How To Name Your Dental Practice
Choosing a name for your dental practice is basically step one (next to deciding, “Hey, I want to open my own dental practice”). While the visual branding elements like your logo, website, and photography are also crucial steps, it all starts with a name. So it’s no small thing.
While the process can feel daunting at first, it’s important to have fun with it. This is, after all, a creative step you get to take ownership of while thinking through your brand identity, and really, what your future practice will one day be.
Hopefully, this guide can help if you’re stuck in the process, need some inspiration, or simply want our professional opinion on the matter.
What makes a good name?
Naming your dental practice is kind of like naming your child – it’s really personal, and very subjective. With that said, there are a few elements that make an objectively “good” practice name. Ideally, it should be searchable, memorable, and attractive to your ideal audience. Let’s take a look at each of those elements, shall we?
Is it SEO-friendly?
This doesn’t mean your practice name has to be Dentist Near Me (though, that might just be crazy enough to work), but it does mean that your name should include what you do to some degree. For example, if you’re a pediatric dentist, do moms and dads a favor by putting that in your practice name so they can quickly and easily tell that you’re different then the other general practices around you. This, in turn, helps Google’s algorithm better understand and trust who you are, placing you higher in the search results: win-win.
Thinking about going way outside the box with a strong brand name without “dental” included? (Think Tend.) We’re all for it! Just know your SEO game might take a little longer to catch up to that wicked sweet name you picked.
Does it attract the right patient?
We’ll get into different name concepts here shortly, but ultimately, your practice name should reflect the type of practice you want to have. Maybe you’re very community and family-focused, so having a name that reflects a “neighborhood” quality is important to you to attract families in your area. Or perhaps you want to go in a really trendy, out-of-the-box direction to attract young professionals seeking a different kind of dental experience than the corporate one they’re used to.
Put yourself in the mindset of your ideal patient when deciding on a name. What resonates with them? What gets them excited? What makes them think, “I want to go there!” It can be as simple as choosing the words “Dental Studio” vs. “Family Dental” – both evoke completely different emotions and would speak to different audiences.
Is it too long?
Obviously, what dictates “too long” can vary based on opinion, but for the sake of a dental practice name, try to keep it short and sweet for the sake of searching, remembering, and saying. Meaning, if you’ve gone past 4 words, you’ve probably gone too far. Plus, do your brand designer a favor – picking a 10 word practice name typically results in a pretty unattractive logo.
If having a super long practice name is really what gets you excited, we just encourage trying to find a creative way to shorten or nickname your practice in an easy-to-remember, easy-to-say, easy-to-type kind of way for your patients and staff down the road.
Need some concrete examples to get your brain started? We gotchu.
Idea 1: Doctor Name
Probably one of the most common naming concepts in dentistry is utilizing the doctor’s name. And for good reason! Often memorable and certainly unique, using your own name in the name of your practice can help with searchability, recognition, and create a sense of ownership. You’re literally putting your name on it and that sends a strong message which is why it’s a great option for all types of dental practices - from general family to implant restoration, to pediatrics to cosmetics.
-Peter Jones Dentistry
-Advanced Dentistry by Jonathan Wright
-Dunn Dental Studio
-Kennedy Family Dental
-Bridget O’Dell DDS
Idea 2: Location & landmarks
Location-based names can be a great way to grow SEO value, neighborhood recognition, and familiarity with your audience. You can be creative with these! Think about your surroundings – are there notable landmarks, waterways, or street names that are close to your practice? How about your building or suite number? Perhaps you’re located in a historical building or near a park that families frequently visit. Think outside of the box (and outside your practice!).
-Gold Coast Dental Studio
-Riverside Dental House
-204 Dental Co.
-Sun Prairie Dental
-Pearl & Oak Dental
-The Dental Branch
Want to supercharge your SEO? Combine what you do with where you are and Google will love you for it!
-Cleveland Pediatric Dentistry
-Denver Dental Studio
Idea 3: Values
Because the name of your practice is such a personal part of its brand, a great way to help stand out immediately is by using your values to craft your name. These kinds of names represent your brand vibe before anyone ever sets foot in the door. They tend to come about naturally as you are thinking through your brand identity – answering questions like, “what are my practice values?”, “what makes my practice different?”, or “what do I want the new patient experience to feel like?” The answers can evoke words that, when integrated into a dental name, solidify your brand message seamlessly.
-Pure Dental Care
-Virtue Dental Group
-Aligned Dentistry + Orthodontics
Things to consider
When to involve an outside opinion
When going through the naming process, it’s natural to want to include trusted advisors to get their opinion. Perhaps you’re stuck between two really great names and you just can’t decide – bringing in a business partner could help tip the scale one way or the other. Bringing in your close friend, or even a spouse, however, might cause you to re-think all the work you’ve done up to this point if they end up hating the options you love (think about how many times you and your spouse have disagreed on home decor, or where to to go eat…).
While getting an outside opinion can be helpful at times, it’s important to take those opinions, especially those who are not directly involved with the practice, with a grain of salt. It’s also good to limit the number of outside opinions you welcome. More opinions = more confusion. Ultimately, the decision should be up to you, it’s your practice.
PRO TIP: Still stuck between two names you love equally? Sleep on it and pick one. They’re both great names, you can’t go wrong!
Checking for other businesses in your state/area
While you’re in the thick of the naming process, a good qualifier should be checking your state for similar or exact names that match your list. You can cause a lot of trouble (not to mention confusion) when you choose a name that’s too similar to the practice a block away.
You can start this research with a simple Google search. Just type in one of your potential names to see what pops up around you and what shows up for your state. Are there practices with that name already? Are practices close-by similar enough to cause confusion? If so, it’s best to avoid them. Before you finalize your name, be sure to talk to your business attorney and make sure you’re in the clear.
Example: The Smile District vs. District Dental
PRO TIP: Do this homework before narrowing down your final list of names - it’ll save you a lot of time and heartache down the road.
Checking domain availability
Another qualifier for your list of names should be domain availability. Nothing hurts more than finding the perfect name, only to discover that the domain isn’t available. Simply search on GoDaddy.com for your practice name and a few variations to see what is available for purchase.
If your practice name is on the long side (three or more words), try to find shortened versions to use in the domain. This will make it much easier to memorize and a lot more concise. Think about how the domain will look attached to office emails, too, as that can impact your purchase decision. Keep in mind that most people won’t be typing your domain in directly, but rather searching for your practice on Google – so don’t obsess over finding a perfect match.
Example: Little Ones Pediatric Dentistry lopdcolumbus.com
PRO TIP: Sometimes trying domains that end in .dental, .dentist, or .co can be good workarounds if the standard .com option isn’t available!
Renaming an established practice
Maybe you’re not a start-up, but simply in the rebranding or acquisition phase, looking to pick a name that represents the new goals for your practice. Depending on how drastic of a change you want to make, renaming or rebranding can present a different set of challenges to consider, such as maintaining patient familiarity and any long-standing SEO with that old brand.
Say you’ve traditionally been known as a general family practice but want to rebrand to a higher-end cosmetic practice. Simply updating your existing name might be a good solution to ensure the brand recognition you’ve built up over the years isn’t lost, but that the new direction of the practice is understood. Paired with amazing visuals (logo, website, photography, etc.), this can be a powerful way to rebrand a practice that’s headed in a new direction.
Example: Gulf Breeze Family Dentistry → Gulf Breeze Dentistry
If you’ve recently acquired a practice with an existing name and location, the charts were probably a part of that purchase, but likely, the brand and name was not. Especially if you purchased a practice that is named after the existing doctor. Going through the renaming process as if you were a start-up is a great way to get a good grasp on your brand identity, and start off on a strong foot in the community.
Example: J. Scott Hadley, DDS → Pheasant Ridge Dental
Clearly, there are plenty of things to consider when picking a name for your dental practice. Ultimately, it’s important to go with something that feels right to you. And once you’ve got a name selected, give us a call. We’d love to take your idea and help elevate it to the next level with powerful branding and visuals.