Team of braces dentist and hygienists taking safety precautions during COVID-19

An Action Plan For Safely Reopening the Doors to Your Dental Practice

As states and cities begin to reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, you as a dentist, along with your office manager, are likely determining the best plan of action to welcome back your staff and patients in such a way that is safe and efficient. Or, perhaps you’re considering closing again as cases rise in the U.S. and want to take this time to develop a better plan for the future. Look no further–here is our COVID-19 reopening action plan. 

A Safe and Welcoming Waiting Area

Your dentist office’s waiting area needs to be welcoming and comfortable, especially with the shift caused by COVID. You must ensure that you’re regularly sanitizing your entire practice without disrupting your patients. We recommend the following:

  • Take patient temperature upon arrival
  • Have patients fill out any necessary paperwork prior to arrival
  • Install a plexiglass system to serve as boundaries between your staff and your patients
  • Only allow a few people in at a time so your waiting room is never at full capacity. This helps enforce social distancing.
  • Remove childrens' toys, books, and magazines from circulation 
  • Sanitize and disinfect chairs, tables, and other frequently touched surfaces

Implementing Technology For Smoother Check-In and Patient Visits

Part of being a modern dentist with a modern practice has to do with implementing certain technologies that improve the overall patient experience and the team’s efficiency. Here are some ideas that may help as you reopen your dental practice for braces appointments, cleanings, and other treatments.

Dental Practice Management Software

If before the pandemic your team was having a hard time remaining efficient and organized with record-keeping and billing, then reopening in our current conditions may only make it more challenging. 

This is the perfect time to invest in a management software that allows you to digitize all patient documents and every process your team follows to run the practice. Doing so will help make your team all the more efficient.

Mobile Capabilities

We have to rethink how we welcome and treat patients while practicing social distancing. We recommend setting up the following:

  • A mobile check-in system so hygienists know when patients are ready, ensuring patients can go straight to the dental chair when called upon and spend less time in the waiting room
  • Download OrthoPhoto App if you treat patients with dental braces. OrthoPhoto speeds up the process of taking your patient’s clinical images and braces progress photos so they don’t need to stay any longer than they should. The app also automatically sorts through the photos and places them in a predetermined template that then goes to the patient’s file. This reduces the time you spend after-hours on dental photography work so that you can, instead, focus on sanitizing and disinfecting at the end of the day.

Most of All: Remain Patient and Take Precautions

Although it’s good that we are able to reopen our practices, we aren’t out of the woods yet. As you prepare to reopen, continue to enforce social distancing and download the necessary technology, whether it be OrthoPhoto for braces progress photos or practice management software. We will soon adjust to this new way of operating, which will ultimately make our staff and patients feel safer for it.

How to Make Your Office More Appealing For Patients Seeking Dental Braces Treatment

How to Make Your Office More Appealing For Patients Seeking Dental Braces Treatment

Plenty of orthodontists have their own practices, but each year it seems more and more dentists or orthodontists are starting their own practices or joining already-established practices. With this surge in competition, how do you make your office more appealing so that you stand out against your competitors? Here is our advice. 

The Key to Standing Out Lies in Differentiation

According to the American Dental Association, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that the employment of orthodontists and dentists would grow by 18% between 2014 and 2024. In an industry with a lot of talent and education behind it, differentiating yourself can be challenging, but it's possible.

Look Into Different Products Your Dental or Orthodontic Practice Could Offer

As you know, there are many kinds of braces on the market. Today, metal dental braces and clear aligners are most commonly offered. Perhaps you should consider offering lingual braces or ceramic dental braces. To further differentiate yourself, take some time to search for less common methods of dental alignment correction, such as braces with a different shape, color, or material. 

At the End of the Day, Remarkable Service is What Keeps Patients Coming Back

One of the most impactful ways to differentiate your practice is by focusing on the customer service and patient experience you deliver. Take some time to evaluate how good your customer service and patient experience is. Is your team organized and punctual in how it receives patients? Is your waiting room designed with your patients’ needs in mind? For example, does it have free Wi-Fi for working adults, outlets, and a fun area for kids? 

If you want to elevate your customer service and patient experience, consider incorporating more technology for patient education and downloading OrthoPhoto App, our smartphone application that transforms how you track your patients’ braces progress. The app lets you take clinical images of your orthodontic patients’ progress throughout their dental braces treatment.

Upon taking the photo, OrthoPhoto App, which you can download here, automatically crops and sorts the dental photographs into a template designed in the appropriate format for dental patient records. Not only does this speed up the process for your patient who is likely already pressed for time, but this also sets you apart from the competition and means you don’t need to spend much time after-hours sorting through your images.

Preparing and Improving Your Dental Office for Patient Visits After COVID-19 With Technology and Cleanliness

Preparing and Improving Your Dental Office for Patient Visits After COVID-19 With Technology and Cleanliness

As states prepare to open back up and dentists gradually open their doors to patients once again, it’s a good idea to consider the future of your practice and act accordingly. It may be difficult to know where to start, and there is no denying this is a stressful time for dentists, but here are some tips for easing the transition back to normal as we continue to fight COVID-19.

Take Advantage of Financial Relief Packages

The government’s financial relief packages are exactly what dentists need right now, and because this is new territory for everybody, everyone can learn from this and help one another survive.

Keep Your Current Team Close

Many businesses are laying their employees off and some medical practices and dental practices are considering doing the same in order to reduce their financial burden. However, in the long run, getting rid of your current staff will be costly if you bring in new staff and have to train them. If your team works well, gets along, and prioritizes creating a positive patient experience, then keep it as is. At a time like this, being close with a team you trust is crucial to recovering from any losses and continuing to run your practice.

Take Advantage of Free Time

Whether you have decided to open back up on limited hours, or are holding off, you have a chance to take advantage of free time. 

Future Technology

If possible, it’s a great idea to brush up on skills or consider new dental technologies and mobile apps for dentists to introduce in the future. Some new technologies may include practice management software that automates billing, keeps track of tasks, and keeps your team more organized and efficient overall.

If your practice offers dental braces treatment, another technology you may consider is OrthoPhoto App, our app that snaps clinical braces photos, automatically places them in a template with the right image sizing and order, and automatically organizes them into patient files so you don’t need to spend hours doing it yourself. This app makes it much easier to keep track of your patients’ braces progress, improving record-keeping, your quality of life, and the patient experience. 

Sterilize and Clean

This is something most dentists already do in their dental practice, but COVID-19 has made consumers and patients much more cautious of germs and cleanliness, so they are becoming more and more familiar with this concept. This also means that people may consider switching dentists if they feel their current one isn’t doing enough. Take this time to thoroughly sterilize and clean your entire practice and be sure to share that with your followers on social media so they know you are taking precautions and prioritizing health and safety. When it’s time to re-open and see more patients, they will gladly return.

We’re In This Together

COVID-19 has certainly flipped everyone’s lives upside down, but the good thing is we as humans are learning to be more cautious. Additionally, dentists are fortunate enough to be so essential that they may not get hit as badly as other professionals in other industries. Because of this, now is the time for you and your team to work together to really, truly assess your practice and grow from this experience.

How to Improve Your Patient Experience at Your Dentist Office

How to Improve Your Patient Experience at Your Dentist Office

As dentists, we know that patient experience matters. Few patients may not think too much of it, but most do. A positive patient experience keeps them coming back for years and years. It also encourages new patients to visit you. How, then, do you ensure that your patient experience is a positive one? Here are a couple of our favorite tips.

Update Your Waiting Room

As we state in our article about how to modernize your dental practice, efficiency and modernity are essential and often synonymous. Patients may choose a competitor if they feel like your waiting room doesn’t meet their needs. The best way to remedy this is by taking their needs into consideration. 

For example, are you solely a pediatric dentist? Your waiting room should be bright with adequate toys and storage, but you should also have it in the view of where parents will sit so they can relax while still keeping an eye on their kids. Ensure their seating is comfortable and perhaps offer bottled water, books, or magazines as well. Additionally, if those parents work, it’s a great idea to have free wifi and possibly a table with outlets on top and chairs so they can get some work done.

Make Use of Available Technologies

Incorporating technology in your dentist office makes your team’s individual jobs easier, but it also makes your patients’ visits a breeze. Some technological features you may consider investing in include online scheduling that your patients can book if it’s more convenient for them, digital billing, medical practice management software, or OrthoPhoto App if you’re a dentist that also offers dental braces. You may also choose to download other smartphone applications for dentists that focus on patient education.

OrthoPhoto app is an affordable smartphone application that automates how you track your patients’ braces progress with dental photography. Using the app, you can take clinical images of your patients’ braces progress and OrthoPhoto will automatically crop and sort them into a template designed in the correct format for dental patient records. Now, instead of spending a lot of time after-hours organizing your braces images, you can focus on enjoying that time with loved ones. You can buy it here

Better Patient Experience Means Better Patient Retention

We have more tips coming, but this is certainly a good starting point for giving your patents a more pleasant visit. Dentist appointments are dreadful for some, but they don’t have to be.

Signs Its Time to Modernize Your Dental Office

Signs Its Time to Modernize Your Dental Office

We often get used to how our workplace looks and feel comfortable in it, so we don’t think about making any changes. However, first impressions are always going to be important, and any new competition that arises will make the effort to ensure their workplace is more modern. In today’s competitive landscape, modernness and efficiency are additional traits that your target audience is factoring in when deciding which dentist to go to. This may be due to the fact that modernity and efficiency suggest a better patient experience, so here are some signs that indicate it may be time to modernize your dental practice.

Your front desk team is swamped with paperwork and taking a long time to get patients signed in or out

Filing papers away in cabinets and drawers was once efficient, but now this method of record-keeping is asking for clutter. Often, the dental office staff are more focused on sorting through these documents, which is fair, except for the fact that this isn’t ideal for the patients that come and go. 

A good starting point would be putting new-patient forms on your website so that patients can be that much more prepared when they arrive. In the future, you may consider investing in software that helps you manage your entire practice in terms of appointments, team members, tasks, and patients. This will be handy when it comes to records, billing, and booking.

Your team seems scatter-brained and all over the place when attempting to complete tasks

Dental practices can get very busy, and while this is a good sign, being too busy may result in your team members not performing their jobs as well as they normally would. To remedy this, we recommend introducing scheduling blocks. Scheduling blocks allow team members to streamline their focus on one type of task instead of dedicating minimal attention to multiple tasks. 

For example, you may block 3 hours in the morning for treatments only relating to Invisalign Clear Aligners and dental braces, while your front desk team focuses on billing. This helps everyone at the office get more to-do’s done successfully.

When working on braces progress photos, you spend too much time after hours

Dentists and orthodontists often use a DSLR or a point-and-shoot camera for their dental photography, which highlights their patients’ braces progress. However, once they take the clinical images, they work after-hours to upload, crop, place them in a slideshow, and sort them into specific patient files. 

OrthoPhoto App automates this process so dentists can manage their clinical photos in less time. Using your smartphone, take your patients’ braces images right on the application. It automatically places the images into a template that formats them correctly into their respective patient albums. OrthoPhoto App was created by a dentist for other dentists so they can enjoy more quality time with their loved ones instead of being hunched over a computer.