Dr. Jacob Guirguis
Dentist and Founder of Whiter and Brighter Smilez in Australia
Graduated from the Griffith University in Dentistry
Passionate about crowns and bridges, root canals, oral surgery, and Invisalign
Specializes in dental marketing via social media and TikTok
Official Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/whiterandbrightersmilez/
Personal Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jacob.guirguis/
449 Marrickville Rd, Dulwich Hill NSW 2203, Australia
In Conversation with Dr. Jacob Guirguis
Over the past couple of years, it has become increasingly clear that TikTok is the social media platform of the future. TikTok may have started as a dance platform, but its rapid assimilation within the mainstream social world has made it one of the most important tools for digital marketing. While some believe TikTok’s general format is unsuitable for educational content, others beg to differ. And Dr. Jacob Guirguis from Sydney firmly belongs to the latter category.
Our team at Zircon Medical recently hosted Dr. Guirguis, the leading dentist and founder of Whiter and Brighter Smilez in Australia, on our podcast series to discuss how TikTok can help with dental marketing.
Introducing Dr. Jacob Guirguis, the leading dentist and founder of Whiter and Brighter Smilez in Australia
Dr. Jacob Guirguis is the leading dentist and founder of Whiter and Brighter Smilez, a dental practice in Sydney. He graduated from Griffith University in Dentistry and is passionate about crowns and bridges, root canals, oral surgery, and Invisalign. He is a “TikTok King” and regularly produces entertaining/ educational content on the burgeoning social media platform.
Dr. Guirguis says he became a dentist because of his personal experience with orthodontic work. He says he had a lot of orthodontic work done on his teeth because he had a severe overbite, which prevented him from smiling comfortably. After braces, he felt a significant difference in his quality of life. He could eat better, speak better, sleep better, and clean his teeth better, which also improved his overall confidence and self-esteem. His experience encouraged him to pursue dentistry and help others similarly.
Dr. Guirguis bought his current dental practice from a dentist who had been working for over 40 years. When he bought the practice, he also acquired over 40 years' worth of patients and clients from the previous dentist.
“He just passed away last week, and I have big shoes to fill now,” Dr. Guirguis says. “His specialty was to treat patients with dental phobia — that was his niche. Patients loved him. I’ve been telling his patients that he’s passed away, and patients are in shock and in tears. I’ve never seen anyone cry so much over a dentist. He was more than a dentist, he was their friend, and that’s the impact I want to have.”
Insufficient focus on the business aspect of dentistry in dental schools
Dr. Guirguis says he had to learn the ropes of running a dental practice with experience. He had to learn how to manage a practice as he went along. At the end of the day, a dental practice is a business and has to be run like a business.
“We only had one business subject in the final year of dental school, where we learned about taxes,” Dr. Guirguis says. “We never learned how to manage a dental practice, how to manage the staff and team, what equipment to get for the practice, how to save money. It’s a whole new world, and you have to pay for courses to do that outside of university if you want to run a dental practice.”
Dr. Guirguis says dental professionals seeking to run a dental practice should seek advice from peers who are currently running dental practices. Dentists should also find the appropriate area and determine how they’ll stand out.
“There are so many dental practices in Sydney; it’s insane. On my street, there are five different dental practices, and there’s literally one just across the road from me. The competition is crazy, so it’s all about standing out. How are you different from the competition? How are you going to retain your patients? University can only teach you so much, clinically, but the real world is completely different.”
TikTok as an educational/ entertaining platform
Dr. Guirguis unabashedly loves TikTok. “I don’t care what people say about TikTok; I love it! I first downloaded that app in 2015 and thought of making videos, just lip-syncing to music and different sounds. Then TikTok became a dancing app, and then people were making original content. I thought — I own a dental practice, and I love TikTok; how can I put those things together?”
Dr. Guirguis says he soon discovered a whole world of dentists on TikTok — dentists who were posting original content and going viral. He cites the example of an orthodontist who goes by the name of Bentist — a portmanteau of the dentist’s name “Ben” and the word “Dentist.” Bentist has amassed over a million followers from videos that educate patients on how to clean their teeth. Dr. Guirguis similarly aims to combine entertainment with education.
“I wanted to be funny and entertaining,” Dr. Guirguis said when asked about his process and aim. “So I started taking the most popular sounds on TikTok and figuring out how can I bring that into the dental world. I found that very fun and entertaining. Even on Instagram, there’s a whole other world where people post their reels. My Instagram following is growing, and so is my TikTok.”
Dr. Guirguis also posts content on Instagram reels and Facebook. All of these platforms serve different age demographics, ranging from Gen X to Gen Z, so posting the content broadly allows him to connect with a wider demography. “Word of mouth is grand, but there are so many other ways to do it. I designed the website myself and put up content on social media. Hopefully, we can attract more patients.”
Curating a TikTok content strategy
Dr. Guirguis says he scours TikTok for videos he believes can be molded to fit his industry. He “likes” the videos that have potential, so they’re saved in his feed. He goes through the liked videos to find those with sounds that may fit the dental industry, following which he starts filming. He films numerous videos simultaneously. If he’s unsure of some videos, he saves them in his drive. And the ones he likes can be posted online.
“I reserve one day where I film a lot of TikToks, and then one day at a time, I start posting one or two. So I have some TikToks always ready to post. And then, I’d write dental-related content or use subtitles to make it more relevant to dentistry. I recently did a video about making new grills, which I placed against the soundtrack of Lizzo’s ‘About Damn Time.’ You can get any sound from TikTok and make it your niche.”
When asked about his future goals, Dr. Guirguis says he wants to restore his dental practice to its former glory, seeing patients 6 or 7 days a week. He also wants to become one of the most popular dental practices on social media with over 100k followers, for which he’s counting on the TikTok algorithms. Clinically, he always wants to learn more about orthodontics and digital implants, which he has recently started offering in his dental practice.