Social Media and the Dental Practice

We recently attended a meeting in Tampa, Florida to learn about the benefits of social marketing for dentists and their patients. Most of the lectures centered around office web sites, office Facebook pages, blogs and Twitter. As most of us know, it is fun and entertaining to know what is going on with the people we respect and care about. Below: Dr. Coker attending lecture One of my favorite users of social media is the dog kennel where our dogs just completed a two-week session of obedience training. Wasn’t sure I was going to be able to leave them that long, but the receptionist told me that they posted pictures of the dogs each evening at 6:00 pm. While we were in Tampa, you better believe that I ran to check Facebook each evening at 6:15. A picture of my dogs would be posted with a brief caption of what they did that day. I can’t imagine using a different kennel now for boarding my dogs. They totally won me over with their regular, personalized use of social media. Below: A photo of our dogs that was posted. Isn’t it cute? Below: Melinda, Dr. Debra Reiner from Michigan and Dr. CokerWe had a lovely dinner with the group on Friday night. Doesn’t it look like a beautiful evening?

Below: One of our good friends from Houston, Dr. Frank Incrapera and his wife Carol On Saturday evening a group of us went to eat at the Capital Grill. It was an enjoyable evening, but their food for vegans was not very good.

Below: Our friends Dr. Marc and Vicki Whitmore from Plano However, the Cantina Laredo in Terminal D at DFW does an awesome job with vegan food! We like to stop there whenever we have time between flights.

Below: Beans and rice with grilled fajita vegetables and tortillas

Learning Neuromuscular Dentistry

We recently hosted a learning opportunity for a group of dentists who were here to clinically brush up on their skills with a type of dentistry called neuromuscular. But, they were also here to interact and have fun with one another as they were learning.

ABOVE: Dr. Durham (Savannah), Dr. Coker (Tyler) and Dr. Westersund (Calgary)
BELOW: Dr. Berlin (McKinney), Dr. Strickland (Savannah), Dr. McKay (Seattle)
The group was also treated to 3-days of a plant-based diet. They told us that they were more worried about having to eat a “vegan” diet than they were about learning new clinical skills. However, by the end of the week-end, they all commented that they didn’t realize plant-based foods could be so good.

ABOVE: Dr. Mack (Edna), Joleen (Edna), Dr. Berlin (McKinney), Dr. Incrapera (Houston), Dr. McKay (Seattle)
BELOW: Mary (Tyler), Cylisa (Tyler), Leah (Tyler), Dr. Durham (Savannah), Ronda (Tyler)

Neuromuscular dentistry is used for people who have a lot of head, neck and/or jaw pain. After years of patched up fillings or just clenching or gritting their teeth, many patients have ended up with quite a bit of pain. Part of the treatment involves having the patient sit and relax for about an hour with electrodes pasted on their head and neck. These pulsing electrodes actually manage to get the pain points to relax.

At that point, the patient will be fitted with some really high-tech equipment and measurements are taken as he puts his teeth together. After those measurements are analyzed, impressions are taken of the upper and lower teeth and then placed on an articulator so the new relaxed relationship of the teeth is kept in place. Eventually a removeable splint is custom made for the patient to wear for 3-6 months. Sometimes, if the patient has been nearly locked into his painful position, it could be necessary to do another session of relaxation, measurement and impressions with another splint made to make sure his teeth are finally in a position of comfort.

Most patients find such relief from all of this work that they do not want to go without their splint. At that point, their teeth can be fitted with new porcelain crowns or veneers to keep their teeth in that most wonderful, comfortable position without having to continuously wear their splint.

As you may be able to tell from the above description, it is not a technique that most dentists wish to learn as it is very technical for the dentist and his team to learn and it is very expensive to purchase all the the necessary high-tech equipment needed. But, for those patients who are in extreme pain, it is definitely worth it to find such a skilled dentist.