Where are all the rock-and-roll dentists?

by garyasanchez

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"All progress occurs because people dare to be different.” ~Harry Millner Rock on Doctor! I bet that a dentist who created a themed environment in his or her office, one that gave its customers a greater semblance of comfort or familiarity, would do a lot better than your me-too, copy cat dentist who promotes the same benefits as other dentists (e.g., a beautiful smile, convenience, personalized attention and a comfortable experience).  The theme would tap into the passions of like-minded clients and offer them enough attraction (and distraction) to help alleviate any of the commonly held fears that visiting a dentist creates in the minds of clients. It could be a rock-and-roll theme (the Hard Rock Cafe of dentists?);  it could be a sports theme (the Sports Clips of dentists?); it could be a comedy theme (the icanhazcheezburger of dentists?);  it could be a garden theme, or a movie theme (select the video of your choice).  The point being is that if  "5-8% of Americans avoid the dentist out of fear," and as many as "20% experience enough anxiety that they will go to the dentist only when absolutely necessary,"  a dentist who created an office theme where its customers were in an environment of their choosing and that gave them a greater sense of control and of comfort, THAT, I bet, would create customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals. "We create beautiful smiles" "A genuniely personalized & comfortable approach" two dentists located 2 blocks apart – how would you choose? Unfortunately, most dentists make it virtually impossible for prospective clients to differentiate between their options, and I'd go so far as to suggest that they are competing on so-called benefits that are either not believable or important.  Aside from visiting a dentist for a teeth whitening treatment, do people really expect to improve a smile, or rather are they trying to minimize the risk of future pain and suffering (or in case of an emergency, alleviate current pain and suffering)? Convenience?  Even with a dentist who offers the rare weekend or evening appointments, my experience has been that you need to book months in advance to secure one of those coveted times. Personalized attention?  As opposed to what?  Working on somebody else's teeth?  A comfortable experience?  Prove it! and a big chair isn't proof enough. When I first moved to San Francisco, a co-worker recommended a dentist who she called the Rock-and-Roll dentist.  Leon Feldbrill adorned his walls with posters from concerts at the famous Fillmore Auditorium, he had an extensive collection of rock industry magazines in the waiting room, he played concert videos on TVs within eye sight of the patients, he advertised on the most popular rock radio station in town, and if asked, he was always willing to talk about concerts and bands that he liked.  He could have easily extended the idea to give away concert tickets to his clients, or if social media marketing were around back then, create a radio station to share at blip.fm. He was a truly memorable dentist that created a differentiated dental environment. Unfortunately, Dr. Feldbrill sold his practice about 8 years ago.  I don't remember the name of the dentist who bought it, but he has since sold to another dentist who has owned the practice for the last 3 years.  I don't remember his name either.  Both of the subsequent owners bought some equipment and a list of customer names, but haven't done anything of note that would lead me to recommend the practice to a friend or neighbor. But if I could find a dentist who displayed sports memorabilia and let me watch Sports Center on ESPN, or who created a fantasy sports league among his or her clients, or who let me play sports trivia on a television while working on me,  now that sounds like a dentist I might get excited about.

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