I was reluctant to join Instagram (also called IG or Insta). I thought I was too old, too busy and that it wouldn’t add any value to my life. I expected it to be a platform where people show off filtered photos of themselves. I expected that it would be a mind-numbing way to pass the time. I expected to join for a few months to see what everyone is talking about and then close my account. What I didn’t expect is that there is a dental community on Instagram. I was hooked.
During this time of social distancing, I got social on Instagram. I miss meeting people at dental conferences and connecting with friends at dental meetings and lectures. Sure there are lots of dental webinars out there, but I am ZOOMed out. I was looking for a new way to learn and interact. I found what I was looking for right at my fingertips – literally.
There are lots of impressive dental Instagram pages (see my recommendations below). Some promote their dental practices while others are geared towards sharing information and teaching dentists. Yes, Instagram provides dental education – and it’s free. It’s also interactive. You can write comments and ask questions about other people’s posts, submit questions during IG live videos, share posts, ask a question and get immediate suggestions, react to posts with your favourite emoji and you can even send a DM (direct message) to an expert and get instant advice.
Instagram is easy to use. It focuses on photos and videos. It’s a positive space where the goal is sharing. Accounts will be suggested for you to follow based on what you are already interested in, and, if you allow it access to your contacts, it will tell you about your friends’ accounts. What can you see on Instagram? There are IG Stories (photos and videos) that last 24 hours and disappear, there are Reels which are 15 second videos, there is IG Live where you can watch a video and there is the main feed where you can see a photo or video followed by commentary. You can just read and react to people’s accounts or you can take it to the next level and start posting. Share something you learned, ask for recommendations and tell people about yourself.
You can even promote your dental practice. This is free marketing where you can share the personal side of your dental team and the type of work you do. Patients want to know who is behind the mask and if you can fulfill their treatment goals. What better way to do this than on Instagram where you can talk about why you became a dentist, show off your amazing dental team and showcase before and after pictures? You can even make one of your dental team members responsible for posting. It’s a fun way to engage with your patients.
Get the Instagram app and see for yourself. Check out these dental Instagram pages and start posting.
My Top 10 Dental Instagram Pages
Dr. Peggy Bown is a general dentist practicing in Saint John, New Brunswick. It’s the best page I have seen on educating patients and promoting your practice. She even has a YouTube channel. Get great ideas on how to design your office Instagram page and engage with patients.
Dr. Viraj Vora is an endodontist in Vaughan, Ontario. He should wear a cape and call himself a tooth saver as he not only performs endodontic treatment, but he also does challenging restorations afterwards. He doesn’t just show beautiful before and after photos. He details his steps and shares cases that don’t go as planned. You will learn from successes, mistakes and about the possibilities in saving teeth.
Dr. Jason Auerbach is an oral surgeon in New Jersey. He has instructional videos and shows cool cases. He interacts with his followers, shares his personal side and shows gory stuff. Learning oral surgery has never been so much fun. You’ll love it.
Dr. Ashleigh Briody and Dr. Carl Allen are oral pathologists in Columbus, Ohio. Their page is outstanding at showing an oral pathology case, making you think about what it is and then giving the diagnosis. So informative. So compelling. You will be addicted.
Dr. Vinay Bhide is a periodontist with a practice in Aurora, Ontario. He is an excellent teacher going through cases by explaining his thought process and all the steps he takes. He answers your questions and does more than show pretty pictures of gums; he shares his funny side, too. He is the dental instructor you always wanted.
Dr. Sally Safa is a periodontist in North York, Ontario. Her page is focused on helping dentists cope with stress and living happier lives through mindfulness. Start your day with one of her 30 second videos and you will immediately feel better with one of her quick tips. Make her page part of your self-care routine. Essential viewing.
Dr. Carla Cohn is a pediatric dentist in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She is amazing at walking you through cases and explaining what she does. You will learn about new products and how to use them. She is an accomplished speaker and you will feel guilty getting all this information for free.
Dr. Sunny Virdi is a general dentist practicing in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He shows everyday cases and how he treats them. Excellent tips. Great way to see different products in use. He makes general dentistry look sexy.
Dr. Derek Retjo is a general dentist in Vancouver, British Columbia. He graduated in 2018 and he has already found his calling in aesthetic dentistry. Fantastic photos and results. He shows how to make beautiful smiles in simple ways. He is working on a M.Sc. in Aesthetic Dentistry so expect even more great things from him. Brilliant!
Dr. Gordon Chee is a general dentist in Calgary, Alberta. His photography is as stunning as his cosmetic dentistry. Learn about how to take great photos and the courses he offers. Best dental photography ever. His page is eye candy.
Don’t forget to follow Oral Health at: @oralhealthgrp
About the Author
Dr. Sanjukta Mohanta is a general dentist in Brampton, Ontario. Message her on @drsanjmohanta on IG. She started a page with her fellow IG colleagues dedicated to the Canadian dental community. Follow @teethtalks.canada on Instagram.