Negotiating your salary: Writing a counter offer

Congratulations on the job offer! Should you accept or try to negotiate? If you’re reading this, according to the Center for Professional Success, the first thing you should know about providing a counter offer is that you should have already received a job offer.

Screen Shot 2016-11-23 at 9.39.55 AMIf you have been put in the position of being asked “What are your salary and other consideration requests?” either be prepared with an answer that is somewhat above your actual expectations, or explain that you are not ready to state that until you know more about the office, its patient load, its financial outlook and your expected role in the position. You should know these things in order to provide a reasonable salary range or to fully consider the offer the employer is putting forward.

[Counter Letter example]

There are three options available to you once an offer is extended: accept the offer as is, decline the offer, or submit a counter offer. Submitting a counter offer can be the most stressful option.

The window for negotiating a counter offer is small, but it can have a large impact on your final pay. Here are some steps to take before submitting your counter offer.

Research the position. Know the salary range you should expect. Make sure to factor in the location of the practice and, if possible, try to find historical information on the employer’s salary range. Ask questions about patient load, salary calculation, the practice finances and the like (see The Associateship Interview: Come Prepared With Smart Questions). Use this information, along with your own needs and wants, to establish your own best alternative to a negotiated agreement (often called BATNA). This is the goal toward which you are aiming when you start to negotiate, and you’ll do better if you have it foremost in your mind.

When the offer is extended, first thank the interviewer and be sure to express interest and excitement in the job. Let them know that this is a major decision that will require careful thought and ask them how long you have to consider the offer.

Maintain gratitude in negotiations. The conversation should be cordial not a battle. If not handled with tact, presenting a counter offer could cause the employer to change their opinion of you and to rescind the offer.

Consider asking for a salary or terms that are slightly better than you will accept. How does that saying go? “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll be among the stars.” Justify your salary expectations by playing to your attributes. Remind them of your experience, education, your willingness to grow the practice, the revenue you will bring in, and solutions you can provide.

Be prepared for a refusal to negotiate or an offer lower than your ask. The offer may be firm. If the offer is below your minimum, be open to walking away from the offer. This is where having your BANTA in mind helps. You won’t get caught up in the negotiation and be tempted by slight concessions that still don’t raise the offer to the level of your basic needs.

After an agreement is reached, get the offer in writing. Also important, don’t ask for anything more after the negotiations are over, it may sour the relationship or lose you the job offer.

ADA member, Dr. Colleen Greene, has generously shared a counter offer letter template to use in your salary negotiations. Good luck!

Disclaimer. This document is not intended to provide either legal or professional advice, and cannot address every federal, state, and local law that could affect a dentist or dental practice. We make no representations or warranties of any kind about the completeness, accuracy, or any other quality of the information in the above piece. Nothing here represents advice or opinion as to any particular situation you may be facing; for that, it is necessary to consult directly with a properly qualified professional or with an attorney admitted to practice in your jurisdiction for appropriate legal or professional advice. To the extent the above includes links to any web sites, the ADA intends no endorsement of their content and implies no affiliation with the organizations that provide their content. Nor does the ADA make any representations or warranties about the information provided on those sites, which we do not control in any way.


Starting its own diversity committee, Greater Houston Dental Society shares lessons learned

Diversity: From left, Drs. Akbar Ebrahimian, Gargi Mukherji, Victor Rodriguez, Michelle Aguilos Thompson and Maryam Tabrizi pose for photo during a Greater Houston Dental Society Diversity Committee event held May 25 in Houston. The Diversity Committee Fiesta event was one of the first social gatherings organized by the Diversity Committee, which Dr. Rodriguez, as GHDS president in 2016, helped create with the assistance of Dr. Thompson, a graduate of the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

Diversity: From left, Drs. Akbar Ebrahimian, Gargi Mukherji, Victor Rodriguez, Michelle Aguilos Thompson and Maryam Tabrizi pose for photo during a Greater Houston Dental Society Diversity Committee event held May 25 in Houston. The Diversity Committee Fiesta event was one of the first social gatherings organized by the Diversity Committee, which Dr. Rodriguez, as GHDS president in 2016, helped create with the assistance of Dr. Thompson, a graduate of the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

Houston — Considering that Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the country, it caught Dr. Victor Rodriguez by surprise to learn that the Greater Houston Dental Society did not have its own diversity committee.

The local dental society has about 1,600 members, with about 35 percent of whom belong to a minority group.

“It was surprising to me that we didn’t have [a diversity committee],” he said. “But after we looked around the country, we realized there weren’t very many diversity committees at the state and local levels.”

When Dr. Rodriguez became president in 2016, he sought to change that.

In September, the Greater Houston Dental Society Diversity Committee celebrated its one-year anniversary.

However, starting the committee wasn’t always easy. It’s for this reason that Dr. Michelle Aguilos Thompson, a member of the Institute for Diversity in Leadership 2016-17 class who helped organized Greater Houston Dental Society’s diversity committee, is using the experience to help guide other local and state dental organizations in starting their own.

Setting goals

One of the first people he asked to join the committee was Dr. Thompson, who had just been accepted to the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership.

“I really didn’t know what to do,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “But I knew I needed the right people to answer the important questions: What are our goals? What is our mission?”

Fiesta: Houston-area dentists and staff from the Greater Houston Dental Society pose for a photo during the May 25 Diversity Committee Fiesta, a social event organized by the GHDS Diversity Committee. About 60 dentists attended the celebration which welcomed members from the various dental groups in Houston.

Fiesta: Houston-area dentists and staff from the Greater Houston Dental Society pose for a photo during the May 25 Diversity Committee Fiesta, a social event organized by the GHDS Diversity Committee. About 60 dentists attended the celebration which welcomed members from the various dental groups in Houston.

During the Institute’s program year, class members develop leadership skills and execute a personal leadership project that addresses an issue or challenge in his or her community, organization or the profession.

“[Dr. Rodriguez] called me and asked me to make this (forming the diversity committee) my project,” she said.

The first meeting involved five people.

“We had to lay out our plan and set our goals,” Dr. Thompson said.

The main goal for the Greater Houston Dental Society Diversity Committee is to help increase the membership with diverse members, said Dr. Rodriguez.

“We had to look at our dental society and some of the statistics were not very nice,” he said.

The dental society only had 34 percent market share of minority dentists.

“That means we have about 1,000 potential dentists who are minorities but only a third of them are members,” he said. “That to me was just not good. That was an alarming statistic.”

To engage more minority dentists, the committee has organized several meet-and-greets, inviting dentists to its general meetings that include continuing education speakers. On Oct. 27, the committee is also hosting a lunch and learn for minority dental students to share their professional experiences.

The group’s second goal is to reach out to the minority dental groups in Houston.

While Greater Houston Dental Society didn’t have a diversity committee, Houston is home to minority dental groups, including the Houston Asian American Dental Society and Houston Hispanic Dental Association.

“We want to bring some of the leaders from these other groups to our committee and have some representation,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “We want to have a dialogue and figure out a way to work together.”

The committee welcomed members from the various dental groups in Houston at social event in May. About 60 dentists attended the celebration.

The third goal of the committee is to create cultural awareness and sensitivity in the Greater Houston Dental Society. Through articles and events, the committee seeks to engage the dental society’s members and share stories and discuss issues involving diversity.

“Minority dentists face different challenges,” Dr. Rodriguez said. “We have different languages, different cultures, dialects. Some are first generation immigrants and some the first to be born in America. These are stories that are important to tell.”

Guiding others

The committee, which is currently a subcommittee of the Greater Houston Dental Society board, hopes to become a standalone committee by the end of the year or early next year. Today, the committee has about 15 members working on the three main goals first set in that initial meeting.

However, challenges in outreach and recruitment remain. It’s for this reason that Dr. Thompson modified her Institute for Diversity in Leadership project.

“In the beginning, my goal was just to form the committee,” she said. “But I knew immediately that this committee was going to be formed with or without me. I wanted another challenge.”

Dr. Thompson decided to meticulously document Greater Houston Dental Society’s efforts and actions in organizing their diversity committee, from setting the stage for diversity and including and starting conversations on the topic to taking action and sustaining the group’s work.

“I’m creating a guide so whoever is interested in creating a diversity committee can pick it up and get started,” she said.

Understanding that local and state dental groups vary in demographics and processes, Dr. Thompson said the guide can be modified and will be constantly changing. One of Dr. Thompson’s Institute classmates is already using the guide to start a diversity committee in Dallas, she said.

“The profession is becoming more diverse, especially the number of women,” Dr. Thompson said. “If we don’t have a way to attract diverse members and develop them as leaders, we’re going to face the challenge of having leaders who aren’t reflective of the general members.”

Dental societies interested in starting a diversity committee can email Dr. Thompson at

Social media marketing: How to tell your practice’s story

In today’s market, potential patients don’t only want to know what services your practice has to offer, but the story behind your practice. Learn how to tell your story across your social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat), as well as effectively create campaigns to market your practice within your local community on each social platform.

Register for the webinar, “Social Media Marketing: How to Tell Your Practice’s Story,” to be held 2-3 p.m. CST, Nov. 9. To register, click here.

Learning Objectives:
  • Facebook 101: Making the right impression, mobile vs desktop, types of posts to avoid, and handling negative reviews while keeping HIPAA in mind
  • Showcase your practice’s personality through Facebook campaigns
  • Learn what content does best on Instagram, as well as promotional and educational posts that benefit your practice
  • How to use Twitter in real-time to engage with your patients
  • Learn how to share your practice’s story in 10 second Snapchat interactive videos with your followers
About the presenter:
Kathryn Inman is the Director of Social Media Marketing at PBHS. Kathryn directs the creation and implementation of digital marketing campaigns that help dental practices increase brand awareness and patient base by building meaningful interactions with target audiences.

Climb your way to Page 1 (for free!) with these 5 DIY SEO hacks

Getting your own practice up and running — attracting new patients, balancing the books and maintaining a welcoming atmosphere — can be challenging for even the most experienced dentists.  Add to that list post-graduation debt that needs to be paid off, and it’s no wonder why many practice-owners are scrambling to get their practices on the map as soon as possible. But attracting new patients and retaining them isn’t as easy as it sounds. Marketing professionals don’t come cheap, and many dentists don’t think they have the know-how to market their practice themselves. In this blog post, I’m going to lay out some quick and easy hacks I’ve successfully used to rank higher on search engines and make my practice more visible.

Dentist Rohini Agarwal DMDSearch engines have become smarter over the years. Gone are the days when you could simply stuff a page with the same keyword over and over and rank on the first page. All major search engines now weigh a multitude of factors when ranking pages — and it isn’t just about keywords. They’re also considering things like age of domain; keywords within domain name; and, behind the scenes, things like HTML and CSS codes. Some of these factors are within our control (like keywords), some aren’t, and some are too technical for just about everyone except those with a high degree of technical expertise.

Over the years, I’ve developed and tested a handful of free and easy hacks that will boost your search engine ranking. I personally used these strategies to help my own practice’s website make it from a distant Page 6 all the way to Page 1 of Google results for many different keywords. These DIY hacks require no special technical knowledge — any dentist out there can do them! Best of all, they saved me a bunch of money along the way. If you follow these steps, I believe you’ll have primed your practice’s site for the top spot on Page 1 of Google. The groundwork will be laid out and you’ll be ready to hire a professional to help with the final summit to Position 1.

Hack #1: Focus on NAP

This one sounds really simple, but you’d be surprised how many practices miss out on high rankings because they neglect to take care of this simple task.

Your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP) should be consistent across the numerous online directories and websites. Online directory information comes from four major directories: Axciom, Infogroup, Localeze, and Factual. Those four directories then propagate your contact information to numerous smaller directories. Check your listing information on the four major directories and confirm that the information is both correct and consistent. If corrections are needed, you can call their 800 number to edit your information.

The easiest way I found to go about this particular tip was to buy an annual package from Yext, which takes all my contact information and distributes across it vast network of online directories so that it’s consistent across the web. Claim your business listing on major sites so that you can edit information as and when needed.

Hack #2: (Original) Content Is King

Having a flashy, modern website certainly makes an impression on site visitors, but it pales in comparison to the importance of content. Your content is the key to distinguishing yourself from your competition. Furthermore, original content is valued far more by search engines than cookie-cutter, pre-made, copy-pasted sections.

Many dentists feel overwhelmed by the task of creating original written content for their sites — after all, a dentistry degree is a lot different than an English degree! But writing content for your site isn’t as hard as you may think. Friends and family can be particularly helpful for this task. Spend some time asking them what they like and dislike about their current dentist — use their feedback to drive your content. See for example how Definition Dental makes an emotional yet meaningful statement to connect with the local community in Beaverton OR. Think about your own practice philosophy — what makes your practice unique? What are the key principles you and your team follow in your day-to-day work?

Once you’ve gathered these thoughts, I suggest you sit down, write out a draft and get some feedback. Ask your friends and family to read your ideas and tell you what they think. If they were a new patient, what kind of impression would your content have on them? Were there any unanswered questions? You may also ask for feedback from current patients, as well.

As a general rule of thumb, you should have at least 1,000 words of content on each of the major pages on your site.

Hack #3: Build Links to Your Website

The term “information highway” gets thrown around a lot when referring to the internet, but many people don’t know what it really means. The “information highway” refers to the way information flows across the internet — how people talk, share, discuss, and distribute information. Using the information highway the right way can get your site seen by huge numbers of people on a continual basis. Knowing how the information highway runs is some of the most valuable knowledge you can have when it comes to building your visibility — but it can also seem daunting.

I suggest starting out by making a small goal: challenge yourself to get one backlink  per week. It may seem like a drop in the bucket, but trust me, this strategy will build momentum fast. Start today — go out there and answer questions people have on social forums like Quora and Reddit. Make guest posts and comment on other people’s blogs. Create and share an infographic or short informational video with your iPhone and educate people about something they’d like to know. You might even consider describing an interesting and challenging case that could intrigue your colleagues. There are a huge range of options here that can meet your goal, but the basic idea is this: generate or share information that people value, information that people are specifically looking for, so that they’ll link your website as source.

Generating backlinks is going to give you a twofold edge. First, the backlinks alone will increase your SEO ranking. The other advantage is lesser-known. There are so many practices out there that don’t use backlinks at all. That’s a huge source of visibility that they’re missing out on — and YOU aren’t. Even just a few backlinks that you can gather will catapult you ahead of your competition. This is a crucial exercise, and the rate at which you build links and the relevant websites will make a difference. One last tip: be patient and consistent with your backlink goals. Search engines take their time in rewarding the links, but the results will payoff.

Hack #4: Build Your Online Reputation with Reviews

Not only do reviews bring an independent perspective from your patient base, but they also serve as signal in search engines. A steady stream of reviews from your patients can work like magic in moving you up in the ranks. Employing this tip doesn’t have to be arduous; there are vendors out there that can integrate into your practice software and automate the process of asking reviews from your patients. These services prompt your patients for a review via text messages, increasing the chances of getting a review. You don’t need a ton — aim for one review for every five requests. The quantity doesn’t matter as much as the consistency. Keep the reviews flowing and you’ll slowly start to move up.

Hack #5: Get Active on Social Media

Full disclosure: this strategy has a smaller contribution compared to the points above.

However, we can’t ignore the fact that social media has completely changed the landscape of things. Everyone and their mother (literally) are on social media these days, and it will most likely not hurt your business to have a presence on Facebook or Twitter. Their importance is growing everyday — why not get a headstart and establish yourself as the social media king/queen? Posting a weekly infograph, your latest blog post, or a picture of staff lunch are great ways to stay connected with your current patient base and connect with prospective clients.

If you create an account on Semrush or Brightlocal (they’re both free), you can track how your website is faring week over week. The software tracks your ranking and your site visitors. It’s a handy tool and I bet you’ll quickly become addicted to watching your site climb the ranks after implementing our hacks.

I’d love to hear from you! Have you tried any of my hacks? How did you do? Do you have any of your own hacks to share? Comment below!

Dr. Rohini Agarwal is New Dentist Now guest blogger and a member of the American Dental Association. She graduated from Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine in 2014 and has since been practicing in suburbs of Portland Oregon. Dr. Agarwal is passionate about oral health education among kids and loves to be involved in local community events.

Editor’s note: The purpose of this article is to promote awareness of issues that may affect dentists and dental practices, and is not intended to provide either legal or professional advice. Dentists are urged to consult directly with a properly qualified professional or with an attorney admitted to practice in their jurisdiction for appropriate legal or professional advice.

Do Floss and Fluoride Prevent Tooth Decay and Gum Disease

Does fluoride work for tooth decay - dentist Brisbane, holistic dentistry
Floss and Fluoride Do They Really Work

I am a great believer in the truth and telling my patients the facts so they can make an informed choice so we understand the biological impact of dentistry on the body and focus on creating health. We do this by removing burdens – burden of infection, burden of toxins or poisons, the burden of bad oral health. We want you to achieve optimum oral health.

You can’t have optimum oral health with a piece of string. Flossing helps but it will only remove the bugs on the surface of your tooth and the superficial layers of your gums – the bugs that cause gum disease are swimming in the fluids deeper down and inside your gums and floss will not remove or affect that. So you have to knock the stuff off the teeth first then flush it out of the gums.

Oral health and Systemic Health

Its not just problems in your mouth, poor oral health creates a build up of harmful bacteria in your gums which also seeds into the rest of the body and impacts on our whole health.

2000 years ago Hippocrates said show me the health of a man’s mouth and I will show you the health of his body.

We are looking inside the body when we are looking inside the mouth – if there is infection there, inflammation, bad breath (from sulphur groups coming out of the broken down tissues) – these things help us to tell you about the health of your body.

The good thing is you can improve upon this by getting rid of the bad bacteria that accumulate in mouth and gums by having a proper dental cleaning where we disinfect the gums first, otherwise we are sending a whole army of bacteria into the bloodstream. It’s important that you learn how to disinfect your mouth at home too.

Systemic Health, Dental Care and Gut Bugs

Systemic health is from the mouth on, the mouth is the start of your digestive track and helps keep the good bacteria healthy to repress the bad bacteria. Many things like your diet, taking antibiotics and even mercury fillings knock out your good oral and gut bacteria. So the key is not to kill the good guys but to encourage them to grown right to ensure the balance of health in your gut by taking proper care of them.

When you gut is inflamed you whole body becomes inflamed leading to chronic pain, brain fogs, immune disorders and chronic fatigue so its really important that we take a look what is going on in the mouth and get this healthy as well as addressing the rest of the body.

Setting Up Good Oral Health

Good oral health starts from childhood – children do not have the manual dexterity to clean their teeth so parents need to take an active role in cleaning their teeth just like you do when you take care of cleaning everything else for your child like when you bathe them or help them after a trip to the toilet. You need to help them do the same for their mouth – if they can’t tie shoelaces on their own they cannot brush their teeth properly yet.

What You Eat and Dental Health

Correct diet is essential to prevent tooth decay, poor diet leads to poor bacteria and therefore increases risk of cavities in your teeth. Eat real food, feed yourself and your kids a good diet, get some vitamin D from being in the sun and get plenty of antioxidants and minerals from your diet and suppress those bad bugs by avoiding sugar.

Fluoride Its Not The Magic Bullet

Fluoride is an unapproved drug and dentistry is promoting it, which I believe is an inapporpriate way for a profession for behave. So what is the driving force behind pushing fluoride – the ADA has seal of approval for it, they are patented so they get a share from it, fluoride is rat poison – it kills whatever it comes into contact with, so lets put happy faces on the toothpastes and pretend its good for you!

Fluoride is a by product form many industrial processes and it leaks out of cement plants, brick plants, and from the phosphate feriliser industry. When fluoride leaks it damages crops and cattle so by law these industries can’t dispose of it and end up with a pile of left over fluoride waste and it is this raw untreated waste goes into the water supply.

Waste called fluoride comes from countries like China, Mexico, and Japan who sell it to us because they have stringent policies around not disposing of it in the water but they are happy to sell it to us so we can use it to support a fake oral health policy!

Half a million tons of fluoride is used in the water supply in the USA and millions of dollars have been spent on promoting it as great so we believe that. But where is the science – there is no statistically significant difference in rates of tooth decay whether the water is fluoridated or not.

Fluoride causes dental fluorosis, poorly developed teeth and hip fractures. There are studies also showing reduction in IQ due to neurological damage from ingesting fluoride. So it’s a fake program – it does not reduce tooth decay, it has also never been tested for safety. Fluoride causes blood levels of lead to increase in the population. This policy is not supporting our health needs or oral health – it promotes disposal of hazardous waste.

What Can A Holistic Dentist Do To Help Health

As a dentist I can’t fix things that bad oral health causes but I can fix the infection and disease in your mouth and support you to prevent it but you need a good medical team working together to address your health symptoms via using the science of the body to figure out what is going on, why and then how to heal it.

For example if you have a thorn in your foot it can’t heal, we have to remove that thorn and help your body to heal.

So we need to remove infection and inflammation from your mouth and the source of it such as tartar build up or an abscessed tooth and get your mouth and body well so you can live a long and healthy life.

After all we are here to Fill Years Not Teeth – contact us today to find out how we can help you have a long, healthy and vital life 07 3720 1811