The Advantages Of Teledentistry In a Post Pandemic Reality
Teledentistry in the COVID-19 era almost seems like a no-brainer. It goes without saying that Covid has made it difficult for dentists to attract and treat patients. If you’re a dentist trying to get more patients and to increase patient retention rates, you should embrace a back-to-basics approach to dentistry.
Teledentistry is a practical method to overcome the challenges COVID-19 has brought to our world and to make sure that your dental practice will survive this difficult time and will even thrive in the near future.
According to Theresa Duncan, dental insurance expert and management consultant, providing virtual care is an effective way to build strong relationships with your patients and for making your dental practice more efficient. You can cater to your patients without having them visit your office. This should allow you to tackle more restorative procedures. As each and every visit to the office brings infection control related costs, you should try to make the best use of each appointment. At the same time, you should do everything it takes to stay connected to your patients, to show them that you care for them and that you are ready to support them and to offer them advice, even though you may not be able to welcome them into your office. This level of patient care is nothing but customer service at its best.
Teledentistry can help you deliver great services to your patients without having to compromise on the efficiency of your practice.
Why Adopting Teledentistry Results In An Efficiency Boost
What is teledentistry, after all? Teledentistry goes beyond having regular video chats with your patients. It is also about the implementation of new technologies in a smart and strategical manner that’s meant to provide these patients with more efficient care.
Making teledentistry part of your practice is like adding one or even two virtual chairs to your office. It allows you to set a virtual triage to prevent your office from becoming overcrowded with patients. Also, since you’re going to perform this triage online, you won’t need your front desk team members to have special medical qualifications. That’s very important if they need to work from home.
For instance, Wally’s teledentistry services allow dentists to chat with their patients through a messaging system to understand exactly what bothers these patients. Next, we connect the patient with a dentist for scheduling a virtual visit. The dentist will then decide upon the best way to deal with the problem based on the specific risk factors of that very patient.
This approach offers a totally different way to handle emergencies. The traditional method involved a call to the office, then perhaps some waiting time and a call back to schedule an appointment with a dentist. Even though some of those cases could have been handled from home, they still took chair time, thus decreasing the efficiency of the dental practice. Since 2016 every 14-seconds someone has gone to the emergency room for a dental emergency. Now living in the time that we do we expect these statistics to be much greater and compound as patients are not able to go and receive the treatments or care they need. Teledentistry is of course one great way to offset the load of these emergencies going to the ER.
Thanks to teledentistry, patients can share their concerns through a chat app, and then get connected with their dentist without the need for an additional appointment. This means that dentists can take a look via video chat to assess the situation and to determine the ideal course of action, without taking any chair time. Should the patient need to come into the practice, the dentist can coordinate this visit in a more efficient way, hence limiting the costs for the practice.
Dentists who already make use of virtual visits find that they can save a lot of time and money. They need less protective equipment(PPE), and can keep their chairs available to more critical visits that may involve complex procedures and oral surgery. Teledentistry can improve the productivity and the work efficiency of your team by taking on some of the load of scheduling visits, coordinating care, and staying in touch with patients. The result is that patients feel that you offer them better care and support. This will definitely help you stay top of mind when they have their own type of dental emergency.
Teledentistry Does Wonders for The Patient-Dentist Relationship
Believe it or not, most patients say they don’t feel they have a strong relationship with their dentist. One of our last patients called us to ask for help with a throbbing tooth ache that prevented her from having a normal life. Her dentist had not been available to address her problem, so she had to find another solution.
Thanks to teledentistry, she has found a dentist tho was able to put her on antibiotics. This is the type of consultation that can be done via video chat.
To Learn More about the benefits of being an oral healthcare provider through medicare, register for our upcoming webinar.