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5 Ways to Set Your Dental Practice Apart From the Competition

As a dental professional, you’re probably well aware that patients don’t always prioritize keeping up with their appointments. Busy schedules, negative past experiences and even dental phobia can cause people to put off the visits that keep you in business. Setting your dental practice apart from the competition can help you create a loyal patient base that makes and shows up for appointments, and refers friends and family members. Below, find five dental marketing tips to make your office stand out, according to industry experts.

1. Hire quality staff.

Creating the best dental experience possible starts with your staff. You may provide hands-on care, but your front desk employees and dental hygienists set the tone for the entire office.  

“Make it your goal to have the friendliest dental staff in your market,” suggests Tyson Downs, owner of Titan Web Agency, a dental marketing agency. “Many people won’t know the difference between advanced dental technology, but everybody will know the difference between an average staff and an amazing staff.”

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2. Know how to put anxious patients at ease.

Curating a comfortable atmosphere can make your office more enjoyable and help relax patients who get especially nervous at the dentist’s. 

David Irby, dentist and owner of Irby Dentistry in Roanoke, VA, says going above and beyond to create a comfortable environment can build trust with nervous patients. His practice, for example, either plays the patient’s choice of music during visits or allows patients to bring their own devices and headphones. Every room has a soft reclining chair, and staff always offer an extra neck pillow to patients. 

Just as important as decor, Irby says, is your approach. “You have to be intentional with body language, how you greet the patient, and how you progress through the appointment to help anxious patients,” he says. “Take care to keep them comfortable by explaining every step you take so nothing is unexpected.”

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3. Invest in the right technology.

Memories of loud noises and lengthy, painful procedures can hinder patients from keeping up with dental care. Investing in the latest technology can be costly, but Irby says the right tools can make appointments more efficient and patients more comfortable. 

 “Along with creating a ‘wow’ factor for the patient and showing them you’re not like the dentists of our parents’ generation, the right technology gives you the flexibility to come up with solutions for every individual patient,” he says. 

4. Create flexible payment options.

While accepting different dental insurance plans can help expand your patient reach, you still want to draw in patients without dental benefits. The key to this is to get inventive about what you can offer. 

For instance, Irby’s office offers a subscription plan that allows people without insurance to access more affordable care to curb some of the costs. This type of model fosters patient loyalty. 

“There’s a ton of value to having people loyal to your practice,” Irby says. “It makes sense to give them a break on cost because you know they will show up to their appointment.”

5. Build an online presence.

Your practice’s reach extends far beyond the walls of your practice. Patients usually scope out dentists online. It’s vital to create a website that’s easy to navigate, nice to look at, and of course, informative. This is a key part of any dental marketing strategy.

But to stand out, you want to make sure you put a unique spin on your online presence to show patients why they should choose you over other providers. Introduce your staff members and showcase photos of your office to make things feel more personal. You can further showcase your business and everything you have to offer on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. 

Downs also recommends using technology to stay connected with patients directly.

“Send out emails or texts, whatever communication method the patient prefers, with important information about your practice and upcoming events,” he says. “Showing you care about your patients can help you build loyalty, making them more likely to return and recommend your practice to others.” 

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