Local Champions: Gentle Dental Associates
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Local Champions: Gentle Dental Associates

“No one likes going to the dentist,” says Felicia Dorrough, Office Manager at Gentle Dental Associates in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Unfortunately, that’s a stigma faced by pretty much every dental practice across the country. However, in Gentle Dental Associates’ near 30-year history overcoming that stigma has been a priority (even though it’s no easy task!).  “When our patients walk through the door, they feel welcome.” That personal touch and immediate sense of warmth make all the difference to nervous patients. That’s why it’s been a cornerstone of the practice’s success for years.

The other secret to Gentle Dental Associates’ success: a longstanding relationship with YP, The Real Yellow Pages®. “I hear one misunderstanding a lot,” muses Felicia. “People say, ‘Yellow Pages is dead’ – and that’s just so not true. It’s more than just the book; it’s also a digital marketing platform. Combining the two has done wonders for us.”

Dr. Phyllis Seel, owner of Gentle Dental Associates, gives YP℠ the credit for most of the new customers who have called into the office and walked through the doors. “Whenever we ask people, ‘How did you hear about us?,’ they all say, ‘Yellow Pages!’” In fact, the practice gets about 130 calls and lands around 100 new patients every month, all referred to them as a result of partnering with YP.

For Gentle Dental Associates, driving new leads and converting those leads into customers has ultimately relied on two key factors: 1) building the right integrated marketing strategy and 2) establishing credibility and awareness within the local community. Fortunately, as the champion of local businesses, YP has been able to help them on both fronts.

“We have been with YP from the very beginning, and it has worked out beautifully,” says Phyllis. And while the practice’s marketing strategy has evolved since it first opened its doors in 1991, YP has been there to guide them through it all.

“We use both print and digital today because we have found that people are using both media to search and find local businesses. Customers are using a variety of ways to make decisions about which businesses to trust,” says Felicia.

We’ve actually found this to be true in our own research, finding that YP users reference an average of 5.6 print and digital resources during their path to purchase. In short, it’s important for local businesses to be where local consumers search. Says Phyllis, “Print and the digital work very well together. What’s most important is consistency across both.”

It’s certainly a recipe that has amounted to success for Gentle Dental Associates.

And while adopting an integrated marketing strategy has been the key to driving growth and awareness for Gentle Dental Associates, building credibility among patients and within the local community has been equally important, too. “People trust YP, and that trust gets carried over to our business,” says Felicia. In other words, local businesses and YP are just meant to work together. “I recommend YP to other businesses all the time.”

Fortunately, referrals work both ways, too! Thanks, Felicia, for your continued support. Learn more about how YP helps connect local business with local consumers today.


Susan is the Content Marketing Manager for YP, The Real Yellow Pages® for local business. She graduated from Washington State University with a Master of Arts in Communications and has dedicated her career to learning the ever-changing field of digital marketing with an emphasis in content, SEM, and social media. You can connect with Susan on Linkedin.

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