Skip to content
Features / April 16, 2015

Digital dentistry: adapting your online presence

by Guy Hiscott

Jeremy Biggerstaff demonstrates how to push your practice into the digital era

Dentists are at the forefront of the digital age, and it’s becoming increasingly more important for dentists to embrace change and nurture a culture that focuses on continuous growth.

The rise of digital and online technology, in particular, has experienced a significantly rapid growth. In the era of the digital age, dental practices need to adapt and take advantage of the new opportunities the online environment offers.

Embrace the change

Embracing this change is Dr Katrina McKevitt of Appletree Dental Care, which was highly commended for Best Website at the 2015 Irish Dentistry Awards.

Katrina explains: ‘We wanted to provide a higher calibre of patient experience. By giving our patients a convenient and easy-to-use website, crammed with expert dental advice, we can help them make their oral health a priority.

‘The website also acts as a positive first impression to new patients, ensuring they know as much about the practice as they can before they walk in the door for their first visit.’

As with any business, an online presence is a must, and the success of a dental practice depends on being discovered online by new patients. Success is determined by the ability to strengthen relationships with existing patients and remain their provider of choice.

Patients are actively searching online for dental information. A website provides the ideal channel to communicate your key messages about your practice, your brand and your services. Additionally, it acts as a powerful online marketing tool to attract new patients and build relationships with existing ones.

Trends for 2015

With more and more people using smartphones or tablets to browse the internet, a major trend for 2015 is to ensure you have a responsive website that can be effectively viewed on mobile devices.

It is essential to connect with busy, on-the-go patients, in order to compete online. Your practice needs to adapt quickly to this huge shift towards mobile browsing. Responsive design is no longer simply a nice feature, but rather a necessity for your website to be found and easy to use.

Fast and easy 24/7 appointments are becoming a huge trend in dentistry. Patients expect to be able to go online and make an appointment whenever they want. After hours appointments have a major impact on productivity – it’s less work for the practice and easy for the patient. Online after hours appointments are here to stay, and at the very minimum, a practice website should allow patients to request an appointment via an online appointment form.

If you don’t have a responsive practice website yet, perhaps it’s time to invest in one. The digital age is here to stay, and dental practices must learn to adapt, overcome challenges and make the most of the digital environment.

Jeremy Biggerstaff is involved in number of business ventures, including his main role as managing director at award-winning Belfast-based web agency Flint Studios. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Jeremy has a thorough understanding of all things in digital and tech.