Are you benefitting from the latest dental innovation? From streamlining appointments to improved diagnosis and treatment options, digital technology is transforming today’s dental practice. Whether you’re setting up a new clinic or thinking about upgrading your existing practice, the right technology can help you stay competitive and ensure your patients receive the most up-to-date standard of care.
There are two key areas where digital technology can help you manage your practice more efficiently.
Client Experience and Marketing
If you want to run a successful practice, don’t test the patience of your patients. Create a good client experience by making it as easy as possible to book a visit. If patients are only able to schedule an appointment by calling during regular business hours, you may be missing out on revenue opportunities, especially with younger patients. According to a consumer survey, 60% of Millennials will avoid the phone, even when they don’t have another option.1
Sarah Hyslop, Healthcare & Professional Specialist at Scotiabank recommends investing in digital software that can enable patients to book appointments directly through your website. “Digital technology not only makes it easier to book and track appointments, but it can send out automatic email or text reminders and follow-up appointment notifications,” she explains. These reminders will avoid last minute cancellations and lost time and revenue from missed appointments.
Simplifying the process for patients to self-manage their appointments will also free up your office staff to focus on filling empty slots and keeping the office humming. Of course, there is more to office management than booking visits. There are several dental office management systems that can do everything from tracking patient records and information to supporting diagnosis and treatment, says Hyslop.
She also says investing in customer relationship management (CRM) software can help you track and analyze practice revenue and expenses. This is particularly important in helping you stay on top of your finances to predict any shortfalls in revenue or potential opportunities for investment or expansion.
One of the best ways to draw in new patients is via digital marketing. For starters, developing an engaging website with services provided and interesting content or advice can help visitors get the information they need before they arrive at your clinic. You can improve your chances of being found online with search engines like Bing or Google by ensuring you incorporate keywords people are likely to be searching for into your web text. For example, a web page with the title “dental implants, Vancouver” is more likely to be found by someone searching for implant services locally than one with a more general title, such as simply “oral care.”
Along with a strong website, you can consider using social media channels to increase awareness of your services. Post useful information on Facebook or Instagram, then drive traffic back to your website to view short bits and bites of advice, or short videos providing tips on oral hygiene. This approach can help raise your profile and expand your reach. Sending out an e-newsletter is another way to build and maintain strong customer relationships and educate them about practising good oral health, providing additional value beyond the immediate services.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you were practising dentistry during one of the pandemic lockdowns, you might have found yourself holding some consultations with patients by video call.2 Maintaining the option to connect via teledentistry appointments can be a great way to continue to connect with patients without requiring them to physically be in your office, offering convenience to the patient while keeping you both safe. Ask your patients to review their insurance coverage, as teledentistry is not covered by all health plans.
Along with virtual meetings, you can save time and make your practice more efficient by using digital channels to transfer patient dental information, such as x-rays and digital scans, to another practitioner at another location.
3D Digital Scanners
New handheld 3D digital scanners that go directly into patient’s mouths can be an effective way to detect and diagnose dental diseases. They can help you obtain more accurate results than traditional dental impressions.3
As the results can be processed immediately without the impression stage, they can alleviate potential patient discomfort and enable a faster diagnosis. Sharing the onscreen image with patients can also make it easier to communicate potential treatment plans.
New advances in ultrasound technology are also changing how dentists work, helping with detecting cavities, fractures, early indication of abscesses, helping hygienists perform descaling and more.4 The latest ultrasound technology has significantly better resolution than in the past, making it a useful tool for diagnosis and restorative dentistry.5
Ultrasound also provides a radiation-free alternative for imaging, along with the ability to create detailed, 3D images of the teeth and jaws.
While it can be challenging to stay on top of all the technical advances in dentistry and office management tools, doing so will benefit your patients as they have a more satisfying customer experience while simplifying processes and workloads for your team. Keeping on top of technology will create long-term loyalty and increased opportunities to treat your patients, resulting in a thriving practice.
Connecting with one of our Healthcare Specialists can help you evaluate some of the financial impacts and benefits that may result from investing in and financing new technology and equipment, ultimately helping you realize your practice goals.
For customized advice and support to help you make the right decisions for your specific needs, contact us today.