News From The Wealthy Dentist #22: December 6, 2006
by Jim Du Molin
The First Rule of Dental Marketing… Ask, but Beware!
To understanding marketing, you must start with this phrase: “If you don’t ask, you don’t receive… However, beware! You may get what you ask for.”
I’ll tell you a story about one of our clients who we worked with almost ten years ago: Dr. Marianne Day of Las Cruces, New Mexico. Marianne came into our office and said, “Jim, I just built an outrageously beautiful new practice
facility in downtown Las Cruces. Actually, my husband, Grant, is an engineer; he put the whole thing together and it’s just absolutely fantastic! But what I want from you — and I want it as fast as I can get it — is as many patients as you
can possibly get me, and I want them now!”
I said, “Marianne, are you sure?” And she said, “Yes. I’ve got to have patients to pay for that office.” I said, “Fine.”
Three and a half months later I get a phone call: “Jim, I’ve got a problem.” I ask, “What’s the problem, Marianne?” She says, “I’ve got 57 new patients a month!” I say, “But Marianne, you asked for all the new patients you could get!”
She says, “But I’ve got 57 new patients a month! I can’t service 57 new patients a month! I’m doing nothing but examinations. I don’t have time for operative!”
OK. “Beware. You might get what you ask for.” Because if you market yourself using the principles we talk about in The Wealthy Dentist newsletter, you could find yourself overwhelmed by the response you get from the program.
Let’s start with an important question: How many new patients do you really need a month?
But is that the REAL question? Or is it: On how many new patients can you do a full diagnosis and case presentation? You have an ethical obligation to your community to take care of the patients you see. You can’t just cherry-pick
through 57 new patients a month. You won’t have time to do a good job on any of them.
So on how many new patients can YOU perform full diagnosis and case presentation in one month? The average number of production days in a month for a normal doctor is about 16. O n a consistent basis, the number of new patients that a doctor can generally see is about two new patients a day and still maintain a good operative schedule. That means, allowing time for operative, you’re going to want to see two new patients every day in a steady stream. That means the maximum number of new patients that you can handle in a given month is about 32.
Some will be children, some will have perfect teeth and some, God forbid, will not accept your treatment plan. Depending on your style of dentistry, even 32 could be too many. But remember, the REAL question is: “On how many new patients can you perform full diagnosis and case presentation?” Is anything more … ethical?
Jim Du Molin
Victoria’s Secret Introduces Specialty Toothpaste
With the help of an ambitious Manhattan dentist, Victoria’s Secret is
introducing a whitening toothpaste to its line of beauty products. Starbrite,
developed by Dr. Debra Glassman, features bold pink and leopard-print packaging.
Dr. Glassman (who goes by “Dr. Debra”) loves pink herself, the signature color of Victoria’s Secret. In fact, her lab coat, gloves and mask are always pink.
When Dr. Glassman learned that Victoria’s Secret had expanded their product line to include outside brands, she set up a meeting with executives who loved her idea of a female-oriented toothpaste. She began manufacturing after receiving
the go-ahead from the retailer. The toothpaste has already debuted in select stores, and a national rollout is planned for January. The 4.2-ounce tubes retail for $6.99 each. Matching pink mouthwash and floss are already in the works.
What do you think of Dr. Debra’s marketing ploy? Brilliant, obnoxious – or both?
Atlanta TV Investigation Reveals Shoddy Work by Unlicensed Dentist
An Atlanta TV station conducted an undercover investigation spotlighting an unlicensed dentist providing substandard dental work to illegal immigrants in unhygienic conditions. Due to fears of deportation, these patients are
particularly unlikely to register a complaint with the authorities. Without complainants, police are powerless to stop such abuses.
With over 100 unlicensed dentists believed to be practicing in Georgia, WSB-TV found one working out of a strip mall. Antonio Bueno claims he has both dental and medical licenses in Brazil, but he has no US certifications of any kind. One
patient alleges he charged her $600 for a root canal performed without anesthesia. Upon visiting another dentist, the patient discovered her root canal had only been partially completed.
Dentists Recycle Crowns for Charity
A dental association in Taiwan is taking recycling to a whole new level – they’re raising money for charities by recycling metals in used dental crowns. Dental materials, discarded for years as medical waste, can yield valuable
metals such as gold, silver, platinum and palladium.
Though it was a tough sell initially, now over 225 dental clinics are participating in the program, donating a total of nearly 100 pounds of used crowns. The $33,000 profit has benefited charities that include a disabled swimming association and high-risk tuberculosis patients. Is there something to be learned here for US dentists?
Piercing Pain from Tongue Piercing
After a teenage girl in Italy got her tongue pierced, she began suffering from extreme nerve pain. Her shock-like attacks would occur dozens of times a day and last for up to 30 seconds each. The disorder, trigeminal neuralgia, causes such
extreme and debilitating pain that it is known as the “suicide disease.”
When painkillers didn’t help, the woman finally removed her tongue stud. Miraculously, her pain disappeared within two days. Although this is the first such documented case, tongue piercings have been linked to a variety of health
problems, including chipped teeth, receding gums, and even heart abscesses and brain infections.
Just one more fun thing to share with your friends, your patients, and your new assistant who forgot to take out her tongue stud before coming to the office!