Do's and don'ts for community outreach: Provide free dental services to the underserved

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In virtually every community, there are individuals who are unable to get proper oral healthcare. Some lack the financial resources, while others have disabilities that isolate them from sources of care. Whatever the reason, they need the skilled dental care that you and your team are able to provide. By setting aside time to use that expertise on behalf of neighbors in need -- whether at health fairs, at regular or "pop-up" clinics, or at your office -- you can become a community service hero. You and your staff will experience a deep sense of satisfaction, and you'll earn an excellent reputation among prospective patients.

Do

Create or "adopt" an oral healthcare outreach program. Survey your community for underserved groups and any existing organizations or events that are intended to serve them. If there's a ready-made niche for a volunteer dentist and staff to fill, step up. And if no such situation exists, create one. Either way, get your whole team involved and solicit contributions of dental supplies and services you'll need. Mobilize resources and take on the role of community health leader.

Don

Don't hesitate to publicize your community service. There's nothing wrong with letting all of your neighbors know what you're doing, through both traditional channels of communication and online -- especially through social media. Start by promoting the upcoming event or hours of pro bono service. Document what you're doing while it's happening, sending out tweets, photos on Facebook and Instagram, etc. And follow up with reports of what services you provided -- and when you'll do it again.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit www.levingroup.com/gpseminars.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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