Information and education

Information and education are two of the best reasons to use the Internet. Many of you have already developed Web sites for your practices, and many others are considering doing the same. In order to design and maintain a good Web site, you need to provide current, useful information for those who visit your site. This same information can be used in other areas of your practice, such as patient information sheets and newsletters.

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS

Information and education are two of the best reasons to use the Internet. Many of you have already developed Web sites for your practices, and many others are considering doing the same. In order to design and maintain a good Web site, you need to provide current, useful information for those who visit your site. This same information can be used in other areas of your practice, such as patient information sheets and newsletters.

Communication has become a key component of everything we do as dental practitioners. The Internet is an ideal medium in which to gather good information and get it to the public. Retrieving information is the number-one reason people go online. One day soon, the World Wide Web may become the standard way to communicate with potential and existing patients.

Establishing a presence on the Web allows you to feature your practice in a location where patients can view your office and what it has to offer. It gives you a chance to differentiate your office from others in your area. It allows you to show potential and existing patients the services you have to offer them. Most importantly, you can get the word out about what you can provide to a patient and explain new advances in dentistry as they become available. And - best of all - you release this information without using up your or your staff`s time.

Following are a number of suggested Web sites for you to visit. These sites contain information on many different dental services and subjects. All of this information is written with the consumer in mind. This information can be used for dental practice Web sites, patient information handouts, and practice newsletters.

* American Dental Association: www.ada.org/tc-cons.html

* Academy of General Dentistry: www.agd.org/consumer/facts/main.html

* American Academy of Periodontology: www.perio.org

* American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry: www.aapd.org

* American Association of Orthodontists: www.aaortho.org/ consumer.html

* American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: www.aaoms.org/patient3.html

* Rdental: www.rdental.com/consumer/dentalcare/dc.asp

* Dental Consumer Advisor: www.toothinfo.com

* Dentalcare.com: www.dentalcare.com (click on patient education or consumer education)

* Dentistry.com: www.dentistry.com/articles.asp

* Dental Site: www.dentalsite.com/patients/topics.html

* Smileworks: www.smileworks.com/all_about_teeth/default.asp

* Dentistry Online: www.dentistryonline.com

* Floss.com: www.floss.com

* net32: www.net32.com (click on community section)

* DDS4U: www.dds4u.com (click on patient education section)

* Dentist Hotline: www.dentisthotline.com

* Ask The Tooth Doctor: www.askthetoothdoctor.com/ library/f_info2.htm

* Dental Resources: www.dental-resources.com/general2.html

Now that your fingers are exhausted from visiting these sites and you`ve used a ream of paper printing this great information, you can search even further. There are numerous individual dentists` Web sites that contain excellent information. As you visit the sites of your fellow dentists, be sure to view what they have listed in their information sections.

You will find that the Internet is an invaluable resource for you to use for your dental practice. Go online, gather this information, and use it to build or improve your practice. You will not be disappointed.

Jeffrey B. Dalin, DDS, FACD, FAGD, practices general dentistry in St. Louis. He also is the editor of St. Louis Dentistry Magazine and spokesperson and critical-issue-response-team chairperson for the Greater St. Louis Dental Society. His address on the Internet is www.dfdasmiles.com. Contact him by e-mail at jeff@dfdasmiles.com, by phone at (314) 567-5612, or fax at (314) 567-9047.

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