More Dentists Go Digital and Turn to Social Media to Connect With Patients

Topline Findings from a Survey of More than 100 Dentists

Photo: Web Dental
Photo: Web Dental
  • Photo: Web Dental
    Photo: Web Dental
    Photo: Web Dental
    Photo: Web Dental

In preparation for the Chicago Dental Society’s 147th annual Midwinter Meeting, which will draw more than 30,000 dental professionals to Chicago this February, CDS members were asked about current trends, dental care tips, and more. More than 100 of the society’s member dentists responded to the fall 2011 survey.

Here’s what the survey found out:

Win or lose, Bears QB should keep smiling. Nearly 41 percent of dentists surveyed say Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler leads on the scoreboard when it comes to the best smile among Chicago team captains. Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks came in second with 22 percent, while Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls came in at a close third at 21 percent.

What can’t a castaway dentist do without? If stranded on a deserted island, more than half of dentists surveyed chose an unlimited supply of toothbrushes over toothpaste, floss, or mouthwash.

Julia Roberts’ winning smile is three times a charm. For the third consecutive time, the Hollywood actress had the most requested celebrity smile among women patients, according to dentists surveyed. George Clooney and Brad Pitt both get the men patients’ top pick for pearly whites.

More dentists are connecting via social media. Nearly 89 percent of dentists surveyed say they have a personal Facebook account, which is up from a 60 percent response from last year’s survey. Twitter is also on the rise, with more than 16 percent of dentists on the social networking site, up from only an 8 percent response last year.

Social media for dental offices picks up steam. More than 67 percent of dentists surveyed say that their practice has a Facebook page, which is up from a 17 percent response last year. Nearly 24 percent say their practice uses Twitter, up from 6 percent, and 14 percent are using YouTube, up from 4 percent.

What puts patients on edge in the dental chair? Nearly 60 percent of dentists surveyed said just the sound of the dental drill makes their patients uncomfortable, while 15 percent of dentists say needles trigger their patients to be uneasy.

When it comes to bad breath, garlic packs the biggest punch. When asked “What’s the most stubborn smell to get out of your breath?” nearly 37 percent of dentists agreed that garlic just won’t go away. Cigarettes received a smelly silver metal with 28 percent of the vote, while onions came in third with 12 percent.

Busy schedules thwart brushing and flossing. More than half of the dentists surveyed say that their patients’ number-one excuse for not brushing or flossing their teeth is they don’t have enough time. When it comes to the most interesting explanation, we found out that pets don’t just eat homework – they crave toothbrushes, as well!

Dentists have hearts. Almost 70 percent of the dentists surveyed say they volunteer their services to dental charities. More than 80 percent say they provide discounted services at their practice, while over 70 percent say they donate supplies. Others provide financially to charities or volunteer at dental clinics. 

The survey was conducted for the Chicago Dental Society’s 147th annual Midwinter Meeting, which will bring more than 30,000 dental professionals to Chicago this February. The Midwinter Meeting is a forum for dentists to learn about new products, technologies, and methods.