News From The Wealthy Dentist #30: January 31, 2007
by Jim Du Molin
There is an old saying in business: “It’s not what the cockroach eats that matters… it’s what he spoils for others.” Just imagine you’ve worked closely with a patient to put together a major long-term treatment plan involving a
full-mouth reconstruction over an eighteen-month period. Eight months into the plan, both you and the patient are happy with the initial results.
So far, so good.
Your patient then visits a local heath fair. She stops off at a dental information booth run by a competitor. As she starts to tell him about her treatment plan, he volunteers to do a quick look-see. Of course, he comes up with half a dozen better ways to solve the problem. Your patient comes back to you with Dr. Cockroach’s list of treatment recommendations. This is what we call “Cockroach Competition.”
There is no easy way to defend yourself from this type of competitor. They are
just taking pot shots at your treatment plan with little understanding of your history with the patient. Even worse, they may use a self-made diagnostic check-off sheet designed to make their approach look great and anything you
might be trying to accomplish look second-rate. Basically, these types of doctors can’t compete on the value of their own services. They need to attack their colleagues’ work to recruit patients.
I recently ran into another version of Cockroach Competition with our Internet dental website business. One of our competitors decided to run an unsolicited automatic analysis of some of our doctors’ websites, claiming that we were doing a poor job because each doctor’s “assigned Google Page Rank is too low to be competitive.” Just for your information, page rank is one of those interesting “clinical” buzz words that a cockroach can easily fall back on when trying to knock the competition.
Even worse, I recently had several website subscribers attend a seminar held by what I had always thought of as a reputable consulting company. Like the health fair example above, our clients were offered a no-charge analysis of their websites. Lo and behold, they all received a highly critical analysis of their sites, accompanied by a full list of services and how they could do better… another “Cockroach Competitor.”
So what is the solution to these kinds of competitive attacks on your patient base? Patients aren’t stupid, but they can become confused when a cockroach starts throwing a lot of technical jargon at them. Talk with them and, most
important, listen to them too. Then bring them back mentally to when they first came to you with their problem. Review how you have worked together to map out just the right treatment plan for them. Remind them of all the things you have accomplished together and, hopefully, how happy they have been with the results.
This is the approach we have taken to counter our website competitors. We remind our clients that the two primary things they need to remember are, “Are their Internet Marketing Campaigns generating profitable high-value new patients?” and “Are they positioned well in search engine results for their campaigns’ target markets (Cosmetics, Sedation, Implants, Braces, etc.)?” Results in these areas often take time, just like a long-term treatment plan — but unlike our cockroach competitors, the Internet Dental Alliance guarantees its results!
Jim Du Molin
Colgate Censured in UK for Claiming 80% of Dentists Recommend Its Toothpaste
Colgate’s claim that more than 80% of dentists recommend its toothpaste has
landed the company in hot water in the UK. The Advertising Standards Authority
(ASA) found this statement to be misleading and ruled that Colgate-Palmolive can
no longer make this claim in its advertisements.
Colgate surveys dental professionals on a range of topics each year, including recommendations on toothpastes and brands. Although 80% of respondents did indeed recommend Colgate, the ASA found the advertising claim to be misleading, as respondents were permitted to recommend multiple brands. In fact, a competitive brand was recommended nearly as much as Colgate.
Survey: Most Dentists Prefer Children To Dress Like Children
In The Wealthy Dentist’s weekly poll, we recently asked: What do you think of ten-year-olds in tube tops and high heels?
A whopping 96.5% of respondents said, “It’s a terrible idea! It’s totally inappropriate for parents to let their children dress in suggestive clothing.”
Only 3.5% felt comfortable saying, “It’s not such a big deal. Kids today face deeper problems, and making them change their clothes won’t change the world they live in.”
Plus, check out more detailed results!
Incorporating Systemic Immune Support into Hygiene Treatment
by Valerie Williams, Registered Dental Hygienist
If you look at the treatment of periodontal disease, a simple visual would be a 3-legged stool: one leg for instrumentation, one for behavior modification and the third for systemic immune support. Over the years, clinical skills have been perfected with specialized instruments and lasers. In addition, dental teams have become very adept at motivating patients. The one area that has been missing is systemic immune support—assisting the body’s natural immune system to fight inflammation and infection. The main reason this has been overlooked is because of a lack of scientific research. That, however, is changing.
Recently a clinical study was conducted at a major West Coast university to determine the effect of the nutritional supplement Periodontal Formula 3 (PF3) on the management of periodontal health in 85 participants. This double-blind placebo-controlled study was specifically designed to determine the effect of a nutritional supplement on gingival index score, probing depth, attachment level, carotenoid antioxidant level, and serum C-reactive protein level. PF3 showed a significant increase in the skin carotenoid score (increase in antioxidant levels). The results of this study also showed that PF3 significantly decreased gingival index score and showed a decrease in indexes of periodontal health parameters.
Collaborating scientists will be submitting the full results for an upcoming dental meeting. However, the following highlights make us feel it is time to incorporate systemic immune support into periodontal therapy treatment plans:
Gingival inflammation was reduced significantly in the experimental group
Skin carotenoid increased in experimental group
Significant decrease in bleeding score for the experimental group
Pocket depths showed no significant decrease, which was expected for the short
amount of time (8 weeks) the experimental group was followed.
Overall, the scientists involved were very excited about the results. Along with Dr. Mike Milligan, AHC has been involved in conducting an in-office field study utilizing systemic immune support in periodontal treatment. Very promising results are coming in! What we are seeing so far is:
6mm pockets decreased 47%
5mm pockets decreased 67%
4mm pockets decreased 48%
Overall, 4-6mm pocket decreased 52%
Bleeding points decreased 58%
The time is right to incorporate systemic immune support in hygiene treatment. Based on the studies, PF3 is the neutraceutical to incorporate. If you are interested, please contact Advanced Hygiene Concepts for more information!
X-Rays May Prove Dental Insurance Fraud
Dental records are often used to help solve crimes, but it’s usually by identifying human remains. Utah authorities are hoping that in this case dental records will prove the guilt of a patient who ducked out of a $6,000 dental bill.
The female suspect is accused of using her sister’s identity and dental insurance, as well as paying the remainder of her dental bill with a check stolen from her sister. The sister had a panoramic X-ray taken to prove that she
was not the patient.
FBI investigators have obtained a search warrant for panoramic X-rays of the suspect. The suspect was also identified in a lineup by the dental practice’s office manager. A cousin of the two women is alleging that the sister was in on
the fraud from its inception.