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26th June 2018

Getting More Patients as a Dentist

Words are increasingly playing a major role in dental practice marketing, regardless of who is assigned to handle the task either internally or externally.

Your brand depends on the use of written words to successfully create a business climate that attracts patients and is relatable to them.

Dentists are typically proficient in writing a dissertation or thesis, a medical history, or a case study. Additionally, dentists must ensure all patients fully understand any issues being discussed, including:

  • Explaining their histories
  • Agreeing on a treatment
  • Raising any concerns over outcomes
  • The handling of complaints.

Your entire dental team must play a role in communication, particularly when managing patient expectations. This begins with initial meetings (online or in person) and continues throughout treatment and beyond.

Key messages must also be worded in a positive way. For example, saying “oral health promotions” is preferred over the phrase “preventative dentistry.” Similarly, the newer “oral health promotion” is preferred over the dated dentistry concept of “fixing teeth.”

Equally, you must choose carefully when selecting either a “suite” or a “menu” regarding your available treatments and whether you offer them to your “patients” or your “clients.”

Choosing your words correctly could enhance the experience of the patient well before they’ve ever entered your practice’s physical location.

The Influencing of Behaviour

Astute business owners realise that using the capacities of the internet will make their jobs much easier. Although an ethical and legal minefield, it’s absolutely a necessity for proper patient communication.

While not using hyperbole, per the rules, and not enacting sweeping claims as to the guaranteed results of any treatment, communication via the internet should still be done, keeping in mind that such communication must be presented in a professional manner.

You can still use language to engage and persuade visitors to come through your practice doors, just be sure to carefully monitor any creative writing you produce, such as newsletters, social media posts, blogs, and website content.

Mastering Words in Dental Marketing

Consider these suggestions:

  1. Make sure you are a subject matter expert on whatever topic you choose to write about. Whether it’s orthodontics or teeth whitening, your enthusiasm will naturally shine forth due to your complete grasp of the subject material.
  2. Keep social media posts short and sweet. The character number limits of Twitter can be challenging for even experienced wordsmiths. For blogs, try to keep your posts in the range of 500 words.
  3. Entice readers by using a hook, such as a newsworthy topic or a connection to a celebrity. If you’re creating a post about orthodontics and teeth whitening, there may be a celebrity who recently received a smile makeover. Perhaps a poll just revealed current statistics for patients of cosmetic dentistry. Use snappy introductions in your blog, such as “A straight, white smile might be what will land you that job, per a recent survey.” For orthodontics, consider something like “Cyclists Jason Kenny and Laura Trott look fabulous in their invisible braces, and we’d love to do this for you.” Boldness in your introductions is not something you should fear.
  4. “Backstories” with patient testimonials and positive outcomes are well received since people enjoy reading about other people. Ensure the content that describes your treatments is more accessible and less abstract.
  5. Make use of study references, quotes, and statistics in your blogs. People enjoy reading facts and it serves the dual purpose of backing up and supporting your messaging.
  6. Don’t fuss over things that are unimportant. Remember you can hire editors and proofreaders online to clean up your copy. You can also hire a dental SEO expert to amplify the content of your website.
  7. Don’t plagiarise. Your content must be original. If a reader has already seen your content elsewhere, they will view this negatively. If there’s any doubt, check for plagiarism using an online tool.

Stoke Your Creativity

Be consistent in your messaging and have fun writing it. This will help you to communicate your clinic’s ethos and dental branding. The education of the patient is, obviously, the underlying goal – but your communication need not be unimaginative or dull.

Ensure your entire team is aware of your desire for using positive words, phrases, and overall language that has consumer appeal and is also patient-friendly in nature.

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