My New Patients Inc Website – SEO, What Is It Good For?

Absolutely something!

To continue my story about the new website…  It’s been one year since the new website went online.

As I’ve mentioned before, I built my own website back in 1999.  I read many books about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and even wrote a full chapter about it in my book, “The Website Owner’s Manual for Dentists.”  I’ve written multiple articles on this blog about it, too.

Over the years, I spent a LOT of time tweaking and optimizing my website to show up well in the search engine results pages (SERPs).  And, it worked very well!  I dominated the local results for years.  But, in more recent years, my site was dropping in rank.  Competition has become fierce, and honestly, I had dropped the ball a bit, too.  My life is busy.

A lot of SEO is done in the design of the website.  By “design,” I’m not talking about the cosmetic features or how the site looks.  I’m talking about the structure / coding of the site… most of which is “behind the scenes.”  But, that’s just the beginning.  There is much that needs to be optimized beyond the structural design of the website.  And, that is an ongoing process.  It was time to delegate!

When I turned my website project over to New Patients Inc (NPI), it meant they were taking over all of it in terms of the technical details.  That doesn’t mean I’m not participating.  My involvement is still critical, as it is for all dentists marketing on the web.  You need to know what is going on, and you need to contribute to your online marketing message.

Why SEO?

There are three goals in website marketing: Continue reading

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The Corporate Scourge of Dentistry

Yeah, I said it.  I wrote that title.  I stand by it, because it’s true.  The corporate interests in Dentistry are a scourge to quality, patient-centered care.  When non-dentists are running the show and dictating treatment plans, it’s not a good thing for patients.  And, that IS what is happening.

Along came Bobby (not his real name)…

This week, a new patient came to my office.  He had a terrible toothache.  His partner told me he was up all night curled up in a fetal position.  The patient has early-onset dementia, and his partner is his advocate and caretaker.  The patient was quite lucid in our conversations, though he’d repeat himself a bit.  So, here’s the story…

The patient presented with a number of obvious dental issues.  But, he was in severe pain.  He had a missing bridge (left it at home), leaving his upper anterior teeth as exposed crown preps.  He pointed to the upper right premolars (his most posterior teeth on that side) as the source of pain.  I tapped on his teeth, and he winced in pain with all of them in the upper right quadrant all the way to the central incisor (#’s 4 – 8).  He explained he was certain that it was #5 by pointing to it.  I palpated along the vestibule and the area of the apex of #7 elicited a response.  The x-ray confirmed there was a large diffuse lesion over the apex of #7.

This is how the patient presented. The missing bridge was left at home. He reported it had come out a long time ago, and he would stick it in with denture adhesive.

While the other teeth MAY be causing problems (see #6, for example), I diagnosed Continue reading

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Posted in Case Presentation, Editorial | Tagged , , | 9 Comments

Today’s Clinical Challenge

This will be a “quick and dirty” case presentation.  But, I’ll update it as the case progresses.

Patient is a 53 y.o. woman from China, who speaks a little English.  Her boyfriend is a long-time patient in my practice.  She first presented with a toothache… actually multiple toothaches.

She had full mouth crowns done by a dentist in China about a year ago.  They are all splinted in segments.  Each arch is three segments – right, anterior, and left sides.  It was done for “cosmetic reasons.”

#’s 6 – 10 are splinted. #6 is blown out with recurrent caries.

Here’s the FMX:
(note the multiple apical lesions) Continue reading

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Posted in Case Presentation, What Happened Today | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Banning AR-15s Means Banning All Rifles

It’s been about 2 weeks since the heinous mass murder at the school in Parkland, Florida.  It’s about an hour away from where I live and only a few minutes from where my son played hockey 2 years ago.

I’m staying out of it.

I have intentionally and uncharacteristically steered clear of any gun “debates” this time around.  Over the many years I’ve advocated firearms education and basing decisions on facts, I’ve come to realize that it almost always falls on deaf ears.  It’s a waste of time.  Innocent ignorance is one thing.  Intractable and willful ignorance is quite another.  So, I thought I’d stay out of it this time.  Until now.

I can no longer remain silent.  The volume of DISinformation being bandied as “facts” by the media and agenda-driven activists and politicians is staggering.  More so now than ever before.  The hysteria is at a fevered pitch.  My enthusiasm to educate and enlighten was difficult to repress.  I held out as long as I could!  😀

I remained silent for the past couple of weeks, as I “lurked” on social media threads, observing the understandable anger and desire to “do SOMEthing.”  But, the incredibly naive, ignorant, and flatly deceitful claims being made often caused my lip to bleed from biting it so hard!  😉

Not gonna do it.  Not gonna go there.  Wouldn’t be prudent.

(Sorry… channeling George Bush for a moment.)  First, I am not going to tolerate nor answer to any implications of guilt, merely because I’m a gun owner.  I didn’t do it.  100 million gun owners didn’t do it.  The NRA’s five million members didn’t do it.  One evil, disturbed person did it.  I will also not get into the dozens of warnings or which agencies failed to act in ways that might have prevented the psychopath from perpetrating this heinous crime.  Res ipsa loquitur – It speaks for itself.

We must do SOMEthing!  We must ban someTHING!

While the reflexive compulsion to do “SOMEthing” is strong when emotions are running high, it is prudent to think things through.  It’s easy Continue reading

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Posted in Current Events, Editor's Favorites, Personal Security & Safety | Tagged , , , | 32 Comments

How to Not Die at an ATM

I’ve had this article queued up for quite a while.  A local news story about an ATM robbery inspired it about a year ago.  But, I’ve been sitting on the article.  I’m finally getting around to publishing it, after seeing a hoax meme on Facebook for the umpteenth time. 

Famed bank robber, Willie Sutton, was misreported as saying, “Because that’s where the money is,” when asked why he robbed banks.  He didn’t ever say that to a reporter.  But, he later authored a book, “Where the Money Was.”

Today, people withdrawing from ATMs are “where the money is,” and accordingly, obvious targets.  A lot of people using ATMs are in “Condition White,” oblivious to what is going on around them.

Top Ten Ways to Not Die at the ATM

My Top Ten best defenses against being mugged (or worse) at an ATM are:
(These are my own opinions.  Your mileage may vary.) Continue reading

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Posted in Personal Security & Safety | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

How to Create Your Own Compelling Dental Website Content

Over the years, as I’ve written and lectured to dentists about website marketing, the concept I have the most difficulty conveying to them is about the value of self-written, unique content.  Dentists resist the idea of writing their own content for a number of reasons:

  1.  They don’t think they can write well.
  2.  They don’t think they have the time to do it.
  3.  They don’t believe it will help.
  4.  They don’t believe it matters.

I will try to dispel those concerns… once again.  A couple of recent discussions on Dentaltown and Facebook inspired this blog post (and much of it is copied from my comments on those forums).

Tell me a story!

The human response to stories is primal.  Before the written word, life skills and education were passed from generation to generation through the spoken word, often in the form of stories, perhaps with some pictures drawn on the cave walls.  The same became true when humans began writing.  We are hard-wired by our DNA to respond to and internalize stories.

People relate to STORIES.  Stories about people LIKE THEMSELVES.  On your website, photos (of actual cases) and their stories are what will resonate with prospective patients.

Tell PATIENT stories.  In effect… tell your website visitor their FUTURE story.  By using photos and patient stories, your website visitors will RELATE.  “She’s just like me.”  “I feel like that guy did.”

But, I’m not a writer!

Continue reading

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Closing a Diastema – With Bioclear Matrices

Just a quick and dirty case presentation.

Anatomic Bioclear Matrix.

A new patient came to me last week for a consultation about “bonding” a space between her teeth.

She had been to a another dentist who had closed the space with “bonding.”  It fell out three months later.  She went back to have it done again.  That time it fell out a week later.  She was interested in ONLY closing the space.  Of course, I looked around, and could easily treatment plan a BUNCH of stuff.  There was evidence of wear secondary to parafunction (and possibly acid reflux), including significant attrition and “dentin pools.”  There were also other restorations that were fairly rough.  She needs a comprehensive approach.  But, over the years I’ve learned to address the chief complaint and THEN have the “comprehensive discussion.”

Bioclear Interproximator. These are silicone wedges used for diastema closure. You stretch them to make them thin and pass under the cured flowable composite increment (see photo #6 below).

She wanted to know if I could close the space with bonding and have it stay (not fall off).  Sure I can!

This case is nothing special, but it’s WAY better than where she started. Definitely not a “brag” case.  But good enough.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a true “before” photo.  I got excited about stripping the remaining old composite on #7 and #8 and got started.  Then I remembered to take the “before” picture.  So, part way through the stripping, I took a “before” shot.

Photo #1:  This is my “before” shot, though I had already removed most of the composite on #7.   At the gingival aspect, there was a horizontal “shelf” of composite laid across the papilla… the antithesis of emergence profile.

I didn’t have time to take photos of every step. But, here’s what I got! Continue reading

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Posted in Clinical Technique, Dental Product Reviews, Tips & Tricks | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Do We Need Consent Forms for Everything?

This quick article was inspired by a thread in a dental group (called “The Dental Place“) on Facebook.  Some dentists reported that they have a consent form signed for EVERY procedure they do.  For every patient, every time (even repeat procedures for the same patient).  Holy moly!  I rarely use consent forms, honestly.  But, that doesn’t mean I don’t use informed consent.

Informed Consent isn’t a form.

You know what will “protect” you FAR more effectively than a silly consent form?

A GOOD RELATIONSHIP.

And, it’s fairly easy.  Be nice.  Take the TIME to explain things (including potential risks vs benefits).  Don’t just mindlessly shove a consent form in their faces and have them learn, for the first time, about file breakage during endo… or a broken jaw from a wisdom tooth extraction.  That’s some scary shit without CONTEXT.

Informed Consent is a conversation.

Continue reading

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Posted in Practice Management | Tagged , | 7 Comments

NPI’s Concierge Online Appointments – A Review

One of the factors that lit the fire under me to update my old website with New Patients Inc was so that I could add some advanced features.  One of them was online scheduling for patients.  This is a concept that scares the crap out of some dentists, because they think they will be turning their schedules over to strangers.  This is not the case (at least in the case of NPI’s Concierge™).  I’ve discovered those fears are unfounded.  Read on!

What do you mean by online dental appointment scheduling?

To be clear, when I’m talking about online scheduling, this is NOT an “appointment request,” like we see on so many websites, including my previous website.  An Appointment Request is an email form the visitor fills out with his / her appointment PREFERENCES, which is then sent to the office.  Then the office must contact the prospective patient to finalize an appointment time.  In my experience, the attempt to contact the patient often resulted in an unanswered voicemail or email.  We’d contact them and leave a message, but many of them never followed up.  In the end… no appointment made.  Lead lost.

I’m talking about patients being able to schedule an ACTUAL appointment on a specific date at a specific time.

New Patients Inc Concierge™ Online Scheduling

Online scheduling button on my website.  See blue arrows (added).

When you add Concierge online scheduling, you will have a widget (a “schedule now” button) on every page of your website.  The Concierge widget is NOT an email form for patients and prospective patients requesting an appointment.  With Concierge, the patient is making an ACTUAL appointment, at ANY time, without having to play phone tag or email tag with the office.  That means if the prospective patient is up with a toothache at 1:30am and hops on Google to find a dentist, that new patient can make an actual appointment for the next morning.  What kind of edge does that give you over the other dentists?   😎  Think about it!

When would (now) be a good time?

With Concierge online scheduling, visitors to your website can make an appointment while Continue reading

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Posted in Dental Product Reviews, Practice Management, Technology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lightning Strikes – Can we prevent it?

Las Vegas…. Sigh.

I’ve been a busy guy over on Facebook, as I cannot help being drawn into discussions about firearms, most recently stemming from the incident in Las Vegas.  As many of my readers and friends know, I am a firearms enthusiast.  But, just as I am a nerdy dentist, I’m a nerdy gun guy, too.  I don’t simply “like” firearms.  I have dived deep into the pool of firearms knowledge.  I have not come to my positions casually, nor do I take the subject lightly.  I have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours studying the topics of firearms, firearms use / marksmanship, defensive use of firearms, ballistics, and firearms laws.  I have also studied books on violent crime and situational awareness.

But, this article isn’t about guns.  Really.  Stay with me.  Read on.

I actually know shit.

I will not claim to be an “expert among experts.”  Hardly.  I am way down the totem pole of real experts.  But, in a room of “normal” people, I dare suggest I have a bit more knowledge than the rest.   😉   Besides having read dozens of books by the most recognized experts in the field, I am…

  • Qualified “Expert” Pistol in U.S. Navy.  (Not that difficult, really.  But, I got a medal and everything!)
  • 40 years of firearms experience (fired my first firearm at age 13 at summer camp).
  • Certified Pistol Instructor (NRA).
  • Certified Range Safety Officer (NRA).
  • Attended other “hands-on” firearms courses.

So, when I see or hear pure unadulterated bullshit about firearms… I’m talking completely incorrect statements of “fact,” I cannot help chiming in to set the record straight.  Though, I have found that no amount of facts can compete with emotionally-based positions.  No amount of credentials can counter celebrity or popular opinion.  And, again… this article… not about guns.  We shouldn’t be talking about guns.  Read on!

We all want the same thing.

I understand that these violent incidents, perpetrated by suicidal sociopaths hell-bent on taking as many innocents with them as possible, are VERY disturbing.  It’s safe to say that ALL of us, regardless of political inclinations, are compelled to seek solutions to prevent or mitigate these crimes.  It’s very emotional to see it happen before our eyes on streaming video. Continue reading

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Posted in Current Events, Editorial, Personal Security & Safety | Tagged , , | 19 Comments