Dental Office Names: How to Name Your Dental Practice
by Tyson Downs
This post was originally published May 31, 2016 and updated May 3, 2021.
Do you need to come up with a name for your dental practice? There might be more than one reason that you would need to do so. For example, you might be buying an existing dental practice and need a new identity to make the practice your own. Or you might be opening your own practice and are wondering what to call it. Or perhaps you have brought on a new business partner or associate and the original name doesn’t exactly fit anymore.
Whatever the reason, dental office names are on your mind and it’s essential to come up with the right name. Rebranding your practice requires some thought and attention to detail.
Choosing a Dental Practice Name
Choosing a dental office name is both an art and a science. The name of your dental clinic is the first thing that any new patient will see. That means that the name you choose must convey authority and professionalism. People should know as soon as they see your business listing that you provide dental care.
The artful part of picking a name for your dental clinic is finding a name that is memorable and catchy. You don't want people to forget you after they see the name of your practice. That said, catchy dental clinic names can sometimes go too far and veer away from being professional. You don't want that to happen, either.
The solution, then, is finding a happy medium: a clinic name that is both memorable and professional. If you can do that, then you will be well on your way to building a successful brand for your clinic.
Dental Office Names, Examples, and Ideas
The good news is that there are lots of words and phrases to play with when you are choosing a name for your dental office. Of course, many dentists prefer to use their surname as part of their business name. There is nothing wrong with that, but you should be aware that it may take longer to build your brand if you go that route.
Brainstorming different ideas is a good way to come up with options for your clinic name, but in this section, we give you some ideas and jumping-off points.
Examples of Dental Clinic Names
There are many options for naming your dental office. Here are 15 examples that we think are catchy and interesting.
- Dazzle Dentistry
- Family Smiles Dental Care
- Gentle Care Dental
- Happy Teeth Dental Clinic
- Happy Kids Dentistry
- Luminous Dentistry
- Open Wide Dental
- Smile World Dentistry
- Tooth Spa Dental
- Tooth Depot
- Bite Dentistry
- Grin Dentistry
- Smile Dental Offices
- Smile Solutions
- Smile Care Practice
As you can see, some of these names suggest specialties. Happy Kids Dentistry would be ideal for a dental clinic that specializes in pediatric dentistry while Tooth Spa Dental suggests a practice that offers cosmetic dental services. Let's dig a little deeper.
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Catchy Dental Clinic Names
Catchy names are names that have the same quality as a commercial jingle that you can still remember now even though you last heard it in your childhood. A good way to come up with a catchy name is to use rhyming or alliteration. For example, Gentle Dental rhymes and is easy to remember and it has the benefit of offering reassurance to people who may be nervous about dental care.
Alliteration involves using words that begin with the same letter. Daisy Dental and Dazzle Dentistry are both great examples. You could even expand to three words and go with something like Darling Daisy Dental.
Clever Dental Office Names
A clever dental clinic name might involve a play on words. The suffix -ology means "knowledge" and you could hint at your level of expertise by naming your practice Toothology or Dentology.
You can also get clever with spellings for your new name. This is something that can be useful if you want to make your name stand out from other practices in your area. Instead of New Smile Dentistry, you could go with NuSmile Dentistry. However, be careful not to go so crazy with your spelling that people can't find you online!
Creative Dental Office Names
Coming up with a creative dental office name can be fun. For example, let's say you have an all-female dentist practice. The Grin Gals could be a fun and creative name for your practice.
You can also play around with names that suggest teeth and smiles without being on the nose. Words such as Ivory, Pearls, and Diamond suggest that the result of a visit to your practice will be a bright smile.
Pediatric Dental Office Names
A lot of dentists specialize in caring for children. When that is the case, it is important to come up with a dental clinic name that lets parents know you are there for their kids. If you don't want to be obvious about it, you could try something like Kinderdental, which uses the prefix kinder, meaning children. If you split the two words up, you could have a nice double meaning -- kinder for children, and kinder to suggest a gentle and caring practice.
You could also have some fun by taking a kids' tradition and incorporating it into your clinic name. Tooth Fairy Dental would be a great example of a practice name that might appeal to both kids and parents -- and the branding would be easy, too!
Unique Dental Office Names
One way to make your practice stand out is to choose a name that your patients have never seen before. When you come up with a unique name, it is more likely that people will notice your practice and remember it.
An example might be something like Dentique, which uses the prefix dent- in a new and unexpected way. Dentistree is a name that could indicate an eco-friendly practice.
Orthodontic Practice Names
If your specialty is orthodontics, you need a name that lets prospective patients know what you do. Using the prefix -ology that we mentioned early allows you to come up with a name such as Smileology or Braceology.
Anything that uses words such as smile or grin is good for orthodontic practices. Since many orthodontists specialize in treating kids, something like Grin Garden could be an effective name for your practice.
Teeth Whitening Business Names
Whitening procedures are always in high demand and if you have a business that specializes in whitening then your name should reflect it.
Some examples might include Smile Bright, White Smile Dental Spa, or Dazzling Dental. The key is to make sure that people who see your name will understand what services you offer.
What's in a Dental Practice Name?
Does the name of your practice matter? The short answer is yes. The right dental clinic name can make marketing your dental practice easier than having the wrong name. A good name helps to build name recognition. It may also help your SEO by incorporating keywords and making it obvious what you do, which increases the chances that searchers will click on your link and not your competitor's link.
Here are some key points to keep in mind when conceptualizing a new name for your dental practice.
- First, you want your patients to remember the name of your office. That means that you probably want the name to be short to make it memorable.
- Second, the name should inspire positive and relevant associations. We all know that we might get a cavity, but nobody wants to think about cavities when they choose a dentist. For the same reason, you might not want to choose a name like Infectious Smile -- while people do say that smiles are infectious, having anything that reminds people of infections is probably not a good idea.
- You want people to think “dentist” without hesitation when the business name pops up. Patients shouldn’t have to wonder what your practice is or what you do.
- It is a good idea to think about the implications of your name from the point of view of online marketing strategy.
- Finally, you may want to consider including your city name and the words dental, dentistry, or dentist in your name. Including words that help people identify and find you are good practices for dental SEO marketing. You could add a place name to any of the creative name options we have listed above.
When choosing a dental clinic name, you have several options. It is important to take your goals, vision, and circumstances into consideration, especially since each of these may warrant a different approach. There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to naming a dental practice, but here, we focus on the naming practices that apply to most dental clinics.
Choosing a Dental Practice Name
Names are important, but be careful not to get too bogged down in the process. Think through the decision, but don’t suffer paralysis by analysis. In the end, it probably isn’t the end of the world if you are:
Las Vegas Smile Artists
Las Vegas Family & Implant Dentistry
See what I’m saying? With that in mind, here are some things to remember as you choose a name.
1. Consider the Legalities of a Potential Dental Office Name
Your first consideration (and arguably your last) must be the legality of your name. If you already have a name in mind, you need to check to make sure that name isn’t taken. There are several places to check.
- If you are going to be doing business as a corporation or limited liability company, you will want to check the business database in the state where you are incorporated. You can usually find that information on the Secretary of State’s website. (You can find a complete list of all SoS websites here.)
- If you are incorporated but plan to do business under a fictitious business name, or you are in business as a sole proprietor, you will need to check the Doing Business As (DBA) listings in your county. You can look online at your county recorder’s office as most have searchable databases.
- You will also want to check the United States Patent and Trademark Office website. They have a searchable database of business names. Keep in mind that not every dental practice trademarks its name.
Finally, do a Google search on the name! This step is critical. You want to know what results come up when you search any office name you are considering ahead of time.
Not doing your research ahead of time could cost you countless hours of legal issues, thousands of dollars, and the potential of rebranding your business shortly after inadvertently choosing an inappropriate or trademarked name.
2. Your Personal Brand
Using your actual name as part of your practice’s name is considered “personal branding” in the marketing world. Many dentists do this by using their full name followed by DMD or DDS. This approach is simple as you are unlikely to encounter another dentist in your area with the same name as you.
While most people will recognize you are a dentist when attaching the DDS to your name, using the DMD is sometimes confusing to potential patients who may mistake your degree in dentistry for that of a physician.
There is also the question of whether using your name will help you create a memorable brand. If you come from a long line of dentists who practiced in the same area, then you can probably benefit by using the family name for your practice. However, if your name isn’t well known then the branding benefits of using it are limited. You might be better served by choosing a catchy name that people are likely to remember. Which name makes for a better brand:
Bright Smile Dentistry
Dr. Millie R. Crock, DDS
Nothing against Dr. Crock, but the first name option is far more memorable than the second. Keep that in mind as you ponder whether to use your name.
It is also worth noting that if you plan to one day sell the business or add a partner you may be better served with a different approach than using your name. Remember to begin with the end in mind. Considering your plans for your practice can save you trouble down the line.
3. Your Specialties and the Services You Provide
The next approach to consider is incorporating the name of your specialty into the name of your practice. This is a good way to differentiate yourself from the competition.
Look at the picture below. It might not be the most exciting name out there, but it highlights a specialty that’s a real selling point for some patients.
This type of name could be a wise choice if you are a specialist or offer specialty services, such as cosmetic dentistry, emergency services, endodontics, pediatric services, or TMJ/TMD. It can also be combined with some of the other examples listed in this article. In the example above, the name combines a specialty (sedation dentistry) with a specific location (San Diego).
The primary advantage of including specialties in your name is that it eliminates the guesswork. If a patient who is interested in pediatric dentistry looks up dentists in their area and sees two choices, only one of which uses the words “pediatric dentistry” in the name, which one do you think they are more likely to choose?
4. Your City, State, or Neighborhood
Earlier, I stated that there is some benefit to including the name of your city in the name of your practice. Let’s talk a bit more about that.
First, most searches on Google today are local by default. Even if someone searches for a dentist without including a local keyword like a city, they are still going to get local results because Google’s algorithms know where they are located.
That means that using dental and locational keywords in your business name is smart. It can help put your practice at the top of Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP.)
Optimizing for local keywords is also essential if you want your practice to appear in Google's Local Service ads, which appear at the top of the SERP and highlight your Google reviews. The businesses that show up there are more likely to get clicks than those that don't. Keep in mind that you will need to get verified with Google to qualify, so local SEO isn't the only requirement.
However, search engines are not the only reason to use locational words in the name of your practice. For example, if there is a local landmark or park nearby you may be able to incorporate that name into yours. Consider taking advantage of community goodwill when you choose a name for your dental practice.
This can be a great branding approach provided that you do not have immediate plans to open additional offices or to move. Let’s look at an example.
This is what Riverwoods Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery did. The practice is in Provo, UT near an area known as The Riverwoods.
You can see that they used the Riverwoods name, and they even incorporated visual representations of the name into their logo design, which includes a tree and a river.
5. Your Patients and Target Audience
Anyone with marketing experience can tell you that when it comes to building a successful brand, your audience is a big part of the equation.
Why? Because not every dental practice is suitable for every prospective patient. Think about it. A practice that caters to children is not a good match for a wealthy single man. A practice that specializes in high-priced concierge dentistry will not appeal to a middle-class family.
For that reason, it is a good idea to choose a name that is likely to speak directly to the people in your target audience. Here are some examples.
By contrast, check out this name (and logo) from a dental practice that specializes in treating kids:
Notice that the name, the colors, and the logo all work together to make it clear that this practice knows how to put kids at ease when they come to see the dentist. The takeaway here is that including your audience can help you create a compelling name and a compelling brand.
6. Your Patients' Feelings
Another useful marketing approach is to focus on the benefits of what you do. Specifically, how will patients feel if they choose you as their dentist?
One of the most popular options is to use the word “smile” in the name of your dental practice. It works because people make an association between their smiles and the condition of their teeth, but they also associate a smile with being happy. Look at this example from a Boston-area dentist:
The message this name sends is that not only will you have a great smile if you choose this dentist, but it will also be so beautiful that others will admire it. That is an attractive thought for many patients.
Some other examples along these lines include:
Happy Family Dentistry
The Painless Dentist
You can see how these names play to prospective patients’ emotions and influence the way they think about a dental practice before they ever walk into the office.
7. Capture Patients' Attention
One trendy approach is to come up with a name that is practically an advertising jingle by itself. This approach can be effective if you can find something original and catchy.
Remember, your patients want to identify with your brand. When they receive a compliment on the whiteness of their teeth, you want them to share and refer their friends to you.
Some examples of wordplay include rhyming. We already talked about rhyming, but you could also play with double meanings. For example, one memorable name for a dental practice might be:
The Whole Tooth
It plays on the oath people take in court, but it replaces “truth” with “tooth” for a unique and memorable name.
You get the idea. Having a little fun with the name of your dental practice can help you stand out in a crowd. You don’t have to settle for an ordinary name when you can come up with something truly special.
Another argument in favor of this type of creative naming is that your name can grow with your practice. You might be starting with just one dentist in one office, but with a creative name, you can easily add additional dentists, more staff, and even open more offices down the line. All without having to change your practice’s name.
8. Additional Considerations for Creating the Best Dental Practice Name
The options above cover the general naming ideas for dental practices. What else should you consider when naming your dental office? Here are some best practices:
- Is the name meaningful? Does your new business name convey the image or brand you want? You want it to be clear and concise so that people who search for a dentist online will quickly be able to identify with you.
- Is it warm and positive? Does the name you are considering have a positive connotation or is it cold and clinical sounding? So many of my friends and family are intimidated by going to a new dentist and most dentists understand that fear can be a factor. Having a dentist stand with a drill in your mouth while you have the irrigation drain hanging out the other side can be scary for some patients. The first impression you make on prospective patients is primarily based on the name of your practice and a referral if you have been recommended to them. The right name goes a long way to making patients feel as comfortable as possible to trust you with their teeth (or their children’s teeth) before they enter your office.
- Is the domain name available? If you plan on creating a dental website, which you should, conduct a domain name search to see if that domain is already registered. This can be a difficult step, particularly if you choose the “smiles sell” approach. You want to make sure that you choose a name that allows you to claim the best possible domain for your website. This is a crucial step as you want to have a single identity, from online to the street sign. In most cases, a .com extension is going to be better than the alternatives since it's what most people assume as a default.
- Think about your logo. Your business brand is more than just the name. You will need to create a dentist logo idea that blends well with the name. Consider the logos of some top corporate brands – we know them intimately just from the logo. A memorable name will lend itself to a memorable logo and that is important if you want to create a memorable brand.
- Do you need a tagline? A tagline may be necessary if your business name doesn’t convey what you do. For example, if you have a general name such as Smith Dental, then perhaps a tagline can add some detail to what you do. Also, you may consider using the tagline to highlight any state-of-the-art technology that you employ. For example Smith Dental: Friendly Family Dentistry is clearer than the basic practice name
- Is it easy to pronounce and remember? What brands do you think of first when you think about quality branding? The chances are that you think of short names, things like Target. In tooth-care, think about a name like Aquafresh. The name is short, it’s evocative, and it’s easy to say and remember. You have to think about what impression your business name leaves when people first see it. Remember, your name should be warm and inviting, not cold and clinical.
- Does it produce an image of what you do? People should be able to figure out what you do from your business name. Don’t leave any guesswork here. Be as clear as you can.
- Do you have a philosophy or mission statement? If so, you can use it as inspiration for naming your dental clinic. If you do not have a mission statement, I would recommend you consider coming up with one and then using it as inspiration for your dental clinic name. It will help people identify with you. I would also encourage you to put your mission statement somewhere visible in the waiting room.
- Do you want to attract families? Are you good with children? If so, you may consider adding “Family” in your business name. Remember that families grow is one strategy that can help you add patients. Adults who get married and have kids will be happy to know that you can provide dental care for both them and their children.
- Demographic research may help you identify needs in your community. Do you know your target market and competition? Consider doing some homework on this one. Look at a Google map of the other dentists in your area. Are there a lot of other practices in the same general area doing the same thing you do? This point could help you stand out in the crowd by adjusting your brand. You do not have to change what you do, but you do need to find a way to differentiate yourself from the other choices in the area.
- It is best to keep it short and memorable. Try to capture as much meaning with as few words as possible. If the name is more than 3 or 4 words, you may consider abbreviating it. You can always use a tagline to further elaborate on your specialties. Remember, people always have a lot of things on their minds so you want them to be able to remember your name easily.
- Think about sign options. Yes, you will be putting up signs, so you need a name and a logo that looks good on the street corner. It also needs to go on your business cards, dental practice brochures, and website. It is important to think about how the name you choose will look. How will you create a clear and concise image centered on your business name?
Next Steps After Naming Your Dental Practice
Shakespeare asked, What’s in a name? I hope you understand now that your dental clinic name plays a big role in your ability to differentiate yourself from competitors, attract new patients, and build a memorable and profitable brand. If you choose the right name for your dental clinic, patients will want to make you their dentist even if they do not know anything about you.
A name is a powerful thing. Careful, thoughtful planning before choosing a name for your dental clinic allows you to gain name recognition within your community. It also forms the cornerstone of your marketing strategy.
The next step is to use your new name to market your dental practice, attract new patients, and increase your profits. Partnering with an experienced dental marketing agency can help you get on the right track. Titan Web Agency has years of experience with dental marketing and we are here to help.
About the Author
Tyson Downs, the owner of Titan Web Agency, has years of experience working with small businesses and helping them meet their revenue goals. Prior to starting Titan Web Agency, he freelanced in SEO and Web Design while working in the corporate world. Tyson is a graduate of Brigham Young University, the father of 5, and enjoys spending time with his family. Particularly on the baseball field.