Let’s talk about dental Web sites. There are so many Web sites out there for everything under the sun, and this is certainly true when it comes to dental Web sites. I’ll share some of my favorites with you. I don’t have a lot of time on my hands and I’m sure you don’t either, so my discussion will center on things that have made a difference in my practice and Web sites that are pretty much indispensable for my daily practice.
The first question that comes to mind is should your own dental practice have a Web site? The answer is absolutely, positively yes! You can direct your patients to your Web site for information and use it in your marketing materials for your practice. Having a Web site gives patients the sense that this dental office is up-to-date. Your patients can get some fairly simple answers to questions they may have and it can be a terrific resource about your practice.
You don’t have to start from scratch or spend a lot of your own time trying to put together a Web site. There are many companies out there that will get you up and running. After looking at a number of companies to design my Web site for my practice, I decided on Prosites Inc. at www.prosites.com. They have some of the best prepackaged Web pages that I have found, and they had us up and running within the hour after I made the decision to get a Web site for my practice. The material is very well-written and is in total agreement with the philosophy of our practice. You also can customize your Web site by adding pages, pictures, and just about anything else imaginable. The Web site editor is very intuitive and so easy to use.
How about Web sites that you can use for your everyday practice? One site that you should have bookmarked already is www.dentaleconomics.com. There are lots of good resources here and many of the articles are archived, as are some of the national practice surveys that the magazine does each year. The fee survey, in particular, is a very good resource. I believe that dentists should be looking at their fees at least once per year and making the appropriate adjustments.
There are so many dental products out there, and this is an area that can become extremely confusing, whether it is a little product like composite resin or big equipment such as panoramic X-ray machines. One Web site I find invaluable in this area is www.dentalcompare.com. If you want to compare any dental products, www.dentalcompare.com probably has them listed. It has really important information on just about any dental product with associated links should you need them. The site also has some great articles, as well as frequent updates on what’s new in the dental marketplace. It is literally like having one of the big trade shows on your computer screen with no admission fee.
Sullivan-Schein has just come out with a tremendous Web site called the Dental Resource Center (www.drcdental.com). Any necessary form that you could ever need for your practice is on this site, as well as outstanding continuing education with some of the best graphics I have ever seen. This Web site has definitely taken Internet continuing education to the next level. You can take notes during the session, e-mail the instructor with questions, the entire staff can have access to it and get CE credits, and you can link to the products mentioned. There is every MSDS imaginable on this site. It truly is a complete dental resource for your practice. There is an annual fee for this Web site, and you can do your ordering from Sullivan-Schein, which makes it very efficient. It is certainly worth your consideration.
There are many interesting Internet communities that have “threads” about clinical procedures, dental products, and politics. They will talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly in dentistry and in life.
One warning when it comes to reading these postings on the Internet about anything, especially dental products and techniques. You need to take everything you read with a grain of salt, as you may not know the true identity of the authors nor what their motivation for writing really is.
The Internet and dental Web sites are tools just like anything else in your practice. Stick with the ones that you trust and that make good resources for your daily practice.
Dr. Louis Malcmacher is an international lecturer and author known for his comprehensive and entertaining style. An evaluator for Clinical Research Associates, Dr. Malcmacher is a consultant to the Council on Dental Practice of the ADA. For close to two decades, Dr. Malcmacher has inspired his audiences to truly enjoy practicing dentistry by providing the knowledge necessary for excellent clinical and practice-management skills. His group dental practice has maintained a 45 percent overhead since 1988. For details about his speaking schedule, Dr. Malcmacher can be reached at (440) 892-1810 or via e-mail at email@example.com.