model of how different color o rings look on braces

How to Approach Dental Anxiety in Your Patients

Dental anxiety is not unheard of. In fact, it’s a very real concern for many patients which can hold them back from getting the optimal dental care they deserve. However, the best dentists and orthodontists have the right tools/training and compassion to help ease their patients’ nerves. In this article, we offer our best tips that can help in caring for anxious orthodontic patients.

Compassion Is Always The Way To Go

Many dentists are kind and compassionate. After all, their caring nature may be why they chose to pursue this profession. However, as compassionate as you may be, you might also wonder just how much you should say when working with a patient who suffers from dental anxiety. If you have an anxious patient, it’s okay to approach the matter by asking them about their past dental experiences and understanding their triggers. Actively listening to your patients and taking notes of their concerns works wonders for easing them. Sometimes, anxious patients just want to feel heard because they weren’t at their previous dentist or orthodontist. 

Modernizing Your Orthodontic Practice

A modern dental practice is one that prioritizes patient comfort, and this goes a long way with patients who have a fear of dentists. Here are our favorite tips for modernizing your orthodontic practice (LINK). Think about creating as relaxing a setting as possible.

Ensure Your Orthodontic Practice Is A Well-Oiled Machine

Making certain that your office runs smoothly is a great way to reassure your anxious patients that they are in a good place that cares about them, their health, and their time. Putting emphasis on team synergy will help patients become more at ease around your staff because they know what to expect and trust you.

Install OrthoPhoto To Practice Better Dentistry And Save Your Patients Time

For many who are anxious, the longer something takes to be over with, the worse the anxiety becomes. Save time in whatever way possible for all your patients. One of the best ways to do so is by installing OrthoPhoto App, which is available on the App Store and on Google Play. Designed by a dentist for other dentists, OrthoPhoto automates the hours-long process of taking dental braces photos of your patients’ teeth throughout the course of their orthodontic treatment and sorting them. Rather than relying on another dental braces camera, you can open the app, take the clinical images, and your device will automatically place each photo in the right patient file. Photos are taken quickly in the right format and automatically filed. Bonus tip: you can boost your dental marketing strategy by talking about how OrthoPhoto App separates you from other orthodontists, building the confidence your patients have in you. 

Orthodontist showing her patient different braces images

Upgrade Your Dental Technology This Year

Technology for dentists has come a long way over the years. Not only does it make our job as dentists and orthodontists easier, but it also helps our patients feel like they are in great hands every time we see them! However, as more dentists implement advanced technologies, you might fall behind. Here are a few of the latest trends in dental technology that are worth keeping up with.

Dentists Are Going Digital With Impressions For Dental Braces

Impressions are rather uncomfortable for the patient and, if the patient is extremely uncomfortable, it can be difficult for you as their dentist to get good-quality impressions that will aid in your treatment plan. 

Digital impressions are a much more comfortable and efficient way to obtain molds of your patients’ bites, so many dentists and orthodontists are turning to intraoral scanners instead. These scanners provide precise measurements to ensure each impression is as accurate as possible while also minimizing the discomfort patients feel when getting traditional impressions.

3D Imaging For Dental Braces Treatment Planning

When dentists and orthodontists plan their patients’ braces treatment, they often get X-rays so they can get a close look at their malocclusion, thus helping them determine the right treatment. However, X-rays are only 2D. Although a great dentist can come up with an effective treatment plan, 3D imaging takes things to the next level and gives dentists an even more detailed view of their patients’ mouths. 3D imaging has made braces all the more customized and effective.

Smartphones in the Workplace With OrthoPhoto App

Every day, more applications become available for smartphones, and websites become more mobile compatible. However, the applications you download do not have to be exclusive to your personal life and entertainment.

Envisioned by Houston dentist Dr. Kathy Nguyen, OrthoPhoto App is a smartphone application that redefines dental record keeping. Rather than relying on a specific braces camera used in dental photography, uploading the images, cropping them, placing them in a slide show, and manually sorting them into patient files, dentists can now take their patients’ clinical images right on their mobile phone.

The application automates this once lengthy process. After dentists and orthodontists capture the relevant clinical photos on their smartphones, OrthoPhoto will automatically place them into a template that organizes them in the correct format (crop, size, order) and places them in the designated and easily exportable patient file to help you save more time and become more efficient. With OrthoPhoto App, practice better dentistry and improve your own quality of life as well as your patients’. You can download OrthoPhoto for iOS here and for Android here.

Dental braces patient showing off her smile for dental photography

Comparing Cameras For Dental Braces

Every dentist and orthodontist should make dental photography part of their everyday operations. Having the right tools to take top-quality dental photos serves multiple purposes, so keep reading to learn why dental photos are a necessity and how different cameras for dental photography compare.

Why is Dental Photography so Important For Dentists and Orthodontists?

Dental photography helps dentists and orthodontists accomplish a number of things that contribute to the success of their practice, including: 

  • Adding better visuals to their dental website design
  • Showcasing their work
  • Saving high-quality dental records for their dental braces patients 

Recommended Cameras for Dentists and Orthodontists 

There are a few different cameras used by dentists and orthodontists when they want to elevate their brand with great photography. The two most common dental cameras are as follows:

DSLR Cameras for Dental Photography

DSLR’s, such as those by Canon or Nikon, take beautiful pictures, as well as HD video. Newer cameras even shoot video in 4K, which is excellent for testimonials that you can then upload to your website and social media. Combine a DSLR with a lens that shoots great close-ups and you will take great photos of your patients’ teeth! This makes DSLR cameras ideal because they work for marketing purposes and record-keeping purposes. Unfortunately, DSLR’s are on the pricier side and tend to offer features that may go beyond your needs as a dentist. Because of this, it may not be worth the extra money.

Point-And-Shoot Cameras for Dentists to Take Clinical Braces Photos

As their name suggests, all you need to do is point it and shoot your picture, which is just enough for dentists. The trade-off with these is that the photos may not be the best quality, so even though it works really well for dental and orthodontic record-keeping, it may not be ideal for marketing purposes.

OrthoPhoto App Smartphone Camera for Braces Progress Images

OrthoPhoto has successfully automated the time-consuming process of capturing and sorting dental braces progress images, all without having to drop thousands of dollars on high-tech equipment. With a typical camera–regardless if it’s a point-and-shoot or DSLR camera–dentists have to take the photos, upload them, manually crop and organize them into a file, and then place them into a patient’s record folder.

A single patient may take 15-30+ minutes, so dentists often spend a lot of time after-hours getting this necessary task done. With the OrthoPhoto mobile application, however, dentists can take photos right on their smartphone camera, and today’s smartphones have astounding camera capabilities that keep getting better. Because of this, your phone not only captures great clinical images but also great marketing material. Our mobile app automatically places the braces progress photos into a templated document with the correct crop, size, and order and then places them in a specific patient’s file you designate. This significantly cuts down the time it takes to organize braces photos so dentists can dedicate their energy to other aspects of their job. If you're ready to practice better, more efficient dentistry, then please download OrthoPhoto App for iOS or OrthoPhoto App for Android.

orthodontist conducting an exam on a new patient

New Year, New Goals For Your Dental Practice!

With 2021 winding down, you may be thinking about new goals for your dental/orthodontic practice–one of them being growth! As we get ready to ring in the new year, now is the perfect time to think about what you can do to generate more patients. In this article, we’ll offer our best tips for scaling your dental practice in the new year.

Invest in Dental Marketing 

Every business can benefit from marketing. After all, a customized marketing strategy will help generate new leads (patients) and help you achieve your growth goals. INFINI Marketing, our partner marketing agency based in Houston, has helped numerous dental and orthodontic offices expand, even resulting in multiple office locations. A digital marketing strategy designed and executed by INFINI may consist of:

  • Dental website design
  • Google Ads campaign for your dental office that fits your budget
  • An SEO strategy that helps your practice get to page 1 on search engines like Google

Update Your Dental Photography With OrthoPhoto App 

Traditionally, dentists and orthodontists use a digital camera to capture their patients’ braces progress. After they get the pictures, they have to spend hours after their last patient leaves for the day in order to upload the images, crop them, place them in a slideshow template, and sort them into specific albums followed by sorting them into patient files. Rather than staying after-hours to handle this task, OrthoPhoto automates this process so dentists can handle their clinical images in a fraction of the time. Using your smartphone, you can 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 for orthodontists and dentists is compatible with iOS and Android.

Invest in Dental Office Management Software

Going paperless is a great way to modernize your dental practice and operate in a way that keeps patients coming back while also minimizing extra work. This also makes your dental office much more efficient. Going paperless can take a while, but investing in and learning how to utilize a user-friendly software saves time and keeps your team organized when it comes to storing and locating patient records, billing, and booking appointments. 

Encourage and Listen to Patient Feedback 

If you’re planning to grow your dental practice in 2022, one of the best things you can do is ask your current patients what they would like to see and experience in your office! Once you have their feedback, consider it and make a plan. 

young student wearing dental braces on her first day of school

Welcoming Patients During The Back To School Slowdown

As in-person school starts up again, parents need to start a new routine that varies greatly from the routine they have followed over the last year and a half. With this transitional period comes a lot of changes in your patients’ schedules, which explains why your dental or orthodontic practice may be receiving a lot of cancellations lately. But don’t worry; in this article, we will discuss what you can do to ensure you nurture your existing patients and encourage new patient visits while things are slow. 

Be Flexible And Allow For Simple Scheduling And Rescheduling

Patients find it a hassle to go through so many hoops when trying to schedule or reschedule an appointment. To remedy this, we recommend the following, which will work wonders for keeping your current patients and bringing in new patients:

  • Redesigning your website so it allows for online scheduling (though you have to be sure to confirm scheduled appointments with every visitor)
  • Allowing for reschedules via SMS text

Invest In Dental Marketing For Your Dental/Orthodontic Practice

Speaking of revamping your dental website design, marketing is a sure way to generate new patient leads but remember that the success of your overall dental marketing strategy greatly depends on the success of your web design. Why? Because Google Ads, Facebook Ads, social media content, and even reviews should all lead viewers and patients back to your website. It also needs to be a seamless and user-friendly experience for the visitor on all devices. INFINI Marketing, our affiliate marketing agency, offers a conversion-optimized Dental Website Package for $249/month. 

Modernize Your Dental/Orthodontic Practice

There are several ways to modernize your practice both in terms of its look/feel and the patient experience. You can read our previous blog about ways to modernize your orthodontic practice. Some notable methods include redecorating the space and also downloading OrthoPhoto App, our revolutionary dental record keeping app. 

OrthoPhoto App is a HIPAA-compliant orthodontic application created by Dr. Kathy Nguyen for iOS and Android. It enables dentists and orthodontists to take clinical images of their patients’ orthodontic progress and automatically saves the records in the correct template and in designated folders. These dental records are also easily exported and dentists and orthodontists no longer need to dedicate extra hours after closing to handle a mountain of patient records. You can download OrthoPhoto for iOS here and for OrthoPhoto for Android here.