Published in April Issue of Dentaltown Magazine!

I was asked to write an article for Dentaltown Magazine that answered the question:

“What does the model for dentistry look like in 25 years? 50 years?  Will corporate dentistry chains have taken over dentistry like Walgreens and CVS did to pharmacies?”

Five of us were asked to write articles with our own perspectives.  I was the only private / solo practitioner in the group.  Along with corporate CEOs, distributors, and an economist, I was tasked with writing about dentistry’s future landscape.

Click here to read the article(s), End of the Solo Era? on Dentaltown.com!  I got the lead article!

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Is There No Such Thing as Bad PR?

  • 5″ x 5″ ad in the Saturday issue of the local paper: $500.
  • Yellow Pages ad (worthless): $500 – $5000 / month.
  • SEO for your website: $200 – $2000 / month.
  • John Lennon’s tooth: $30,000.  (no kidding)
  • Exposure in Rolling Stone Magazine:  Priceless!
Zuk-Lennon

Click on the image to link to the full article on Rolling Stone.

Dr. Hook wrote a song, “The Cover of the Rolling Stone.”  Dr. Zuk (rhymes with Hook!) didn’t quite make it to the cover of the Rolling Stone.  But, he got IN IT!

Dr. Michael “Yar” Zuk has a dental practice in Red Deer, AlbertaContinue reading

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Someone Else’s Content = Your Website Sucks

Closed can of tuna isolated over white backgroundThe vast majority of dental websites have content that is provided, in its entirety, by the website designer.  Most dentists hire someone to build their websites.  That’s OK!  It’s even SMART!  But, they also delegate ALL the content to the website developer.  And, that’s not only not OK, it’s a really bad idea.  Turns out, I’ve written about this before.  My apologies for being repetitive.  But, a new patient from last week reminded me how important this is.

First, you must know that if a website developer is providing the content (both copy and images), that it’s the SAME as they’ve provided for the dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of their clients.  They can’t possibly create unique content for each of their clients.

Canned content should be banned content.

So, what do you get?  Canned content that reads like a dental encyclopedia.   It says nothing about your practice’s unique qualities.  It doesn’t make a connection with the visitor.   It’s not compelling.  It doesn’t RESONATE.

You like me?  You really, really like me!

When a patient tells me that he found me through a web search, I often ask, “Did you look at other websites?”  And, if so, “Why did you choose us over the others?”
I’m genuinely interested.  You should be, too.

Last week, I got a new patient in the practice.  I asked him those same questions.  He lives 45 minutes away.  He needs and wants extensive dental treatment.  There are over 1,000 dentists in my county.  He picked me.  How?  He found my website.  OK, so what?  Well… plenty of those 1,000+ dentists also have websites.  He probably drove by a hundred dental offices on his way to mine.  Would you like the opportunity to help patients like this?  Requisite photos below! Continue reading

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Posted in Marketing, Websites, What Happened Today | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Everything Is “PR.”

hand to earYou just never know how patients will find you.

Certainly, there’s word of mouth.  But, have you ever had a patient say, “Someone recommended you, but I can’t remember his name?”  Nonetheless, I’m always glad to get the referral!

A great majority of my new patients come via my online marketing efforts.

As Seen on TV!

I’ve done a number of appearances on TV over the years.  Nearly all of them have been related to dentistry.  But, about this time last year, I appeared on a CNBC special that wasn’t at all related to dentistry.  CNBC-referralIt was about a rather controversial subject, and I initially debated whether to do it.  But, I knew I’d regret not doing it.  Honestly, I was concerned about possibly offending some of my existing patients, given the controversial nature of the program.

Today, I actually got a new patient that gave referral credit to the CNBC program!  (See registration form on right.)  His porcelain veneer came out a few days ago.  But, he didn’t want to go back to his previous dentist.  Nearly a year later, and CNBC is apparently still running the show.  This new patient saw a re-run of the program last night and told his wife, “I’m going to see that guy!”  Not surprisingly, we hit it off.  We talked about guns, flying (he’s a pilot), and eventually his tooth and past dental experiences.  We rebonded his veneer, but he’s got a lot of other things going on.

watching-tv-mike-on-TV

“That dentist is cool!” (Click image to watch my interview on CNBC!)

All Roads Lead to Your Website

The patient did tell me that he also visited my website.  Patients may hear about you from any number of sources.  And, these days, they’re likely to Google you.  Your website should resonate with visitors.  It should speak to them, figuratively and literally.

You just never know how or where you may get your next referral!

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Ya Gotta Know When to Hold’em… Know When to Turf’em…

It’s a dentist!  It’s a plane!  It’s SUPER-GENERALIST!

I started my practice by leasing space in an existing general dental office.  My “landlord” was an accomplished and successful dentist.  He told me, “You’ve got to be a ‘SUPER-GENERALIST.’”  By that, he meant that a successful general dentist should do most “specialty” treatment himself / herself.  Do most of your own endo, perio, oral surgery, complex restorative, etc.

super-mike-Over the years, I’ve averaged 50 – 100 hours of continuing education per year.  And, over the years, I’ve kept most treatment “in house.”  I’ve done most of my own endo, including re-treats.  I’ve done my fair share of extractions.  And, I’ve done a lot of complex / rehab restorative treatment.  I even do short-term cosmetic orthodontic treatment.  It has served me well.  Patients like “one-stop-shopping.”

It’s all good, if you feel competent and experienced to handle more difficult cases.  However, I submit that the egos of some practitioners may cloud their judgement.  Throw in financial pressures, and the GP could find himself regretting the decision to keep certain cases in-house.  Ask me how I know!  :)  Chances are we’ve all been there.

As I’ve aged / evolved, I’m not as “aggressive” as I used to be.

Sometimes ya gotta punt.

The decision to refer to a specialist may not hinge only on Continue reading

Posted in Case Presentation, Practice Management, Websites, What Happened Today | Tagged , , | 7 Comments

Radio Interview with Shirley Gutkowski, RDH

Shirely GutkowskiRecently, Dental Hygienist Extraordinaire Shirley Gutkowski asked me to be on her online podcast about hobbies.  You might guess what we talked about.  :)

It was a lot of fun chatting with Shirley about gun ownership, recreational shooting, and gun safety.  Check it out!

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Posted in Dental Warrior Announcements, Guns & Knives | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

We Are Americans. And, We ARE the Best.

cadillac-adI’m in LOVE…. with CADILLAC (and the dude in the ad)!  As a car guy… well…  Cadillacs just have never been “my thing.”  But, I’d buy one JUST because of this ad that ran during the Olympics last night.  This ad speaks my language… an unabashed non-apology for who we are as AMERICA.

I’ve long been sickened by the American apologists who self-flagellate and prostrate themselves before world’s kangaroo court of opinion… presumptuously on OUR BEHALF.  That’s bullshit!  Commercial video after the jump… Continue reading

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Posted in Editorial | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Kids & Guns (20/20 special feature)

ABC’s Diane Sawyer Presents “Young Guns”

Last night, ABC’s “20/20″ ran a full-hour special (with Diane Sawyer) titled, “Young Guns.”  The premise of the show was that kids, even when they are “educated” about guns, will not follow the safety rules about guns and end up hurting themselves or other kids.  The implication is that accidental deaths of children due to negligent gun owners is an epidemic.  Presumably, this is offered up as justification for more stringent gun laws.

A preview:

Edited to add:  Link to the entire show (I can’t embed it here):  Young Guns – A Diane Sawyer Special

Here we go again!

Reluctantly, I watched the show.  Given the utter ignorance and bald-faced lies that are so-often displayed on these shows, I have a tendency to yell at the TV.  But, I believe I should be aware of what the “other side” is thinking.  Of course, I wasn’t disappointed with this episode of “20/20.”  (At this time I cannot find the full episode available online.) Continue reading

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Posted in Guns & Knives, Personal Security & Safety | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

“But, I don’t have insurance.”

no-insurance-x-ray

Today a 2o year-old came in as a new patient (husband and 8 month old baby in tow).  She found me via my website and also cited my “good reviews.”  Her chief complaint was a broken down tooth with a bump on her gum.   It was #9.  She had already lost #10, because “a dentist just pulled it.”  She was wearing a flipper.

She said, “I know you’ll just have to pull this one, too.  It’s really bad.”  Maybe not.  let’s take a look.

The tooth had a rather large carious lesion on the distal.  There was a draining sinus tract on the facial gingiva.  The PA x-ray predictably revealed an apical abscess.  But, it was restorable.  And, I told her as much.  Her treatment choices were:

  1. Extract and add to her flipper.  “You’d be losing ANOTHER front tooth.”
  2. Root canal therapy and a large composite or crown.  “You can keep your front tooth.”

“But, I don’t have insurance.”

scared womanYep.  She said it.  And, we’ve all heard it soooo many times.  For most of my 25 year career, I’ve pontificated about how patients don’t need dental insurance because it’s not really insurance.   In a nutshell, it’s a sucker bet and it’s a crap product.  I’ve done the actual math for patients to PROVE I was right.  And, in all those years, I don’t think I changed one mind.

Continue reading

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Posted in Practice Management, What Happened Today | Tagged , , , | 24 Comments

The ADA… Is Watching Me… They See My Every Move

With a hat tip to Hall & Oates’ “Private Eyes.”

spy3Today was an interesting day.  I had two new patients that came to me via my website.  I always ask how they found me, my site, and why they chose my practice over others if they visited other dentists’ websites.  The first new patient mentioned that she was impressed with my reviews on Google.  The second also mentioned my reviews as an influence on his decision.  But, he also liked the photos of actual patients on my website.

But, something else happened today that was truly titillating.  I got a special email from the ADA.  It wasn’t spam or a mass email.  It was to me, from them – the ADA.  It reads: Continue reading

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Posted in Current Events, Editorial, What Happened Today | Tagged , , | 8 Comments