Those are the numbers achieved by the end of the three-year pilot initiative for Find-a-Dentist. Its success is the reason why the online search tool that seeks to connect potential dental patients with ADA member dentists will continue through 2020 and beyond.
The pilot initiative also provided the Association with data and information that can ultimately help connect potential patients with ADA member dentists.
“When this program began three years ago, we knew dentists had capacity to see more patients. There was a lot of ground to cover in how and when to reach those patients and the technology to make that happen,” said Dr. Sarah Poteet, ADA Council on Communications chair. “In three short years, the ADA has taken Find-a-Dentist from a pilot to a proven program thanks to a full team effort from individual members, state societies, local components and staff.”
Of the more than 3 million profile views, the program found that 17% resulted in action, which include potential patients visiting a dentist’s website, calling or emailing the practice and sharing their profile. Industry average for similar sites is only 1-4%, so patients are nearly six times more likely to contact an ADA dentist through Find-a-Dentist.
It found that online dental searches have seasonality, making spring and fall — especially during spring break and back-to-school — a prime time for potential patients searching for dentists. The end of the year also saw spikes in online searches before some dental benefits expired.
The ADA Find-a-Dentist online search tool, which launched in April 2017, was part of a planned $18 million, three-year initiative to drive utilization of dental services for ADA members. The ADA House of Delegates approved a resolution for the campaign, presented by the ADA Council on Communications, in 2016.
Advertising campaigns included a mix of display advertising, search engine ads and animated banners on websites reminding people that dentists can help them maintain and improve their oral health.
The initiative also found that its effort in targeting specific patient personas for its advertising campaigns worked in delivering the highest completed searches on Find-a-Dentist.
These ads targeted about 19.6 million potential patients for ADA members. These prospective patients had the means and believed in the importance of dental visits but for some reason are not following through with regular dental check-ups. Because the target audience understands the importance of taking care of their teeth, the messaging focused on encouraging consumers to schedule a checkup to preserve their oral health.
Funding for the program will continue its national search campaign and awareness marketing.
As of December 2019, there were about 89,000 completed profile of ADA member dentists in the Find-a-Dentist search tool.
“Through Find-a-Dentist, members are truly putting their best faces forward to potential patients,” Dr. Poteet said. “Continue updating your profile information as this program continues to connect provider and patient for better overall health.”
Dentists can update their Find-a-Dentist profile by logging in to their MyADA page, ADA.org/UpdateNow, using their member ID number and password. For more information or assistance, contact the ADA Member Service Center. For more information on Find-a-Dentist and for resources to help market a practice, visit ADA.org/findadentist.