to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry’s largest dental hygiene practice management resource center! We are the leading dental hygiene consultant/coaching business.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours or days each year.

- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

Dental Practice Solutions - Debbie Bittke

Dentists: How to Choose an SEO Company

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 14, 2017

Confused about search engine optimization for your dental website?  Learn the top 3 things to avoid, and the top 3 things to look for in an SEO expert.

#1 Cold Callers with Discounted SEO Prices

Search engine optimization isn’t something you can fix on the cheap, most of the time.  

Cold Callers with Discounted SEO PricesWhile there may be simple dental SEO factors within a website’s coding that need to be addressed, most competitive areas require ongoing monitoring to ensure no other dental website passes you up.  If SEO is priced at $300/month, they can’t create useful, engaging content.  Especially after half of your money goes to pay the sales force that cold called you in the first place.


#2 Bragging About The Size of Sales Force

A true dental SEO expert doesn’t brag about his sales force.  Rather, you should inquire about the kinds of relationships the SEO expert has with people within the dental industry or other websites they can publish on.  

Dr. Seth Lookhart has dental offices in 3 countries and is widely considered an accomplished dentist.  He says “When looking for an SEO consultant, I wasn’t interested in finding the cheapest there is. It’s about ROI, and knowing that everything is running efficiently.”

More and more dental offices are interested in knowing the SEO tactics actually being used, rather than getting sucked into a sales process with fancy buzzwords.  This dentist in Apex, NC found that the key was learning the basics about SEO, in order to gain new patients for his growing practice.

The quality of your SEO expert’s writing skills, or their staff’s ability to produce remarkable content is important.  Does the writing team create stories that people care about?  Does the content consistently rank atop Google?  How does the SEO company handle satisfying searcher intent?  There are many ways to show how successful you are in SEO, but having a boiler room full of salesmen dialing-for-dollars isn’t one of them.

#3 “Secret Sauce” SEO

Transparency in SEO is a great sign.  Being able to cogently identify exactly what’s being done for your SEO is of paramount importance.  

Secret Sauce SEOMost SEO firms who are transparent in their tactics are much more likely to have an SEO strategy that involves both higher quality content, and relevant inbound links.  While you should only work with an SEO professional you trust, nothing replaces great communication about what’s actually being done.  My general rule of thumb is this: if they can’t explain in plain english what’s being done, it probably isn’t that great.

So what SHOULD you look for?

  1. Look for an SEO expert that teaches about SEO.  Thought leadership is a great sign in a consultant or company that claims to understand Google’s algorithms.
  2. Work with an SEO expert that assesses your unique needs, before pitching a “sale.”  By doing some quick keyword research, you can find out exactly how many people are searching for dental services in your area.  Before you make the upfront investment.
  3.  A firm grasp of the dental industry.  The SEO expert should be able to provide a wide array of dental marketing ideas that help SEO, and new patient flow.  By knowing about the dental industry, SEO works much more seamlessly.  From knowing which types of websites to earn links from, to knowing the kind of dental content Google favors, you can be sure that a dental SEO expert can be superior to a general SEO company.
Justin Morgan from The Dental Marketingguy

Justin L. Morgan – The Dental Marketing Guy

Justin L. Morgan, known in the dental industry as “The Dental Marketing Guy,” teaches about dental marketing on his blog and YouTube show. Justin has been featured in major media outlets such as Dental Products Report, Dentistry Today, Dentistry IQ, Dental Town, Entrepreneur, and a number of Fortune 500 company blogs. He is the creator of The Invisalinks Method, the first and only SEO course for dental professionals.



Maximizing Your Capacity Inside the Dental Jungle

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 28, 2016

Dental Practice Success

Maximizing Your Dental Practice Capacity

In the dental jungle there are thousands of success stories. Let me introduce you to our guide an elite dentist, a peak performer, in our dental industry. His name is Dr. Frank Frederickson.


Dr. Carley Carlson is a dentist of five years. She purchased a dental practice three  years ago from a dentist who basically let his practice die. She was able to get a good deal on the price of this practice because it was run down by the previous dentist.

Dr. Carlson decided that in 2017 she wants to take a big leap forward so she has paid to travel into the dental jungle and she has hired her guide named Dr. Frederickson.

Dr. Carlson’s first goal is to break the two million dollar mark for 2017. She knows that focusing on her dental hygiene department will be one of the best ways to accomplish her big goal for 2017.

Dr. Carlson’s question to Dr. Frederickson is, “How do I break the two million dollar mark in 2017?” Dr. Frederickson’s response: “In all honesty, not many dentists think like this but those who do, they actually do it. Size doesn’t matter. You will only be limited by what lies inside the mind.”

Simply put, dentistry is a series of interactions. The student learns from his or her professors and then they will apply what they learn on their patients. A dentist learns from his advanced General Practice Residency and applies what he or she learns on her patients. An experienced dentist moves up the ladder of success by taking continuing education courses; one symposium at a time, adding to their repertoire to help patients.

The king of dental learning experiences a life of success inside the dental jungle with their guide such as Dr. Frederickson.

In the team training with Dr. Frederickson; an experienced mentor or coach, combined with the “Empowered Hygiene” curriculum, you exactly what your team needs to grow your dental practice. Each member of your team will have a leadership role with specific responsibilities, accountability and support to grow the dental practice.

Dr. Frederickson says that empowering the team, providing leadership and accountability from your guide, aka: your coach, will yield the biggest boost to your dental practice.

I’m not just boasting about being “The Guide” so that others can achieve the same outstanding results that our other doctors who walked through the Dental Jungle have experienced, but I do know that doctors who allow a guide to take them through the dental jungle, they double their practice production.

Because they follow a guide who has traveled through the jungle before them, it’s conceivable that a two million dollar practice for Dr. Carlson is easily within reach.

Within a local study club, you have dentists who are competing for patients. By contrast, your guide and everyone supporting you, take a personal interest in you doing well. That in itself can’t hurt when you have the right mindset.

In our Hygiene Department, Team Training, we ensure success by creating a team driven practice. The team members are empowered to be their very best. This means that your team members are peak performers. Each member of the team has a leadership role with accountability and rewards for their success.

I really enjoy helping doctors walk through the dental jungle to maximize their capacity. The leap to your next million dollars in 2017 is only limited by your mindset.

The Hygiene Empowerment with Team Training, will be the best investment you can make for your success in 2017. There is no other place you can go to deposit one dollar and have a return of ten dollars! And those dollars earn dividends for years to come.

Let me know if you are ready to walk with your guide through the dental jungle in 2017. I’d like to show you the way.

You may want to ask about our Mastermind Training which begins on Friday January 20, 2017. Schedule a Call with Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS and Dr. Bill Williams

One of Dentistry Today's top dental consultants

Debbie Seidel- Bittke, RDH, BS Dental Hygiene Consultant

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is a dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to info@dentalpracticesolutions.com or go to her website: http://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com



Important Points to Understand and Increase Your Net Production

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

October 20, 2012

Most Dentists today tell me their primary concern is to increase New Patient numbers. Do you know how much it costs you to market and then capture a new patient? What is the cost to you if you can reactivate a current patient of record?

Many dental offices are eager to spend money on external marketing efforts to capture new patients when in fact they are cutting back on dollars spent on building patient loyalty and getting patients back to the office. What makes you think that a new patient will be better than a patient you have not seen in the past year?

If you have limited dollars in your practice today, the best way to spend any money to raise patient numbers is spend any money available on your existing patient base. How much does it cost you to lose an employee? This is the same when you lose a patient of record. A lot of time and money is lost!

 Benefits of Retaining Patients

 Increasing your patient retention numbers will boost your profits and minimize other costs such as marketing for new patients.

Not only does retaining your current patients boost your profits just by having then visit the hygienist on a regular basis but imagine the dollars the current patients will spend when you offer various services such as:

  • Oral Cancer Screening technology/tests
  • CAMBRA (Caries Management by Risk Assessment)
  • Non-surgical periodontal services, adjuncts, lasers, etc.
  • Same-day services (Such as Whitening, fluoride, night guards, etc.)
  • Home-care products
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Implants
  • Six-month Smiles, Invisalign
  • Etc.

Your long term patients most likely have a great rapport with you and the team. Their trust factor is high. They are most likely to accept your treatment recommendations.

Do you know the average money spent from your current patients per visit? The longer the history for the patient of record the more comfortable they will be spending money in your office.

Statistics tell us that in dentistry we have a 70% chance that our patients will accept treatment but only 20-25% of patients schedule an appointment to complete treatment and pay for this.

The average dental practice loses 10-15% of their patient base annually due to patients moving, dying or just because they changed insurance providers. This means that if you have an active patient base of 1500 patients you will lose 150-180 patients annually. During this current economic climate case acceptance in general is low and with many practices gaining less than 20 New Patients per month, your revenue is very low!

The company New Patients, Inc. did a study in 2003 and found that the lifetime value of a patient is $1,502.27. When you adjust the rate of inflation you have a lifetime value of at least $2,000.00, as of 2011.

You can estimate the loss of value with the inactive patients by multiplying the total number of inactive patients by $2,000.00 –the current lifetime value of your patient.

Imagine that if you lose just 150 patients in 2012, your lost revenues will equal $300,000.00. Now that can hurt!

But let’s get to the bottom of this challenge and create solutions.

1. Count the active patients in the practice
    a. This is the # of patients who have been to the office in the past 12 months
    b. Not a surprise when you see this # is different that the number of patients in your database
    c. Review these numbers each month at the team meeting and
    d. Create systems to grow your patient post

2. Survey your patients
    a. Ask patients about their recent visit
    b. Did you meet their expectations?
        i. Did they enjoy their experience?
       ii. Did they have to wait?
      iii. Do they feel comfortable referring their friends and family?
      iv. Do they have frustrations? Any challenges?
       v. Are there services they wish to have but you did not offer?
    c. You can use www.surveymonkey and email to those patients who informed you that it is ok to contact them by email.
    d. Offer a gift, something of value from your office, in return for their response
    e. Once you have 75-100 responses discuss these at your next team meeting
        i. Any frustrated patients or needs you have not met, be sure to correct these and let the patients know you have addressed their frustration or need

3. Create a WOW experience. One like no other office in your area!
Many patients will come to your office because of your fees but there will be many who come to your office because of the team, their personal relationship and the specific culture of your dental office.

Each patient is different. Their needs vary and so do their personalities. Make sure that everyone on the team is able to effectively communicate with the various personality types. You can go here to update your skills and assessment of personality types: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

Treat your patients with honesty. If you say you will call them back, call them back at the time promised. If the fees change explain why and show them where this was projected to change. Be sincere in everything you do, say and stand for.

This is how you will continue to keep their trust and remain credible.

When you know your patients expectations and over deliver you will have them at WOW and create raving fans!

Meet with you team and discuss one thing that you can do now to create more fans and WOW them even more.

4. Communicate
    a. Your website is a great place to communicate with current and New Patients
    b. Does your website have an area to submit questions?
    c. Do you use social media to keep patients up-to-date with happenings in your office?
    d. How will you communicate special offers to your patients?
        i. And/or New Services?
    e. Email patients and/or post on social media about courses you and the team are completing
    f. Post and communicate about any changes in the office
        i. New employees
       ii. New equipment, chairs, services, etc
      iii. Tell them interesting health facts
    g. Find various communication methods to keep patients in the loop between their dental appointments
        i. Social media
      iii. Email
      iv. Educate, educate, educate
       v. Etc.

5. Reactivation tips
    a. Call patients who cancel an appointment and don’t reschedule within the next 48 hrs
        i. Ask when they cancel and don’t reschedule if you can call them to reschedule at X date at Y time
       ii.Make a point to call and reschedule at this scheduled time!
    b. Plan to have a reactivation system in place and use this every 3 months to send post cards, various letters at specific times, etc.
        i. Just like collections: the longer the person owes money, the less likely you will receive payment
          * Same thing with reactivating patients – don’t delay the process!
       ii. Run reports to reactivate overdue patients every month and send the various letters approximately every 90 days
      iii. Add the date of last appointment
      iv. Make the letter directly from the doctor showing concern
       v. Follow up with a  live phone call from the team when there is no response to the letter
          * Goal of call is to schedule the patient

The key factor to the success of every dental practice is reactivating patients. If your patients can experience a sense of loyalty you will experience higher profits and practice growth. You need to implement a strong reactivation system to prevent the loss of 10% or higher in your patient base.

Reactivation of patients can be complex but in the long run this will cost you less money than finding a new patient to replace a lost patient. Imgaine if you can cut back to losing 50 patients this year vs. 150 patients. This is worth it’s weight in gold!


Dental Marketing: Your Economic Game Changer

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

September 14, 2012

Just last week I completed my first ever 2 Day Telesummit. We heard from 7 Dental Experts—Luminaires in our world of dentistry!

Linda Miles started off Day 2 of the telesummit by stating that, “Recession is a state of mind!” This is so true –in life—in general. Linda also went on to sayIt’s a RECESSION if it’s around you….it’s a DEPRESSION if you choose to wallow in it!” Smart business owners think positive, talk positive and refuse to talk about how bad things are. I couldn’t agree with her more! How we think and the words that come out of our mouth-will ultimately create our future.

So, why dental marketing? Why can the way you market your dental practice be a game changer during these challenging economic times? Continue reading

Marketing Your Dental Practice During The Holidays

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

December 7, 2009

After Shopping on Black Friday, I Couldn’t resist thinking about what we can do in our dental practice to boost marketing during this holiday season.

There are just days left in the holiday shopping season, and that means your marketing efforts need to be a lot more intense. The new rules for the changed economy say no business owner should have to unload a huge chunk of their earnings into a holiday season marketing program, even though they might have spent this way in the old days … and even if their businesses lean a lot on this time of year. So which low-cost marketing strategies yield the best results?

Below are some strategies that can be recession-friendly and creative ways to market your dental practice as well during these next few weeks of the holiday season:

Togetherness in the “Social Light” of Media. Utilizing Facebook and Twitter will not bring new patients to your practice immediately but not utilizing these marketing tools will be a definite way to “turn off” the new patient light bulb. Set up a Facebook Fan Page and make it personal by adding faces of the people who are related to the practice. (i.e., your important team members) Show off services you provide that add profitability and set your dental business apart from others. Also be sure to add any special promotions you may have going on for the holidays or end of the year. If you plan to have a holiday open house; this is a good place to let others know about it. One creative idea is one that I found for The Gap. They have set up a site at Cheer Factory.com. When customers go to this website they can create their own holiday cheers to share on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It’s like a free, extended sales force. If you are concerned about the time involved to set this up, know this: Most of these applications, promotions and widgets take only a few minutes to set up.

Ask your patients what’s on their holiday wish list through surveys … and give yourself the gift of testimonials from satisfied patients. As a savvy business owner survey your patients and even if you can, your prospective patients. This is something you want to do several times a year to gauge your patient needs. The holidays provide a chance for you to check in with your patient base and even potential patients by sending out holiday messages on your Fan Page and/or add a link to a survey along with your holiday message on your Twitter page as well. Take advantage of this nice opportunity (a survey) when sending out your holiday greeting. Perhaps you will send it out following your holiday greeting.This will allow you to find out what is necessary to build your future marketing campaigns. It allows you to speak to the real needs of your patients. Small business associations stress that any marketing campaign will have more impact if you have a deep understanding of your customers. (Your patients) Surveys can reveal any gaps in your services and provide leads on some useful case studies and testimonials for the New Year.

During the survey process guide your patients with specific questions. You may want to draft suggested testimonials and e-mail them to your patients. By now you should be utilizing email to send most of your patient information. This is a great money saving tool as you can e-mail this testimony suggestion to your patients for review. Offer a special holiday discount or giveaway to those who return the survey promptly.

Create a “12 days of different products and services” promotion. Last year, SmallBizTrends recommended this clever idea: Holiday-themed marketing strategies, such as a “12 Days of …” campaign during which you put a different product or service on sale for twelve days during the holidays or every week during the holidays. This strategy can be an excellent way to build new business or keep your current patient and keep them happy! According to Ivan Taylor of SmallBizTrends.com, a lot of your customers probably aren’t aware of all the products and services you offer, so this type of campaign can help raise awareness about lesser-known items on your company’s menu and get more revenue. Maybe offer a gift certificate for whitening procedures. The sky is the limit with these ideas!

Emphasize family in your marketing campaigns. Holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukah especially – are often about family. Stressing this in all your holiday marketing campaigns can help attract high-quality patients. Jeff Wuorio of the Microsoft Small Business Center acknowledges that family is the ultimate common ground of holidays because they represent a time for families to gather, and that smart business owners will keep this in mind when thinking about special holiday marketing and sales programs.

Most importantly, this year and every year, make a list. Check it twice and thrice. A well thought-out plan will be the best strategy to get just what you wished for.