Instagram Influencer Dr. Joyce Kahng shares why you need digital media at your practice #IE40Under40

Virtual Smile Consults. Practice insight. Answers to burning questions (“Is dental school worth it? Do you need to use mouthrinse? How often should crowns be replaced?”) Even daily skin care routines.

Dr. Joyce Kahng @joycethedentist, one of Incisal Edge‘s 2019 40 Under 40 honorees, offers all of these and more via the Instagram platform to share her dental philosophy and propel her career into the digisphere.

As a digital platform, Instagram launched on Oct. 6. 2010, and garners over 100 million photos a day. Two-hundred million users visit at least one business profile daily, making the app a wise marketing strategy for businesses in all industries.

Dr. Kahng’s profile, which to date features an impressive following of over 18,700, with a mere 177 posts, presents the 33-year-old as a modern, progressive dental professional. See one recent post below:

View this post on Instagram

Let's talk about one of the most unpopular topics in Dentistry… XRAYS. I practice in Southern California…land of Avocado Toast and Acai Bowls. My patients care tremendously about their overall health and wellness and I love that about them. But the one area of contention is always their check up xrays. And i've noticed, there is an increasing amount of fear surrounding dental X-ray exposure. Just for the record: A set of check up xrays is about 0.005 mSv, the same amount of radiation you would get from a 1-2 hr airplane flight or 1 day of background radiation. We are always exposed to radiation. Just by living. Just by breathing. And thanks to technology, our digital dental X-rays are very low impact. However, given the facts, I find many patients still unconvinced… they threaten to leave the practice and find a dentist who doesn’t take xrays. Although that #sucks, it is the patient's prerogative to choose a dentist they align with. If that is one who does not practice at the standard of care, then we are not aligned because: I run an ethically based practice. I don't over-treatment plan or upsell. I follow ADA guidelines and I practice lawfully. I guard and protect my patient's best interests. I’m not in the business of overexposing anyone to radiation. And deep down inside I feel like my patients know that. Yet for the same reasons they choose me to be their dentist, they are also quick to leave when they don't get what they want. I quickly go from advocate to enemy. As a practice owner, the x-ray battle is one that I lose over and over. And of course I want my patients to be happy and satisfied —I’m a business owner. But sometimes it’s not about business. When business meets medicine, hard decisions need to be made. There are times you have to stand your ground and uphold a standard a patient may not appreciate in the moment. It may not be good business but it's the way I run my business.

A post shared by Dr. Joyce Kahng OC Dentist 🦷 (@joycethedentist) on

Many of Dr. Joyce Kahng’s Instagram posts offer evidence based information in fun, easy to understand ways for the general publicly.

In the post above, Dr. Kahng addresses patient concerns about x-rays and radiation. She writes in a conversational tone that can appeal to both her patients and even dental colleagues.

With clear, high quality photos, she leads an average of 5,000 people to her profile weekly, where she shares her persona, dental insights and love for helping others.

“I love being able to work with my hands. It makes the time just fly by when I get in the zone. It’s also incredibly powerful, being able to help a patient build confidence in their smile. It totally changes the way they present in the world both at work and in their personal lives.” 

Dr. Joyce Kahng, on being a dentist.

Behind the scenes with this ‘OC Dentist’

The “OC Dentist” brings this enthusiasm with her, from her office Orange + Magnolia Dental Studio in Costa Mesa, California, and presents it with professional portraits, narrative captions and stories on her Instagram profile.

The stories she features in her highlight reel, those little bubbles at the top of an Instagram feed, include daily updates about herself, her studio and dentistry.

A recent story shows a video of her brown puppy curled up on the floor sleeping; the pup naps as Dr. Kahng sweats it out on a Peloton. Text in the story: “with my favorite pupperooooo” and “Just finished a holiday ride!”

Another story shows her father outside cooking on a grill. She admired her father as she filmed. Text in the video: “My dad has fully committed to a whole head of white hair. This is my destiny,” Dr. Kahng whispers behind the camera, “Looks good dad, looks good.”

Dr. Joyce Kahng’s Instagram page. It’s colorful. It’s sleek. It helps the doctor spread awareness.

The stories mentioned above are consistent across most Instagram accounts; random snippets of the account holder’s daily life. But this doctor also takes planned, strategic approaches to her stories that spread brand awareness and inform patients about her profession.

A feature on her profile, #dentaltalk, is a series of videos where Dr. Kahng discusses topics that patients care about, such as whether a dentist should drill or not drill a tooth where there is a suspected cavity.

“This is a really tricky situation because as dentists, we’re trying to stay conservative and we want to be responsible and definitely not drill everything that we see,” Dr. Kahng said in a post, as arrows fly and attach to her photo and dissolve leaving behind red kisses; it’s one of many face filters found on the app.

“It’s a hard conversation to have with patients because patients want to know 100 percent there’s a cavity inside there. At a certain point, we’re basically saying you have to put your trust in us,” she explained.

‘Change the way patients see the dentist’

She admits that social media is an essential marketing tool for dentists.

“My whole presence on social media is built around being able to change the way patients see the dentist. If there are that many people on social media, especially young people, we as dentists have to go where the people are!”  

Dr. Joyce Kahng explains social media as a necessity.

Depending on the business type, some organizations will use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn or all platforms to market themselves and their product or service. For Dr. Kahng, a rising social influencer, Instagram is the most useful platform for her purposes.

“I love Instagram because it is a perfect medium to build relationships. There are just so many fun ways to use it and I love how the stories keep me connected to patients as well! They can see some of the behind-the-scenes of what my life as a dentist really is like.” 

Dr. Joyce Kahng.
Dr. Joyce Kahng is a leading dental social influencer.

How does Dr. Kahng attract 70% of her new patient base?

The doctor says that social media is essential for her practice’s growth, “It drives patients to my practice.” She estimates that 70 percent of her new patient base is because of her social media presence.

“This also includes the new word of mouth, where many of my patients will share my Instagram with a friend of theirs. It’s the modern Business card!”  

Dr. Joyce Kahng

With such a large Instagram following, at 18.7K, many of her colleagues and friends ask how she built her social media presence. So many, that she decided to write it all down, a decision that would later lead her to becoming a published author.

Creating a step-by-step guide to Instagram marketing

Repetitive inquisition led Dr. Kahng to write Instagram Marketing for the Modern Dentist (2019), a step-by-step guide to cultivate and grow Instagram accounts.

“The more we can be on Instagram, the more we can change the face of dentistry together. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about it from dentists who have said I really helped give them guidance and motivation to put themselves out there. Putting yourself out there is one of the scariest things as a Doctor and there is a lot of fear around it.”

Dr. Joyce Kahng.

An impressive repertoire of education and experience

A graduate of the University of the Pacific, Dr. Kahng has a bachelor of science degree in biology. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco. She completed her general practice residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jacobi Medical Center, in 2011.

Shortly after opening Orange + Magnolia Dental Studio in 2014, Dr. Kahng became a licensed real estate agent serving the Orange County area in California.

At the University of Southern California, she dedicates her efforts as an assistant clinical professor for the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry’s restorative sciences department, where she works with aspiring dental professionals to develop their hand skills on mannequins.

‘Control your own narrative’

Most recently, Dr. Kahng has focused her efforts in the digital realm on Instagram. She suggests that all dental professionals adopt a social media marketing plan and take advantage of this dynamic marketing tool.

“It is absolutely essential for dentists to build a brand and market themselves on social media. Social proof is one of the most impactful ways of marketing and doctors need to realize that they cannot let others control their narrative. Take back control of your own narrative.” 

Dr. Joyce Kahng

To learn more about Dr. Kahng, visit her website.

Want to nominate yourself or a colleague for #IE40Under40?

For the 10th year, Incisal Edge will honor America’s best young #dentists. Nominate yourself or a colleague in a General Dentist or Specialist category before the 02.03.19 deadline: https://goben.co/2Nn77ls 

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