Why Dentists Need to Embrace Digital Marketing

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In the digital age, the landscape of marketing has undergone a transformative shift, impacting industries across the board. Dentistry, being no exception, has seen the emergence of digital marketing as a crucial tool for practice growth and patient engagement. However, a number of myths and misconceptions have taken root.

In this article, we aim to dispel these myths and shed light on the true value of why dentists need to fully embrace digital marketing.

Myth #1: “Word-of-Mouth Alone is Sufficient for Dental Practices”

For decades, word-of-mouth recommendations have been a staple in patient acquisition for dental practices. However, the digital era has introduced a new dimension to how patients seek out healthcare services.

While word-of-mouth remains important, relying solely on it can limit the reach of your practice. In fact, according to a study by PatientPop, more than 80% of patients research healthcare providers online before making an appointment. This shift in patient behavior underscores the necessity of a robust online presence.

Myth# 2: “Digital Marketing is Only for Large Practices”

One common misconception is that digital marketing is reserved for large dental practices with expansive budgets.

In reality, digital marketing offers scalable options suitable for practices of all sizes. From targeted local SEO efforts to cost-effective social media campaigns, digital marketing allows even smaller practices to compete on a level playing field.

For instance, a family dentistry clinic managed to increase patient appointments by 40% through a well-executed local SEO strategy.

Myth #3: “My Patients Aren’t Online”

Some dentists might argue that their patient demographic isn’t active online and therefore digital marketing wouldn’t yield significant results. However, the numbers tell a different story. According to the Statista, over 93% of adults in the United States use the internet.

Moreover, research by BusinessWire highlights that 80% of patients prefer digital communication with their healthcare providers. Ignoring digital marketing means missing out on a substantial portion of potential patients seeking dental services.

Myth #4: “Digital Marketing is Expensive and Ineffective”

There’s a common misconception that digital marketing is costly and doesn’t provide a worthwhile return on investment. In reality, digital marketing can be highly cost-effective compared to traditional marketing channels.

For instance, running targeted Facebook ads or Google AdWords campaigns can be tailored to specific budgets and yield measurable results.

A survey by MinClaw found that over 60% of patients are influenced by online reviews when choosing a dentist, demonstrating the impact of digital marketing on patient decisions.

Myth #5: “I Don’t Have Time for Digital Marketing”

Time constraints often deter dentists from exploring digital marketing. However, it’s important to view digital marketing as an investment in the future of your practice.

With a well-structured strategy, you can gradually integrate digital marketing efforts into your routine. In fact, using scheduling tools and outsourcing certain tasks can significantly reduce the time burden.

The American Dental Association reports that practices that engage in digital marketing experience an increase in patient engagement and appointment bookings.

Myth #6: “My Practice Doesn’t Need a Website”

In an age where information is readily accessible, having a professional website is non-negotiable. Some dentists believe that their services are well-known within their community and that a website isn’t necessary.

However, a website serves as a digital storefront that showcases your services, expertise, and patient testimonials.

According to Dental Economics, 46% of dental patients who research online choose to book an appointment through a practice website.


As digital marketing becomes an integral part of modern business practices, it’s crucial to dispel the myths that can hinder the growth of dental practices.

The data and real-world examples overwhelmingly support the fact that dentists need to embrace digital marketing to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

From reaching a wider audience to engaging patients and driving appointments, digital marketing is not only relevant but also necessary for the sustained success of dental practices.

By understanding the true value it offers, dentists can position their practices for growth and excellence in patient care.