Today, it’s fairly common for dentists to create online educational and informational blogs directed at their patients. We also see groups that target the dental profession with their blog sites. Less usual are individual dentists who establish blogs for their doctor colleagues.
Drs. Gregory “Flap” Cole, Michael Barr, and Steven “Mauty” Mautner all operate independent blogs that not only focus on their unique perspectives relating to the dental industry, but also extend into personal and political topics with somewhat of a dentist’s rare viewpoint.
The factors that drove these doctors into creating blogs for their colleagues are interesting.
“Print journalism was and is biased and inhibits dissent, whether it be in dentistry or government and politics. The early bloggers, prior to the advent of today’s social media, provided different opinions and perspectives,” said Cole, an avid advocate of the First Amendment and founder of FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog.
“The early blogosphere hastened the death of big print journalism and paved the way to freer discussion of and dissemination of information. I started blogging to have an outlet to promote my points of view in dentistry, politics, and culture without censorship,” Cole said.
“My motivation for writing the blog was a combination of expressing my distaste for and disagreement with what is happening in dentistry today, a way to vent, get some attention as well as some enjoyment from the reactions I inspire,” said Mautner, founder of MautysBlog.
“In addition, I wanted to tell all dentists—young, old, students, whatever—that there are other ways to do things and succeed in dentistry and that most of the advice they are being given is just flat out wrong,” Mautner said.
“I started The Dental Warrior blog after having a dental product review I wrote summarily deleted with no warning or notification from a popular dental forum. When I inquired about why it was deleted, the forum administrator told me, ‘If XXXXX (dental company) wants to advertise on our forum, they can pay us,’” Barr said.
“I don’t work for XXXXX, nor did they put me up to the review. I’m a paying customer and just wanted to share my experience with my fellow dentists. It didn’t matter. Their decision stood. In other words, they didn’t believe me, even though I am one of the original members of the forum and a prolific and popular poster,” Barr said.
“What galled me was that I put a lot of work into writing the review, and poof! It was gone! Into the ether! I had not saved it anywhere else. All that effort, only to have someone delete it with a single mouse click,” Barr said.
“So, I decided to start my own blog as a place to archive those articles. I’d still post them on the other forum. But if they got deleted by a misguided admin, I’d still have a copy of my work. Then it morphed from there,” Barr said.
Unique Perspectives & Scope
Cole offers readers “an unfiltered view or opinion without worrying about editors, corporate direction, or advertisers” he said.
“I have always written about other topics. However, I concentrated my three main blogs on themes. FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog was primarily dental topics, politics, and culture. Flap’s Dentistry Blog was primarily dentistry. Smiles for a Lifetime was my practice and now my locum tenens business website,” Cole said.
“I can say what I feel without any repercussions—except, of course, if Facebook finds what I say inappropriate, which I doubt because I’m not posting pictures of teeth, which, for some reason, they consider akin to pornography,” Mauty said with his typical pointed humor.
Barr, a former officer in the US Navy, intertwines a great deal of Second Amendment material on his blog.
“I’m pretty sure mine is the only one that combines articles about dentistry and firearms! The funny thing is that has pissed off a few of my colleagues,” said Barr.
“I’ve received hate emails deriding my decision to write about firearms and self-defense against criminals. So, don’t read them!” Barr said. “They ask why I have to write about guns. Why not? It’s my blog! That said, I get far more fan mail that like all my articles, including the ones about guns.”
“I write mostly for me. I do it for my own satisfaction. If anyone else happens to like it, then great! As it turns out, I get anywhere from 8,000 to 10,000 views per month. So, someone likes it. I’ve written 339 articles since December 30, 2010,” Barr said.
“My muse ebbs and flows, so there’s no consistent frequency for new articles. But, I enjoy writing quite a bit. Some people like it. Some don’t,” Barr said.
Cole emphasized the changes in direction he’s taken with media communication.
“Over the past few years, it has been away from blogging and more towards Twitter, Facebook, and, more lately, Instagram. I have found you can reach more readers, in a shorter amount of time, than on a website,” said Cole.
“I was a very early adopter of Twitter to maybe drive more reader traffic to my blogs. Now, Twitter has in its larger format replaced my blogs, in many instances,” Cole said.
Dr. Davis practices general dentistry in Santa Fe, NM. He assists as an expert witness in dental fraud and malpractice legal cases. He currently chairs the Santa Fe District Dental Society Peer-Review Committee and serves as a state dental association member to its house of delegates. He extensively writes and lectures on related matters. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or smilesofsantafe.com.