Social Media in Dentistry

Dr. Lorne Lavine, the Digital Dentist, discusses 20 years of social media expertise in dentistry and its importance for success.


About Dr. Lorne Lavine

Dr. Lavine is the Digital Dentist. A former periodontist turned cybersecurity, IT, and HIPPA expert for dental offices, Dr. Lavine lectures and educates globally to keep dentistry safe from all the various cyber threats.

About Alex Nottingham, JD, MBA

Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Episode Transcript

Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.


This is Dental All-Stars, where we bring you the best in dentistry on marketing, management and training.


Welcome to Dental All-Stars. We are talking about how to use social media to engage your customers and boost your business. And our guest is Dr. Lorne Lavine, the digital dentist. Need I say more? Welcome, Loren. You need say no more. Thank you. A pleasure to be here. Awesome. So you’re a big fan and you’ve been doing social media before it was cool. Don’t you have like a tradition?


what has been like 10 years in a row you’ve been posting like every day. What is the tradition you have? It was, yeah, it’s longer than that. I actually started, um, I’ve had a blog, uh, forever and I started it a few years before my son was born and he’s 17 now. And, um, I even did it the night he was born. I had to rush back to the house and get it in like at 1158 nights to make sure I got it in. Um, since then I’ve automated a little bit more so that I can


you know, plan stuff out weeks or months ahead of time. But I don’t think I’ve missed a day of some type of social media posting in like 19 years. So I try to get stuff out there. So you were doing this before even Facebook was a thing and Instagram and all that. What social media platforms are you on? My biggest ones are, let’s see, Facebook. I’ve got about.


10,000 friends and like 18,000 likes. LinkedIn, I’ve got about 24,000 connections. Twitter, about 17 or 18,000. Dentaltown on the second most subscribed to person on there. Wow. I’ve lost track. I mean, my original one was Blogspot back in the day. That was before Facebook and.


you know, other blogs were out there, you had to have like a third party program. So I don’t know if that one still exists, but Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn are my main ones. I don’t do Instagram, which I probably should. I know a lot of dentists use it, but now that it’s, you know, part of Facebook, I probably should start using it a little more frequently. Excellent. Yeah, and I think part of it is just being consistent. I just had a meeting with our team, looking at social media and seeing for All-Star what,


what’s working, what’s not. And kind of the consensus was what we see for us a lot, podcasts, I mean, podcasts, YouTube, and that’s like quasi social media. It’s more of a medium for communicating information. And then what’s interesting is each platform, even TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, they all have a different personality. Now, do you post different content on Facebook versus LinkedIn?


for yourself? I used to years ago and I just, it’s just too much work. There’s just not that much content out there. So I use an aggregator like Hootsuite so that when I post to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, they all get the same one. It was just way too much work to have to do individual ones for each one. Because that, you know, because I do it every day, that’s like 90 a month to come up with.


new content or things I think are interesting and it’s just in the IT world, I think there’s a lot of cool stuff that’s out there. I’m not sure if there’s 90 new pieces of information that I need to get out there every month. So like I said, I’m lazy. I think some people will probably find some benefits by putting different content on different platforms. That’s one way to find out which platform is generating the most.


you know, the most feedback from users is having that different content on different platforms, but not for me. I just think it’s so impressive. Nearly 20 years every day doing social media before social media even took off. And just that consistency. And I think there’s a lesson to all of us, including myself, is just when you stick with it long enough and I know you put out good content, but even if it was a so-so content, it you.


create a following just by being consistent. What would you say for dental practices with social media? Is it a good for them? And if so, what should they be doing with their social media? Well, yes, I think it is absolutely a good thing for them. It can really be a powerful tool for engaging patients and potential patients, boosting the business.


I talked to, because I knew I was going to do this podcast with you, I talked to a number of our clients just to find out, you know, what are you guys doing? What’s the most effective? And I actually, you know, they came up with a list of, you know, here’s the things that we have found to be effective. I think the challenge for a lot of offices is you really don’t know. It really just depends on the area that you’re in and your patient base and, you know, what type of following you have on the different platforms. But


You know, it just really depends on what, what we did find is that engaging them seems to be a lot more encouraging to people as far as getting them involved than just content. I think there has to be educational content. I think, you know, whether it’s just talking about procedures that you do in the practice, you know, tips, you know, things like that, you know, because you’re basically positioning yourself as an expert and…


providing value to them. So, you know, obviously I think there has to be some type of educational content. But the things that we are getting a lot of good feedback from our clients on are things like, some of them are doing like contests and giveaways where it may be it’s, you know, you’re organizing some type of contest or whatever that you’re encouraging people to like or share or comment on your posts, which it really just, it’s increasing the engagement that you would see.


where sometimes what offices were doing, it was encouraging patients to share their experiences. In a sense, it’s almost like a review. I mean, rather than going to a mini review site, Google or whatever, you know, if you have user generated content right on that social media platform, that can be really powerful and it can be talking about a procedure. And we found that a lot of offices, what they do is they’ll do a procedure, especially something that’s.


A lot of patients are interested in a cosmetic procedure, implants, whatever. Whip out your iPhone and just do a recording of them right there. It takes a minute, two minutes. It doesn’t have to be high quality. Obviously, make sure you’ve got their permission and writing to put it on your social media. But we’ve found that can be really powerful. A lot of offices tell us that, I guess, I call it kind of like behind the scenes.


Pico, whatever, like where staff are sharing things about themselves, about their family, about hobbies that they have. It tends to make you more human. People see you and your staff as people that have other interests. They want to know about that stuff. Other things that people were saying is that some of them did like Q&A type sessions, like hosting like a live session where…


Patients can ask about procedures or about just anything in dentistry. You can do polls or surveys on the social media sites as well. I try to think of other things that people have done. Some people are saying that they’ve done, like they’d ask patients to do like the stories or testimonials about the practice, kind of like a review as well. And just like I said, just content, just stuff that maybe is current or up to date.


Scatter the news. There’s always stuff out there about something in the dental community, current events or trends. It doesn’t have to be just dentistry. It could be on HIPAA. It could be on insurance. It could be something that you think is gonna be, you know, of value or importance to your patients. And just get it out there. And you kind of alluded to it. It’s not so much that it has to be great content every time. You just have to be consistent. Just get something out and try switching it up and you’ll.


You’ll be able to tell. There’s all kinds of ways, whether it’s through analytics or other ways, that when you put stuff on your social media, it’s very easy to be able to tell, here’s the type of engagement that we got, here’s the feedback that we got, and then stick with what works. As I said, I have no idea what’s gonna work in your individual practice. I just know there’s, it’s kind of like the, throw it against the wall and see what sticks to that mentality, try different things and see what comes back and go with it.


Yeah, be willing to experiment. And I think it is important to be consistent. You mentioned aggregators where at the very least you can post it once and it’s sent to all of your social media platforms. And there’s also, like you said, testing and having a variety of different ways to engage. So there’s the branding aspect of it about talking about your business. There’s the educational component


you are going to be talking about some issue in dentistry, the oral systemic link, we see a lot of that. You mentioned even talking about privacy issues with HIPAA and how, I mean, that’s your area of expertise and talking about what you do, because in an office, people are worried about their privacy or worried about their health and making sure that you in our office, we’re doing these things. And here you can learn more about what your dentist should be doing.


And then there’s also, some of them are gonna be silly and fun. TikTok, you gotta be very silly and provocative, and it depends what audience you’re going to. And so it’s just testing out and seeing, like you said, the analytics, what is working the best. And you alluded to it. What we found too in our research for our social media, when we engage more with people, when we did like the office manager of the month and they shared, the other thing is that they’re sharing.


It’s not just your posting, but they’re getting interaction. That’s the key. So consistency, number one, gotta do it. And second, you gotta find a way to get them to interact. Something that’s gonna get them to comment, to share, to like, to get something going. I know a lot of dentists will do, yes, you have specials, but you might have a toy drive. Or, I know a lot will do, come to our office and we’ll exchange candy for, I don’t know.


and they give you toothbrushes or something. Well, it’s charitable things too. I mean, I was part of a group for years called Climb for a Cause, where we climb mountains. And what it did is encourage dentists to basically market what they were doing to their patients, try to get them come to a party and help support the cause. And it just created so much goodwill in the community. Oh, Dr. So-and-so is raising all this money to.


to build dental clinics in Vietnam and Cambodia, and he’s climbing this mountain in order to do that. And it’s just great feedback. It’s positive all around. So things like that, I think, are just so valuable for our practice. No, absolutely, absolutely. So, okay, so we’re being consistent in what we’re doing. We’re checking what works. We’re also doing a variety of types of social media.


and also delineating per platform. Now I have to put it out there as well. This is something we promote a lot, but we do have help with social media in terms of some of our coaches will actually do it. It’s a little side thing. They actually help post because offices aren’t getting it done. So they’re posting, they’re posting things that they know work, they’re mining the comments.


So that’s always good to do something that’s very inexpensive. That’s a service that you provide for your client? We do that, yeah. Oh, I would highly recommend people take advantage of that. It’s not just that a lot of offices don’t have the time. They don’t have the experience or the expertise to know what to post and when to post. There’s a whole market section that deals with what time of the day should you be posting. There’s all this type of stuff that you have experts that know this stuff. I think most dental offices, me, I certainly don’t know.


throw stuff out there. You know, your area, yeah. You know, that’s critical information for you to be able to have, what to post, when to post, how to post. You know, I would highly recommend that people take advantage of that if that’s a strategy problem. It’s more of a stop gap because it needs to get done. So the ways we can talk about how it gets done, one, what I would recommend is if you have somebody in your office that is enthusiastic about that, like the person that does the social media for our dentist also does the social media.


for us and she’s very passionate about it. So you wanna build on that passion. So certainly somebody in your office, I know some dentists are really good and they’re into social media, great, do that. But in any analysis that I look at, I have this way where, because we have a hiring service as well, and that’s part of do I do it or have somebody else do it? So the question you have to ask is is something that I love to do? Then the question you have to ask, am I good at it? And then the third question,


even if both those check off, is it the best use of my time doing this or spending my time building my business is making thousands of dollars an hour? That’s the question you have to look at. So you also could have for social media, something can be done in house in your office. Now I would say this as well, we work with a lot of marketing companies. I don’t wanna step on toes. If they do social media as part of their campaign, have them do it. But if all that fails, you’re not getting it done.


your marketing company isn’t doing it, our coaches will do it for you, okay? So you can reach out, we call it Get Social, and we do that. So it just needs to, that speaks to that consistency part that it needs to get done. And often we’re always creating services and products based on just, it’s gotta get done. People were complaining, well, I’m not gonna train, that’s our main thing, training your team. I’m not gonna, I can’t do your training program, I can’t coach my team because I don’t have the right people. So we build a hiring service. Well, I’m not doing social media, that’s easy.


So you just gotta make sure that these gaps with the digital dentist or in Levine, how’s my cybersecurity? How’s my HIPAA situation? How’s my computer system? Like we have to check these boxes off. Granted, we would love to be, we’d love you to be the number one social media dental office in the nation. That’s great. Unlikely, but you gotta have a presence there. You gotta check it off, okay? You’re not gonna have the cybersecurity that the Pentagon has.


but it will be good to protect you from most situations. Okay? If that makes sense. Yeah, it makes perfect sense to me. Excellent. So do you plan on doing social media for another 20 years, Lauren? Okay. I’m not sure if I plan on doing this for another 20 years. Then again, I got, you know, my son’s, I got two more years of high school, private high school, and then off to college for who knows how long. And I think he wants to do something in the cybersecurity realm.


Which means that a bachelor’s is not gonna cut it. So no, I think I’m gonna be Working for another 10 plus years, but I’m not sure if I’m gonna do the social media Well, don’t don’t go anyway dentistry needs you tell us a little bit. I’m not gonna listen to like I said, I got bills to pay They’re not going anywhere so I’m not going anywhere I am so we got one you gotta keep you good


I was gonna say at one point I dreamed about retiring and you know, 65, but you know, maybe add 20 to that. That may be more realistic. Well, but then you start playing tennis and you keep injuring yourself so much. So we gotta keep you working, Lauren. So I appreciate you sharing about social media. It’s not one of the services you provide, but you do tell us a little bit about the digital dentist. I know that we do this tech talk once a month and people hear about us, but for those that are unfamiliar with you and.


some of the services you provide and they wanna learn more about you. Tell us about the digital dentist. Yeah, so the way that I describe it to people is that we’re a full service dental IT company that specializes in cybersecurity and HIPAA. We still get computers for offices and set up their networks and monitors and digital X-rays and cameras and cone beam and all that type of stuff.


But a lot of dental IT companies can do that as well. One of the things that I was surprised of as I’ve gotten, I’ve been 20 plus years in this industry is that something like a risk assessment, which by law you have to do, it’s a HIPAA law. And really, it really has to be done by someone who’s familiar with IT because part of that risk assessment is evaluating everything from encryption to user accounts to network shares, all that type of stuff.


there are so few dental IT companies that do that. And it just kind of blew me away. Like, why wouldn’t you do it? It’s time that we charge for it. It’s required by law for our clients. So we do all of that stuff and everything from backup to firewalls, to patching, application whitelisting, anti-ransomware protection.


basically anything IT related. And there’s certain things that we don’t do, website design, for example, that we have plenty of partners that we work with that we can refer them to. But typically someone will call me up and say, hey, you know, I think I need to upgrade my technology or I’m not sure if my local IT is doing everything we should do. And even though we typically charge for our time to do an evaluation of the practice.


For your listeners, we don’t, we always waive the fee. So if anyone wants to contact us, just say, hey, you know, just do an evaluation. Let me know if I’m doing things right or if there are other things I should be doing. Takes about 30 minutes or so. I review everything with you. I’d give you a full treatment plan of, you know, here’s what we found, here’s what we recommend. Here are your options. Here’s all the different options with costs. And if you’re interested in that, you can just go to my website, which is


Right on the front page there, there’s a thing that says, you know, complimentary consultation. Just fill out your information. It goes to my office manager, Candice, and she will call you up to set up that evaluation. And you got nothing to lose, whether you work with us or not, at least you’ll have more information than you did beforehand as far as, you know, are you doing everything within reason that you can and should be doing to protect and secure your practice? I appreciate it. Thank you, Lauren, and thank you everybody for listening in.


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