The flexible have learned to survive and thrive. COVID-19 in 2020 somewhat forced you to adapt especially in how you care for your dental patents. At the same time you (among others) perhaps discovered how to expand your patient care reach using teledentistry and mobile dental care solutions.
ADA (American Dental Association) guidance and oversight are also helping drive teledentistry to a more mainstream patient care opportunity. The ADA’s involvement certainly aligns now more than ever with patient demand for innovation around virtual dentistry services.
Adapt to your “new normal”
Virtual consultations, appointments and diagnostic protocols are poised to remain long after the pandemic has subsided. Teledentistry has created new, safe, and convenient paths to provide and access dental care to patients of all ages.
- Convenience and flexibility
- Care access for rural, remote, and under-resourced communities
- Urgent care options for dental emergencies
Remember, teledentistry isn’t a particular branch of dentistry. Rather, it’s a method of providing dental care.
And of course, HIPAA compliance and regulations are essential as a teledentistry provider. This heightens the need to assure that your teledentisty platform meets those standards for privacy and security.
In general, teledentistry provides you an opportunity to adapt to the virtual care environment many patients welcome and desire.
Teledentistry and mobile dentistry basics to expand your patient care reach
Teledentistry is basically a patient communication platform. That makes it vital that you understand how to engage your patients virtually.
1-Provide a dedicated platform
Teledentistry revolves around a virtual connection. Treat a teledentistry conversation as you would one in-person. But keep in mind that your patients expect access to be easy in addition to being secure and HIPAA compliant.
From your front-desk to your treatment rooms to your consult settings you’ve given strategic thought to creating just the right environment for putting patients at ease.
The same applies to your virtual dental visits.
- Provide patients easy access to their teledentistry visit via your website using their personal computers, smartphones, and tablet devices.
- Eliminate visual distractions and clutter in the background
- Use lighting that’s inviting and illuminates your setting
- Pause digital distractions such as email and other team communication tools
- Speak up, speak clearly, use a conversational tone, and avoid technical jargon (“dental-speak”)
2-Exceed patient expectations
A virtual dental appointment - while different than being in person - should be as personal as possible. Keep the focus on the patient and they will feel your attention, your concern for their condition, and a connection with your diagnosis and recommended treatment.
A teledentistry or mobile dentistry appointment might initially feel strange to some. But your attention to basic personal communication principles will help the technology be somewhat transparent as you consult with them virtually or within a portable setting.
- Prepare for the teledentistry or mobile dentistry consultation as you would with one in-office. And do a tech-check (e.g. camera, internet connection, necessary charts, forms, etc).
- Confirm that your setting and sound are free from distraction and private.
- Allow them to ask questions. And having reviewed their preliminary intake information be prepared with your own strategic questions.
- Maintain good eye contact and if (during a teledentistry visit) you must step off-camera for any reason assure them that you’re still in-the-room.
3-Connect with the local business community
Mobile dentistry allows you extend our services beyond your brick-and-mortar facility. Think of it as going where patients are rather than waiting for them to come to you.
For example, local businesses and corporations desire to give their employees health benefit perks. A portable, virtually connected, and on-site clinic opens the doors to your practice utilizing their address.
But more than their location is the opportunity to expand your patient base via the business’s employee network. Think about the referral potential that could result from providing convenient access to dentistry for busy professionals.
- Promote a “Dental Cleaning Day” or “Dental Spa Day” as an introduction to your practice and mobile dentistry services
- Collaborate with other specialists to provide specialty services that support and deepen your referral network
- Partner a local business or corporation with area school districts as a community service campaign. Deploy your mobile dentistry services to a school campus to educate students and/or provide preventive dental care on-site.
Teledentistry and mobile dentistry have no doubt gained ground in a very challenging season (i.e. the COVID-19 pandemic). But it’s also created opportunities to enhance your patient care beyond your facilities and traditional face-to-face dental visits.
Check out these resources for a deeper-dive into expanded patient care using teledentistry and mobile dental solutions:
An Overview and Guide to Mobile Dentistry
A patient facing solution that streamlines your care standards
The holistic solutions within a dedicated teledentistry platform and mobile dental care opportunities enables you to fully maximize your virtual patient interactions…leading to better patient care!
Teledentix is an innovative, turn-key teledentistry solution created by Virtual Dental Care. The all-in-one platform will enable you to adapt teledentistry to your patient care and extend your services beyond the walls of your dental practice…and improve your patient care in the process.
- Teledentix provides an easy-to-use video conferencing tool that’s secure, HIPAA compliant, and specific to dentistry.
- Teledentix Basic is a perfect starting point. Begin with a free trial and then transition to a very low monthly fee. You and your patients can join unlimited video conferences including screen-share, file-share, video-share, and real-time chat communications.
LEARN MORE about the Teledentix platform.