The GDPUK.com Blog

All that's new in the world of dentistry
FEB
09

Building on 235 years of expertise

Building-on-235-years-of-expertise.jpg

To say that Wisdom has a pedigree in toothbrush design is an understatement. The company was founded over 235 years ago by William Addis; the inventor of the modern day toothbrush. Addis’ prototypes consisted of bone and horsehair but improvements in design and oral hygiene knowledge have advanced immeasurably since those early beginnings! 

 

Our focus today is on preventative care and we are committed to delivering top quality products that help your patients avoid tooth decay and gingival disease. 

 

The range of innovative oral healthcare products include the clinically proven, Wisdom Clean Between Interdental Brushes. The tapered design and soft rubber coating enable effective and gentle cleaning, while also massaging and stimulating the gums. 

 

Disposable and available in three sizes, Dentist Surgery Packs of Wisdom Clean Between Interdental Brushes will be available via dental wholesalers from September for you to try in practice.

 

Recommended by 100% of dental professionals polled, the Wisdom Clean Between Interdental Brushes are a must-have for all your patients.

 

 

For more information visit  HYPERLINK "http://www.wisdomtoothbrushes.com" www.wisdomtoothbrushes.com or 

call 01440 714800

  2510 Hits
2510 Hits
FEB
07

A professional practice - Tavom UK

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When a patient walks into your practice, they want to find an environment that suggests calm, professional competence. If you know that your tired workspace isn’t making the best first impression, turn to Tavom UK to refresh it and ensure it’s modern, functional and fully fit for purpose.  

 

Tavom UK has years of experience in supplying bespoke cabinetry that meets the exacting demands of modern medical and dental environments. It also has a fast-growing design service and, no matter how big or small, Tavom UK’s engineers will help you make the most of the space. Tavom UK has all the ideas, and will install your furniture too, so the whole process is seamless with minimal disruption to your schedule. 

 

Good practice design plays a key role in making all patients feel comfortable, promoting regular attendance and enhancing revenue. For a long-term investment in the success of your practice, contact Tavom UK today. 

 

To find out how to refresh your workspace with some of the most contemporary dental cabinetry on the market today, go to www.tavomuk.com, call 0870 7521121 or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

  2084 Hits
2084 Hits
NOV
30
0

True Confessions

True Confessions by @DentistGoneBadd

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10577 Hits
NOV
09
0

The Snu [well known newspaper]

Shock dental horror probe shock

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9044 Hits
SEP
06
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Agony Aunt

Agony Aunt

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12183 Hits
JUN
17

Do you need help to recruit perfect people? | Dental Elite

Do you need help to recruit perfect people? | Dental Elite

Dental Elite are experienced dental recruiters who work solely with the dental profession to help practices find the most suitable individuals to engage in locum or permanent positions.

 

With the aim of providing an efficient and effective service to all clients, Dental Elite hopes to become a natural ‘first port of call’ for all your recruitment needs.

 

Dental Elite offers professional advice on contracts of employment or contracts for services (for self employed staff) and can help with any aspect of recruitment.

 

For advice and guidance on helping your practice grow from strength to strength, contact the experienced team of consultants at Dental Elite today.

 

For more information and to find out how Dental Elite can help to recruit the most suitable members of your dental team visit www.dentalelite.co.uk, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
or call 01788 545 900

  2567 Hits
2567 Hits
JUN
15

Book them in - Carestream Dental

Book them in - Carestream Dental

Converting treatment plans into booked appointments is an area where many dental professionals struggle, but this needn't be the case anymore.
 

Some practice management systems have built-in functionality that can help you and your staff see the plans that need following up. The CS 

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R4+ practice management software from Carestream Dental can help you do all of this and more with its built-in features that use real time data to benefit your practice in numerous ways.
 

This will allow you and your team to get a list of the patients without appointments enabling you to contact them and discuss further questions they may have and try to book them in.
 

For more information speak to the friendly team at Carestream Dental today.
 

 

For more information on CS Solutions or any other products or services available from Carestream Dental,

please call 0800 169 9692 or visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk

 

  2562 Hits
2562 Hits
JUN
13
0

Changing attitudes to dentistry and our approach

Changing attitudes to dentistry and our approach

The pubic perception of dentistry is not a flattering one. Recent new stories in the national press only serve to highlight this. The problem is that we don’t tell people what we do.

We don’t inform and educate the public around the benefits to their general health of taking care of their oral health. All too often they think that all we do is fix holes and extract teeth and apply expensive crowns; but of course we do much more and we should be shouting about it.

A perfect example of this is in the relationship between diabetes and periodontitis. There are clear, established links that reveal how the treatment of one can positively affect the other, but when was the last time you took the time to share this with a diabetic patient?

Recently, I met Dr Leticia Casanova, a Spanish Dentist who trained as a periodontist at New York University and has a PhD in Medicine, studying the connection between diabetes and periodontal disease, so she has a particularly relevant perspective. Dr Casanova recently published an article in the BDJ entitled, Diabetes and Periodontal Disease: A Two-Way Relationship.[i] The article says that if you can control people’s periodontal disease, you can actually see a genuine reduction in their diabetic condition.   

A measure of how well a diabetic is coping is in their glycated haemoglobin levels and this is recorded as a percentage. Every drop of 1% reduces the risk of heart disease and damage considerably. The article explains that being diabetic leads to an increased risk of developing periodontitis and that having periodontitis can also affect the body’s glycaemic index (in people with or without diabetes). So if you control somebody’s periodontitis, through delivering first class periodontal treatment, and then measure their glycated haemoglobin, it is possible to see a drop of up to a half per cent and this will really make a difference to their life.

The article from Dr Casanova effectively shows the interrelationship between the two problems and explains how we can deliver dental treatment that positively affects systemic disease. This leads back to my initial point, that we don't highlight the positives that we do for our patients enough. If general dentists were seen to take a more active lead in the medical conditions of their patients, maybe this would raise the profession in the eyes of the public?

The prevalence of diabetes is phenomenal, and periodontitis is three times more likely to affect those who suffer, and a lot of diabetics become edentulous, effecting how they eat – and this is not to mention the already well established links between gum disease and heart disease. So, if through making changes in our approach we are able get a patient’s diabetes better under control, we would be performing a far greater public service.

We should therefore take every opportunity to play a bigger role in our patients’ general well being. Not just in performing oral cancer scans, which are vital and we should all already be doing, but maybe through routinely measuring blood pressure, iron and sugar levels too, so that people will begin to see us not just as people who fix holes, but as doctors that can help with a medical condition.

 

For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999

Or visit www.endocare.co.uk



[i] L. Casanova, F.J. Hughes and P.M Preshaw, Diabetes and Periodontal disease: a two-way relationship, British Dental Journal, 217, 433-437, available at: http://www.nature.com/bdj/journal/v217/n8/full/sj.bdj.2014.907.html [accessed 14.4.14]

 

  2784 Hits
2784 Hits
MAY
30
0

Patients - You have to laugh

Patients - You've got to laugh.

  7305 Hits
7305 Hits
MAY
28

Work/life balance - Tips to gain an equilibrium | Carestream Dental

Work Life Balance tips by Carestream Dental

If you are combining your role as a clinician and practice owner you will be well aware of the responsibilities you shoulder. Carrying the business risk of the surgery as well as the obligation of managing the premises, staff and equipment involves many hours of hard work, but it is imperative to keep the demands of the job under control.

Often it is necessary to work extra hours to manage the heavy workload or even just to keep the head above water. There are also outside commitments and responsibilities to manage, but it can be exhausting and even counterproductive to try to juggle too many obligations at once. It can be easy to lose perspective on what is important in our lives and feel dissatisfied; therefore, it is vital to maintain a good work-life balance to enjoy a healthy and happy life.

Top tips to gain a balance

  • Take a look at your working hours; try to find a balance that suits your home life with planned holidays and regular days off to relax and enjoy a social life.
  • Participate in an outdoor activity everyday; enjoy the fresh air.
  • Look after your body: eat a regular balanced diet and incorporate some exercise with particular emphasis on stretches or massages to take care of your back.
  • Be realistic about what you can achieve; schedule your appointments generously to prevent stress and unwelcome time pressures.
  • Listen to your colleagues; utilise their wisdom and experience. Even the most practiced clinician can learn from others and it is interesting to explore how another practitioner would approach a scenario.
  • Set aside specific time periods to complete management or administration tasks rather than trying to just grab time between clinical commitments.
  • Take full advantage of systems that make life easier; make the most of helpful technology.

Technology

The correct technology can help enormously to manage time and minimise daily stress. For example, scheduling management functions, calendar alerts and reminder applications can help you to remain organised and in control. An internal email or messaging service can also help to keep the practice running smoothly and avoid lengthy meetings that reduce productivity.

Technology that streamlines the workflow is an asset to you and the entire dental team. A reliable practice management system helps the business to run efficiently by quickly and seamlessly delivering up-to-date relevant information for both administration and clinical staff. Carestream Dental offers cutting-edge CS R4+ practice management software that is easy to use, and enables accuracy and efficiency for diagnostics and treatment planning to simplify your working day.

CS R4+ also evaluates your practice performance expediently by providing live data through the innovative Springboard feature, which allows you to monitor the core areas of your business in ‘real time’. This gives you clear, uncomplicated results at any period during the month and, more importantly, at a time that is most convenient for you.

Keeping it real

Efficient planning and organisation can really help to free up time and enable you to participate in the activities you love the most, but make sure you implement a sustainable strategy. After all, there is little point in creating a plan that is unrealistic or increases pressure. As all dental providers know, looking after your patients is imperative but it is also essential to look after your own wellbeing too.

 

For more information on from Carestream Dental,

please call 0800 169 9692 or visit www.carestreamdental.co.uk

 

  3070 Hits
3070 Hits
MAY
04

Agreeing with Associates - John Grant

John Grant of Goodman Grant Solicitors

John Grant Director from Goodman Grant Solicitors discusses the importance of bespoke written associate agreements.

If you were to study the legal test into whether someone is an employee or self-employed, you might quickly conclude that most dental associates are employees. The dental profession has quite frankly always enjoyed what can only be called a special dispensation from the Inland Revenue. In other words, the Revenue have not, as yet, challenged dental associates’ self-employed status. Although there is little sign of this changing at present, that is not to say it never will and it is certainly better to do what one can to protect oneself – not only against the Revenue, but also against claims of unfair dismissal by former associates

If there is no written associate agreement and a practice principle decided to terminate an associate’s contract, that associate could seek legal advice and if it was deemed that they were an employee, they could pursue a claim for unfair dismissal. This could then culminate into a sizeable compensation sum.

In addition, not only are there the risks of compensation claims, there are also tax implications. If the Inland Revenue were to pursue the case, it would be entitled to ask the principle to pay all tax that the associate should have paid as an employee over their entire period of employment. This is regardless of any tax the associate may have already paid.

Consider the criteria of the legal multiple test that is used to determine if someone is an employee or self-employed:

Personal service – does the servant have to perform the service personally or can someone else carry it out

In most associate’s agreements, the right to appoint a locum is provided – however in the vast majority of cases, it is limited and may only apply if the associate were away ill and even then, the appointment of a locum is usually subject to the practice owner’s approval.

Mutuality of Obligation- An obligation to do the work and an obligation to be paid for it.

The overall reality of a dental practice is that the principle or owner does introduce patients. Whilst many associate agreements state there is no obligation, the reality is that such an obligation does exist – otherwise principals would quickly find associates giving notice to leave the practice. When the work is complete, there is the obligation to pay the associate.

Control – how much control does the employer exercise over how the servant carries out their job?

Not only are there controls imposed by CQC, the NHS and the GDC, but in addition many written agreements stipulate that associates must comply with the practice policies and procedures – even to the extent of requiring associates to participate in practice appraisals.

Similarly, most large dental corporates go into great detail within associate contracts to explain exactly how the individual should perform the work, which I would submit is entirely contrary to the notion of associates being self employed. If they are required to attend team meetings and have to attend out of hours emergencies, this too suggests a degree of control that is most commonly found in an employee/employer relationship.

John Grant of Goodman Grant Lawyers for Dentists - a Past Chairman of ASPD

For more information call John Grant on 0113 834 3705 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

www.goodmangrant.co.uk
 

ASPD MEMBER

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2995 Hits
MAY
04

Time for some good news… Michael Sultan

Michael Sultan - Endocare

It is well documented and often discussed that the professional climate we work in at the moment is an unhappy one, and there is a lot of uncertainty and disharmony with the regulators and governing bodies.

Indeed a recent news report that suggested doctors and dentists should ‘snoop’ on colleagues to ensure they are not prescribing too many antibiotics made me question the amount of negative press the healthcare professions receive.[i] We have all heard about the dangers and concerns around the over-prescription of antibiotics and the inevitable antibiotic resistance crisis, and certainly action is required to counteract the rise in the unnecessary prescription of these medicines.

However, this report appeared to be yet another negative piece designed to make doctors and dentists worry about every move they make. Rather than galvanising the profession into action, the effect that this will have will be to encourage the opposite. Doctors and dentists soon won’t feel able to do anything at all because they’ll all be too frightened to do something wrong.

It’s interesting to note that there is so much negative press in the news towards doctors and dentists, and yet at the same time, a recent report from the NHS, a Summary of the Dental Results from the GP Patient Survey: July to September 2014, showed that the majority of NHS dental patients rate their care as positive.[ii] Indeed we hear more about the failures and mistakes and horror stories form the profession than the good news stories – of which I am sure there are many. To a certain extent this is to be expected, it’s how the national media works, but who is there standing up for us? Shouting about the amazing things UK doctors and dentist do on a daily basis? Yes there can be issues in dentistry around pricing and communication, as highlighted by the Which? report, but anything positive seems to get swept under the carpet.

Of course the GDC’s job is to regulate us, not to promote the profession. So who is out there actively advocating the good things about dentistry? Who is supporting better oral health and the excellent, tireless, often thankless work doctors and dentists do?

The national media is all too quick to vilify and denigrate the healthcare professions, when what we really need is a series of good new stories. Perhaps we should all stop and consider something amazing a colleague has accomplished lately; or an instance where someone has gone above and beyond the call of duty. Share this story with your peers and friends and maybe we can all start to spread a little good news.

For further information please call EndoCare on 020 7224 0999

Or visit www.endocare.co.uk

Dr Michael Sultan BDS MSc DFO FICD is a Specialist in Endodontics and the Clinical Director of EndoCare. Michael qualified at Bristol University in 1986. He worked as a general dental practitioner for 5 years before commencing specialist studies at Guy’s hospital, London. He completed his MSc in Endodontics in 1993 and worked as an in-house Endodontist in various practices before setting up in Harley St, London in 2000. He was admitted onto the specialist register in Endodontics in 1999 and has lectured extensively to postgraduate dental groups as well as lecturing on Endodontic courses at Eastman CPD, University of London. He has been involved with numerous dental groups and has been chairman of the Alpha Omega dental fraternity. In 2008 he became clinical director of EndoCare, a group of specialist practices.

 

 

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5621 Hits
MAY
03
0

Dentists - Weird or What?

Dentists-Wierd or What?

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8957 Hits
FEB
27
0

How To Get Free Traffic To Your Website

Website Traffic, How Facebook Can Increase Yours Completely Free Of Charge

website traffic

Neil Sanderson

We all know that saying thank you is a great courtesy and makes the person who is receiving, feel much better don’t we. Well here’s a tip to make those two little words “Thank You” increase your website traffic too.

As I’ve said on many occasions before, there are two things you need to concentrate on with your website, (1) you need to maximise your website traffic. (2) you need to converts as much of that website traffic as possible into paying patients.

So here’s a little tip that will cost you absolutely nothing, it may endear you to your patients and you’ll get more traffic to your website and if your website has the right things on there when they land you’ll start to get more new patients too.

70% of the population now owns a smart phone, which is quite staggering, and just about every person who has a smart phone knows how to use an app. Additionally 50% of the population use Facebook for at least half hour per day every day.

So when you have done a great job for one of your patients and they say “thank you”, why don’t you ask them to put a link onto their Facebook page and just say thank you, it’s as simple as that.

They can even do this whilst you are with them on their Facebook app!

Let me elaborate on how powerful this little “thank you” can be to increase your website traffic. Let’s say you see fifty patients per day and one in five of them post this link to your website on their Facebook page.

The average person has 500 friends and likes on their Facebook account, this means that the link to your website could potentially be seen by 5,000 people every day.

Now I know that not everyone is going to do this for you, however much you try and persuade them. So we’ll scale this down (a lot). Let’s say that only 50 people per day get to see a link posted by one of your patients. This means that upwards of 1,000 people will see the link every month (12,000 per year).

Even if only 10% of them actually click through to your website, this means that 1,200 new patients will visit your site, simply because you asked your patients to say “thank you” on their Facebook page with a link to your site.

The best thing about this is that all this new website traffic is completely free, you’re not spending a penny on advertising anywhere.

But you also need to remember that you have the right wording, graphics, video etc. on your site to convert them from website traffic to paying patients and that is a whole different subject and incidentally even more important.

If you would like to know how I can help you grow your dental practice, call me on 01767 626 398 or email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit the website www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk, or you can visit our FACEBOOK page too.

  3773 Hits
3773 Hits
FEB
22
0

Saliva

Saliva

  5634 Hits
5634 Hits
DEC
30
0

Body Language

Body Language in Dentistry

  7551 Hits
7551 Hits
SEP
28
0

Measuring Success

Measuring Treatment Success

  4657 Hits
4657 Hits
SEP
26
1

Faster horses

Faster horses

“If we’d asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”, Henry Ford is famously quoted as saying.

And this week we have news reports about the car insurance industry being subjected to further “market reforms” in order to deliver cheaper end-consumer prices.

But this is a fundamental misunderstanding of the markets.

 

If you look at the résumé of our first appointed chair of the General Dental Council [GDC], Bill Moyes, you will see that he has led several market-driven initiatives in various roles, and it wouldn’t be a leap of the imagination to consider that he has been appointed into the GDC to fulfil a “market-driven” reform. Dentistry has long suffered an image problem; consumers feel that prices (and pay) are too high, that dentistry delivers poor value to the consumer and that there is a conspiracy of the profession against the public – it is only necessary to have the briefest of reads through the comments section on any newspaper that publishes a dental article to see that the accusations of “rip-off” rear their head at a very early stage.

But this premise is entirely wrong. The problem with a free market is that the results are entirely unpredictable. Economic journals are full of perfectly logical explanations as to why markets behaved in a certain way – crucially, behaved and not behave. That is, the analysis of the markets and the rationality of them is done post hoc.

One of the most fundamental problems I can see with the approach of trying to manipulate markets in order to deliver a specific outcome is that it rarely works, or often, even where it does work, often this is not what the consumer demands or buys, although they may insist at the outset that that is what they want.

In our particular dental industry, I would hazard a guess that many people (of a non-dental nature) believe that market reforms will deliver cheaper dentistry, through increasing the supply of the dental workforce. I would suggest that this is unlikely to work for a variety of reasons. Firstly, costs represent some 60-70% of the price that the patient pays. Given that the average pay for dentists has been declining in real terms for some time, if we were to cut pay for dentists by 10%, then this can translate into only a 3-4% price saving for patients. And I don’t believe that we can cut pay much further without running into another economic problem – that of a shortage. If you pay too little for something, you create a shortage. In this case, how many dentists do you think would leave the profession if average pay drops below a certain point? (I would suggest £50,000 for associates, on average, and £75,000 for principals)

So if cost savings are to be made for the end consumer prices, this will have to come from reduced costs. And here we already have an idea of what happens from another industry – the British car industry. Throughout the 60s and 70s, the British car industry suffered a slow and agonising death over many years, selling outdated cars, with poor workmanship and a reputation for declining quality, and in some cases, with cars selling at less than the cost of manufacture. Do these problems sound familiar?

Of course the British car industry eventually collapsed, superceded by German and Japanese competitors who were operating on free market conditions, and produced innovation and rapid improvements in delivering things people wanted rather than what they told government-led focus groups that they wanted. The eventual death of Rover marked a turning point and renaissance of the British car industry, and now we have world class manufacturing and design, but for this to happen we had to see the government leave the industry and several companies to go under.

I sincerely hope that dentistry has its “Rover moment” soon. I believe in the free markets, but a belief in the free markets also means accepting when they don’t deliver quite what you thought they would. And that doesn’t always mean that what will be delivered will be cheaper: sometimes, what is delivered is “better” rather than “cheaper”. I believe that health and dentistry falls into this camp.

After all, when was the last time you saw a car maker advertise how cheap they’d made the braking system?

Free markets tend to deliver better healthcare, by and large, which is often but not always cheaper. I would therefore issue a challenge – if this is truly the purpose of Mr Moyes’ appointment, I would suggest that he can best serve the public by completely withdrawing any government interference in the market, but only on the proviso that he and they MUST accept that prices will almost certainly rise, but also must accept that this may result in longer term reduction of cost. Otherwise we run the risk of delivering the cheapest horses in the world when the rest of the world has moved onto cars.  

 

 

Image credit - Coen Dijkman  under CC licence - not modified.

  5366 Hits
Recent comment in this post
Hershal Shah

stakeholders

Great first post. Just to add with this emphasis on markets, gorverning bodies and regulatory bodies must also be accountable to a... Read More
Sunday, 28 September 2014 21:46
5366 Hits
AUG
04
0

Preparing for Friends and Family Test

Preparing for Friends and Family Test

  3794 Hits
3794 Hits
MAY
27
0

Are you Independent?

Are you Independent?

Welcome back from the long weekend, now just a few weeks to run and you can all zip off to the sun again  smiley

 

Monday  was perhaps the new Independence Day, as the Euro results poured in. I worry that this word 'Independence' is being politically hijacked

 

So:   Are you independent of mind and decision? Really?  Truly?

 

The EU elections this weekend have thrown three major GDPUK topics into a shaft of light.

Those of you who gaze from a distance at the sheer energy of some of our more vocal members will have notice three threads of great length. One touching on that supposedly untouchable subject, matters of belief and faith, while another has been exploring the issue of the Scottish vote on Independence due to take place later this year. 

Combined with the now famous histrionics of the orthodontic thread, you would be forgiven for having pressed the ‘snooze’ button.

 

So wake up at the back.   I want you to answer a question for yourself.  What does being independent mean to you?

 

Mr Farage is celebrating scoring some points in what is normally a three horse race, by arguing for the UK’s independence, and arguing against the £12Bn net spend to the EU every year.

As dentists, we pride ourselves on being independent – in practice, in thought and in action.

Ask 10 dentists a question to which the answer is Yes or No and you will get 20 different answers.

 

But are we independent? Really? Truly?  Where is the fine line between that and bloody mindedness?

 

If you practice under Government funding in any of the 4 parts of the UK, do you really feel independent? Or are you reluctantly beholden to how someone else wants you to help and practice dentistry for your patients against your better instinct??

If you are in private practice, are you one of those for whom the next big case is always the one to clear the overdraft?  Therefore you are always on the lookout for some poor soul to benefit from your great skills? Or perhaps you feel you cannot practice good dentistry because of a limited private capitation funding stream not of your making?

We even have this long abused concept of Independent Practice, as though “Private Practice” could be rude and insulting perhaps?  Will the BDA rinse that off for the next batch of unknown NHS England contract changes, I wonder?

Perhaps independence of thought and action is actually impossible without feeling pressurised or being selfish.

 

Cooperation over independence?

 

What dentists are masters at is cooperative action.  We run or work within highly efficient micro businesses and at a moments notice we can adapt and cooperate with whomsoever requires our skills and time.  The CQC roll into town – we change and adapt.  A patient arrives – we change and adapt.  New staff requirements develop - we change and adapt.

Long may this be the case because with EU and Scotland and a General Election, the next 18 months are going to be interesting.

That old French phrase has come to life.  Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Strangely while everything around you seems to be up in the air, it takes a very strong sense of independent spirit to simply wind the windows shut and focus on your patient needs with one hand while with the other you change and adapt

So that’s why four-handed dentists have developed !!

 

May your June be flaming. Ta-rah for now, fellow enamel warriors

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4842 Hits
APR
01
0

Orthodontics

Orthodontics Untangled

  4419 Hits
4419 Hits
DEC
19
0

The Top Ten Stories of 2013

 

 

We thought we would reminisce over the popular dental news stories published by GDPUK in 2013. Overall in 2013, we have published 286 different news stories.

We have focused on the articles which as well as having a large number of hits, they also make our top ten because they caught the imagination of the forum and the wider dental community. It is unsurprising that the majority of the articles chosen for the top ten, are an indication of ongoing issues, politics and controversies in UK dentistry that are likely to rumble on till 2014 and beyond....

 

1.       Olympic Health Survey – news story published on the surprisingly poor oral health of Olympic Athletes - https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1430-olympic-dental-problems-revealed

 

2.       Problems at the BDA – An example of a story that caused pages of debate on the forum pages and will there be more to come?  - https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1388-bda-to-make-staff-redundant

 

3.       NHS / Private Gaming – Another extremely popular / contentious issue on the GDPUK forum – This news item was about a dentist who got struck off for “gaming” https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1335-dentist-struck-off-for-gaming

 

4.       Teeth Whitening - A number of articles published on the issue, something that is still happening illegally, will we see this subject reappear in 2014? https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1303-gdc-stance-on-whitening-upheld & https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1292-more-moves-to-eradicate-illegal-tooth-whitening & https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1230-stop-illegal-whitening-debates-at-the-dentistry-show

 

5.       NHS Pilot Scheme – This is an area we will all be watching in 2014, the direction of NHS Dentistry is still unclear and will lead to continued debate next year - https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1210-shortlist-for-new-dental-pilot-practices-announced

 

6.       Corporate Dentistry – Corporate Dentistry continues to dominate the landscape in UK Dentistry, next year it is expected that supermarkets will look to expand their dental coverage. Oasis Dental Care sold for £185m - https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1256-oasis-dental-care-sold-for-185m

 

 

7.       Direct Access – An area of dentistry that is still being understood and digested but the BDA’s response was strong - https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1254-direct-access-decision-misguided-says-bda

 

8.       HTM01-05 amended – https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1259-2013-version-of-htm01-05-published

 

9.       Dentist Commit Suicide – A topic that unfortunately does not go away, with a number of recent cases being in the news - https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1299-bda-calls-for-inquiry-into-dentist-s-suicide

 

10.   Dental Graduates – It was confirmed that UK Graduates would be given preference for Foundation Training – Common Sense Prevailed - https://www.gdpuk.com/news/latest-news/1381-uk-graduates-to-be-given-preference-for-foundation-training

 

Thanks for having a look at our top ten news stories published by GDPUK in 2013. Next year we would expect to see similar topics reappear with many issues in UK Dentistry still to be resolved. Watch this space for further GDPUK Exclusives!

 

Please let us know if you think we have missed important dental news from 2013?

 

What do you expect to see in the dental news in 2014? Predictions welcome...

 

On a lighter note, dentist Abi Sampa who was one of the stars of The Voice is still pursuing her singing career. Story can be found here and on twitter @Abi_Sampa

 

  4741 Hits
4741 Hits
DEC
13
0

How to Blog for your practice

Blogging Is Essential To Promote Your Dental Practice or Business

BloggingFor those of you who are not quite sure what a blog is, you are reading one right now and blogging is becoming more and more an essential part of any dental practice’smarketing strategy.

Why I can hear you all saying? Well hopefully you recently read my series of articles on search engine optimisation which over the three articles outlined what you need to be doing to raise your website’s ranking on Google. One of the things I mentioned was that you need to add new original content to your website, and the best way to do that is blogging.

Blogging is effectively you writing anything you like on any subject really. Because it is your ideas and your thoughts, you can write on any subject and be an forthright is you wish. Ideally you need to make it interesting to your public. So for instance if you are a dentist the subjects you might want to cover would be around oral hygiene etc.

Having said all that don’t make your blogs too serious or technical as you’ll just lose your audience, they have to understand what it is you are trying to convey to them, equally don’t use jargon, or scientific dental terms.

Blogging is one of the best ways to increase the rankings in the natural Google search. As I mentioned in my earlier articles, Google wants to present websites to their audience that are fresh and have new original content on them. Blogging is the most natural place to put this new original content. It will quite literally do wonders for your rankings, quite often my blogs out rank my overall website.

Blogging also has the effect of ranking you for many subjects too so for instance you might want to highlight that you offer implants in your practice, well the best way to do this is to write articles on the subject, use slightly different headlines and titles for the blog and you can start to rank for implants as well as general dentistry etc.

Blogging should also be part of your social media strategy. Every time you write your blog you should be promoting this with both Facebook and Twitter, not to mention Google Circles, this again helps immensely with your Google rankings.

Being seen to be an expert in your specialist field is essential if you are to sell at premium prices. For instance if you are regularly blogging on a  particular subject and your patients and potential patients read them, it is highly likely that when they actually want to use this service that they will turn to you rather than your competitors and they will pay a higher fee because of this too.

We call this in the industry “being the trusted expert”. The down side of this is that you have to give lots of information freely and regularly, which of course takes time and effort. But you’ll see that in the long run you will gain from it immensely, the other way to achieve this of course is to have someone else write them for you and this is one the services I offer my clients.

If you want to increase your revenues and profits, increase the number of new patients and encourage existing patients to spend more with you, call me on 01767 626 398, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit my website

www.dentalmarketingexpert.co.uk

  5139 Hits
5139 Hits
NOV
24
0

Them and us

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As the autumnal fall returns once again and the ominous portent of a Comet Ison[1] in the morning sky passes I am minded to wonder at our innate ability to disagree.  There is a really intriguing book out there called   Them and Us: How Neanderthal predation created modern humans by Danny Vendramini  [2] Basically, our behaviour is nothing new!

The BDA saga has not gone away, we are told – well, actually we are NOT told …  but the vox pop of internet chat suggest that those in office at the BDA are running in internal disagreement, and of course all the outsiders like myself are far better placed to run the show.  There is no agreement it seems, and we are polarised into them and us.

Then of course there is how to deal with ‘the problem patient’.  Not only do we all differ, separating into the “This is how to do it” camp on the one hand, and the “No you fool, do it this way” camp on the other.   Never mind that the poor bloody patient is always wrong.  Them is always right and Us is never wrong.

Orthodontics appears to be generating a fair share of divisionary comment:  Far from everyone synergising to the wider benefit of the patient community and for the greater good, we just have to bicker and squabble over long term or short term, GDP or specialist , ultra modern self ligating or out of date elastics.  Throw in a spooful of commercial self interest and the fuse is lit for a right royal bust up.

What would the public think?    Oh – them and us again!

There is a fine line between appropriate professional disagreement and internecine  warfare. We must as a profession beware of breaching it ... if we actually care. Maybe we just like a good fight!

Gawd ‘elp the poor old GDPs if the BDA and BOS combine forces …

Seriously:  who will draw this disparate medley of headstrong prima donnae professionals together? 

If we fight amongst ourselves, the Governments work is done.

Ah … now there is the Ultimate “Them and Us”.

I blame Comet Ison.  Enjoy Thanksgiving, don't all fight over the Turkey now. That would far too Neanderthal ...

 

[1]  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25001732

[2]  http://www.themandus.org/   
Them and Us by Danny Vendramini
With acknowledgement to the author for the image

  5961 Hits
5961 Hits
OCT
04
0

BDA is eating itself

BDA is eating itself
 
 
The BDA is eating itself. This has been going on quietly for a few months, since the figures secretly emerged from the membership changes implemented in early summer. News on this topic has been sketchy, the BDA has been trying to keep a lid on it.
 
There is a battle raging at the BDA, but there is a silence, a purdah from those involved. The membership needs to know, and must be told.
 
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There has been a major shortfall in income, and the organisation has to respond to this, or face dire financial consequences. The PEC met on Tuesday 1st October there has been no press release about this. The GDPC Executive met on Thursday October 3rd. No news from there either. Today [October 4th] the GDPC will be having it's say in London. By then, many more people will be in the know. But the membership should be told what is happening, and what the outcome will be.
 
On one side, the executive and the PEC has set course to retain the costly premises, and salaries of leading executives, make some cutbacks but carry on with the rest of its functions.
 
The other side is both concerned and very angry that cuts will be made to frontline services, directly affecting members and that no-one at the centre of the organisation is taking responsibility in the form of resignation. Cuts that may be made to BDA services include many staff redundancies, potentially in more than one wave. Major concerns are that BDA spending on the trades union side of the organisation will be severely cut. In addition, there are whispers that funding to the BDA branches, its true roots, will be cut to zero next year.
 
My opinion - although decisions were made collectively by boards and committees, the membership plan changes were brought to the fore by a group, and that group should take responsibility.
 
The membership, in their thousands, continue to subscribe millions of pounds, and the majority chose the simplest membership option, which includes the trades union activity. Therefore my prescription - this part of the BDA's work must not be cut.
  8925 Hits
8925 Hits
OCT
01
0

Marketing on a shoestring

Nearly every day I get an email - Get to page ONE of Google. It goes into the same folder as collecting my inheritance from my lost relative in Nigeria. It is rubbish and should be treated like spam.

First of all no one can guarantee to be on the first page of Google unless you have a paid campaign and these days in dentistry you are looking at over £1000 per month to have any chance of getting to page one on sponsored advertisements. Secondly people seem to have gone crazy and want a quick win - they forget Dentistry is a relationship business and relationships take time.

You want more patients? It is simple, just ask your existing ones. I know you have heard this before but do you actually do it with EVERY patient? Tell them how much you like seeing and treating them. Tell them you have vacancies for patients like them and give them a few business cards. Do not leave it there, follow it up with an email reminding them. Most of them never think of telling their friends and family about you unless they get asked. We also send follow-up letters asking them if the treatment was comfortable, explaining the maintenance and guarantees on their work and again asking for referrals.

We look at our day list at our morning meeting - we all instantly see the names of the people we like to treat. Make it a point for the whole team to do this every day.

Now with more and more compliance there are companies out there who can automate this process for you. After every dental appointment they can email your patients and ask them to rate the service they achieved and even ask if they are happy to write a testimonial that can be placed on your website or Google reviews

You do not need a huge marketing budget. It just needs time to make sure your message is clear and you invest in different ways in reaching your target audience. A good campaign also gets them emotionally stimulated to buy or at least investigate your practice. Convert your raving fans into your marketing force.


James Goolnik is a practising Dentist and his book “Brush” donates 100% of the profits to Dentaid. He recently led a team of 8 dental professionals to Malawi to install two dental chairs, equipment and deliver skills transfer workshops from these proceed. He is a trustee of the charity “Heart your Smile”.

www.jamesgoolnik.com

  25205 Hits
25205 Hits
SEP
22
0

The Dental Conference

The Dental Conference - a survivor's guide

  7731 Hits
7731 Hits
SEP
01
0

Digital Dentistry

Digital Dentistry - DentistGoneBadd drags you into the 21st century

  7209 Hits
7209 Hits
AUG
19
0

4 A * Reasons Email Marketing is still Alive!

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As I have mentioned in my previous digital dentistry blogs, online marketing is a growing industry, with companies investing in a number of different digital formats: Search, Video, Rich Media, Social Media, Mobile and Display. One of the areas that digital marketers still spend their advertising budget in is Email Marketing. Email Marketing sounds like it is old fashioned but if done correctly it is still well and truly alive!

Email marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. Email marketing in dentistry terms is used in a number of ways. Companies will email current or previous customers to encourage brand loyalty and hopefully win or repeat business. Companies will also send emails in the hope of acquiring new customers. The third way is companies will add advertisements to email messages sent by other companies to their customers. Recent research has suggested that conservative estimates of US companies alone spent US $1.51 billion on email marketing in 2011 and will grow to $2.468 billion by 2016. Amazingly still a growing market.

We now need to look at how email marketing can be used in terms of the dental profession whether you have a new product that you would like dentists to look at, or you would like to attract more patients to your practice. Below are 4 A* reasons (in celebration of exam results) we can still use email marketing to benefit your business and hopefully it will give you some inspiration to revisit your email marketing campaign!

1.    Addiction

After I hit the snooze button for the third time at about 7:30am, I reach for my phone half awake and peruse my emails. We all love to check our emails and unlike other mediums, virtually everyone uses email. Many of us will check email first thing and see what emails we could have been sent in the 7 and a half hours since we last checked! Recent studies have suggested that reading emails consumes 28% of the average workers week and we each send or receive over 112 emails a day! Those stats suggest we keep a close eye on our email inbox. We all have accounts on social media and many of us also check them with regularity but one thing we all have in common is that we all check the email inbox constantly. This means that if you are looking to promote a new product or service, you need to be in your customers email inbox. Email should therefore not be ignored.  

2.    Automated

Auto-responders can easily be set up, which allows you to write and schedule a series of emails that will be sent at regular intervals to any potential customers. They immediately provide information to your prospective customers and then will follow up over a set period. This means that over an example 6 month period you have sent a number of emails and engaged with your customers. Mail Chimp and other email marketing companies offer an auto responder service, which is easy to setup and simple to put in practice. Patients could be sent regular special offers for example over a set period.

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3.    Accountability and Value

 

An exact return on investment (ROI) can be tracked because you will know how many people have received the email, how many people have opened and what the click rate to your message is. This gives you wonderful accountability and value for money. You will also get results instantly. For example with GDPUK when companies advertise in our daily emails or on the website we provide full stats for our customers once a week and even more if they request it. This means that the customer can see what kind of return they are receiving from their digital campaign, with the opportunity to change the banner or message as the campaign progresses.

4.    Aggressive

After we build up a decent list of contacts, prospects and customers, sometimes we can then be cautious with the list. In my previous employment we very rarely sent out email campaigns because we were afraid of appearing too spammy or aggressive but I believe that was a mistake. Please don’t take this advice and send out hundreds of emails a month but if you have something to say or announce, make sure your email list knows about it. (your competitors will be doing the same) There is nothing wrong with sharing information and showing you are doing a good job or can offer excellent value, you want to stay in front of your customer’s eyes as well as plant your brand in the customers mind! Email marketing needs to be constant, well thought out and engaging.

So how can we use email marketing in dentistry?

At GDPUK we keep our members engaged on the site by sending daily digest emails, 3 times a day. This sounds like a lot but these emails all contain different content and contain the latest dental news and the most recent forum posts of the day. This gives our members a chance to check their email inboxes and then click on subjects that interest them. The emails are certainly popular because in an average month they get opened and read 130,000 times. These emails also contain banner ads, which often get excellent click through rates for our customers because our members want to read the emails and the advertisers are reaching a target audience of engaged dentists.

In a dental practice you could send special offers to your patients or an interesting newsletter every few weeks. It means you are proactively communicating with your existing and potential patients instead of hoping they will call or walk in. This will hopefully increase business and develop further patient loyalty. If you send a good offer for “teeth whitening” for example, you could also invite your patients to forward the email offer to their friends or colleagues who might have interest in the offer. So once organised, a few minutes of work every couple of weeks will hopefully fill an empty one or two appointment spaces in the practice! 

  14202 Hits
14202 Hits
AUG
19
0

Staff Selection

Dental Staff recruitment - how to keep out of court

  6176 Hits
6176 Hits

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