™ Newsletter Archive – TWD – 008

News From The Wealthy Dentist #8: August 30, 2006

In this issue…
  • Hard Times Marketing
  • No-Charge Video Tutorial!
  • Virtual Reality Reduces Patient Anxiety
  • Across the Pond
  • Heroes and Zeros!


Featured Video Tutorial!

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This video tutorial will teach you how to significantly increase your high-value new patient flow and add tens of thousands of dollars to your bottom line each month in high quality production!

No-ChargeUntil September 15, then $89.95.

Download your complimentary video today!


Virtual Reality Reduces Anxiety


Want to ease patients’ fear and anxiety? Send them away!

You probably already know that the sound of your drill terrifies many people. Dental anxiety is as old as the practice itself (though its earliest patients had a lot more to gripe about). Some people blame the neurological responses in what recent research named the brain’s “dread center.” Some think it’s a case of bad experiences or too many Little Shop of Horrors viewings.

Whatever its source, this fear can make your job enormously difficult – assuming a patient isn’t too petrified to dodge the appointment all together. Thanks to research conducted by the University of Washington, a potential solution is on the horizon.

Immersion technology, or virtual reality, means you can treat your patients to a trip to the Caribbean while you improve their smiles. It can not only relieve anxiety, but draw attention from the pain centers in the brain.

While most of the research has been conducted with burn victims and those undergoing chemotherapy, some dentists have already implemented the technology in their practices. You can purchase interactive games and movies, or connect visors to equipment you already own, such as a DVD player. It’s simple, and, as of late, much more affordable than it used to be.

There is, of course, a downside to this approach. I’m a bit of a phobic myself when it comes to dentistry; I have a tendency to pass out at the sight of blood. Who said you had to be overly blood thirsty to be a dental management consultant? A few years ago one of my clients, a real high-tech kind of guy, wanted to demo his virtual reality glasses to me. He patched them into his intra-oral camera system while he performed some minor procedure on me. Needless to say I left my lunch in his operatory.



Hard Times Marketing

by Melinda Spitek
Hycomb, Inc.

It worries me to see how often dentists who slip into a production slump immediately decide that cost-cutting is in order. Then, the first thing to go is their marketing budget. Sure, it’s easy to justify a little self-promotion when things are going great. But the time you really need to market your practice is when things aren’t looking so rosy.

Times like right now. Today.

As a nation, we’re going through a phase of profound uncertainty. A few years back, with the stock market headed for the stars and the world situation pretty much under control, who’d have thought we’d be where we are today?

That’s the nature of cycles. And believe me, it’s always better to be prepared for downturns ahead of time than to deal with a crisis after it happens.

The key word here is momentum. Marketing your practice can’t be a good-times event. Through good times and bad, high points and low, the focus always has to be: market, market, market. The instant you stop marketing your practice, patients forget you exist. After that, reminding them effectively costs you double (or more) what it would have cost to keep them informed on a regular basis.

Think of maintaining momentum as a bicycle ride. Uphill on a 10-speed, if you keep pumping, you’ll reach the crest with no problem. But if you come to a dead halt, it’ll take all your energy just to get up to speed again, to say nothing of achieving your goal. Your patient base has a lot on their mind these days. And where does a need for, and appreciation of, your dental skills rank in the Mental Priority List? Not very high, I’m afraid, unless you keep your message in front of them.

That’s what practice marketing is all about. That’s why it’s so important that you begin now, and stick with it, before things begin to deteriorate.

Marketing can be as simple as asking for a referral after a procedure that has pleased one of your patients. Or sending out helpful reminders like a computer generated personal letter or a quarterly newsletter. A little can, and does, go a long way. But doing nothing, especially in times like these, can be poison to your practice.

Through her clinical perspective (23 years in the dental office, combined with Hycomb’s 20 year track record in marketing), Melinda helps dentists understand what makes people come back to them. It’s not necessarily their dentistry. Need help with marketing? Call Hycomb at (800) 523-6961, or visit


Seven Practice Marketing Essentials!
Melinda’s marketing musts!

  • Ask for a referral, in person, with every appointment.
  • Reward patients who refer you a new patient.
  • Send out a quarterly practice communication such as a newsletter or letter to your patients.
  • Send professionally created “welcome packages.”
  • Invest in printed stationery and thank you cards.
  • Consider newspaper, magazine, radio advertising.
  • Invest in a direct-mail prospecting device
  • Consult with a professional marketing specialist first. There’s no substitute for an expert.

Heroes and Zeros

McDentist Heads Tooth Truck

Dr. Craig A. Rechkemmer, a Missouri dentist for the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile, also known as the Tooth Truck, is set to begin his 5th year manning the operation, which was designed to provide children with some much needed dental care. His goal? To improve children’s health, self esteem and academic performance by encouraging healthy smiles and preventing dental-related school absences. Still, Dr. Rechkemmer is more than just a dentist; he’s certified in pediatric advanced life support, basic trauma life support, as an emergency medical technician and is a Missouri-certified firefighter. What more could you ask for?

Read more


Across the Pond

UK Child Forced to Wait Six Days for Emergency Dental Care

More disturbing news out of England, though this time it concerns a child. The NHS has come under fire after an 11-year-old girl was forced to wait 6 days for emergency dental care after being hit by a car. She lost two teeth.

Exposed nerves left the youngster unable to eat or drink during that time. She lost an alarming amount of weight for one week’s time and even passed out. She was sent between two hospitals and three dentists, and was once left sitting outside a practice in her dressing gown. When the work was finally carried out, Katie endured it without general anesthetic – reportedly unusual for emergency cases in the UK involving children who have suffered such trauma.

Read more


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