A new survey of 9,000 orthodontists and dentists by TeleVox,Mobile, Ala, has found that most orthodontic and dental practices arestruggling with incorporating social media and marketing into theirpractices. The 2010 North American Dental Practice Survey findings show aneed for a solution that does not require practitioners to shiftresources away from other important practice objectives.

The survey found that almost three-quarters of the staff responsible formarketing their practices have no qualifications or experience in thefield. The survey also found that almost 50% of orthodontists anddentists are taking on the marketing responsibility of their practices.

While 95% of practices surveyed reported having a Web site, only 50% hada Facebook fan page. Despite the fact that a Web presence has become aneffective means of connecting with patients and potential patients,many practices are struggling with the technology.

More than 50% of orthodontic and dental practices surveyed reported thatthey are not proactively promoting and marketing their products, butwould do so if it was made simple. Still, nearly all practices surveyedplan to or are currently deploying new forms of patientcommunications—including Web and e-mail marketing, as well as Twitter,Facebook, and SMS texting—in the next year.