Marketing Your Dental Office in 3 Easy Steps

Great news! You’ve decided to expand your practice by including Dental Sleep Medicine and Craniofacial Pain services. So, what is the next step? Let’s start marketing! Whether you decide to higher a big-name marketing company or a freelance writer, creating an effective and successful marketing campaign is important for educating your patients and referring doctors.

1. Get Out There and Introduce Yourself to Your Community

Reach out to your community. Don’t be afraid to let your community know who you are and what services you provide. Introduce your practice to your local sleep specialist or family doctor. By doing this, your local sleep physician or family doctor will be aware of the services you provide, while building a relationship for proper diagnosis and treatment planning.

Introducing yourself to a local sleep physician and family physician is a good way to establish a solid relationship because you’re informing them that you:

  • Are screening your dental patients for sleep apnea
  • Will be referring to them for an evaluation and diagnosis

When you have evaluated and placed an oral appliance in a patient, a follow-up sleep study is recommended to determine the success of your therapy. Once again, this opens up doors since you will utilize the sleep physicians in your community to retest your patients.

2. Learn How to Properly Bill Medical Insurance

It is also important to gain an understanding on how to file a medical claim for oral appliance therapy since dental insurance offers no coverage. There are companies and products one can invest in to better understand medical billing. An example is Nierman Practice Management.

Like many companies, Nierman Practice Management provides a comprehensive suite of products, educational courses and software solutions to help grow your sleep practice. You should also consider being “in network” with medical insurance plans since your patients ask for it. This helps your office become more visible and easily accessible for patients.

3. Enhance Your Web Presence

As you know, your patients utilize the Internet on a daily basis. From shopping to socializing, they can use the Internet for all of their needs, so why aren’t you doing the same?

Creating and improving your web presence is essential in marketing your Dental Sleep Medicine practice. From social media management to Search Engine Optimization (SEO), it is important to establish a proper plan for the maintenance of your web presence.

As you know, the Internet is endless, which means your marketing efforts are as well. To begin, I personally utilize a freelance writer, Sara Berg, to manage my marketing and web presence. She provides me with:

  • Custom blog posts
  • Web content
  • Press releases
  • Social media management
  • Professional articles
  • Ghostwriting a book
  • Reviews

Through these services, I am able to maintain a well-rounded web presence and marketing plan—you can, too. You’ve taken the biggest step already—choosing to incorporate Dental Sleep Medicine into your practice.

Now it is time to take charge of marketing your Dental Sleep Medicine and Craniofacial Pain office to reach new patients. What are you waiting for? Get going!

Let’s Talk About Press Releases and Blog Posts

“Like ‘content farms’ and ‘comment spam’ (which both worked for a while), Google has made adjustments to limit the value of ‘press release SEO’. These types of actions help limit the junk (although some people never learn) and steers press releases back towards the direction of newsworthy items versus keyword-optimized spam – although it’s clear that the value of a press release will never again be as high as it was in the pre-Google era.” – Meltwater 

What happened to press releases and articles? When you want to get your name out there, send a press release, right? Wrong. While press releases can be extremely beneficial for awareness and announcements, it is important that you do not overdo it. It is time to evolve with up-to-date press release requirements and that means limiting the number of releases you send out each year.

Where Blogs Come In

With the issue of not having enough newsworthy topics for press releases, it is important to shift your focus onto blogs as a primary source of content for not only search ranking efforts, but for the education of your patients. Here are a number of blog benefits:

  • Easy to manage and edit
  • Generates unique content for the site
  • Creates a link worthy entity
  • Interactive tone of voice
  • More unique posts will improve visibility
  • Easier to answer users’ queries

Research shows that 71% of consumers will make a purchase after hearing a review from a trusted source via social media. Bloggers rank as highly trusted sources that have reached influential status because their followers deem them as such[1].

As blogs and social media sites continue to expand, it is making it easier than ever before to share and submit information online. With that being said, we shouldn’t disregard the benefit of press releases. When used correctly with the release of newsworthy information, readers and Google will see it as a trusted source, not just spam. And that is what we want. You never want to spam the system or your patients–you want to educate them. Forcing keywords and generic content will ultimately hurt the program and what you are trying to convey to your patients. The question is—what does it mean to be newsworthy?

Aiming for Newsworthy

What does it mean to be newsworthy? You can’t just say that your office treats sleep apnea—that’s not newsworthy. It needs to be specific, and the readers need to know why it’s an important source of information. Thus, we need to stress what a press release has always stood for—an announcement. For example, newsworthy content includes:

  • Community involvement
  • New staff
  • New procedures
  • New technology
  • Continuing education
  • Lecturing
  • Anniversary
  • New office location

We have seen a decrease in interest for press releases, which is why it is important to take a second look at the number you might be releasing. While press releases are still useful for SEO, it’s not the dominating trend—blogging is.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start blogging now!

 

 

 

 

 

[1] http://www.business2community.com/blogging/importance-bloggers-2014

Work with Medical Professionals in the Treatment of Craniofacial Pain

From headaches to jaw pain, patients can feel discomfort without knowing that the underlying cause might be dental origins. With an estimated 45 million Americans complaining about headaches each year, which is almost 1 out of every 6 people, it is time to take a stand and complete continuing education as a dentist because you might just be that solution they need for pain relief.

Treating Craniofacial Pain

With such a large portion of the population not getting the right treatment for what are often debilitating disorders, there is an incredible need for dentists who understand the neuroanatomical relationship within the cranio-cervical areaand how to diagnose common pain complaints in the head and neck.

Treating craniofacial pain is a team effort, with the patient’s Dentist, ENT, Neurologist, Physiatrist, Physical Therapist, and Psychiatrist all potentially playing a role in diagnosis and treatment. A dentist must understand what physicians do in a diagnostic workup and treatment and when it’s necessary to refer out in order to truly understand their role and fulfill their duties in patient care and establish referral relationships across various physician specialties.

By learning how to diagnose and treat craniofacial pain, dentists gain a great power to change their patients’ lives. With great power comes great responsibility for the proper diagnosis and management of pain in and around the mouth, face and neck.

Establish a Working Relationship with a Medical Professional

Many patients will find themselves in a neurological, primary care, chiropractic, pain management or an ENT’s office, but that may not always be the best place. For example, undiagnosed TMD may be mistaken for different ailments, as it can often stump many medical practitioners with the vast crossover of symptoms patients experience.

A patient might complain of TMJ pain, but in reality they are suffering from a disease or infection of the ear, nose or throat. It is also common for a patient to complain of ear pain, but have the pain really be related to an affected TMJ. When this occurs, patients might be in the wrong medical office seeking treatment, or the clinician is frustrated that their prescribed therapy based on symptoms has not helped in resolving a patient’s complaints.

Whether it is neurological or sinus related, you want your patients to get the best care available, and that means joining forces with other medical professionals. From neurologists and otolaryngologists to family practitioners, it is important to create a working relationship with each medical practitioner in order to discuss or refer for diagnosis and management of your patients when further assistance is needed.

Whether it is ear, dental or head related, a working relationship with the medical professionals in your community is essential in providing proper treatment for your patients! They will thank you in the end.

Sickle Cell Day and TMD

World Sickle Cell Awareness Day was June 19th, which got me to thinking about the connection it might have with TMD. On June 19th the health community took a stand to increase public knowledge and raise awareness of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and the struggles sufferers and their families go through.

SCD affects millions of people around the world, including both adults and children. It is a potentially fatal disease and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is one of the main causes of premature death amongst children under the age of five in various African countries.

So, with Sickle Cell Day fresh in our minds, let’s take a look at TMD and how that might hinder a person’s health when suffering from Sickle Cell.

Sickle Cell and TMD

Sickle cell disease is a congenital blood disorder. The abnormal hemoglobin causes microinfarcts that lead to multi-organ alterations, including dental involvement. The entire oral and maxillofacial region may be involved, affecting the teeth, multiple oral structures, and maxillofacial bones. SCD patients are commonly affected by bone and joint complications, including the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Patients complaining of chronic pain can often experience pain in the orofacial region, especially in the area of the TMJ. With complications in chewing and talking, sickle cell can often be exhibited for those suffering from TMD. For this reason it is important to undergo a series of testing for your patients to determine if the cause of pain is purely sickle cell disease, or if it can be treated due to it being TMD.

Oral Appliance Therapy for TMD Relief

Oral appliance therapy is an extremely helpful and successful technique in treating TMD. These devices are extremely popular among TMD patients due to the simplicity and comfort of the appliance. People describe the appliance as being similar to a retainer for orthodontic treatments, which helps patients feel more comfortable with treatment. These appliances are made to fit a patient’s mouth and their mouth only.
By utilizing this as a treatment option for TMD, we hope that this, too, will help in finding relief for some cases of sickle cell disease. And, while studies continue to be conducted on this area, it is important to pay close attention to your patients’ symptoms.