Give your practice an edge

Sept. 1, 2010
Have you seen the latest ESPN broadcast or latest issue of Golf Magazine? Have you been watching sports on TV? Your patients have ...

By Susan Corpuz

For more on this topic, go to www.dentaleconomics.com and search using the following key words: Under Armour Performace Mouthwear, Corpuz Family Dentistry, Susan Corpuz.

Have you seen the latest ESPN broadcast or latest issue of Golf Magazine? Have you been watching sports on TV? Your patients have, and they’re commenting on what collegiate and professional athletes are saying.

With several peer-reviewed studies being conducted and published, claims of improved bodily performance are being validated in regard to performance mouthwear. Under Armour Performance Mouthwear, a line of performance enhancing mouthpieces, is one example. Dentists owe it to themselves, their practices, and their patients to learn more.

Buy-in from staff

My husband, Dr. Ralph Corpuz, became an authorized provider for Under Armour Performance Mouthwear after he read clinical studies regarding improved performance claims. We decided our patients deserved to hear about this cutting-edge technology, but not before our staff heard about it. Our first step toward implementing the product into our service offerings was to give each of our staff members a trial mouthpiece. This was critical and helped in their conversations with patients, as they were better equipped to talk about the product’s benefits after their personal experiences.

How it works

When the body is presented with a stressful situation, we often react by clenching our teeth. This leads to production of the stress hormone cortisol. When produced in excessive amounts, cortisol can have negative effects on the body. This triggers the "fight or flight" response, with damaging effects such as migraine headaches, tunnel vision, loss of concentration, decreased metabolism, depression, hypertension, chronic fatigue, sleep deprivation, acid reflux disease, and a decreased immune system. By prohibiting the teeth from clenching and shifting the lower jaw into its optimal position during exercise, performance mouthwear increases strength and endurance while decreasing recovery time and allowing more oxygen flow into the lungs.

Getting the word out

As office manager and marketing consultant, it was my job to get the word out to patients and the general public. Through e-mail blasts and social media outlets, I let our community know that we offer what professional athletes are using.

Realizing I had to be proactive, I approached athletic directors and coaches of area high schools and colleges about sharing this technology, and explained the negative effects of excessive amounts of cortisol on athletes’ bodies. It was also important to explain the difference between the two products offered – the mouthguard, used for contact sports, and the mouthpiece, used in limited or noncontact sports. With the goal of establishing our practice as "the" area provider, we set out to partner exclusively with teams to help increase this portion of our business.

Using the marketing materials provided, I went to sports clubs, gyms, and fitness centers to speak to trainers. Recognizing the link between people who value fitness and the places they look to for help in these areas, I also approached nutrition and sports retailers.

Gaining testimonials from users

Collecting testimonials from various users was a high priority. Understanding the power of word-of-mouth advertising, we created a "Wall of Fame" in our practice to share these testimonials.

One such example is from patient J.R. Reyes, an aspiring young golfer, who commented, "I was happy that it made me feel stronger right off the bat. I found that the piece makes practice easier to focus and provides superb concentration time. Most importantly is its ability to limit my stress levels. I feel less fatigued after hitting hours of golf balls and have more energy after my practice session."

Build your practice

By fitting athletes in your office, you have the opportunity to market the rest of your dental services. Offerings like performance mouthwear are another vehicle to place your dental office on patients’ radars.

Consider the athletes you want to target in your area and inform them. Fit key influencers for a mouthpiece because they are your word-of-mouth advocates. The investment of your time is vital to building a successful marketing campaign.

Susan Corpuz received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in counseling from Creighton University in Omaha, Neb. She serves as office manager and marketing consultant for Corpuz Family Dentistry, located in Omaha. You can reach her via e-mail at [email protected].

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