Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

Your pediatric dental practice’s website is often the first point of contact between potential patients and your clinic. Therefore, it’s crucial to make a positive impression from the very beginning. One of the most important pages on your website is the “About” page. This page provides a unique opportunity to connect with your audience, build trust, and showcase your practice’s personality. In this blog, we’ll explore how to create the perfect About page for your pediatric dental website.


1. Start with a Warm Welcome:

Begin your About page by extending a warm and inviting welcome to visitors. Use friendly and approachable language to make parents and children feel comfortable and at ease. Explain the purpose of the page, which is to introduce your team and share your practice’s values and mission.

2. Share Your Story:

Every pediatric dental practice has a unique story behind its creation. Share the story of how your practice came to be, including any personal anecdotes or experiences that led you to choose a career in pediatric dentistry. Your story can help humanize your practice and make it relatable to parents.

3. Highlight Your Team:

Introduce the members of your dental team on the About page. Include photos, brief bios, and professional qualifications. Sharing personal interests and hobbies can also help humanize your team members and create a stronger connection with your audience.

4. Emphasize Your Expertise:

Demonstrate your expertise in pediatric dentistry by highlighting your education, training, and any specialized certifications or awards. Parents want to know that their children are in capable hands, so don’t be shy about showcasing your qualifications.

Here are more tips on how to show off your awards and qualifications.

5. Showcase Your Philosophy:

Share your practice’s core values and treatment philosophy. Explain what sets your pediatric dental clinic apart from others. Emphasize your commitment to providing compassionate, child-friendly care and your dedication to oral health education.

6. Include Testimonials and Success Stories:

Include testimonials from satisfied parents and patients on your About page. Real-life success stories and positive feedback can reassure potential patients and their families that they are making the right choice by choosing your practice.

Here are some tips on how to get more great reviews.

7. Incorporate Visual Elements:

Make your About page visually appealing by including high-quality images of your clinic, team, and patients. Use images that capture the welcoming and child-friendly atmosphere of your practice.

Consider adding a video tour of your office for a more immersive experience.

8. Call to Action:

Don’t forget to include a clear call to action (CTA) on your About page. A call to action is what you want the visitor to your website to do next. Encourage visitors to contact your office, schedule an appointment, or sign up for your newsletter. Make it easy for them to take the next step in their journey with your practice.

9. Keep It Up to Date:

Regularly update your About page to reflect any changes in your team, services, or practice philosophy. An outdated page can give the impression of neglect, so ensure that the information is always current.

10. Engage with Your Audience:

Lastly, encourage visitors to connect with you on social media or through a contact form. Let them know that you value their feedback and are eager to answer any questions they may have.


Your About page is a powerful tool for building trust and rapport with potential parents of patients. By sharing your story, introducing your team, and showcasing your expertise and values, you can create a compelling About page that resonates with your target audience.

Don’t underestimate the impact this page can have in attracting new patients and fostering lasting relationships with your community.


Check out these related resources for great marketing tips for your office:

Do You Have a Media Consent Form for Your Office?

How to Create a Dental Newsletter That Deepens Patient Relationships (and Their Trust)

Increase Traffic by Setting Up a Google Business Profile

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience.

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

The Magic of Parade Floats: Types and Benefits

4 Ways Social Media Can Help Promote Your Library

How to Use Technology to Help Your Dental Practice in 2024

How to Use Technology to Help Your Dental Practice in 2024

Dentists can leverage new technology, applications, and artificial intelligence (AI) in various ways to enhance their business operations, improve patient care, and streamline processes.

Here are some ways in which dentists can use AI to benefit their practices:

Use Technology for Appointment Scheduling and Management:

  • Implement AI-powered scheduling systems that can optimize appointment bookings based on the dentist’s availability, patient preferences, and treatment durations.
  • Use AI chatbots on the website or mobile apps to assist patients in scheduling appointments and provide information about services.

Example: Zocdoc – Zocdoc is a platform that allows patients to find and book appointments with healthcare providers, including dentists.

Example: NexHealth – A patient scheduling app that syncs directly to your health record system.

Use AI for Patient Communication:

  • Utilize communication tools including AI-driven applications to send automated appointment reminders, follow-up messages, and post-treatment care instructions, enhancing patient engagement and satisfaction.

Example: Solutionreach – Solutionreach provides patient engagement and communication solutions, including automated appointment reminders and communication tools for dental practices.

Example: Curogram Curogram offers AI-driven patient communication tools, including automated messaging, appointment reminders, and two-way texting to enhance patient engagement.

Use AI for Diagnosis and Treatment Planning:

  • Integrate AI tools for image analysis, such as AI-based dental imaging software, to aid in the diagnosis of dental conditions through X-rays, scans, and photographs.
  • Implement AI algorithms that can assist in treatment planning, suggesting optimal procedures based on patient data and historical treatment outcomes.

Example: VideaHealth – AI-powered X-ray imaging technology from Boston-based VideaHealth.

Use AI for Revenue Cycle Management:

  • Adopt AI-driven systems for billing and claims processing to streamline the revenue cycle. This can reduce errors, improve efficiency, and accelerate reimbursement processes.

Example: Dentrix Ascend – Dentrix Ascend is a cloud-based practice management software that includes billing and claims processing features.

Example: Waystar – Uses AI to automate revenue cycle processes, including billing and claims management, to improve efficiency and reduce errors.

Use Technology for Virtual Consultations:

  • Offer virtual consultations via telehealth platforms, allowing dentists to remotely assess patient concerns, provide advice, and determine if an in-person visit is necessary.

Example: SmileSnap – SmileSnap is a platform that enables dental practices to offer virtual consultations and communicate with patients remotely.

Use AI for Personalized Patient Experience:

  • Implement AI-driven patient management systems that personalize the overall experience, such as recommending relevant dental hygiene practices, post-treatment care instructions, and follow-up appointments based on individual patient profiles.

Example: OperaDDS – OperaDDS provides a suite of communication tools, including features for personalized patient communication and education.

Example: Tab32 – Tab32 offers an AI-driven patient relationship management system, providing personalized experiences and automating communication based on patient preferences and history.

Use Automation and AI for Predictive Analytics for Business Insights:

  • Use intelligent tools to analyze data from patient records, appointments, and financial transactions to identify trends, predict patient behavior, and optimize business strategies for growth.

Example: Divergent Dental – Divergent Dental offers analytics and business intelligence solutions specifically designed for dental practices.

Example: Dental Intelligence – Dental Intelligence uses AI to analyze practice data and provide insights, helping dentists make informed decisions for business growth and patient care.

Use Technology for Training and Continuing Education:

  • Explore educational tools for dentists and dental staff to stay updated on the latest advancements in the field. This can enhance skills and ensure the delivery of high-quality care.

Example: DentalCare.com – DentalCare.com offers online courses and continuing education resources for dental professionals.

Use AI for Automated Marketing Campaigns:

  • Utilize marketing tools to analyze patient demographics, preferences, and behaviors, enabling targeted and personalized marketing campaigns to attract and retain patients.
  • Use AI content creator apps to help you craft better social media posts, ad copy, and blog content. 

Example: YAPI – YAPI provides patient communication and marketing tools, including features for targeted marketing campaigns and patient engagement.

Example: ChatGPT – A chatbot that responds to questions and composes various written content, including articles, social media posts, blogs, and emails.


Keep in mind that the availability and suitability of these solutions may vary, and it’s essential to evaluate each option based on your specific practice needs, budget, and any changes in the industry. Additionally, newer and more advanced solutions are emerging every day.

When implementing AI in a dental practice, it’s crucial to prioritize patient privacy, data security, and regulatory compliance. Dentists should also ensure that AI applications align with ethical standards and contribute positively to the overall patient experience and the practice’s efficiency.


IDS is your expert on creating the best experience possible for your patients. Valuing your patients and their families sets them up for a lifetime of positive health outcomes. And the environment you create can help you achieve a better patient experience.

Check out these related resources on the strategies that lead to improving patient satisfaction and an outstanding patient experience:

What is Patient Experience and Why Does It Matter?

How to Improve Patient Satisfaction in 7 Steps

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

Enhancing ABA Therapy Centers with Themed Decor

What to Include in Your Perfect Indoor Family Play Area

Keep Guests on Track with 7 Types of Fun Wayfinding Signage for Pediatric Healthcare Spaces

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign!

Signs are a very important part of your visitor experience. They let people know  ‘where am I?’, ‘where is my destination?’ and ‘how do I get from here to there?’.

Wayfinding signage is an essential aspect of any business or facility, and it goes beyond just guiding people from one place to another. It is a critical component in creating an organic guest experience that makes visitors feel comfortable and confident in your space. Effective wayfinding signage provides clear and accurate information about the layout and features of the space, from restrooms and exits to amenities and services.

We’re going to focus on child-friendly signage and how to help

While wayfinding signage is not meant to advertise or promote, it does play a vital role in portraying a positive company image and strengthening your brand. It helps visitors to navigate your space with ease, making their experience more enjoyable and memorable.

We’re going to dive into images from the IDS archives and take a look at different types of signs, their purpose, and let you know why they are so important to creating a great environment for children.

7 Types of Signs You Should Use in Your Family-friendly Business

There are many different types of wayfinding signage that can be used to help people find their way: identification, informational, directional, and regulatory. Some of these signs can be more fun and interactive than others. Let’s take a look at some great examples of fun signage that will appeal to children and their families.

1. Welcome Signs

Welcome guests to your office in the most obvious way… with a giant welcome sign! Welcome signs are a type of wayfinding signage that is specifically designed to greet and orient visitors to a business. They create a positive first impression and help visitors feel more at ease when they arrive at your business.

A well-designed welcome sign can communicate important messages about the business’s brand, such as its personality, values, and the products or services it offers. This can help to establish a brand identity that customers can connect with.

Logo Welcome Signs

You don’t have to say the word ‘welcome’ when inviting guests in – welcome guests with confirmation that they are in the right location with a big bold sign showing your name or logo.

Jungle themed sign reading "Children's Dentistry of Pocatello".

2. Directional Signage

Wayfinding signs can help visitors orient themselves and find their way around your business, reducing the risk of them getting lost or feeling frustrated. They will also feel empowered as they will be able to find what they are looking for without having to ask for assistance.

Overall, directional signs are an essential element of wayfinding in a business, helping customers to navigate the space and enhancing their experience. By providing clear directions, saving time, enhancing the customer experience, and establishing brand identity, directional signs can play a crucial role in a business’s success.

Bathroom Signage

Every sign can be themed. Bright, bold colors make these bathroom signs stand out and catch people’s attention.

Instead of traditional bathroom signage, use playful language, silly characters, or puns to make the signs more fun and lighthearted. This appeals to children and will leave a good impression on their parents.

Room and Chair Designations

While wayfinding encompasses many different aspects of navigation, helping people find their intended chair or treatment room is a key component.

To ensure your dental office signage is effective for all age groups, it’s important to consider the needs and abilities of each demographic. For example, if you work with young patients in a pediatric environment, it’s likely that they won’t be able to read a written sign. In such cases, incorporating easily recognizable characters or imagery can be an effective way to help children navigate the space. For instance, the “hippo room” and “zebra room” names may be difficult for a child to read, but associating them with the corresponding animal characters can make it easy for them to identify the rooms at a glance. By considering the needs of different age groups and incorporating visual cues, you can create signage that is both functional and engaging for all patients.

By helping visitors navigate your business more easily and feel more comfortable, navigational signs can contribute to overall customer satisfaction.

3. Label Signs

The importance of clear and concise signage cannot be overstated. In the examples below, visitors will know exactly what each station is used for and if it is for them to use.



4. Monument Exterior Signs

Monument exterior signs are large, freestanding signs. These signs are often located at the entrance to a property, or along a busy road or highway. Monument exterior signs are highly visible and can help draw attention to your business, especially from people driving by or passing by on foot.

A well-designed monument exterior sign can help establish your business as a fun, friendly place catering to children and families.

5. Pylon Street Signs

Functioning similarly to a monument sign but towering hiiigh above traffic, a pylon sign is an excellent way to create a high-impact billboard for your business. By utilizing a tall structure, a pylon sign can be seen from a greater distance, making it an effective tool for attracting new customers and promoting your brand.

Pylon signs are often located near highways or other high-traffic areas, making them an ideal choice for businesses that want to increase their visibility and stand out from the competition. With eye-catching graphics and clear messaging, a pylon sign can be a powerful marketing tool that helps to increase brand recognition and drive sales.


NEED NEW SIGNAGE
FOR YOUR OFFICE?


6. Building Signage

By incorporating big, bold, and 3D exterior signage on their building, businesses can increase their visibility and effectively convey the type of experience customers can expect inside.

Colorful characters can also be added to building signage to make the sign visually engaging and interesting, catching the attention of passersby. Everyone will know your business is meant for kids with this winning combination of colors, characters, and fun!

Such signage can also help your business stand out from the competition and make a memorable impression on potential customers. By investing in attention-grabbing signage, businesses can increase foot traffic and ultimately drive sales.

7. Fun and Educational Signs and Graphics

Signs and graphics are not only informative but can also be educational and fun for children. This is especially true in children’s museums, where signs and displays are designed to teach young visitors about a variety of topics in a visually engaging way.

Colorful and interactive signs with graphics and illustrations can help children retain information better and make the learning experience more enjoyable. Use this technique in your dental office for a fun and engaging experience.

Infographic signs use visual elements, such as charts, diagrams, and icons, to convey information in a clear, but approachable, way. Infographics can be used to provide patients with information about how to maintain good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing techniques, and the importance of regular check-ups.

Overall, signs play an important role in helping customers and children navigate through your family-friendly business and communicate important information about your fun brand. Have fun with your wayfinding and make your business the first choice for families in your community!

Want some amazing child-friendly signage of your own? Connect with one of our Creative Consultants today to learn how you can get your own unforgettable wayfinding experience!


Check out more inspiring signage and wayfinding ideas for your office:

Signage & Wayfinding

Landmark Characters

Create a Memorable Patient Experience Through Dental Office Interior Design and Decor

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to a magical patient experience.

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

Color and Light in Interior Spaces for Children with Autism

The Healing Power of Fun Decor in Children’s Hospital Environments

Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

7 Tips for Designing the Ultimate Dental Office Playground

I’m sure that over the years, many bosses have found ample reason to shout, “This is a business, not a playground!!!”

But in the world of pediatric dentistry, turning your business into a dental playground is precisely what your customers are demanding!

It not only creates a unique and memorable experience that can set your practice apart from your competitors. Creating a fun, playful pre-appointment environment can go a long way to reducing a child’s fear of visiting the dentist.

Reduce anxiety to help fill pediatric dental chairs

A recent research paper (How Can We Reduce Dental Fear in Children? The Importance of the First Dental Visit.) cited that 9% of children and adolescents in Canada, the US, and Europe suffer from dental anxiety

The researchers found that early exposure to the dentist (before age two when the first tooth erupts) and frequent visits after that are shown to reduce dental fear.

Our results reveal that the age at which children first go to the dentist and the frequency of visits are key factors in preventing dental fear because they predict 44.4% of dental fear.” 

The researchers identified three important consequences of dental anxiety in children that impact both your patient and your practice:

  1. Pediatric patients will go to the dentist less often than necessary.
  2. They may not be able to receive the necessary treatments due to fear.
  3. They may be uncooperative with dental treatment staff.

Investing in a dental playground in your lobby can go a long way to alleviating anxiety in young children. By making a trip to the dentist something a child looks forward to, you will encourage more frequent visits and a higher quality of care.

So, what do you need to consider when building a play area in your lobby?

Tip 1: Create elements for active play in your dental practice.

Just like a traditional playground, your dental practice playspace should encourage kids to be active so that they can burn off energy and anxiety. This helps the worry disappear.

When we talk about active play, we’re describing lobby features like small slides, forts, climbing & balance structures… even places to jump and dance. Like a park playground, but at a much smaller scale.

Child-sized forts are a place where imagination can take control.

Yellow and grey camper themed kids play house.

Slides will have kids up and down and burning off energy. A slide can be a part of a bigger activity fort as well, with video games and play panels.

Pirate ship themed play slide.

Or they can be small stand-alone structures.

Yellow slide on a pirate ship themed play structure

Active play can help children release energy and reduce stress which is good for priming children for their appointments, but it can improve their overall well-being as well. You’re in the business of kids’ wellness, so helping kids benefit from visiting your office in numerous ways is just good practice.

Tip 2: Cater your dental play area to different ages.

Your practice caters to children of different ages. Your play area should too. One recommendation is to have a separate play area for toddlers, where the bigger kids won’t bump into them. It may simply be a padded play area with a smaller slide, safe soft foam play structures, and easy hands-on games.

Soft play foam sculpture slide with a goat sitting on a mountain side.
Soft play foam sculpture slide with a goat sitting on a mountainside.
Woodland rock game wall with Keebee play boards and video games.
Woodland rock game wall with Keebee play boards and video games.

Structures should be a little more advanced for children aged 5-10. For older kids, video games and electronic devices are more age-appropriate. You may want to section off your game area so pre-teen patients have some privacy.

Kids playing on wall mounted gaming tablets.

Tip 3: Think safety when building your dental playground.

Just like kids have dental anxiety, parents have safety worries!

It’s always a smart idea to install a cushioned floor if you want to go the extra mile to avoid a child flopping on the floor too hard. There are a variety of options from mall play area grade flooring…

to the snap-together flooring that you have probably seen parents can add to their at-home playrooms.

But don’t worry too much when it comes to professionally made play options for kids. Most manufacturers put incredible thought and care into the design of their play elements – avoiding sharp corners and tripping hazards. Many structures and climbable components are built with highly durable materials to keep up with active kids.

Tip 4: Pick a theme that carries through your office environment.

Coming up with a great theme for your dental playground makes it more memorable and provides a creative thread to tie everything together. Jungle theme. Dinosaur theme. Underwater theme. The sky’s the limit. (Yes, flying themes are a thing too).

By extending your theme from the front lobby to the clinical area and treatment rooms, you maintain the magic from one space to the next. This helps put young minds at ease throughout their visit.

A sunk ship play fort is a great distraction in the reception area.
Contemporary silhouette underwater themed wall mural in a dental treatment bay.
Murals in the open bay treatment area tie it together with the play area.

Just about any space in your office can be tailored to your theme – the front desk, front door, walls, ceilings, and floors. Durable 3D characters are not only decorative; they can be used as a fun way to provide task-oriented signage. Plus, they make for a good photo opportunity (which increases your chances of getting shared on social media for free advertising).

Tip 5: Consider opportunities for quiet play elements.

We talked about active play earlier. Well, every playground needs a quiet area too. It’s a good idea to designate space for patients who would rather sit with a book or play quietly.

Interactive play elements provide a chance for kids to use their growing minds. Examples of interactive play elements include an activity wall designed to test budding motor skills, foam building blocks, legos… the list goes on.

Tip 6: Keep it bright, colorful, and inviting!

Enough said! Let kids know an area is for them with bright primary colors to liven your children’s play area.

Candyland themed kid's play area with colorful wall murals and sculpted gingerbread house play structure with slide.
Candyland themed kid’s play area with colorful wall murals and sculpted gingerbread house play structure with slide.

Tip 7: Make it comfortable for parents.

Like any lobby, seating should be comfy for parents and guardians. It should also be situated so that it’s easy for them to keep an eye on their littles.

Speaking of comfort, indoor dental playgrounds can get noisy with squeals of joy. Investing in sound baffling solutions can reduce the decibel levels for parents and staff alike to provide a more enjoyable experience. A private room with walls, acoustic felt wall panels, plush beanbag chairs, or carpeted floors can all help absorb sound.

And one final tip… have fun designing your playground!

Working with an established creative design and fabrication partner that really loves what they do will make your renovation process a treat every step of the way!

Don’t know where to start with creating your dental playground? One of our Creative Consultants would love to help. Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to a magical patient experience.

Check out these related resources for making your waiting room a fun place to spend some time:

Top 7 Interactive Waiting Room Ideas

Tips to Make Your Dental Practice More Inviting for Pediatric Patients

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

Color and Light in Interior Spaces for Children with Autism

Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

Enhancing ABA Therapy Centers with Themed Decor

Recession-proofing Your Dental Marketing Strategy in 2023

There’s an assumption that dental practices, like grocery stores, are immune to recessions. After all, people need to eat. And they still need to take care of basic health issues.

Yet a landmark study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association confirmed what dental professionals who have been through economic downturns already know: patients put off dental appointments and oral care treatments in recessionary times.

An analysis of dental visits in the US between 2003 and 2015 by Albert Guay and Andrew Blatz revealed a noticeable decline in dentist visits during the Great Recession (December 2007- June 2009). Only 38.4% of the American population during this time visited a dentist, a remarkable decline. Visits to orthodontists among working adults aged 19+ dropped from 1.1% in 2008 to 0.7% in 2010 as the recession was ending.

With rumblings of a possible downturn on the horizon, the question is, what can dentists and orthodontists do to recession-proof their business?

Marketing is one area where there are strategic opportunities to set a practice up to succeed… through good times and bad.

We spoke with Dan Bergeron, President of Everbrave Branding Group. As an authority on dental marketing, Dan shares four suggestions for dental practice owners.

“In today’s digital age, no matter your business, you can be sure that your target customers will be doing their research online.”

According to Bergeron, a recession is an excellent time to pursue low-cost/ high-return strategies that increase your odds of being found online.

He shares a few easy wins that will improve your content – and help increase your website’s search rankings.

a. Expand your web page content:

Does your website have pages with just a paragraph of text? Did you know that web pages rank higher when they have more information than less?

The more educational information and helpful advice you share, the more Google will consider you a subject authority, which helps improve your Google ranking,” Bergeron says. It’s also important to avoid reusing or copying content from other sources. Website content should be uniquely written for your website, or at a minimum, edited to be in your brand’s tone of voice. 

Dan’s Pro Tip: “I recommend web pages have a minimum word count of 500+ words. Break longer text into shorter, easily digestible sections.

b. Add a Q&A section to your website:

When people use search engines, they’re seeking answers to their questions. Q&A sections are a smart way to draw traffic to your website. If you can provide the solutions, you’ll increase the chances of coming up in their search queries.

c. Keep new content coming:

Search engines reward sites that regularly post new information. Blogs provide a great way to achieve this. There are endless topics to choose from (like an article answering FAQs). Just be sure to keep it simple for patients to understand.

Want more tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide to learn more tips for helping with your online presence.

2. Encourage patients to post online reviews.

“For years, the bulk of new business has come from patient referrals. But today, people aren’t simply asking friends and neighbors. They’re seeking recommendations from credible sources like Google Reviews,” Bergeron reveals.

“The more patients you can convince to give you a glowing review on these platforms, the better. Many of your best patients will be glad to share their positive experiences. If you want to show appreciation and encourage patients to participate, you might consider giving a small incentive… like a $5 coffee gift card.”

3. Invest in memorable patient experiences that set your practice apart.

“Whether it’s a vacation or visit to the mall, people are looking for experiences,” Bergeron says. “Businesses that do things to set themselves apart tend to thrive.”

In the dental world, he gives the example of pediatric practices that invest in creating cool, interactive spaces that put smiles on the faces of young patients.

“A lobby that creates an immersive underwater world with mermaids, pirates, and sea creatures really stands out and gets talked about. They’re good for business and a fantastic way to put patients at ease. Nowadays, we’re even seeing this approach extend into adult practices as well.”

While this approach involves a more considerable investment, Bergeron says it can provide invaluable exposure and measurable ROI. This is most often realized through a higher rate of patient referrals as well as improved retention.

While investing in a renovation may seem like a good idea when the economy is booming, Bergeron points out that when the market cools, construction costs tend to go down – contractors have less demand for their work, and materials drop in prices, making a recession is a good time to renovate and build.

“If you have available capital, a downturn is a good time to invest in the future.”

4. Turn down the pressure and focus on prevention vs. treatment.

As a dentist, you’ve worked hard to build relationships with your patients. But according to Bergeron, dentists and orthodontists should show empathy and understanding in uncertain economic times.

“People are anxious. Money is tight. If a patient feels unduly pressured into a treatment that an insurer doesn’t cover, you may risk scaring them off,” Bergeron says.

Instead, Bergeron recommends turning the conversation toward prevention strategies and sharing tips to stop the problem from getting worse.

“It shows patients that their health is your top priority and that you understand their reality. Consider it an investment in your long-term relationship – and a recession-smart business strategy for your dental practice.”

Recession-proofing a dental business involves regular brushing!

Bergeron says that recession-proofing a dental practice through enhanced marketing efforts doesn’t start with the first forecast of an economic downturn. It requires a consistent and persistent effort at every stage of your patient relationship.

“The more work you put into growing and delighting your patient base, the harder it will be for them to leave you. And the better shape you’ll be in to weather a financial storm.”

Check out these related resources for improving your marketing efforts:

Why You Should Have a Blog on Your Dental Website

How to Get Online Reviews for Your Dental Office

The Importance of a Website for Promoting Your Dental Practice

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to magical patient experience.

Want more tips for marketing your office? Download the free guide to learn more tips for helping with your online presence.

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

The Magic of Parade Floats: Types and Benefits

4 Ways Social Media Can Help Promote Your Library

Considerations When Creating Your Dental Office Marketing Budget

Wow, that year went by quickly. It’s hard to believe that 2023 is here. A new year means it’s time to start setting your marketing priorities and building out your marketing budget. But what are those with an ear-to-the-ground saying about developing a dental practice marketing budget for 2023?

Growth-driven dentists should maintain or boost marketing budgets in 2023.

In a recent article in Dentistry Today Xaña Winans, CEO and founder of Golden Proportions Marketing, suggested pressure on household budgets may result in reduced demand for elective procedures.

Yet her advice is to maintain marketing budgets and double down on ensuring patients come in for routine and restorative care. She says this will put you at an advantage – particularly if your competitors ignore this approach and instead reduce their marketing dollars.

Where are marketers investing in 2023?

Neil Patel, best-selling author and head of NP Digital, surveyed 8,032 marketers to see where they are spending their money and why. His data backs what Winans is advocating.

Here is a high-level look at some of Patel’s findings along with our take on the relevance to dental practices.

68% of marketers surveyed plan to increase their SEO budget.

Why: Patel says search engine optimization provides higher ROI than paid advertising, but does take longer to see results.

Our take: Smart thinking. More patients are searching for dentists online. The higher you rank on page 1 of search results, the more likely you are to be on their call list.

83% are increasing their content production budget.

Why: To create user content that can generate leads in multiple formats (video, print, etc.). Customers are using several channels. Marketers are following suit.

Additionally, many of those surveyed are investing in AI writing tools to help with content creation. You’re busy enough taking care of your patients, let platforms such as AISEO, Rytr, Jasper, or ChatGPT do the writing for you. AI is expected to play a larger role in marketing in general, allowing teams to create more content, faster.

Our take: Providing high-quality content that answers patient questions helps establish your domain authority. Which means you’ll rank higher in organic search. Content creation can be time-intensive but will pay off if strategically managed and well-written. Investing in AI writing tools can help reduce the workload, but AI can require serious editing and be quite simplistic.

56% will spend more on email marketing, while 38% will hold firm.

Why: Patel says increased expenditures likely account for the costs to manage growing databases, ensure privacy compliance and cover investments in email automation platforms. Those maintaining current spending are focusing on existing customers.

Our take: If inflation does lead patients to put off high-value elective procedures, it will be important to maximize checkup, hygiene, and restorative care visits. Email campaigns and automated reminders will be valuable for engaging existing customers. It can also be a valuable way to follow up with new prospects engaging with your website.

84% are increasing their community building budget.

Why: Marketers said they want to “feel in control of their destiny instead of being beholden to algorithms they can’t control.”

Our take: We strongly agree, especially for community-based dental practices. After years of being cooped up due to Covid-19, family-focused community events are returning in full force. As a dentist, sponsorships are a great opportunity to promote your local practice and show you’re engaged in the community you serve. It’s especially valuable if your dental practice’s brand and office space convey that same sense of fun and amusement.

59% will buy more Google ads, and 47% are boosting Bing.

Why: Marketers felt these channels provide high ROI compared to others.

Our take: This is a proven strategy to rank at the top of a localized search (eg. Best dentist near (your community). However, costs can add up. Keep a close eye on revenue that can be directly attributed to your ad-spend using the Google ads goal tracking features or other systems like HubSpot that tie ad-spend to revenue.

Social spending is a toss-up.

Why: There were mixed findings in the survey. Respondents said their social spending will be static or drop on most social channels. Many marketers are reducing their social spend in response to Apple’s new privacy policy. The notable B2C exception is Tik Tok, where 84% plan to increase their presence.

Our take: Social is still a great way to reach patients (especially moms of pediatric patients), so take this one with a grain of salt. Target your social channels based on your customer demographics. If you can create quirky, engaging posts, TikTok may be worth exploring.

If you put focus on social media, video content has become increasingly popular in recent years, and is expected to continue to be an important marketing tool.

Look beyond the market experts and at your competition.

What are other dental practices in your area doing to market themselves? Understanding your competition can help you allocate your budget in a way that sets you apart. As we said before, some businesses pull back on marketing and reduce their spend during uneasy economic times, but that can make them fade into the background. This could be your chance to come out ahead.

To recap, social is hitting some road bumps but is still a wealth of opportunity. Email marketing and search engine optimization are expected to continue to be important for reaching and engaging with customers. Artificial intelligence is expected to play a larger role in marketing, allowing businesses to streamline their marketing efforts. Focusing on content marketing and providing valuable, informative content can help build trust and credibility with potential customers and is likely to remain a popular marketing strategy. And getting back out into the community, meeting people face to face and creating real connections, is going to lead the way as Covid continues to become less of a concern.

If you’re unsure, talk to a dental marketing specialist.

Putting together a marketing budget can be challenging, especially in an uncertain economy (to learn more, read: How to recession-proof your practice). The consensus among marketers is to invest rather than cut back. To ensure you get it right, work with an experienced dental marketing professional. Establish priorities and set S.M.A.R.T. goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Sensitive).

We hope 2023 is good for you and your practice.

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

The Magic of Parade Floats: Types and Benefits

4 Ways Social Media Can Help Promote Your Library

5 Benefits of a Mascot for Pediatric Dental Offices

Before we highlight the benefits of having a mascot, let’s answer a few basic questions about mascots in general…

What is a mascot?

A brand mascot is a character that represents your company, or ‘brand‘. Companies use brand mascots as a spokesperson to promote goods and services as a part of their marketing strategy.

What can a mascot be?

A mascot can take any form you want – a human character like a superhero, an animal like a tiger, a fantasy creature like a dragon, or an anthropomorphic character like a smiling tooth. A mascot should relate to your products, community, or clientele.

How can mascots help your business?

The importance of creating an emotional connection between your services and your customer via marketing has never been more critical. Customers are much more discerning having the world at their fingertips to find and compare services before making a decision. You need to resonate with your audience and make them think of and choose you.

Emotions are produced by the same section of the brain responsible for memory and decision-making. Advertising that stimulates emotions also stimulates memory which inspires your client to make a buying decision. Advertising should not be presented with reason alone. It is assumed that dentists have a similar level of education and expertise, so how do you make your dental office stand out?

But saying a mascot helps with your marketing and attracts clients because of emotions is a broad statement. Let’s dive deeper into how this works…

5 Benefits of a Brand Mascot for Marketing Your Dental Practice

1. Mascots Increase Brand Awareness

Memory for faces is a core capacity of the human mind. Mascots are memorable because mascots have faces. Your logo or business name may slip from memory, but a character will stand out.

Quick, name a brand of frozen peas… is it Green Giant? I certainly couldn’t name a single brand of vegetable if it wasn’t for the friendly face on the label.

Green Giant

2. Mascots Create a Positive Image for Your Business

As we just said, mascots help people remember your business, but they also help them remember you in a positive light.

Your brand is the thoughts and feelings people associate with you. If you’re a pediatric dentist, the brand you want to create can be summed up as a child-friendly dental office that goes above and beyond for their comfort and care. A friendly mascot effortlessly communicates to parents that you are catering to their children’s wants and needs beyond just focusing on their teeth. You are the dentist they should choose to go to because you also are looking after their emotional and mental well-being. You go above and beyond!

Here’s a famous example of a mascot putting a business in a positive light.

Thinking about car insurance doesn’t generate warm feelings, but the soft-spoken Geico Gecko stirs up feelings of charm and relatability, and that was a big win for Geico. The company itself became relatable and a trusted place to buy insurance from. The mascot worked so well that it spawned competition from other insurance companies including the Aflac Duck and Flo from Progressive.

Geico Gecko

When kids think of the dentist they definitely don’t get warm feelings, but you can change that with a welcoming character by bringing some humor and warmth into their visit. Tell people what your brand is with a mascot. The kids will love you, the parents will appreciate your effort, and your business will grow.

3. Mascots Appeal to Kids

Mascots indicate to kids that something is made for them. Kids are used to seeing mascots on their cereal boxes, sports teams, and schools. The Nesquik Rabbit and Tony the Tiger will forever be associated with a tasty (although not good for your teeth) breakfast. Kids will feel special and welcome because your dental office is meant for them.

4. Mascots Can Assist Your Staff

We don’t mean they’ll be in the office helping to fill cavities. But they really can help.

Your staff can use your mascot as a teaching tool or as a way to break the ice with nervous patients. Create a backstory for your mascot – maybe they were once nervous while visiting the dentist, but they knew that the dental assistant, hygienist, and dentist are there to help keep their smile bright, so they were very brave and let the friendly staff look at their teeth – can they be brave like your mascot too?

Using a stuffed animal or a coloring page with your mascot to convey this backstory can help visualize this story to your patients as well and get them on board for their treatment.

5. Mascots Can Appear Across Different Media

Illustrations, sculptures, photo ops, costumes, puppets, coloring pages, animations, and more!

A mascot can be used in ways that a logo or your own name and face just can’t. A mascot becomes a simulacrum of you and your business. Creating marketing collateral becomes easier for your design team when there is a character with a personality to draw inspiration from.

Let’s look at all the ways you can utilize this great resource…

When and Where to Use Your Mascot

Incorporate your mascot into your logo.

Have a naming contest for your mascot on social media.

Use your mascot on building signage.

Exterior shot of Children's Dentistry of Lakewood Ranch.

Place a 3D sculpted photo op of your mascot in your office.

Kid posing with Cubby the photo op tiger.

Include your mascot on printed swag and shirts.

Create plush toys that look like your mascot.

Featured your character on coloring sheets for contests and prizes.

Bring your mascot to trade shows, community fairs, and educational presentations.

Include your mascot in commercials or TV interviews.

Create social media videos with tips and facts featuring your mascot.

This puppet mascot makes educational videos aimed at kids. Here kids are learning about healthy food choices.

Include your mascot during celebratory moments with your patients and staff.

Include your mascot during holiday celebrations.

Santa Claus, the mascot of the most wonderful time of the year, will be happy to team up with your own jolly character.

The possibilities are truly endless!

Case Study: See a Successful Mascot in Action

One of our clients, Dr. Bill Martin of Martin Kids Dental and Orthodontics, has been utilizing his mascot in amazing ways! We want to show off some of the successful ways he has used his mascot characters in his office and around his community. Read his case study here ad see how he used his mascot in his office.

Bring Your Mascot to Life with IDS

Don’t know where to start with creating a mascot for your office? One of our Creative Consultants would love to help. Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to a magical patient experience. The IDS design team can create a mascot for you through logo designs and implementation in theming around your physical office space.

Our business friend Street Characters has helped make some of our designs come to life in the form of mascot costumes.

Check out these other resources on how to use a mascot as a promotional tool:

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Office Photo Op

Themed Photo Opportunities

Our Top 4 Attention-Grabbing Building Exterior Ideas

Case Study: See a Successful Mascot in Action

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

The Magic of Parade Floats: Types and Benefits

4 Ways Social Media Can Help Promote Your Library

Do You Have a Media Consent Form for Your Office?

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was created to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient’s consent or knowledge.

HIPAA was created many years before social platforms became the omnipresent media giant it is today. As a result, there are no specific rules outlining social media use. Rather, you can apply the general rules around the protection of PHI (patient health information).

Healthcare organizations must implement a HIPAA social media policy to reduce the risk of violations. The HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibits the disclosure of PHI on social media networks without the express consent of patients.

So if you want to utilize social media in your marketing, that’s what you need to worry about – acquiring consent.

The easiest way to gain consent is by including a ‘Media Consent Form’ with your patient onboarding paperwork – either printed or as a digital file. Patients and their families are already mentally prepped to fill out paperwork when dealing with health and dental visits, so this won’t be an inconvenience to them at all.

Why worry about getting consent to post photos of your patients?

One of the best ways to show off your dental practice is by posting patient results on your website, office bulletin board, and social platforms (both photos of teeth and photos of patients having a good experience in your care) so having a media consent form is critical to marketing your practice. And it’s just good practice. Some parents are sensitive about sharing their children online, and some encourage it!

One of our most popular marketing items is our photo ops that help create social media engagement. Of course, parents and kids can take and post all the photos of themselves that they want.

The time for a consent form is when your business wants to share photos as well, such as celebrating a cavity-free prize winner, sharing funny photos of a family posing with your photo op character, or showing off the successful results of a dental treatment plan on a young patient.

A consent form should include:

  • your organization’s name to show who is using the photos and videos
  • the name and signature of the parent or guardian
  • the date to show when consent was granted – a timeline of when the use of photos and videos begins
  • purpose of the authorization – description of how the media will be used – social media, website, promo videos
  • the ability of the parent to revoke consent at a future date

This signed agreement, with clear indications of how the information will be used, must remain on file. 

Here is a sample of what a consent form will look like:

We have included all this information in a media consent form for children and one for adults:

This blog is not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by using our contract template. If you have a specific problem and need legal advice, contact a licensed attorney. Consult your legal team or HIPAA Privacy Officer about HIPAA and your social media policies.

Other tips to help you stay HIPAA compliant when using social media include:

  • Have a dedicated social media coordinator who is educated in HIPAA compliance. There are numerous educational programs to help your staff get HIPAA compliant. It is better to have someone who is aware of the rule surrounding HIPAA and who is able to check the consent form before posting or commenting on social. Having control over content is the first step to avoiding violations.
  • Consult your legal or compliance team to verify that your content does not violate HIPAA and aligns with your brand’s social media use policy. Additionally, work with them to establish a communication protocol for corresponding with patients and their families over social media.
  • Make sure your staff keeps PHI off their personal social media accounts. It is a good idea to train your entire staff in HIPAA compliance to make sure they do not make a mistake in their personal use of social platforms.
  • Review environmental photographs and videos to ensure there is no PHI in the background such as a patient’s name on an x-ray, charts, or computer screens.
  • Ask permission to share photos and testimonials posted on a patient’s own social media page, just to be safe.

More HIPAA resources that will help keep you informed:

Summary of the HIPAA Privacy Rule

HIPAA Rules for Dentists

HIPAA and Marketing

AAPD FAQ about HIPAA

Add a Social Media Photo Op to Your Office

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

Color and Light in Interior Spaces for Children with Autism

The Healing Power of Fun Decor in Children’s Hospital Environments

Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

The Benefits of Themed Decor for DSOs

Dental Support Organizations (DSO) and Dental Group Practices are built by hard-working professionals who have established reliable partnerships to grow their business nationwide. They own and operate anywhere from 10 to 1000 dental practices.

Resourcefulness and efficiency are at the core of these organizations’ models – providing management and marketing support so location staff can focus on doing what they do best – providing quality care for their patients. With the combined knowledge and skills of everyone involved, this creates a well-oiled, efficient business.

Is this you? If so, it’s time to ask “What can I do to ensure success?”

Read along to uncover the added benefits of running a DSO or Group Practice, plus the new opportunities for the future of your operations with a secret ingredient that has proven to increase the success of dental offices – themed office decor.


What is IDS Theming?

IDS theming is the transformation of a mundane space into a magical place.

We specialize in the conceptualization, design, and creation of playful murals, engaging 3D decor, and interactive gaming for pediatric medical environments.

BEFORE
AFTER

BEFORE
AFTER

BEFORE
AFTER

Many young patients experience high anxiety and stress when faced with dental and medical procedures. Themed healthcare offices can prevent and reduce patient anxiety, help create client satisfaction, secure returning clientele, and grow your business.

DSO locations and Group Practices reap the rewards of these benefits at a heightened level. Because they have multiple locations at once working under the same mentality of communicating dependable brand values and the promise of providing an exceptional patient experience through the deployment of consistent decor across the board. When people like what they see, their trust in your business is reinforced.

While you are noodling about your wildest theming dreams, continue reading to unveil in greater detail just how it can work for an organization.



Create Consistent Brand Recognition Amongst Your Locations

Your brand is your “thing”. To have a strong brand you need to establish that “thing” you are known for and create a consistent experience for your clients location-wide. By eliminating the mundane and clinical stereotype of what a medical environment should look like, you are creating a stand-out brand for your business. That “thing” patients and parents will know you for is being fun & welcoming plus your endeavor to go above and beyond for their patient experience.

Before you came here, you already knew what you wanted your patients to think about you – that you care about providing them with the best of the best – the best care, treatment, and experience. Theming can help you create a consistent experience across your organization’s landscape.


Dr. Joe Yale, owner of an IDS themed office says it best,

I believe that our theme provides a visual manifestation of how committed we are to giving the best level of customer service and the best experience a child could have. It’s all about the people, the patients, and parents that we take care of.


Take this multi-location dental and ortho office as an example. The same reception desk, murals, and welcoming whale are found at each location. These familiar features make a friendly environment for patients, no matter which location they go to.

By taking the anxiety out of appointments with whimsical distractions, you’ll get parents talking – on social media, at family gatherings, and with their friends over coffee.


From Dr. Alexandra Jensen,

“We live in an age where the big thing online is the review it’s the facebook ads it, it’s the facebook mommy’s and just hearing word of mouth. That being said, I think the theme of the office gives parents something to talk about.”


And here’s how the process went for themed multi-office owner and CEO, Jennifer Kreidler-Moss,

IDS delivered exactly what we wanted. They took our grand ideas and turned them into cohesive themes suitable for our spaces and our budget. We loved customizing the small details and they walked us through the process every step of the way.

Each of her 11 locations has a different child-friendly sitting corner with fun seating and a branded photo op character.


Supercharge Your Marketing Plan and Make Your Building Your Biggest Advertising Asset

Speaking of photo ops, theming is a great way to add extra flair to your marketing materials and social media feeds.


Dentist and owner, Dr. Michael Lateiner has seen it with his own eyes,

Patients come into the office and are immediately comfortable and the parents can’t stop taking pictures. They made my office the talk of the town!!!


Photo ops, from characters to head holes to surfing waves, are a great way to get organic advertising for your business. Sharing photo ops with happy clients increase social media engagement. It also adds the benefit of ‘social proof’, the idea that consumers will adapt their behavior according to what other people are doing, and potential clients will see your business as trustworthy.

The most successful photo op is a mascot that represents your business. The dental market is now more competitive than ever, and you need to use all resources available to stand out from the crowd. Mascots are memorable, helping your brand become more recognizable. A branded mascot can increase a company’s profit and emotional connection with customers by up to 40.9%.

One of our most successful partners has created an entire magical world surrounding their mascots. Every location has a familiar face to greet visitors.


Exterior Landmark characters make a business’s exterior stand out visually to people passing by. They draw attention, stir conversation, and become a part of the community’s vernacular. “Turn right at the giant octopus” will become a common phrase heard around town.

Landmark characters completely changed the way owner Sheryl Wright saw her building,

“As a result of the theming, marketing has definitely improved. Even if patients cannot remember the name of the clinic, they know where we are and that our clinic is the fun place for kids to come play while they are waiting for their appointment. Telling patients it is the clinic with the octopus is an easy visual landmark to help them find us. This has helped get new patients through the doors.


Themed interior decor is a game-changer for creating marketing campaigns that stand out amongst the mass of dental reminder postcards and facebook ads. Featuring photos of your interiors with all the amenities you have to offer will get you noticed amongst the noise.

For Dr. Scott Savel, owner of 3 themed IDS offices, the horizon for future success is endless,

We found that theming has been instrumental in our success. By making the investment, it sets us apart. Especially in pediatrics, we walk into an area and we’re a category-killer in that area. We’re definitely planning on opening multiple offices and using theming for all of them.


Ultimately, when you have successfully established brand recognition within your clientele, they know who you are, what you do, and the level of service you provide – all the things they need to know to trust your organization which will help you grow your business.


Sensitivity to Ownership Changes

When you acquire an established practice, there are going to be existing patients and families that are connected and loyal to the previous provider.

With this in mind, as the buyer, you must be mindful of these existing clients’ feelings and find ways to communicate that the change in ownership will only make the place they know and love even better.


Change Can be Good

By joining up with a DSO, dental offices become infused with the latest in staff training, more efficient billing & insurance management, and access to modern technology. But those beneficial improvements might not be obvious to the average customer.

Decor upgrades to your space can be visual cues for patients to recognize this promise to improve their experience and help build their trust in your brand and services. By signaling your willingness to go above and beyond for the comfort of your young patients in ways the previous owners did not, you can help build those new relationships and create loyal customers.


Repeatability Makes Adding Unique Decor Easy

What we do over here at IDS is create original environments for our clients. With our team, you can develop a custom package of repeatable and on-brand decor for all of your locations.

From the initial design concepts, a Group Practice or DSO corporation is making an original, customized investment in their business. This investment is one that is unique to their brand but can be flexible in its conceptualization and execution so core design elements can be re-deployed across multiple locations.

We’ll be candid, there is a cost to the theming process. However, savings on economies can be amplified by theming all offices with the same foundational essentials – a mascot, desk cladding, repeatable wall murals, and more. Once design, brand, and execution are established, there is no starting from scratch when expanding to new locations.

For example, this carnival themed DSO has the same balloon-riding monkey photo op in each location.

Once the design is complete, we can adjust for size, position, and ceiling height in each location. We have installed 6 locations already, with 3 more locations getting themed this year, and more planned for the future.


The ROI From IDS Theming

Like we said, theming is a big investment, but it is an investment in your future success. The payback is unbeatable and our clients have experienced the difference themed decor makes in their businesses.

Even the independent dentists we work with have achieved so much success after theming they are able to open a 2nd, 3rd, or even a 7th or 8th office with the profits achieved from their first themed office.

From Dr. Bill Martin,

At first when I got into this I said to myself wow, this is a lot of money. But when I look at the benefits of it, it really is a marketing tool because you don’t have to put up a billboard when you have an office like this. I think undeniably this is the best marketing tool you can possibly use.


Check out the video below to hear what they had to say:


What’s Next for Your Business?

As previously mentioned, resourcefulness and efficiency are at the core of these organizations’ models. What’s next is asking if your offices are currently working for you in the best way possible to amplify your marketing and business success.

Theming helps add another level of resourcefulness and efficiency to your current business model by working to magnify and engage the added benefits you hold from running a DSO. Are you ready to take the leap?



Interested in learning more? Check out these related resources on themed environments and their benefits:

Turn your building into your most valuable marketing asset, attract more clients & entice new staff!

8 Color Schemes and What They Mean for Your Office Vibe

Create a Memorable Patient Experience Through Dental Office Interior Design and Decor

A Practical Guide to Creating an Exceptional Patient Experience

Attract Staff to Your Office… and Keep Them!

Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from a mundane to a magical patient experience.

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

Color and Light in Interior Spaces for Children with Autism

Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

Enhancing ABA Therapy Centers with Themed Decor

How to Attract Staff to Your Dental Practice… and Keep Them!

Pandemic-induced life changes have promoted a work-life balance reset for many, leading to media reports of a ‘great resignation.’

World Economic Forum

Is your dental office set up to grow with this mentality and cultivate a space that will draw in the best of the best to join your team and stick by your side?

Take a deep dive with us, and let’s determine how to:

  • Understand the current job hunter’s market
  • Review your company culture
  • Take actionable steps to generate an attractive work environment


Step Into The Mind of a Modern Job Hunter

In a recent poll conducted by the ADA Health Policy Institute designed to take the pulse of the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and emerging issues in the American dental community, it was uncovered that recruiting dental hygienists and dental assistants continues to be challenging for dentists.

In fact, 90% of dentist owners reported that, compared to before the pandemic, it is extremely or very challenging to recruit dental hygienists. 85% of dentist owners find it extremely or very challenging to fill dental assistant positions when compared to before the pandemic.

It is no secret that in many professions the reaction to Covid-19 limited hours in the office, enforced work-from-home conditions, and even resulted in mass layoffs across the country. This was the new norm for anywhere from a month to the entirety of the last 2 years.

Now that we are slowly gaining traction back into a fully operating society, back to work is again an option. But it’s just that, an option.

The dental field was one of the most at-risk groups during the height of the pandemic, so many people took the chance to retire early or find alternative employment in a less risky field. There was a voluntary reduction of the U.S. dental hygiene workforce by about 3.75%, or about 7,500 dental hygienists, according to updated research from the ADA and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association. 

As we said, many offices had temporary shutdowns. It was no longer the 9-5 life, so priorities in day-to-day routines changed. For workers it was now family time, taking on hobbies that they’ve always wanted to do, or placing value on exercising. Whatever it was, it became a standard practice for them and the thought of a full-time job taking that enjoyment away is less than enticing.

So the challenge for employers becomes making coming to work worth an employee’s time.

This difficulty is heightened in the dental and medical fields. It is a strenuous environment requiring dedicated attention and skill that needs to be regularly exercised. Let’s face it, people’s health is in your hands and that is not something you want to handle half-heartedly.

With that in mind, you have to consider this time away has also induced anxiety around the loss of knowledge or skill alongside new expectations.

2022 job hunters want an environment that supports them, is flexible, doesn’t take away from their external passions, and that they will genuinely enjoy going to every day.

What does this look like to employers?


Review Your Company’s Culture

Your company culture is what you make it.

It is how the execution of actions and values come together to make the experience people feel when they come to work every day.

It is how you manage your employees and set expectations.

It is the thing that people consider when asking themselves, “Am I going to be happy working here?”

Yes, coming in to work is about getting a job done, but to make it fulfilling to do that job, you as an owner and their boss should also:

  • Encourage employee wellness, both mental and physical. Dental and medical work is stressful on the mind and hard on the back. Losing employees to medical leave is avoidable.
  • Provide meaning and purpose in the work you are doing. Working in healthcare and helping children is a noble profession that truly helps people. Help your staff remember they are working towards a greater good.

  • Create goals and rewards for hard work. Feeling good about helping people is good, but you must also make the job rewarding in monetary ways as well – bonuses, small gifts, or time off add up to a happy, loyal worker.
  • Encourage positivity and celebrate milestones, both personal and professional. Show that you care by making your staff feel special and appreciated.

  • Foster social connections and build friendships among your staff. If your staff enjoys the company of the people they work with, that will build loyalty and lasting employment.
  • Listen to their feedback on ways to improve your existing culture. Part of today’s issue is keeping current staff. Make sure the people working with you are happy now and you can worry about hiring new staff instead of just replacing missing staff.

Make your business the type of place people want to work. If you are a leader of your company your behavior has the power to largely influence the essence of your company’s culture. Take a moment to step back and ask…


What Type of Leader Are You?

As a leader, you have the responsibility of managing people’s daily realities. And perhaps most importantly, you have the capability to make or break a person’s time spent with your company.

Consider the following questions and challenge yourself to look at the influence you have on your team from a third-party perspective to assess whether your leadership skills have been positively effective:

  • Are your morals visible in your everyday actions? Be your most authentic self. Authenticity inspires authenticity Forbes. As a leader, be yourself and stand by your integrity. Your staff will appreciate knowing your expectations, and if positively applied this will incline them to conduct their efforts in the same direction.
  • Are you honest with your staff? The transparency and vulnerability that honesty reveals will let your staff know that they are trusted and that their insight is valued in the eyes of a leader.
  • How important is communication between you and your staff? Good communication can get the job done, but great communication can blow expectations out of the water. When people know what they are doing and what is expected of them it eliminates the middle man named ‘Confusion’ and productivity is increased.
  • How do you show fairness in your workplace? Be flexible with your staff’s needs both professionally and personally, award accomplishments, and address failure.

Unity in the workplace is established when a leader prioritizes creating an environment not only for the client but for the staff. A great leader can answer these questions with confidence that their staff will appreciate their answers.

One thing to remember is that being a great leader is not always a linear process, there will be ups and downs. But when you register that it takes a village to do the job, then you can start to adjust your approach to value this outlook.


What Makes a Company Attractive to Employees?


A Company with Good Reviews

We’re not talking about client reviews on Google and Facebook, although those can help potential employees get an overview of how your business operates when dealing with the public. There are also employee review sites that are great insights for potential workers. The two most popular sites are:

Search your name and find out what has been said about you. If there are any negative comments, now is a good time to address the issue. If there aren’t any comments at all, encourage your current staff to add on a positive review to make your business look more attractive to job hunters.


Prioritization of a Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is an important aspect of a healthy work environment. Maintaining a work-life balance helps reduce stress and prevent burnout in the workplace.

Forbes

A good way to understand what “work-life balance” means to employees is to recognize that it is going to mean something slightly different to each of your employees. Take a look at the following infographic.

The fact of the matter is that the life we live cannot be summarized down to simply work and ‘the rest’, and it is naive to think that when an employee walks into work ‘the rest’ simply disappears. Daily chores, family obligations, visiting with friends, going to the gym, travel, and hobbies add up to a lot of ‘life’ that people need to balance with their job, which includes daily tasks, training, learning new technology, and networking with peers.

There is something to be said that excessive focus on something can drain our energy and result in a lack of interest. Take the initiative to get to know your employees, take an interest in their passions, and consider how as an employer you might work to honor these passions. Give your staff room to balance their work and life by:

  • Reinforce daily breaks to prevent burnout and injury.
  • Encourage vacation time to recharge.
  • Support personal expression.
  • Exercise compassion when ‘life’ creates personal struggles.
  • Prioritize health with competitive benefits packages.
  • Set up out-of-office events and team building during work hours.
  • Create a safe space for your employees to say no (i.e. no to overtime, or no to a promotion that will take up more of their time).


Be Your Staff’s Cheerleader

Part of being a good leader is generating confidence amongst your staff and in turn, they will feel their work is appreciated and their presence is valued – a recipe for an employee who is happy to come to work every day. Follow these three steps to cheer on your team:

  1. Be a mentor: Be someone your team can turn to for direction. When you establish an environment that supports your staff’s curiosity, then this positive reinforcement will incline them to continue developing their abilities in the workplace.
  2. Offer conducive training: Whether an employee is brand new or transitioning to a new role, ensure proper measures are taken for them to receive detailed training. This will prepare them to deliver on what’s expected and mitigate confusion.
  3. Provide an opportunity for professional development: Provide goals for your employees to work towards. For some, routines can get mundane. Entice your staff to grow with your business by awarding them for their hard work and offering incentives to take their skills to the next level.


Offer Competitive Salary and Benefits

As the ADA has uncovered, many offices are experiencing a staff shortage.

That being said, to attract and keep your employees you need to offer competitive salaries and benefits.

Do your research:

  1. What is the cost of living in your city?
  2. What are other offices in your area paying their employees?
  3. What personal/professional sacrifices might people be making to join your team?

This statement puts the power in the job hunter’s hands, but when you invest in your employees, your business grows.


Design an Enjoyable Workspace

Your office atmosphere can have a direct impact on the appeal your employees have towards coming to work.

Just like you don’t want to go home to a dingy, cold, dark basement, your employees don’t want to walk into a workspace that is anything but inviting.

Like the saying ‘look good, feel good’, coming to work in a space that is enjoyable and aesthetically pleasing will have your employees feeling empowered and motivated. It will also generate a sense of respect for the space and a desire to maintain order.

What can you do to your space to spruce it up?

  1. Bring in some greenery to boost the mood.
  2. Encourage employee workspace personalization to promote pride and ownership.
  3. Provide ergonomic work areas to promote health.
  4. Apply theming to create a friendly space that will make working with children easier and more fun.


What Does Coming to Work in a Themed Space Look Like?

Theming your space can bring magic to your business and joy to your guests. By putting young patients at ease appointments become easier, children become more cooperative, and the stress of a fussy patient is no longer a daily battle for your employees.

But it won’t just wow your patients, it will draw in and retain your staff too.

Imagine walking into work every day and being greeted by a giraffe holding a welcome sign? Well in this custom Imagination Design Studios safari-themed pediatric dental office the staff is privy to seeing it every day.

Safari themed reception desk with lemurs and a giraffe supporting a custom branch that reads 'welcome'.

Fresh out of University, Dr. Jensen didn’t just want to go to work every day, she wanted to spend her time somewhere that was going to bring a smile to her face day-in-day-out.

The theming definitely played a role in terms of my decision to join the practice. I came to visit the office, opened up the front door and it was just like a theme park.

I love working here, truly – it is a very well put together office. We know every other dental office tries to stay clean and organized, but I feel like having properly placed theming in an office gives us that edge where every day is fun and interesting.

– Dr. Alexandra Jensen

Read more about Dr. Jensen’s experience here.

Or consider what it’s like for an interviewee to walk into a vibrant and exciting reception area with a parachuting gorilla to welcome them.

My first expression walking into my office for an interview was WOW!! I wanted the job at first sight just by how the office appeared.

– Candace Chavez, Practice Administrator

When you have a unique space, people will fight to work in one of your themed offices.

Every time I open a new office, every one of my employees wants to work in the new office. They’re always so cool and so different.

– Scott Savel

Theming will help you find the right people with your same core beliefs.

Hiring pediatricians is no longer a challenge – once they set foot in the facility they want to work here because the decor speaks to our philosophy and dedication to helping kids.

– Mawish Baber

There’s no easy answer to finding good employees during a worker drought, but there is a secret weapon in making your office stand out to job hunters. Being surrounded by colorful and friendly elements in your workspace that you know will bring a smile to your face can set the tone for the entire workday.

I used to come into work through the back door and now I come in through the front door because it makes me happy for the rest of the day.

– Dr. Bill Martin

Use your office in your job postings. You’re not the only office hiring right now, and what better way to stand out than with your inviting, friendly workplace. You are offering a unique and exciting opportunity – something future employees will love to brag about. Don’t let it go unnoticed.


Adjust to New Expectations

Today’s economy is tough, it’s as simple as that. As we navigate through a post-pandemic reality and, dare I say, the horizon of a potential recession, the workplace looks different for most. Expectations around what ‘work’ means and why employees should want to spend their time with your business has drastically shifted. Shift with this mentality and win them back – you run an exciting, fun, friendly business – show them what that looks like!


Contact Imagination Design Studios (IDS) to get started transforming your office from mundane to magical.

New call-to-action

FOUND THIS ARTICLE HELPFUL?

SHARE THE LOVE!

  • envelope

RELATED POSTS

Unlocking Success: Tips and Tricks for Applying for Grants

Create the Perfect About Page on Your Dental Website

Tips for Adding Themed Decor to Your Church

CONNECT WITH A CREATIVE CONSULTANT

GET STARTED TODAY

blue-heart

Add a note to this photo: