November 1, 2020
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I think it came in a Cracker Jack box.  The decoder ring allowed one to encrypt a secret message and send it to a friend who had another such ring.  It allowed the creation of a “secret club”.

It made me feel like a SPY of sorts, something that I thought of this weekend after I heard of Sean Connery’s passing.  His portrayal of OO7 in the Bond movies held me spellbound (the Bond Girls didn’t hurt either).

Secret messages are great if you’re a spy.  As a dentist however, speaking and/or writing in CODE is NOT EFFECTIVE.  We often communicate with one another using descriptive terminology that means a lot to us.  It’s OUR CODE.  The problem is, not only does using communications in code not mean much to laymen, it also scares the bejesus out of them.  It can raise the hairs on their backs, bring back bad memories, up-level their sympathetic systems and blocks any rational action or response; Just the opposite of what you probably wish to achieve!


We live in a Low Trust World.  Now, more than ever, the frequency and effectiveness of communications with our team, referrers and patients should be scrutinized.  Their levels of TRUST should not be taken for granted but rather nurtured and enhanced.  TRUST is the currency of RELATIONSHIPS and relationships have been strained during the current Pandemonium.


Confusing and fear evoking words should be removed from written communications and less emotionally charged verbiage avoided from conversations.

Here’s a list of some of the more common, egregious culprits that are most commonly heard in conversations between dental office personnel, dentists and their patients (yes, try never to refer to people as patients other than when communicating to another health professional).  I’ve even suggested potential substitutions:

1. No Problem​   ​​                      My Pleasure
2. Patient​​​                                  People, Person, Guest
3. Fee or Cost​​​                          Investment
4. We Can’t/Don’t  ​​                   People have found that…
5. Our Policy is​​​                         We have found that…
6. Teeth​​​​                                     Smile
7. Outcomes​​​                             Benefits
8. Evidence Based​​                     Proven
9. Staff​​​​                                        Team
10. Diagnosing Problems      ​   Uncovering Causes
11. Permanent​​​                           Sustainable
12. Cancel​​​​                                   Postpone


And then of course, there’s all the scary and indecipherable dental terms we use like; Periodontal Disease, Maxilla, Operatory, Articulation and even “BITE”.  Normal people have no idea what BITE means to us as dentists.  They think its what they do when they sink their teeth into an apple!  That’s why taking a bite can be so frustrating!  It’s just another example of miscommunication.

While the current Pandemonium has destabilized our lives in so many ways and the upcoming election promises to add to the chaos, NOW is the time to re-examine your communications and improve upon them.

Building TRUST and cutting through the NOISE is becoming more difficult.  Helping people appreciate HOW you can help them though EDUCATION and advice, freely given, is something that can pay dividends both immediately and for years to come.


Adam Witty, the CEO of Advantage Media whose umbrella encompasses a host of media companies including Dan Kennedy’s Magnetic Marketing has come up with a brilliant system for dental practices that will allow them to communicate and educate while enhancing TRUST and building or solidifying relationships.


The best part of this system is that it’s AUTOMATIC.  You don’t have to write anything, if you don’t wish to.   Marketing experts, dentists and communications professionals write the mLive campaigns to maximize their impact and effectiveness.  You choose which campaigns you wish to run from a library of topics.

And, if you choose the “Concierge” level of service, YOU don’t have to do anything.  It’s completely Done For You.  So, if you’re busy working ‘IN’ the operatory and you don’t have a team that can implement a new system, no sweat, mLive can be implemented by your new Communications Concierge.

If you’re someone who has a capable and available team and/or likes to write your own copy and implement your own systems, that’s possible as well as the entire system is customizable.

This current Pandemonium has been a DESTABILIZING event that has and will continue to impact our practices.  NOW is NOT the time to be frozen.  NOW is NOT the time to rely on the “OLD”, historic ways of the past.  NOW is NOT the time to be passive.

NOW is the time to look at what you’ve been doing and evaluate its stability.  Take a look at this new program and see how others have used it to enhance their foundation of EDUCATION, TRUST and RELATIONSHIPS.

Dentists have a tendency to let PERFECT get in the way of GOOD ENOUGH.  It can paralyze.  NOW IS NOT THE TIME FOR PARALYSIS.  NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION!

The mLive education and communications system is the DECODER RING you’ve been looking for.  It’s the new, effective way to communicate.


To your excellent success,

Michael, Laurie, Merideth and the PPS Team

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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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