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My Latest Article in Dental Economics


The Fear of Failure and Success

Title: What’s holding you back trying to reach the next level in the office – or developing the next stage of your career?

The “Fear of Failure” is easy to spot. It’s easy to spot, because the fear gets in the way and you never get started. It’s called procrastination. So, if you never get started, you never have to answer for failing at something.

There may be issues and items, and circumstances that get in the way of you accomplishing your goal. These issues and items conveniently pop up and victimize you, don’t they? So when circumstances arise and you feel like your life is being forcefully guided by them, remember that circumstances don’t make the man … they reveal him.

It plays on circumstances. It goes like this … if it weren’t for the economy, or the kid’s college fund, or the fact that new patient numbers are down … if it weren’t for all of these things, you’d be better off and you wouldn’t have to complain!
The “Fear of Success” is less understood. Fear of success plays on self-deception, and self-sabotage. You actually know that you can do the work and be successful at it, and you’re not afraid of failing at your goal.

What you’re afraid of … is what it’s going to take to stay at that new level. It takes more and better leadership. It takes more and sustained energy. It takes a better and quicker delegation. It takes trained and motivated staff (like a team). It takes more and better systems. It takes … more of what you don’t have.

And here’s what I hear you saying. “It just seems easier to stay at the level I am right now. It’s pretty good. I mean, it’s not too bad.”

But, when you follow someone who’s done it (and done it well), you can see the solution to your problems in their insights/words/actions. And you come away saying “I like what I see. I can do this!”

So the path might be lightly treaded (less travelled), but the rewards for your persistence and consistency are nothing short of astounding!

Solution for “Fear of Failure” – get up and do it (even if you hate doing it). A successful person fails a lot. Losers seem to fail once.

Solution for “Fear of Success” – get up and do it with someone who will guide the way for you.



Peter S. Evans, MS, DDS, MAGD


Protect your practice and your lifestyle by adding a profitable and healthy BioCompatible dental care component without turning your practice upside down. Call, click or come by. 757-220-1848, , Williamsburg, VA.



Why Are More Dentists NOT helping TMD patients?

I can only guess why more dentists are not diagnosing and treating temporomandibular disorders, but I can give my perspective. It is complicated. Not the explanation of why, the diagnosis and treatment planning. It can be attributed to pain in the musculature surrounding the temporomandibular joint much of the time, but relieving the pain is tricky and can be a very long process, if there is relief of the pain at all. Patients often have headaches that we know originate in the musculature surrounding the TMJ, but we feel as if headaches fall within the scope of medical practitioners or physical therapists or someone else, but not dentists. Not to overlook that there are not many dentists that are very skilled at getting excellent results for patients and significant pain relief. But for the average practicing general dentist, we often have little interest in taking care of these patients, because the protocols are complicated or confusing, but the results are often mixed. It can also be lacking in financial reward, as well, which is a practical matter that most of us do need to consider. So, due to this combination, it can be frustrating to attempt to help these patients.

Fortunately, there are new protocols that have been developed that can make the process of helping these patients simple, effective and productive financially for our practices. The Trudenta system ( is a marriage of therapies that have been utilized across the fields of dentistry, medicine and physical therapy. The system involves keeping a TMD/headache patient in the dental office for a series of therapy appointments from the start to finish of the Trudenta protocol. We have been using the protocol in our practice with great success. I am proud to offer this unique, extremely marketable system in our practice for our patients that have been suffering. Many patients have been suffering for years, sometimes even decades and are experiencing truly amazing results. Finally, many of the puzzle pieces have been put into place to offer our patients relief to their pain. One of the best parts of being a dentist is helping patients to look and feel their best. It is extremely gratifying to help patients that had previously thought that they were a “lost cause” or had run out of hope. Dentistry can certainly be a challenge, but it also is a joy when we help those that need it most.



The Three Most Important Things

Each day, we each have a limited amount of time. How we maximize that time defines who we become and what direction our lives will take. What habits we develop will determine nearly everything in our lives. Do we take time to pray, exercise, cook healthy meals, plan for business strategy, enjoy our loved ones and many other crucial habits? A wise mentor of mine, David Greenwalt, has often told me to remember the acronym, M.E.A.T. It stands for Money, Energy, Affection and Time. The point is that there is always enough M.E.A.T. for the most important things, but not for everything. For example, if you want to be fit and healthy, but never “find” the time to exercise or cook a healthy dinner, how likely is it that you will become or stay healthy? If you are giving all of your time to your practice, but not spending quality time with your family, how will your loved ones or your relationships fare?

It is the same in our lives or our practices, there is never enough time to do everything, but we CAN make time for the most important things nearly every day. It is a matter of priority, and believe me, with a busy practice and an amazing husband and four pretty darned great kids, there is a lot to do. I start every day (OK, to be honest, almost every day) with a list of the 3 most important things that once accomplished, will make the biggest impact in my practice. I also have an implied list of personal and family priorities. The rule is that before I can do anything else in addition to those 3 things, I must have finished the 3 priority items for that day FIRST. I nearly always have something on my list that I would rather avoid, but I am always happy and relieved to be done with those priority items first. Only then do I feel free to get the “busy work” done that tends to rule our lives when not put in the proper order on the good ole’ priority list.

Think of it this way, do you want to become super productive and enjoy the rewards of accomplishing the most important goals every day? It feels great and you will see significant progress when you do. I also recommend that if you need a push or accountability, you share your list of the 3 things with someone that you trust to hold you to them. An accountability partner plays a vital role in getting the most important M.E.A.T. items in our lives every day. Enjoy your life and your business to the fullest today and every day! Good luck!


Taking the Guesswork Out of Marketing in Dentistry

Learning and studying marketing BY FAR the best dollars I have ever spent on education after my DDS. I didn’t start out to learn marketing, it was a case of “necessity is the Mother of invention”. I HAD to learn marketing, I started up with an associate as well as myself, two dentists, no patients…it’s a long story!

While I would encourage anyone that owns a business to invest in a marketing education, the real place to start is defining who YOU are and what type of practice you wish to have. Literally, anything is possible, but you can’t get there without a concept of what your dream practice resembles. If you love restorative dentistry, developing that part of your practice makes perfect sense. If you love ortho, there have never been more options to help patients get a straighter smile. Invisalign and Six Month Smiles have made orthodontics more accessible than ever before to the general population.

The great thing about dentistry today, is that we offer many services that our patients NEED, but also many that they WANT. For example, a patient can survive without teeth, but they are much happier with their appearance if they have a beautiful set of dentures. They are even happier if they have implants to secure their denture, so that it doesn’t fly out of their mouth when they laugh.

I look at my marketing as layers.  We market for new patients for replacing patients that move, die or just don’t click.  Then we layer on targeted niche marketing for implants, Invisalign, sleep apnea and TMJ/headache relief (Trudenta), and some other niches in dentistry that we have developed.

When I first began marketing, I have to admit, I was not great at tracking, but now it’s my favorite game – a little addictive, actually.  I check our system on nearly every day just to see what calls come in from which campaign.  It allows me to really pinpoint what is a better return on investment for my practice’s marketing dollars. It has made marketing so much more predictable and a ton more fun. It truly takes much of the guesswork out of marketing.

Referrals, PR (charity, networking groups, customer service, press releases) and training and teaching my team to think like a marketer and a caring, kind dental team is the best use of my time and energy.  Marketing is the best use of my money (along with time, as well), it’s built me tons of equity and a practice in which the revenue fuels tons of fun and freedom for me and my family.