Nothing sells like your team's smiles!

I am often asked about how I educate my patients about the options that are available to them in today's wonderful world of dentistry.

By Joe Blaes

I am often asked about how I educate my patients about the options that are available to them in today's wonderful world of dentistry. The question usually starts with a statement: "Those were some great results that you showed during your lecture, but my patients would never accept that kind of dentistry." The dentists who make that statement are right, but for all the wrong reasons.

Everyone on my team is fully restored. I do this for a number of reasons. First, I believe that the people who work for a top restorative dentist should have their own mouths in a healthy condition before they start talking to patients. I want my team members to experience the best dentistry has to offer. Then, they can tell patients about their own experiences.

I have created many new smiles for my team members. The latest was for my administrative assistant, Genna. This summer, I changed her smile. When I suggested that we use an A1 shade, she said no. She wanted a bleach white shade and, together, we selected one. I made her some bleach-white temps just to be sure that she liked the shade. When I seated the veneers and handed her a mirror, she was speechless. She was thrilled with the result!

Just for fun, she has started tracking how many times a day that she hears someone say, "Wow! You have a beautiful smile." Her answer to that is, "Dr. Blaes gave me my beautiful smile."

Nothing sells like a finished case — seeing is believing! Show off your before-and-after images. Your team should be telling your patients how much fun it is to smile! I hope you will give your team members their own wonderful smile stories to tell!

We would like to enlist your help. It's time for the annual Dental Economics' Fee, Salary, and Practice surveys. The information is gathered through an online site. We want your input for these very important surveys. If you have Internet access, you can participate by visiting http://de.pennnet.com /surveys/survey.cfm.

Be sure to read the story by Dr. Tom Hedge on the "Extreme Makeover." I spoke with Mike Gergen at the Las Vegas Institute about the results of the ads that ran during the four August Extreme Makeover television shows. He said that the results were far beyond their expectations. I am not sure if you saw them, but the advertising campaign included full-page ads in two issues of People magazine during August. The ad will be repeated in the October issue of Oprah!

This type of programming and advertising benefits us all, because it raises the awareness of what dentistry can do for people. I am sure that we will have some patients come into our practices asking about the Extreme Makeover TV shows. I hope you will tell them that you do makeovers in your practice as well.

It is October already! Thanksgiving will soon be here, and Christmas not far behind. Many of us send gifts to one another during the holiday season for various reasons — as a sign of affection, as a thank-you for a job well done, or perhaps just because it seems like a good idea. Often, the selection of the gift is delegated to someone else, who frequently turns to one of the many gift catalogs that will soon be arriving in our mailboxes.

I don't want to sound like I am Scrooge or the grinch, but sometimes I wonder how many more boxes of Harry & David fruit am I going to receive?! I know it is really easy for someone to pick out an H&D assortment and have it sent with a generic card. Instead of sending all that "stuff," how about making a donation to a charity in the name of the person you want to remember? That's what I am going to do this year.

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor — e-mail: joeb@pennwell.com
Toll-free phone number: (866) 274-4500

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