We all know different platforms help us connect with different patients, but how do we know which platforms to use to attract the right patients? You want to support people at their most vulnerable, but how do you reach the patients that need you the most? Today we continue our conversation with Lena Stoots to discuss how dentists can reach cancer patients as they navigate their diagnosis and side effects of treatment.
Edward: I can imagine that when you first got diagnosed, you and Google were best friends, researching different approaches and finding contacts. What would you say is an ideal platform to reach patients, and how should the platform be leveraged to communicate with someone who may need to come in for a dentist appointment?
Lena: Gosh, well, I would definitely say Google, because we all go to Dr. Google—Dr. Dentist Google, in this case—for some things. A lot of research begins with SEO or keyword searches about cancer care, oral care, oral cancer care, or something like that.
Another thing I think it would be helpful to know is we’re all fascinated with social media: Instagram, TikTok, all those things. So just keep talking about it. You know, maybe some dentist could create a quick Instagram Reel saying, “Hey, did you know that your dental health is really important if you have been recently diagnosed with cancer?” Even if they started treatment doesn’t mean they can’t be seen. They just have to make sure that they’re talking with their doctor to be really careful.
It’s important for patients to know that there are dentists out there that want to do that journey and have this experience with them. And I think the more that you get that warm fuzzy feeling from them, the better, right? Nowadays, the way we learn and connect with new information is through the internet. Instead of learning things directly from our doctors, we learn it online.
Putting more presence out there on social media leads patients back to you, so if dentists decided to start talking about it, that would be fantastic.
Edward: So it’s not a taboo topic?
Lena: No, I think it would be very, very helpful to talk about it because then people start asking questions. They may have concerns that they did not bring up, or they may be dealing with all the detriments of treatment. I mean, chemo—it is the beast. One of the ones I had was called “The Red Devil,” so that should tell you what cancer patients are working with. As it fights cancer, it also fights with your body. You can have a lot of side effects, from brittle or loose teeth and gum irritation and all that.
In that case, it is a great thing to have a dentist that will help you get your mouth in better health. The quicker you treat the side effects, the quicker you can get back to a good, healthy spot.
Edward: This is great information. In terms of your journey with taking care of your oral health, did you get the majority of your information from your care provider? Or did you happen to stumble upon some content online that you ended up looking into more deeply? Did you have to see the dentist any more frequently or less frequently as a result of the treatment?
Lena: I had to see a dentist more frequently. I didn’t know originally that there were dentists that were very familiar with the care afterward. I actually did go to one who did not have experience with it at all, so I ended up going somewhere else. By making that choice, I found a much better care plan. I’m at that five-year mark, so I don’t have to do that so much now. Things are certainly not the same as they were before, but I’m glad to have regained a lot of health because I went to the dentist.
That brings us to the end of this week’s conversation. Look out for a blog post next week where we wrap up our conversation and discuss maximizing your marketing reach!
If you are interested in more of Lena’s work, you can find it here. If you’re interested in learning more about how to grow your cosmetic dental practice, we’d love to help you. We are on a mission to help 500 cosmetic dental practices double their revenue by 2026, and we want yours to be one of them. Now that you know how compassionate marketing can help you find your next patient, would you be interested in a free consultation for your dental practice?
This conversation was edited for content and clarity. Please note that none of this is medical advice. Lena is detailing her own experiences. Make sure to discuss your personal experiences and concerns with your doctor.