebrate a special occasion.

  11. Hand out Starbucks or similar gift cards to patients whenever needed.

  12. Have fresh flowers in the waiting room. Give the flowers away to 
a patient to celebrate an occasion.

  13. Give away toothbrushes with your name imprinted on them to
 all recare patients. Also, hand out these toothbrushes to schools,
 civic groups, etc.

  14. Buy multiple copies of a motivational or special book and
 personally give it to the patients after treatment.


  15. Make care calls to patients who were treated earlier that day. 
This is one of the most important practice builders. Address any
 concerns and begin any conversation with “I just wanted to see how 
well you are doing.”

  16. Set up and maintain a quality website. Keep the information up-to-date.

  17. Provide and distribute an office brochure. Personalize it so patients 
can make a connection.

  18. Send postcards to patients to stay in touch and to celebrate holidays 
such as Thanksgiving and New Years. For many patients, you will
 be like the fire department. They will not need you until an emergency.

  19. Acknowledge birthdays. Send a birthday greeting to each patient 
in a format which lists what happened on the day they were born. 
Excellent software is available from Spectrum Unlimited 

  20. Have a box of greeting cards on hand to send to 
patients such as Congratulations and Happy Anniversary.

  21. Send out thank you cards or letters to thank patients for their referrals. 
Consider doing something special for multiple referrals.

  22. Have each staff member hand-write one thank you note each 
day to a patient that they encountered thanking them for the visit 
or whatever special moment they shared during their time together. 
This can be wishing them a safe vacation, congratulations on their 
new grandson, or a new recipe they should try. 
Seek to build a relationship with your patients that differentiates 
your practice.

  23. Get email addresses and cell phone numbers from your patients. 
Send out reminders, announcements, or e-newsletters. 
This information can be integrated with some web site 
companies such as Dental Sesame 
( to communicate via 
email or text messaging.

  24. Always try to keep your name in front of the patients. 
Send out a newsletter several times a year. This can be done
 via direct mail or electronically.

  25. Send out a new patient packet including a welcome letter.

  26. Offer your home phone number to patients who may need it, 
especially after difficult procedures.

  27. Send out post-treatment letters to your patients.


  28. Schedule lunch or a meeting with several physicians or 
professionals in your area and let them know that you are accepting
 new patients.

  29. Get to know several area pharmacists and let them know that
 you are available for emergencies.

  30. Hairdressers are some of the best referrals. 
Get to know several shops and send over lunch.

  31. Print business cards for your staff and encourage them 
to hand them out in all their daily affairs.

  32. Sponsor local sports teams. Advertise in church bulletins or
 school sponsored activities.

  33. Let patients know that you are accepting new referrals.

  34. Always market internally with your existing patient base first and foremost.

  35. Send flowers to a special patient for any reason at work. 
This will surprise them and impress their co-workers.

  36. Sponsor a local food drive or other event. 
Commit to a charity and get your practice involved.


  37. Furnish a business area in the waiting room with a phone 
and computer.

  38. Wow your patients at every opportunity. Be creative!
 Use your imagination and ingenuity.

  39. Provide a warm towel to patients after treatment. 
More information is available at
 After difficult procedures, provide your patient with a reusable 
ice pack with your logo on it to take home.

  40. Have umbrellas available to give to patients when they leave
 during a storm.

  41. Have some pillows and blankets available for patient comfort.

  42. Make sure you have a wide array of up-to-date magazines. 
Provide general interest books such as 
The Guinness Book of World Records, The Far Side, 
or the Top 10 of Everything.

  43. Provide the daily newspaper along with USA Today and 
The Wall Street Journal in your waiting room.

  44. Offer to copy magazine articles or recipes for the patient. 
Even give the magazines away.

  45. Place flat screen televisions in the operatory for patient
enjoyment and education. Provide cable or show movies. 
Provide a list of movies or such to choose from.

  46. Provide state of the art stereo headphones (noise reduction),
 CD or MP3 players, and music for your patients.

  47. Instead of silence on the telephone, place an 
on-hold message system or music for your patients while they
 are on hold.

  48. Have a makeup area available for patients complete
 with a wall mirror that they can use after treatment.
 Provide hooks in the operatory where patients can
 hang coats or other items.

  49. Designate a spot in the waiting room to be the
 refreshment center. Serve coffee and refreshments.
 Provide bottled water with your logo on it.


  50. Provide painless injections (and this means painless).
 Develop the proper techniques if necessary. 
This is one of the most important marketing skills.

  51. Use analogies to which patients can relate. 
For example, “These fillings have 100,000 miles on them
 and may only go another 20,000 miles, not a lifetime.”

  52. Provide patients with a tour of your office including
 the sterilization area. The patient can best measure your 
sterilization techniques by office cleanliness and appearance.
 Take the time to sit in each dental chair and notice
 what the patient sees.

  53. Place a strong emphasis on patient education and have 
numerous items such as videos, models, books, and pamphlets
 on hand. Consider programs such as Caesy, Guru,
 or Dr. Christensen’s Simple Patient Education for Every Practice.

  54. Always explain. Let your patient know what to expect and
 be available for questions. For example, 
tell the patient the tooth could be sensitive for a few days.

  55. Offer the patient treatment options including alternatives, 
advantages, disadvantages, costs, risks, and doing nothing. 
This is an important part of informed consent.

  56. Let the patients know that they are in a state-of-the-art 
environment. Inform them of courses you have taken or honors 
that you have received. Promote your continuing education. 
Give the patients the confidence that they are in the hands 
of a skilled practitioner!

  57. Hang your diplomas in clear view for all the patients to see. 
Frame all your accomplishments.

  58. Find groups in your area that welcome speakers such as a 
Diabetic Association, PTA, or civic club and offer to make 
a presentation on a pertinent dental topic.

  59. Participate in community activities such as health fairs.

  60. Offer to visit schools for presentations during 
Children’s Dental Health Month.

  61. Take before and after pictures of your patients. 
Ask for patient testimonials about their treatment. 
Make these available to show your patients and for those
 considering similar procedures. Place on your website.


  62. Whatever it takes—Make the Patient Feel Important. 
The acronym used in business is MMFI—“Make Me Feel Important.”

  63. Inform the patients if they are left waiting. 
Patients appreciate that the Doctor acknowledges 
the patient’s time. Do something special if they have to wait too long.

  64. Keep a sheet in the patient’s chart identifying things such 
as where they lived, went to school, hobbies, special events etc
. This will help remind you the next time you see the patient and can 
serve as a good “ice breaker.” Patients enjoy your connection.

  65. See the patient as a person and remember to remain 
in the moment with the patient. 
Understand the patient has only one experience in your office.

  66. Have fun while working with the patient in the operatory,
 but always include the patient. Avoid conversation that does not
 involve the patient.

  67. Always give the patient more than they expect from the
 time they first call the office to when they leave the appointment. 
This more than anything will create value.

  68. Use humor with your patients. It helps to provide a 
connection between the doctor and patient and can relieve stress.

  69. Compliment your patients and staff whenever possible. 
Everyone likes to be complimented.

  70. Always greet your patients with a friendly handshake, 
a warm smile, and even a hug. Address patients by name.

  71. Always maintain a caring attitude toward your patient and 
show genuine interest.

  72. Acknowledge all patients at all times, whether they be
 in the reception area or operatory.

  73. Allow the patient to rest during long procedures. 
This will allow you free time for a hygiene check or a phone call.

  74. Always have someone walk the patient to the front desk or restroom.

  75. Have the front desk person greet new patients by walking
 into the reception area. The doctor can do the same if he is available.

  76. Introduce the assistant to the patient as their personal concierge. 
Make the patient feel special.

  77. Encourage and promote an enthusiastic staff. 
Create an energetic environment.

  78. Support your patients’ businesses.

  79. Clip out newspaper articles about your patients 
and send it to them with a warm greeting.


  80. Make sure your office décor is pleasant, comforting,
 and up-to-date. Schedule a time when you and your team can 
go out into the parking lot and walk in through the front door and 
observe the practice from the patients’ point of view. Notice everything 
and simulate the experience from the waiting room to the operatory 
and back to the front desk. Note any changes you would recommend.

  81. Have every operatory decorated with a different theme or idea.
 One could be a sports room with sports memorabilia and another 
could be a French garden. The assistant could ask the patient which 
room he or she would like to be seated or simply say, “Mr. Jones, 
today we are taking you to Paris.”

  82. Put some thought into decorating the bathroom and make
 sure it is clean at all times. This is one area of the office that 
patients are alone and should have high impact.

  83. Decorate the office for special holidays.

  84. Have your office sign visible from the street if possible. 
Make sure it is lit at night.

  85. Have your staff coordinate aesthetically pleasing uniforms.

  86. Have your staff wear name tags.

  87. Place photos of you and your staff on the wall in a 
common area or in the waiting room.

  88. Use aromatherapy. Even consider baking fresh bread 
in the break room as an added bonus.


  89. Find a reason to celebrate each and every day.

  90. Show confidence in everything you do in front of the patient.

  91. Believe in yourself. Carry with you the motto from the
 movie Field of Dreams: “If you build it, they will come.”


  92. Have a consistent and strong financial policy. 
At the same time, offer patients financial options.

  93. Offer a sequential or gradual treatment plan for 
patients that cannot afford it.

  94. Phase treatment. Do treatment sequentially over 
a period of months or years. Treatment planning is always
 easiest when you ask yourself one question and one question
 only, “What would I do in my own mouth if I were the patient?”

  95. Offer free prophies or whitening to a bride or spouse to be. 
Offer this for other special occasions as well.

  96. Don’t charge your patients for many services. 
This will go a long way to building a long-term relationship. 
Try to build a patient for life, not for the moment.

  97. Don’t be afraid to redo something at no-charge or a reduced fee. 
Don’t a la carte everything you do. Patients will appreciate it more
 than you realize.

  98. Provide varied and convenient hours. 
Work at times when other dentists may not be available such
 as Friday afternoons, Saturday mornings, or one evening a week.

  99. See all emergencies the same day and be available 24 hours
 a day. This can be an important practice builder.

 100. Go slow, introducing low-budget front-end cosmetic
 procedures such as whitening or bonding.

 101. Utilize an intra-oral camera system.

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