When you choose your dental office name, you’re committing to that name for years to come.
There’s an interesting and fun conundrum when you open a new dental practice. You can find guidelines on health and safety. You can download a business plan outline. You can find list after listof the equipment you need and where to buy it. Your dental office name, however, is uncharted territory.
That’s good news, though. The thing is, if you find your office hours need an adjustment, you can do it. If you forgot to get an extra set of dental picks, you can order them and even get them shipped overnight. You could change your dental office name, but it takes a lot more effort, which is why choosing a name is one of the most important – and possibly overlooked – aspects of opening a new practice. It forces you to make a clear, well-planned decision on the presence you want your practice to project.
There is no right way to choose a dental office name. Many dentists use their name, like Thomas McKenny DDS & Associates for instance. Other dentists use the location of their clinic, like Park Slope Dentistry in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn.
No matter how you choose to name your practice, it’s not only a thought-provoking exercise; it’s also a fun activity. You can even involve your social media followers, your family, friends, and employees by asking for feedback once you’ve narrowed it down to a few favorite names.
Building excitement for your dental office name
You don’t have to wait until you name your practice to start building excitement and a social media following. Set up a business page on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram under your name and convert it to your business name as soon as you can. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all make it relatively easy to change the name on your account.
Use these accounts to build your audience, showcase the work you’re doing on a new office, share dental hygiene tips, and promote your professional expertise.
Ideas to help you choose your dental office name
While you’re getting the word out about your new practice, you’ll need to buckle down and decide on a name. The first step is deciding what direction you want to take your business and thinking about what makes you stand out as a dentist.
Do you specialize in pediatric dentistry? There’s a comforting quality to a name like Tender Care Pediatric Dentistry in Mt. Pleasant, PA. In Little Rock, AR, Leap Kids Pediatric Dental projects a fun, playful image. Both practices also make it clear that they work specifically with kids.
Your personality may play a part in choosing a name. For instance, the name Sweet Tooth Family Dental tells me that this Seattle office will see a whole family and they know how to have some fun.
Likewise, the Dallas office of Smiley Dental & Orthodontics sounds like a friendly office. Plus, the name gives the impression that it is a full-service dental practice.
Play with your location to find a unique dental office name. Enchantment Dental, P.C. in Santa Fe, NM uses the state’s official nickname to pay tribute to the beauty of New Mexico. Enchantment is also a magical word, conjuring mental images of delight.
In Newport, RI, Anchor Dental plays with a prominent symbol on the Ocean State’s flag. This office is only a half block away from Newport Harbor, so the name also makes obvious sense!
Make it easy
True, if you call your practice, “Jerry and Associates West End Gentle Pediatric and Family Dental and Expert Orthodontics,” it becomes pretty clear what you do at your office. It’s also fair to say most people won’t remember that name for more than 18 seconds. “West End Family Dental and Orthodontics” is a little easier to recall. You can break it down further, though. “West End Dental” with a tagline of “Gentle Dentistry and Orthodontics for your whole family” works best since you have a simple, direct name combined with a slogan that lets you expand your message.
Is the name available?
Check the web, check the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s search system and check with the Secretary of State in your state to be sure the business name is available.
Is the domain available?
Once you choose a name, you’ll need a website. Try your best to find a domain name that is spelled exactly like your practice name. Once you get into unusual spellings and underscores, it becomes much more difficult for potential patients to find you on the web.
Ideally, your dental office name, your domain name, and social media handles will all be the same. This makes marketing much easier. If you can’t match up all of these, don’t fret.
A similar domain can work, too. One way is to add your state’s two-letter abbreviation to your web address. For instance, Anchor Dental’s website domain is www.anchordentalri.com, with the “ri” added on for Rhode Island. However you decide to make it work, focus on your business name and domain first. It’s easier to work around these issues with social media handles.
Register your dental office name
Once you’ve decided on an available business name, register that name as soon as possible. In most states, you’ll file a DBA (Doing Business As) with the Secretary of State. You may want to trademark your business name, too, although that isn’t essential to do business.
To be perfectly honest, creating your brand is a lot of work. In the end, it is time well spent. Your business will be more recognizable and stronger because of the work you put in now. Just make sure to treat yourself, and recognize the effort you’re making. Go to a ball game, take a hike, or take in a movie. Anything you can do to relax and recharge a little will help clear your brain and make you more productive.
To recap, ask yourself these questions when you are working on your dental office name:
- Do you have a specialized focus – or not? What do you want your business name to convey to new patients?
- Can you add personality to your dental office name while maintaining a professional demeanor? Remember, a witty pun may only get you so far.
- Is there something about your location that you can turn into a unique business name? For instance, Endor Dental isn’t bad, but doesn’t Forest Moon Dental evoke a more descriptive image? (We are assuming the Ewoks don’t have regular dental care, so feel free to take this as a business idea)!
- Is the name available? Is the web domain available?
- Is the name easy to remember?
- Most important, do YOU like the name?
Lastly, don’t forget that even though the name of your dental practice is important, what matters most is how your patients feel. Your compassionate care and stellar customer service will say far more about your practice than the name you choose.
Do you already have a dental practice? How did you choose your business name? Share your experience with the community!