The Path to Improved Case Acceptance Using Teledentistry

09.13.2021
| 8 min read

Follow the path.”

That’s good advice on a hike or whatever excursion you’re on. It also applies to how you frame case acceptance using teledentistry.

In dentistry you probably refer to the “path” as a workflow. But either way, the analogy creates a practical way to view the journey to case acceptance.

Efficient or effective?

You might wonder if this is an either-or question. Relative to case acceptance, teledentistry could confidently deliver both.

Efficiency in this instance would have to include a discussion about your patient’s preferences and your practice’s recovery efforts.

Recovery?

Much has changed since 2019 as a result of the pandemic.

  • Lost revenue
  • Tighter safety protocols (e.g. PPE)
  • Team attrition
  • Hiring challenges

The list could go on.

What about patient preference?

Again, COVID-19 has caused a shift in treatment protocols and workflows related to the patient experience.

  • In-person or virtual visits?
  • Contactless services
  • Online scheduling

These are only a few of the changes patient’s are embracing (and in some instances welcoming).

It’s true that innovation flows towards change. Teledentistry fills the gap for an efficient and effective solution for current and what will likely be post-pandemic patient care.

Patient buy-in

Case acceptance is somewhat of a confirmation that patient buy-in has occurred. The path or journey analogy also fits here because a treatment presentation engages patients in a process.

Technology, like teledentistry, provides an opportunity for patient engagement that’s less invasive while giving patients an alternative for interaction around their care.

Teledentistry makes use of familiar technology.

  • Real-time (synchronous) video communication
  • Stored (asynchronous) content available on-demand
  • Imaging capabilities

Consider that teledentistry allows you to share your expertise just as you would in-person. But at the same time you’re giving patients an option that’s convenient and time-efficient.

What does all that have to do with case acceptance? Plenty, when you factor in an upgraded patient experience - for those so inclined.

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From case diagnosis to case presentation to case acceptance using teledentistry

This theme might seem to side-step an in-person patient encounter. To clarify, teledentistry doesn’t eliminate in-office visits it works in tandem with them.

Let’s explore a few basic functions of teledentistry for case presentation leading to improvements in case acceptance.

”Un”-protected communication

There’s something appealing about having a conversation without protective barriers when appropriate. We’ve grown accustomed to masks and now an additional layer of PPE for in-office appointments.

Teledentistry removes those barriers. And with the general affinity many have for virtual interaction the online venue isn’t a hinderance.

Quite the contrary.

  • Eye-to-eye, unmasked communication around your patient’s issue, concern, or condition
  • Care delivery that’s consistent with your expertise and diagnostic judgment
  • Treatment presentations in yours and the patient’s comfortable (personal) space

A safe yet less “sterile” feeling environment

Operatory rooms are no less essential to patient care when virtual connectivity is used. Even so, there is a productivity and proximity benefit as well.

Your team will experience the productivity boost when more patient visits are accomplished via teledentistry. Clinical team members can channel operatory turnover protocols (e.g. disinfection, etc) into other patient-facing opportunities.

And…

A patient’s proximity to the sights and sounds of dentistry can be buffered within the virtual appointment. They will often have to return for an in-office treatment although it’s one less time or emotionally intensive office visit.

The efforts to provide a safe, less “sterile” feel via teledentistry has an emotional appeal - one that enhances case presentation and a hopeful case acceptance.

Insurance acceptance and alternative solutions

Dental insurance providers are embracing teledentistry. Most healthcare insurers are on-board.

Even dental insurance alternatives are emerging. Membership plans that include virtual consultations like teledentistry are making dentistry accessible to more patients in need of care.

And the contactless approach to care triggered by the pandemic has prompted innovations around treatment financials.

  • Online payment portals
  • Automated insurance reimbursement inquiries

Convenience appeal

The patient experience is sweetened by convenience. Patients appreciate options for accessing dental care.

Teledentistry makes that possible while maintaining your high care standards. A dedicated virtual platform exceeds expectations by delivering a broader care scope than a mere video chat.

Again, the combination of online portals, interactive technology, and convenience empowers your patient’s case acceptance potential. A less burdensome visit that's comfortable, convenient, and safe helps lower emotional defenses that can hinder going forward with treatment.

Trust a teledentistry platform that supports virtual case presentations leading to case acceptance

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.

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