Caramel apple taste without getting sticky!

Here is a great fall recipe from the folks at Midwest Living Magazine. If you like caramel apples you will love these cookies.

They also have the added benefit of not sticking to your braces or dental work. Feel free to share this recipe with your patients.

Caramel Apple Cookies
* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1-1/4 cups packed brown sugar
* 1 tsp. baking soda
* 1 tsp. apple pie spice
* 1/4 tsp. salt
* 1 egg
* 1/2 cup apple juice or milk
* 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/4 cup whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour
* 1 large tart apple (about 1 cup)
* 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
* 3 Tbsp. butter
* 3 Tbsp. apple juice
* 2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
* 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, toasted


1. In a large mixing bowl beat 1/2 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1-1/4 cups brown sugar, baking soda, apple pie spice, and salt. Beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg until well combined. Add 1/2 cup apple juice; beat on low speed until combined (mixture will look curdled). Beat in as much of the flours as you can with the mixer; stir in any remaining flour. Fold in apple.

2. Drop dough by slightly rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart cookie sheets. Bake in 350 degree F oven about 10 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

3. In a small saucepan heat and stir 1/2 cup brown sugar, 3 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons apple juice over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Whisk in powdered sugar. Spread frosting on cooled cookies and immediately sprinkle with pecans.

When to Rewrite & Revise Your Dental Website

We got a call this week from an office manager who had been looking for someone to rewrite and finish the text on a dental website. She’d been quoted prices in the thousands, and the site is not very big. It’s silly, really, that: A) no one wants to revise, rewrite, or finish an incomplete website’s text and B) that companies use exorbitant prices to run off potential customers instead of just sending them to Gimball’s department store. (Movie reference, Miracle on 34th Street. MDPM is the Gimball’s in this analogy.)

We love to write! In fact, I’ve loved writing since
I was a child, and so have my copywriters. Ink is in our blood.
(Figuratively speaking, of course. We aren’t dying of ink poisoning.)

But the title of this blog isn’t “Who Will Rewrite and Revise Your Dental Website,” it’s “When to Rewrite and Revise Your Dental Website.” This is when you should call MDPM to discuss dental copywriting for your website…

  • If your site is unfinished, has blank or “coming soon!” pages.
  • If the grammar, spelling, and content are weak.
  • If you can’t highlight the text with your mouse, search engines can’t read it. This is more of a technical issue, but we can help you.
  • If the text is over a few years old and no longer represents your practice’s technology and recent training.
  • If the text was not written for search engines, or if it was poorly written. Good dental website content appeals to search engines AND HUMANS.
  • If the text is on other sites. Yeah, if you swiped it. The main reason swiped text is bad: search engines hate it. You’ll kill your rankings. The other reason: you could be sued. Either way, it’s not a good situation.
  • If you want to add pages, flesh out your site, and add a blog.
  • If your services are condensed onto just one page. Search engines and humans would like more information, please.

If you’re just not sure that anyone but the doctor could write good text for your website, but he’s too darn busy, check this out. Jill Duty (that’s me :-)) was a freelance copywriter for three years before being copy director at a major dental website company for four years. I left that company to start MDPM this year. I have interviewed dental teams and written everything from taglines to press releases to websites to whitepapers for dentists. Jill Nastasia, my partner, was an English major and has a master’s degree in online education. She also worked at a leading dental website firm before starting MDPM. Our staff copywriters are either English or journalism majors, or they have years of experience writing dental website copy. We are qualified to help you. It’s a very niche industry, dental copywriting, and we’re the pros.

Don’t settle for a sub-par website. It’s like letting weeds grow up in front of your dental office, or having a renovation that’s been in the works for years, so plastic sheets and dust is everywhere. Let’s get this thing done, and let’s get it done right! Call Jill at 972-781-8861.

The Quiz of One Hundred: Win a Free Book!

It’s a special day for Modern Dental Practice Marketing! We’ve changed our banner, have a new writer joining our team today (yay Sara), and are meeting and exceeding our company goals. Our clients are happy, and they make us happy. So, to celebrate, we’re giving stuff away!

The first person to send me correct answers to these 5 questions will get a free copy of The Smart Dentist’s Guide to Nearly Everything by Dr. Charles Martin of the Richmond Smile Center.

  1. What has MDPM done consecutively 100 times, as of today?
  2. The 100-year War marked the return of Napoleon from exile and the second reign of which King Louis?
  3. What is the 100th day of the year, not on a leap year?
  4. What Britton and former boy-band member, who is still rocking at age 68, had 32 number-one singles on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart during his career?
  5. Where is the awesomely named wedding planning company, 100 Layer Cake, located?

Good luck!
Jill & Jill

What’s a Google Tag? Does a Dentist Need One?

If you have a Google Places page, you’ve probably seen “Add a Tag.” My husband and I are both entrepreneurs, so I was inundated with emails and snail mail offering a free tag for 30 days – of course Google wanted my credit card info to get started. Those of you who don’t have a Google Places page need to stop reading and go get one. Then come back and finish reading. I’ll wait…

A Google Tag is a yellow highlight added to a Google Places listing. Last week I wrote about Google Coupons. With a Google Tag, you can choose to highlight your coupon, posts, website, photo, video, reservations link (hotel, airline, restaurant), or menu link (restaurant).

So, that little yellow arrowish thing in front of your competitors’ Google Map listing means that he’s signed up for a tag. But does he need one? Do you?

I’ve waited a while to address Google Tags because I wanted to evaluate what was really going on. Not everything free is valuable. That’s not to imply that Google Tags aren’t valuable. In the right situation, they’re well worth the $25 a month.

Here’s the secret: If your company ranks high on the Google Places map that shows up in a regular Google Search (not just when you click on the Google Places tab), sign up for a Google Tag today.

I recommend highlighting your blog site with your tag, not only because MDPM builds and writes dental blogs, but also because the visitor who clicks on your highlighted blog site will have an opportunity, on your blog, to sign up for your RSS feed, subscribe to your blog, and (hopefully) follow you on Facebook and Twitter. He can also forward any of your blogs he likes to friends and family who may benefit from the information. I guess the point is, your blog is a destination that will allow a potential patient to get in touch and stay in touch with your practice.

Now, if your Google Places listing does not rank high on the maps, you need to invest more energy into the listing. Get patients to write testimonials there. Post updates weekly, or even daily. Load photos and videos, and be sure to include ALL of your contact information, including your blog or website link. Make the most of the Google Places listing, and you will probably see an improvement in its map ranking.

Social Marketing Needs to Eat a Banana

We’re all so very busy. You know exactly what I mean. I try to get in some yoga or a walk in the  morning, then do my reading at night. On my nighstand right now are a parenting book (I have two teenagers), The Count of Monte Cristo (birthday gift and personal life goal), and UnMarketing by Scott Stratten. It’s the latter that inspired this blog post. I highlighted some interesting points in UnMarketing last night, thinking of you, and I want to share them.

What’s the deal with Facebook and Twitter? Well, social marketing is in a rapid state of evolution. You can literally see it growing. It’s like a teenager! I say social media needs to eat a banana because when I grew two inches one summer, my legs ached like a big dog. My mom, a nurse, made me eat bananas for the potassium. It helped. (On a side note, I looked up Chaquita Banana on Facebook. She has an unused profile, but I added her as a friend anyway.) (Another side note, I am not bananas.)

Scott, the guy who wrote UnMarketing, is a very smart wiseguy, and that’s a compliment. He lends great insight and perspective to how social media works right now. Like a teenager, social media will change quickly. We may not even recognize it as “social media” in a few years. Who knows? But, I figure knowledge is power, so there’s no harm in learning all I can right now.

In the book, Scott wrote that many people join social media sites, like Facebook and Twitter, then give up when nothing happens. YES! I thought. Scott said that social media isn’t media. The term is misleading. It makes you think of TV or radio. He says social media is more social than media. Yep. Yep.

You have to engage to make it work.

I want to invite YOU to read UnMarketing along with me. Go to Facebook to join in the discussion.

I’m going there now to finish up this post! Remember those points I was going to share…

<visit The Business Book Club with ModMark to finish reading this post>

SocialVibe and WordPress = Dentist Websites Giving Back

WordPress is pretty cool. That’s why it’s the blogging service of choice at Modern Dental Practice Marketing — and I do not get paid to say that. In addition to great functionality, customizable templates, and traffic reports, WordPress has widgets, one of which really impressed me.

[yframe url=’’]

When I came across the SocialVibe widget, I was working on my agenda, planning a November retreat for Jill and me. Of course, I noticed that Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and all the year-end holidays are almost here. Everyone is going to get super busy. We’re also going to have less time and more to do. The thing is, these particular holidays are meant for us to be appreciative, kind, caring, generous, reflective on the quality (the real quality) of our lives and the impact we have on people. For dentists, it starts early. Halloween Candy Buy Back supports Operation Gratitude, the charity dedicated to showing appreciation to US troops on active duty overseas. But we can’t send some candy to a warehouse for others to sort and ship, then call our philanthropic duties done, now can we?

We are blessed, lucky, fortunate — chose your term. We’re that.

Today, MDPM added a SocialVibe widget to our sidebar. We’re supporting Children Helping Children, a charity that gets our American kiddos hooked up with underprivileged kiddos across the globe. Children helping Children not only teaches our richly blessed US kids about the orphans, disease, and starvation other kids face every day. The charity gives US kids a chance to help. And, I love this, it’s not all about money. Sure, Children Helping Children allows our kids to raise money that helps less fortunate children in a very practical way. But the organization also encourages our kids to exchange letters and pictures with the children they’re helping.

I remember having a pen pal in Germany when I was about 10. I mailed her Madonna bracelets, and she sent me scratch-and-sniff stickers with German cartoons on them. Pretty cool. Children Helping Children takes pen pals to the next level.

It’s very awesome.

Now, back to the widget. I installed the SocialVibe widget to support Children Helping Children. Anyone who does the activity associated with my widget will earn money for my charity of choice. The activities are sponsored by big brands. The one I did today for a breast cancer awareness charity was a trivia question. The one for Children Helping Children was a Hotmail ad in which I voted on some commercial clips. It took seconds.

Jill and I want to encourage YOU to add a SocialVibe widget to your sidebar. We’ll do it for you if you’re an MDPM client. Just go to www., sign up for a free account, and choose your charity. Whether you support animal rights, organ donation, cancer research, or the arts, there’s a charity for you. Simply send us your SocialVibe logins and the charity you’d like to support. We’ll add the SocialVibe widget to your sidebar, just above the RSS feeds or links.

Come on, guys. It’s free. Let’s get global this holiday season.

Jill Duty

They say it’s your birthday…

Ok – I know you are expecting to see the follow-up to last weeks Weekend Warrior, in which I was going to unveil the best office giveaways out there.  However, you will have to wait til next week for our findings.

This week, I would like to wish MDPM’s Cofounder, and the best business partner a gal could have, Jill Duty, a Happy Birthday!


Free Mobile Coupon for Dentists (Thanks, Google Places!)

Do you have a Google Places account? If not, as soon as you finish reading this article, go get one!

You may have heard about mobile coupons. Restaurants use them a lot. You can go to a restaurant, look up a mobile coupon on your smart phone, show the server, and get a discount, free guacamole, whatever.

Google Places will allow you to create a mobile coupon at no cost. That’s right, pro gratis. Gotta love Google. You can add a coupon for teeth whitening, new patient exam, or a seasonal offer (which is always fun). Seasonal offers might be something like, Does your breath scare people? During October, visit Dr. [Dracula] for 25% off all professional Breath Rx products. By the time the you’re passing out candy, you’ll have the sweetest breath in town. Feel free to use that. I’d be honored.

Here’s how to create your coupon:

  • Just go to your Google Places admin panel
  • Edit your business listing
  • Choose the Coupons tab
  • Choose Add New Coupon
  • Fill out the details, including an image (your logo or appropriate pic)

And you’re all set. The coupon will automatically run for 30 days, then go away. If you have multiple locations on Google Places, you can edit the coupon to be valid at certain locations. It’s all very cool.

If you need help completing your Google Places listing, or you’d like to talk with MDPM about a custom dental website or blog site, or just writing your blog and helping with social networking, we’re here for you. Jill can be reached at 972-781-8861. You can browse our portfolio on our website at

Dentists’ Medicare Reimbursement 2% for PQRI Compliance

Okay, MDPM is a dental marketing company, and the Physicians Quality Reporting Initiative by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has nothing to do with marketing. It does, however, have a lot to do with money. And money is good.

If you are a dentist or oral surgeon who bills Medicare, and you want to take advantage of the 2% reimbursement incentive, follow the IDMS blog. IDMS is a company that provides physician chart audits for PQRI registry submissions. When you subscribe to the IDMS blog, you’ll get great information, like tips about compliance and news from CMS.

You’ll also want to check out the PQRI Overview from CMS. The Medicare Incentives Payments Tip Sheet is particularly insightful, and your administrative team should take at least peruse it.

Also, if you’ve not claimed your HealthGrades dentist listing, do so right now!

Marco. Polo. Facebook Places.

You know Facebook. You know how to play Marco Polo in the swimming pool. So using Facebook Places will be a cinch.

The most common comment I hear about Facebook Places is, “Why on earth would I want to do that?” Because Marco Polo and tag are fun, especially at work. Check it out:

Imagine yourself at the Chicago Midwest Dental Conference. Your partner couldn’t make it, so it’s just you and your bags. You’re looking for your peeps (colleagues), but the convention center is huge and crowded. You could call them, but it’s loud. Will they hear their phone? You could text them, but do you have time?

If you check in, they will come.

Then you remember this article. You have a Facebook account and smart phone. So with one hand (the other is holding the door for a gaggle of luggage-lugging, wide-eyed interns), you check in with Facebook. All of your friends, fans, and followers are alerted of your location.

If you check in, they will come.

You tag a few FB friends you’d like see at event by using the @ symbol. Then you notice that the Facebook People Here Now feature says your old college pal is at the convention, too. You also see the name of a speaker you’ve always wanted to meet, and he’s in the building right now.

If you check in, they will come.

“Well, that was pretty awesome,” you say to yourself. As you turn toward the real-life check-in, there’s your friend from college, with the speaker you want to meet.

“Hey, Bob, I saw that you were here on Facebook. Great to see you, buddy! I want to introduce you to my friend… He’s also a great golfer.”

You might also read this CNNTech article. It explains how to change your privacy and alert settings on Facebook Places.