How to Align Patient Expectations with Your Virtual Dental Care Solutions

07.11.2022
| 8 min read

It makes you wonder. Was teledentistry a COVID-19 pandemic trend or is it here to stay? However you see it you’ll want to align with patient expectations when using virtual dental care.

For good reason, the broader telehealth space experienced substantial growth.

”22% growth in 2019

80% growth in 2020” [1]

And this from a CDC report is promising:

”43% of health centers were capable of providing telemedicine, compared with 95% of the health centers that reported using telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic.” [2]

Though there is a slight decline from peak usage periods, telemedicine continues to be higher than the baseline of fewer visits pre-pandemic.

A position of strength

Virtual dental care has moved beyond a small niche service. Telehealth acceptance naturally leads to related acceptance in dentistry.

A 2019 DentaVox survey supports this expectation.

”80% of U.S. households said they expected to rely on (virtual dental care/teledentistry) over the next five years.” [3]

Given the strong opinion data, it makes sense to stick with virtual dental care as a service option for your patients. Their expectations seem to lean toward those who innovate around the technology.

Align your teledentistry services with patient expectations

There are similarities between the pandemic era of teledentistry and the current period. But the difference going forward is making the extra effort to meet and exceed patient expectations regarding virtual dental care - especially as you commit to using Teledentistry longterm.

It’s all about your UX (User Experience)!

Maintain a personal touch

The digital environment can feel distant or staged. It’s vital that you instill a real-time vibe.

Think about the FaceTime environment. You and your patients are accustomed to online conversations.

Teledentistry conversations can have the same feel.

  • Speak conversationally.
  • Avoid appearing scripted or “canned” in your communication.

Appeal to an on-demand mindset

Assume that your patients are also accustomed to on-demand service access. E-commerce and the rise of app-based services creates an expectation.

Virtual dental care fits into that space. And the key (as covered previously) is keeping the interaction as personal as possible.

A Salesforce report agrees,

”…as disruptive companies leverage breakthroughs in cloud, mobile, social, and artificial intelligence technology to deliver personalized, valuable, and immediate experiences, customers have more choices than ever. As a result, they grow to expect this superior experience from any business they engage with.” [4]

This insight can help you position your teledentistry services to support the patient experience.

  • Position virtual dental care as a front-line service option (rather than a secondary solution).
  • Train your teams around online engagement to lift the value of the virtual care option.
  • Align your scheduling, payment and insurance protocols, emergency care, and patient follow-up with the virtual dental care environment.

Set the pace for your colleagues (and your patients will benefit)

Early teledentistry adopters are by choice a bit further down the path. Even so, available virtual dental care platforms are shortening the new adopter cycle.

You can be among those who pave the way in this new era of teledentistry.

Some dentists will not adapt and adopt virtual care. And that’s their prerogative.

Others will dabble in it and keep it in the wings for those patients who request it or need it for personal reasons.

The pioneers and pace-setters, on the other hand, will innovate and invest in dedicated technology that builds their influence as teledentistry providers.

  • Establish yourself as a virtual dental care leader.
  • Track your teledentistry growth (e.g. number of virtual visits, patient feedback and reviews about their virtual visit, etc).
  • Experiment and innovate around the virtual dental care model. Learn from and leverage your failures and successes.
  • Export your knowledge so others can learn from your experience and adapt teledentistry to their environment.

Aligning your virtual dental care solution with patient expectations will keep you on the growth curve. Add these resources to your toolkit:

How to Implement Teledentistry in Your Dental Practice

What Are the Core Best Practices for Teledentistry Success?

Innovate on a dedicated, secure, and full-function teledentistry platform

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.

 

[1]           From Virtual Care to Hybrid Care: COVID-19 and the Future of Telehealth-Insights from the 2020 Amwell Physician and Consumer Survey

[2]           https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/wr/mm7007a3.htm

[3]           https://dentavox.dentacoin.com/blog/teledentistry-surteledentistry-survey-shows-patients-are-ready-to-welcome-it/

[4]           https://www.salesforce.com/resources/research-reports/state-of-the-connected-customer/

 

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