The biggest thing stopping people from going to the dentist is fear. Fear of needles. Fear of drills. Fear of pain. What are you doing to alleviate that fear? Just do something to make patients more comfortable and they will be sure to tell others of their experience.
I know some of you may not see too many kids in your practice. And, that's okay. For those of you that do though, I've made a recent find I thought I'd let you in on. And, in your infinite wisdom, you're probably a step ahead of me already.But first, I have to share with you a quick story. My niece, Hannah, is now 5 and a half, and she's pretty smart. Much smarter than I was, even at 22. She's working on riding her pink bicycle. It's about as much entertainment as my wife and I can handle at any given time. I love seeing the determination in her eyes and fierce death-grip she keeps on the handle bars. Lately, I can tell she is getting frustrated with the training wheels. I don't blame her. My sister's driveway is sloped somewhat. If she get going, she can get some pretty good speed going down it. I think you can see where this story is going. Yes, she got going a little too fast and wiped out a new tree my sister had planted, it was more like a seedling. Anyway, she ended up in the grass (how did you and I survive without helmets?) after skidding for a ways on the pavement.Knees scraped, she went running to her mom. More than anything, she was just mad at herself for falling. She truly needed to get her skin cleaned off with some peroxide and some ice on her knee. You see, ever since she was big enough to hold a bag of ice, that's how her mother has helped her get through her little accidents. She associates ice with feeling better and getting back to playing much quicker (I think it merely takes her mind off the pain since it's so darn cold! - not unlike her uncle - my attention span is short and I've learned to force myself to focus... I think).Anyway, I was rifling through the Summer Edition of the Masune First Aid and Safety catalog and found these very cool looking ice packs. Essentially, they are stuffed animals with a reusable ice pack inside. They offer seals and penguins and I think a puppy dog, too. They call them Kids' Cold Therapy. These little buggers cost between $5 and $9 each. A small investment to show children (AND adults, too!) how much you care about them. Frankly, as an adult dental patient, I honestly would think these little gifts would be very fun to get... and a good way to promote referrals and eliminate fear from your patients!Best of all, it provides a good and welcome distraction from the work you might be doing.ACTION-TO-TAKE TIP: Ask yourself and your staff: What methods of "distraction" do you provide to patients, children and adults alike, to help them cope with the treatment you perform? And, is it something they can take home and brag about and show others? If not, then why not?
James Erickson is the President of EMC Dental Marketing, a resource for turn-key dental marketing programs and dental practice marketing education. Visit http://www.EMCdental.com to receive a free practice building kit sent directly to you.