Why “Drugstore Dentistry” Is Commoditizing Treatment (and Coming For Your Patients & Market Share!)

“I want it all, I want it all, I want it all, and I want it now.”
-Queen, “I Want It All”

There’s no denying that over the last 10-15 years, this country has seen our emphasis on convenience and expedience go through the roof.

Conversations are faster, and sometimes reduced to mere letters over a text message. Entire businesses have formed around the ability to deliver virtually anything within minutes of pressing a button on our phones. All you have to do is look at the explosive domination of Amazon.com and its prime membership growth which allows its members to get almost anything delivered same day or in two days. We’ve become an instant gratification culture whether you like it or not.

The demand for fast and easy has exploded.

And now, it has spread to the dental industry. Walgreens and CVS are now slotting dental clinics into their stores around the country. Now, you can stroll in wearing your jammies, pick up some cough drops and a couple of Snickers bars, and while you’re there, get a root canal done. CVS has specifically partnered with SmileDirectClub, a disruptive and controversial DIY approach to clear orthodontic aligners that people can order directly over the internet with no visit to the dentist. SmileDirectClub is opening its 200th location in Beverly Hills.

This should NOT be brushed off and ignored…the dental marketplace is changing and changing FAST! It is critical to your long term business success that you keep up with real market changes. And all of the players in the space or entering the space have huge multi-million dollar marketing budgets and DEEP pockets, so some market share is going to inevitably to vanish from the solo dentist…. it’s just basic economics 101.

Here’s my case in point: In working with SmileDirectClub, CVS has added a so-called SmileShopExpress inside six of its drugstores, where people can get a 3D scan right then and there. WOW!

Corporate involvement in the dental industry is nothing new…it’s a battle that independent practitioners have been fighting across America for many many years now. But sticking dental services inside drug stores is a new disruptor, as well as a new threat to you. Here’s why…

Most dentists I work with spend tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars on their education, and then an equal amount on building a practice. They work to position themselves as a respected community expert in dental care and wellness; a trusted advisor who has built a notable reputation through years of experience, research and practice. And when it comes to treatment, they don’t recommend it lightly. That’s why they can build trust with patients over the span of generations.

So when a corporate drugstore chain begins to offer dental services in the same manner they sell a pack of Juicy Fruit, two things happen.

  • First, it’s a corporation. They have deep pockets and can afford to undercut you and any independent practice. They’ll steamroll you without batting an eye. You’re simply a speed bump to them; an inconvenience that can be overcome with their mammoth marketing budget and a little patience.
  • Second, they are commoditizing dental wellness. Patients of yours will begin to see these places drop in, and wonder why they are shelling out more for procedures. It goes beyond simple price competition; it’s changing the patient mindset. They start to look at a a crown or implants the same way they look at buying a jar of tomato sauce — it’s cheaper and immediately accesible across the street.

Patients don’t understand the difference between a respected service provider and “the cheaper, easier alternative.” That is unless you actually show them why and how there’s a difference.

Too many doctors believe that
“What used to work will keep me successful forever”.

This is why it’s so essential that you control the conversation between you and your prospective patients. And the best way to do that is through your own powerful marketing, led by loads of FRESH and NEW beaming Youtube videos and Google reviews from real patients of yours bragging about how you impacted their lives and made everything simple and easy.

By doing so, you’re leveraging the situation…not only are you demonstrating your quality, but you’re letting your existing patients do the talking for you. This holds way more clout in a patient’s decision-making process versus putting more information on your “website” (which is just a gloried brochure in 2019!), sending out a postcard or slapping your picture and phone number on a bench.

Dominate the discussion before the corporate monsters get a chance to. We live in a different world today, and your best option is to leverage powerful, crowd-sourced marketing. The best source for that on the entire planet, as I have said time and time again, to the point of nausea 😉, is Google search and their review platform.

It simply reinforces why I believe so strongly in Google’s search and review platform to be the cornerstone of solid dental marketing. There are no games. No wonky rules or shifty, inconsistent regulations. It’s simple and consistent. You don’t even have to pay to play, as Google’s platform is free to use for all dental practices. 

Google reviews are based on something you already have; happy patients who can’t wait to refer you to their friends and family. Using Google’s platform, you have the ability to create your own solid and long lasting online property that is a better marketing asset than anything else out there. It’s 1000X more powerful than your website (which is nothing more than a glorified brochure in this day and age!). It’s the true evolution of “word of mouth”, which has moved from offline to ONLINE and unless you’re taking full advantage and owning your Google search and review platform, you’re missing out on thousands in patients and production. The high-quality fee for service patients are on GOOGLE, not social media, you need to be where the people with interest and money are and the data tells us that is just plain ol‘ Google!

It’s time you invest your time and effort (which isn’t nearly as much as you think) with a platform that can result in a windfall of new Pay/Stay/Refer patients.

If you’d like to learn more about how to utilize Google and other online platforms to attract more highly qualified patients who Pay, Stay and Refer…click below for a proven practice specific dental marketing action-plan => https://lsfd1.wpenginepowered.com/game-plan

Have Fun & Do Something Great!
Graig Presti
CEO Local Search For Dentists ®, The ONLY 4-TIME Inc. 500/5000-Approved Dental Marketing Agency
CEO New Patients For Life™
#1 Best Selling Author
Dental Economics Magazine Author & Contributor 

PS- Life does get in the way but THIS is the simplest way to keep patients on track, reactivating patients and SPARKING that REFERRAL fire all in one fell swoop with almost ZERO effort what so ever….

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One of my private clients (who will remain nameless) is already breaking his competition in half ….buying practices, just killing doctors who just flatout refuse to change.

So, if you’re struggling with making heads or tails of what to do that can specifically help you grow your practice then this action plan is a “glove fit for you”.

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