Don't Worry About Corporate Dentistry

October 22, 2016

Nicole Donnelly | Blog Author at Pro-Craft

Written by:
Nicole Donnelly

Don't Worry About Corporate Dentistry

Oct 22, 2016

Doctors, you are seeing the wave building steadily as corporate dentistry takes a bigger bite out of the 8 billion dollars a year that consumers spend on dentistry. I see it here in Southern California, and while it may take longer in rural areas, it is coming. As if I didn't know this enough already, I had a new patient last month who is the manager of a nearby Wal-Mart. During the initial interview he mentioned that his previous dentist had been INSIDE his store as part of a pilot project by Wal-Mart to jump into our market. This is a pattern. Large corporations and investor groups have identified dentistry as "easy pickings" because it is a "mom and pop" industry with significant cash flow. Translation: To them, we're amateurs, and with their professional management experience they can make a killing.

There is good news for private practice owners, however. Corporate dentistry cannot deliver the one thing that WE can. And that is Trust. Trust is given to the doctor that diagnoses and presents treatment based solely on what is in the patient's best interest. Corporate dentistry has its place and the delivery advantages that come with size. But they are also primarily profit driven-and believe me, patients sense that.
So, it comes down to this: Relationship-based Dentistry (I call it Trust-based dentistry) vs. Corporate Dentistry.

I have noticed a remarkable thing in my practice the last few years. Patient after patient coming in for the initial NP interview who first have to "unload" their frustration and anger over being worked over in corporate dentistry "sales" cycle They are victims of up-selling, overselling, over-treating, and fear-driven treatment "presentations". And yes, this can and does occur in private practices too. The point is not to do this. It puts you in the same category as the corporate offices, and patients will rightly view you as dental commodity. A commodity is something that is the same, at least to the consumer no matter where it is purchased; like gasoline or water or milk. The purpose of this blog series is to pass on to doctors and office managers the key things that they will need to know and do, to rise above the coming surge of corporate dentistry.

The first thing that absolutely must be done is that the doctor, yes the doctor must be extremely knowledgeable, even expert, in marketing. Do not abdicate this to someone else. The rule with certain key functions of your practice is: "Delegate but DON'TAbdicate" Just as in key financial, legal, and personnel matters, you doctor, will certainly need to use professionals in marketing. BUT YOU NEED TO BE KNOWLEDGABLE ENOUGH TO DIRECT AND SUPERVISE THEM . That is particularly true of new patient acquisition.
There are two reasons for this:

  1. 98% of the professional marketers in the dental field that I have seen, are woefully off-base. They ARE the reason that most dentists have come to the conclusion that, "marketing doesn't work". I've even seen marketers in our dental trade journals who BRAG about this. Why? So they can sell their "NEW" on-line marketing product. They are just advertising their own incompetence and ignorance of what DOES work.

  2. Great marketing comes from the very heart and soul of a practice.
    That's YOU. It is NOT sending out a postcard special for "a cleaning and a check-up". Although that's better than nothing.

So, you doctor, need to be intimately involved in your marketing. Some of you are not up to it and, unfortunately will continue to struggle. For those of you who understand what I am saying here, I will show you dental marketing that is great. I will share with you the secrets that only the very top, and a rare few, dental marketing experts know. It will take some work. Exceptional things are not achieved easily, or else everyone would be waltzing their way merrily along the way to exceptional practice success.

So for starters, you have a homework assignment: Watch this video (Steve Jobs YouTube-The greatest Marketing Campaign Ever) and we'll talk about the first steps in the next blog. May you flourish and prosper.

Best Regards,
Dr. Dave Cutts DDS

Pro-Craft would like to thank Dr. Dave Cutts for his first contribution to our newsletter. Dr. Cutts is a practicing dentist in Temecula California and has been active as a speaker and mentor for regional dental study clubs for many years. Dr. Cutts is one of a handful of dentists with extensive training and experience in complete mouth reconstruction which combines highly advanced cosmetic, denture, and surgical/implant skills. Dr. Cutts is also active in coaching sports, and sponsors social programs that instill moral values in children. This is the first in a series of articles from Dr. Cutts!

Note: You may contact Dr Cutts directly with any questions at:

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