“When their mouths are open, the people who come into your practice are patients; when their mouths are closed, they are consumers.” That's a line from a recent article of mine. It's always been true, but when you think about what it means to be a consumer today, the implications of that fact are so much greater, and so much more exciting. Think about how many times you see recommendations from friends through social media – a blog post about their new car, a tweet about a movie they've seen, a Facebook update (with pictures) showing off a new hairstyle. Dentistry has always been a word-of-mouth business, and this environment of online hyper-sharing just multiplies the possibilities for getting the word out. So what does this mean for dentists? What do you have to do take full advantage of the new explosion of opportunities coming your way?