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What a Dentist Should Do When a Patient is Fearful


Fear and dentistry seem to go hand in hand.  Whether the fear comes from childhood experiences or is solely psychological, fear is a real thing that patients often bring with them to their appointments.

Here’s what most dentists and their teams fail to remember: people have two biological, automatic reactions when dealing with fear, FLIGHT or FIGHT.

Those patients that are in flight mode often look and sound like this:

  • Sound, they don’t make sounds, not even when asked questions. They are struggling internally to keep it together.  They also know the more conversation had during their experience, the longer they will be there.  Their goal is to get out!
  • Often show a nervous twitch by moving their feet, bouncing their leg, moving their hands, etc.
  • Ask, “How much longer?” or “What’s next?” or even “Are you almost done?”  They can’t wait to get to the door and RUN.
  • Avoid talking about same day treatment, say they want to schedule another appointment and then don’t schedule.

Flight patients are harder to notice because they are stealthy.  Meaning, they don’t let on that they are afraid.  These patients leave you wondering ‘what’s wrong with them’ or ‘with you’ because their appointment was like pulling teeth, and not the literal kind.  You can’t help but reflect on how awkward their appointment was for you and the team.

To effectively work with people in flight mode:

  1. Know the signs.  You and your team need to be able to recognize patients in flight mode.
  2. Offer calming methods to reduce fear and stress (music, laughter, warm blankets, dim lighting, stress balls, show comedies, etc) if you think they are a flight patient.
  3. Be assertive and ask, “I’m curious Mr. X.  How nervous are you about being here today?” The problem addressed is the problem solved.  Until the fear is addressed, the patient can’t truly listen and take in what you are saying about their oral care.
  4. Demonstrate confidence in your clinical skills. So often when a patient isn’t giving off the right vibe dental teams back away, feeling awkward and it throws them off their game.  They start second guessing their movements and begin to put further psychological stress on themselves which makes everything even more uncomfortable.  Know that your training and experience has uniquely prepared you for this moment with this patient.  You know how to connect, offer painless procedures, and provide a comfortable, caring environment.  Trust in that and move on.
  5. Don’t reinforce stress by talking badly about the patient, ever.  It’s normal to want to vent or release the stress of working with a fearful patient to your team.  DON’T!  The more you talk about how awkward it is to work with that patient, or how much they squirm and jump while you blow air on their teeth, or even when they don’t say two words to you the more you reinforce to you and others that it was a negative experience.  Find another way to release your stress like breathing, positive self-talk, or take a 5 minute break.  What you tell yourself you believe so be careful of what you think.

Flight patients are experiencing something very real.  As a dental professional, you want to learn how to navigate through working with this type of patient because it will make  your job and that of your team much easier.  Plus you will have less stress!


Jen Butler, M.Ed., CPC, BCC has been working in the area of stress management and resiliency coaching for over 20 years.  She is available as a coach/consultant, speaker and trainer. To learn more about her services and sign up for her monthly stressLESS newsletter to go  Take the Dental Stress Self-Assessment at to find out your stress levels. Her partnership with The Business Backer removes any financial barrier so you get the support you deserve.  Go to or contact Jen Butler directly at 623-776-6715 for more information.

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The Psychology of Social Proof & How to Build Trust in Your Business


Everybody’s doing it. Sound familiar? It should. It’s brain science. People tend to do what other people are doing. Psychologists call this conformity, herd behavior, or the bandwagon effect. Marketers call it social proof.

The goal is to increase conversions by giving evidence that you are accepted by others. Visitors, influencers, subscribers, and buyers all trust you. This kind of “informational social influence” is a simple and powerful way to improve the initial value judgement of your landing pages, your site and your company.

Social proof makes any decision other than using your company seem outside the norm.

There are many web design tips based on brain science, but these seven are specifically designed to get your audience onto your bandwagon. Here is how to use social proof to improve your conversion rates.

1. Testimonials and Reviews

When you say it, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, it’s social proof.

This is why testimonials are so powerful. The substance is better; it’s an objective, third-party perspective. The style is also better; it’s more authentic, less polished.

Like all types of social proof, testimonials and reviews are great supportive content. Sprinkle them throughout the site. Ideally, add one to each page aligning the social proof with the product or service.

Never create a page of testimonials. They are far less effective when grouped together on a separate page. Why? Because no one visits websites to read testimonials. If you have one of these pages, just look at your analytics. It’s not a popular page, is it?


The example above showcases a well-placed testimonial from an actual parent, building trust on a teen travel program website.

2. Endorsements from Influencers

Beyond the testimonial lies the expert and celebrity endorsement. The more relevant and influential the endorser, the more powerful the social proof.

If your business has ever received a compliment from a well-know person who is respected by your audience, go find it, and add it to your home page.

To make this more effective, add a picture of the person who gave the endorsement. Research shows that pictures (along with text) increase the credibility of the statement. This actually works for any testimonial.

Ian Cleary’s Razor Social prominently features endorsements, complete with pictures.


3. Email List Subscriber Numbers

Signing up for a newsletter takes a lot of trust, so you need to build up confidence around your signup form. Of course, tell the visitor about the content and frequency (monthly advice for bounty hunters, weekly nuclear reactor safety tips), but also show some social proof.

If you have a big list, tell visitors how many people have already subscribed (join the 5,000 people who receive…). If you don’t yet have a lot of subscribers, use a testimonial quote from someone who got value from your blog and newsletter. You might find a few of these in your comments.

This really, really works. On the Orbit blog, improving the email signup form increased the newsletter subscriber conversion rate by 1400%.


4. Social Sharing Buttons

It’s easy to add these to your blog to show the number of tweets, likes, and shares for every post. Each of those shares is a vote of confidence for that content.

Don’t try this at home if there are few or no social shares on a typical post. Social proof goes both ways. How is this helping your business? It’s better to have no proof than low proof.

Tweets: 0 Likes: 0 +1: 0 Share: 0 Pin: 0


5. Social Media Widgets: Twitter Box and Facebook Fan Box

The Twitter and Facebook widgets can show three separate things:

  1. The size of your following
  2. Profile pictures of specific, relevant followers
  3. Recent posts and tweets

The first two are examples of social proof. If the widget shows the face of a follower that the visitor recognizes, it’s far more compelling. Suddenly, it’s about conforming to the behavior of someone they know!

Do not use these widgets (or even social media icons) if you are not active within that social network. Why send visitors to a dead social account? You’re just inviting them to leave your site. People don’t get onboard empty bandwagons.


The Moz Blog uses a social widget to show off their huge following to new visitors.

6. “As seen in…” Media Logos

If you’ve ever gotten covered by the media, you have a chance to improve your credibility and conversion rate. Right there on the homepage, show logos of news media and websites that have mentioned you.

This works great for businesses involved in PR, but guest bloggers also have this opportunity. If you’ve ever guest posted on a well-known site, add the logo to your homepage or your bio page.


The Edo Interactive home page shows both current and past press mentions.

7. Trust Boxes

Here’s a way to put a lot of credibility into a small space: create a “trust box” of social proof icons and logos on your home page. Here are some things you can put inside:

  • Association memberships: industry associations and chambers of commerce
  • BBB membership / ratings
  • Yelp ratings: local businesses
  • Security certificates: technical and ecommerce sites
  • Awards: any company that’s won anything

By adding a trust box filled with awards to the footer, Nitel builds credibility on every page. Also notice the testimonials, which name the industry, but not the specific client.

Keep the Bandwagon Going

Keep a file of all the social proof you can find. Here are a few ways to not let the good stuff slip by:

  • Use an email folder to save emailed compliments.
  • Use the favorite button in Twitter to save complimentary tweets.
  • Take screenshots to save other complementary social media posts.
  • Use a big envelope to save those handwritten thank you notes.

Keep putting them out there. Try to put something on every page of your site. Pull quotes from LinkedIn recommendations, and add them to your team pages. Even your thank you page is an opportunity to build more credibility. The music on this bandwagon never stops.

About The Author


 is the Strategic Director of Orbit Media, a web design company in Chicago. You can find Andy on  and Twitter.
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Originally posted here: The Psychology of Social Proof & How to Build Trust in Your Business

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Can Blogs Get Your Practice To The Top?


Reading blogs and blogging yourself are completely different things. While reading blogs may be entertaining, it is arguably more beneficial to your business to actively participate in the conversation by writing for blogs or hosting your own.

Taking the time out of your day to blog might seem like a hassle, but blogs are the key to achieving a high page rank and being found by potential customers on search engines. Why? Because of backlinks.

Before I get into the technicalities, think of popularity. How do you judge popularity? Are people talking about you? Do you have a lot of connections? It seems like the more people you associate and connect yourself to the more popular you are. So if your blog is connected, through links, with lots of other blogs then you are popular to Google.

Like society, achieving popularity isn’t easy. Online popularity takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s not just about getting links back to your site, its about people and relationships. After all, people run blogs and people read them. Therefore, articles containing links have to be engaging and have unique content tailored to each blog, and the relationship with the blog owner has to be genuine.

Many bloggers are becoming skeptical of SEO, search engine optimization, but if done right and with good intentions, links are harmless and provide readers with more information. As a blog, guidelines for guest posters can address many black hat SEO issues and ensure that articles are quality.

Now, how does all of this pertain to the dental profession? Like all other businesses, dental practices have lots of competition and online is a great way to differentiate your company. Blogging is a good start to a better page rank and not just on your own blog, but by writing for other blogs as well.

If you decide to start blogging, not everything has to be about your job. Blogs can be about anything. My dentist usually writes about his travels and volunteer work on blogs. This is a good approach to expand your online reach and open more blogging opportunities.

Once you post a variety of articles on your blog and related blogs, you will see not only an increase in your site’s traffic, but your Google rankings. And the best part about blogs: they’re free.


Caroline Elliott is a freelance beauty and health writer, who also enjoys writing informational articles on online success. You can see some of her work on this website.

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How can your practice use Facebook and Twitter to get referrals?


Even if you don’t use Facebook or Twitter, I’m sure you are aware of what they are. If you happened to live under a rock for the last few years, Facebook and Twitter are websites people and businesses use to share what’s happening on a day to day, hour to hour, and yes, even on a minute to minute basis.

So what are the chances your patients or potential patients use these top social media services? I’d say pretty good considering Facebook has 1.06 BILLION monthly active users and Twitter has reached over 500 MILLION total users! Don’t kid yourself, this isn’t a fad. These numbers will continue to grow.

Here are some ways to increase your effectiveness on social media websites:

1.) Brand it. Having the same color scheme, name, and messaging across all platforms ensure that your entire online presence is using one cohesive marketing strategy. Social media is an extension of your business, it should represent that.

2.) Link it. Make sure the icons are up on your website and visible for all to see. It only takes 3 seconds for someone to hit a button and you’ve gained a new outlet for referrals and engagement.

3.) Use it. Content is King. If you have a page sitting there for weeks between updates, what’s the point? Demonstrate your expertise, what services you offer, and interact with your patients. Finding the time to answer a question or interact is important to build strong relationships. Interesting articles, funny pictures, news about your office, and special offers all go a long way to keeping your patients engaged.

4.) Put it to work, even when you aren’t on it. The way the Facebook news feed and Twitter retweets work, people out of your “network” will still see their friend’s activity on your pages. If Sally likes your status, writes a positive review on her wall, or shares your post, all her friends see it. Social media is responsible for 70% of patient referrals because recommendations from family and friends carries more weight than any other information source.

These are just a few basics to get you on the right path. Some practices decide to spend the time themselves while others opt to use an outside source to help engage their patients. Whichever you choose, keep in mind the upside of having a cohesive, active, online presence, and have fun with it!

VivioSites is a premier provider of dental websites, advanced search engine optimization, and social media management packages. Contact us today and we’ll be happy to help your practice get new patients anyway we can. Call us at 800-227-2513 or visit


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Direct implant impression has never been easier

G-Cuff™ is an impression device that allows taking an accurate registration of a dental implant abutment. The concept is based on a “one take” PVS direct impression for natural teeth which has been used over decades with great success.

The purpose

The main purpose of the system is to support the soft tissue that surrounds the dental implant abutments allowing the impression means (conventional or digital) to access to the surface of the abutment. The system is compatible with most of the existing dental implant brands including Bicon Implants and no similar products are currently available on the market.

The advantages of G-Cuff™

The advantages and benefits of this simple and efficient system are both economical and clinical.

  •  As accuracy is the main factor in a restoration procedure especially for bridges or splinted crowns, the impression with G-Cuff™ is way more reliable than any other method either “open tray” or “close tray”. Due to the significant shortening of the lab procedure the risk of impression distortion is dramatically lowered.
  •  The G-Cuff™ system eliminates the need of the materials such as: Impression Copings, Implant Analogs, Temporary Abutments and Custom Impression Trays.
  •  In addition, the system solves a problem of the U.D.I (unidentified dental implants). The original abutment and a G-Cuff™ is enough to take a new impression and then to complete the restoration without even knowing the brand of the implant.

The list of the advantages is long and includes: reduction of redo rate, universality, chair-time reduction, precision of a framework, the fact it works with custom/stock abutments and so on.

Written by Dr.Zvi Fudim D.D.S.

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