The New Future of Teledentistry

By: Shannon Patterson, CPR, CMSR
Kolbe Certified™ Consultant
Director of Practice Opportunities

When I started to research what topic to write about in this month’s Insight edition, I ran across the article below in Becker’s Dental Review, published November 24, 2020. Upon reading this article, I decided it is too valuable not to share with our readers. As we all know the future of teledentistry is very important to the health and reform of dental and orthodontic practices. The dental industry was already in the grips of change before the pandemic started, but it definitely accelerated teledentistry. I hope this article will provide you all with some good insight.  


MouthWatch CEO: National teledentistry policy needed to eliminate ‘Swiss cheese’ coverage map

Published November 24, 2020

The efficiency and convenience offered through teledentistry services is something patients will continue to seek long after the pandemic ends, according to Brant Herman, co-founder and CEO of Metuchen, N.J.-based teledentistry company MouthWatch.

Teledentistry services have been adopted by more dentists than usual since the pandemic began, as the technology offered by companies such as MouthWatch help dentists conserve personal protective equipment, mitigate infection risks and reach patients who cannot easily visit a dentist in-person.

November survey results from the DentaQuest Partnership show 75 percent of dental providers predict an increased reliance on teledentistry in coming years. Mr. Herman, who co-founded MouthWatch in 2012, agrees with this prediction, as he believes technology that allows providers to connect virtually with patients improves a practice’s efficiency, reach and customer service.

Here, Mr. Herman shared his thoughts about teledentistry with Becker’s Dental Review.

Editor’s note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and flow.

Question: Teledentistry saw increased growth this year due to the pandemic. Why will teledentistry remain important after the pandemic is over?

Brant Herman: The jury is still out on how long the pandemic will last, how many spikes will occur or if there will be additional closures and emergency care only restrictions. If we’ve learned anything, it’s that dentistry is very vulnerable in these types of situations.

Teledentistry can help DSOs and group practices adapt to almost anything that disrupts the typical day-to-day operation — whether it be another pandemic or a natural disaster. Furthermore, patients were already primed for this type of convenience from their healthcare providers, and COVID only accelerated their desire for this type of connectivity and convenience.

In addition, the pandemic has taught us that efficiency and scalability are of the utmost importance. For the immediate future, groups and DSOs will need to do more with less — to squeeze every drop from the orange, so to speak. When you are forced to see fewer patients on any given day, you need to supplement this new standard operating procedure with a viable alternative, such as teledentistry.

When used in the current post-COVID-19 environment, teledentistry can help preserve and improve the bottom line. It can also make it easy for patients to feel connected to your practice when not in the chair. When the veil of the pandemic is lifted, the efficiency and scalability of teledentistry can propel dramatic growth.

Q: What do you have to say to patients who fear they won’t receive quality care from a virtual visit?

BH: A virtual consultation can’t replace every personal encounter with your dentist, but it can significantly reduce the time and travel required for routine consultations, oral health coaching, treatment plan presentations and certain post-operative check-ins. Busy people appreciate this, and who’s not busy these days?

What’s more, transitioning some in-person visits to virtual equivalents whether synchronous or asynchronous, reduces the risk of infectious disease transmission, not only during a pandemic, but during the traditional cold and flu season. When you combine virtual consultations with prioritized in-office visits, you’ll receive a higher level of care that you will soon begin to prefer.

Q: What are the biggest challenges facing the teledentistry field right now?

BH: There are several that come to mind. First, there’s the perception that video conferencing and teledentistry are synonymous, when only a robust, HIPAA-compliant platform designed specifically to enhance the dental work flow, improve peer-to-peer collaboration and enable smartphone-friendly patient encounters should be considered a true teledentistry solution. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has prompted a gold rush of “teledentistry lite” applications.

Second, not all teledentistry consults have to be live video. This is time consuming, especially as practices are busy managing patients. A platform with integrated messaging and video conference allows for efficient consultations that can become video visits when needed.

The lack of a cohesive and formalized national teledentistry policy perpetuates a Swiss cheese coverage map of optimal access to care. If every state had favorable, non-restrictive teledentistry regulations and standards, we would eventually have an oral care infrastructure that will have a positive impact on the overall state of health in America. There should also be more widespread insurance reimbursement policies.

Lastly, the perception that DSOs and group practices don’t need to make a long-term investment in teledentistry because they believe it won’t be useful after the pandemic subsides. Truth be told, going back to inefficient workflows, infectious disease vulnerability and patient inconvenience will be like going back to foot pedal-powered dental drills. Who wants that? What’s more, FaceTime won’t work for the long haul and teledentistry can be used for much more than covering for a doctor when they’re on vacation.

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Becker’s Hospital Review, published November 24, 2020. https://www.beckersdental.com/teledentristry/36155-mouthwatch-ceo-national-teledentistry-policy-needed-to-eliminate-swiss-cheese-coverage-map.html 

Reflecting on 2019

Ortho_Insights_Reflecting_on_2019By: Mandy King
Client Support Associate

As 2019 is coming to a close, many of us are reflecting on this year and looking forward to a New Year in 2020! With that being said, I am certain you have new goals in mind.

What Made This Year Successful?
Focus on all that you have accomplished and allow that positivity to help you set your goals for this coming year. Many of us think about what we will do different, so instead of harping on the past and areas you might have failed, set your mind on what is to come and pave your path to achieving them in the new year.

Where Did You Grow This Year?
Some of you are still in orthodontic residency, some have recently graduated, and others have been practicing for a few years. Whatever stage of life you are in, evaluate how far you have come and reflect on the growth you are experiencing in your professional and personal life. Continue chasing your dreams and realize that you are growing every day.

Are You Committed to the Process?
Take a look within and ask yourself, ‘What is my plan for success? Am I fully committed to achieving the goals I have set?’ Sometimes, there are aspects of our lives that can get in the way of the goals we set for ourselves. Just take a moment and imagine the possibilities that this new year can bring and commit to making those possibilities your new reality!

What’s Next?
This is a loaded question for some of you. What big changes are ahead in your career? Will you be completing your residency this coming year? Will you be making the decision to transition from an associate to buying a practice? Whatever it may be, take the step with confidence that great things are in store for you!

This is a perfect opportunity for me to share with all of you what is next for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Bentson Copple & Associates over the last few years but it is time for me to get back in the field as I have missed interacting with patients. I recently accepted a position as a Treatment Coordinator at an orthodontic practice in our area and I could not be more excited. I will be taking the wealth of knowledge I have gained in my time here with me and I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to get to know so many of you. Good luck with all of your future endeavors!

Orthodontic Job Opportunity: Florida Panhandle

Orthodontic Associate.Florida Panhandle.Blog Template (1)A booming, multi-location orthodontic practice in the Florida Panhandle is currently looking for a full-time orthodontic associate.

Did someone say sunshine and white-sand beaches? The coast is roughly 200 miles long and 50-100 miles wide. In fact, these beaches have been ranked among the best in the country by the likes of USA Today, TripAdvisor, Dr. Beach, and the Travel Channel. You can expect traditional Southern hospitality and more conservative values in this part of Florida as residents have hung onto its southern culture. There are endless options of things to do in the Florida Panhandle from classic, must-see attractions to local hang-outs, popular shops, and top-notch restaurants. When the sun goes down, there is plenty of fun to be had at several hot spots that offer live music or entertainment. This area is home to most of the military bases in Florida allowing you to view the Blue Angels practicing in the air to seeing the vintage aircraft for free at the Air Force Armament Museum.

This opportunity is perfect for an associate to practice in an area that has endless beauty and southern charm. The ideal candidate is available by fall 2018 and eligible for Florida licensure. To learn more about this practice opportunity, please forward your CV and letter of interest to Shannon Patterson at shannon@bentsoncopple.com.

Orthodontic Job Opportunity: Lexington, Kentucky

Lexington KY_Blog TemplateA thriving multi-location orthodontic practice in central Kentucky is seeking a full-time orthodontic associate. This is one of the most innovative and leading Orthodontic practices in the country, employing proactive strategies in the rapidly changing dental industry. Imagine being part of a practice leading change in the dental industry and the orthodontic specialty, rather than being a victim of market forces.

Central Kentucky is the “Horse Capital of the World” and home of the famous Kentucky Derby. While horse farms give the region its identity, Lexington has created a unique cultural identity of its own. A college town and home to the University of Kentucky, the community has a constant influx of young, educated people feeding its economy. The locals enjoy an array of activities including cheering on the “Kentucky Wildcats” during basketball season and enjoying the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, local unique cuisine, and lots of outdoor recreation. With a diverse job market, including Toyota, Valvoline, Big Ass Fans, and others, the region enjoys a stable economy with a growing population. At the same time, the cost of living is still relatively low, making Lexington an ideal spot for young professionals.

If you are looking to practice in a diverse city with lots of social activity, this opportunity is a perfect fit! The ideal candidate will be one who desires to innovativley embrace the future, is seeking long-term ownership / partnership, and loves to serve patients with excellence. This amazing opportunity is available immediately, and will ideally be filled no later than the fall of 2018, for those eligible for Kentucky licensure. To learn more about this practice opportunity, please forward your CV and letter of interest to shannon@bentsoncopple.com.

Click here to view additional practice opportunities available from Bentson Copple & Associates.

Orthodontic Job Opportunity: Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City_Blog TemplateA thriving orthodontic practice in Kansas City, Missouri is seeking a full-time associate orthodontist.

On the banks of the Missouri River, Kansas City is known for its long tradition of jazz music, their own style of barbeque, and craft breweries. Ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. based on quality of life, job market, and cost of living, Kansas City is the “small, big city” of the USA. As many Millennials are flocking to Kansas City for its desirable cost of living and optimal job market, the area is also experiencing small independent business growth with high-end custom boutiques, restaurants and coffee houses.

This is a great opportunity for an associate to work with a team that believes in changing lives through orthodontics and impacting their community in a positive way.

  • Doctor Coaching
  • Professional Financial Counseling with advice on student-debt repayment
  • Leadership Development
  • Management Development
  • Internal Clinical Board Reviews of Patient Cases
  • Patient Management
  • Communication Skills

Ideal candidate is available by fall 2018 and eligible for Missouri licensure. To learn more about this practice opportunity, please forward your CV and letter of interest to shannon@bentsoncopple.com.

Click here to view additional practice opportunities available from Bentson Copple & Associates.

Orthodontic Job Opportunity: Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville, NC_Blog TemplateAn amazing private orthodontic practice in Asheville, North Carolina is seeking a full-time associate to join their growing practice!

Asheville, North Carolina is ranked #24 on U.S. News “Best Places to Live”.  Asheville is a thriving mountain city known for its funky and eclectic communities. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains between the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests, the area offers an incredible outdoor-living lifestyle but also has a hip downtown community.  The historic downtown area has a thriving music scene, exquisite culinary restaurants and over 30 art galleries with a mix of Art-Deco, Beaux Arts and Neoclassical styles all located in perfect retro-urban local shops and galleries. Residents enjoy year round festivals including ‘Shindig on the Green, the Brewgrass Festival and Ocktoberfest’.

Asheville Awards & Recognitions for 2017:

  • 2017 Asheville was named one of the top 15 best small cities in the U.S. – Conde Nast Traveler, October 2017
  • Asheville ranked one of the 50 best places for business and careers. – Forbes, 2017
  • North Carolina ranked #3 Best State for Business. – Chief Executive Magazine, 2017
  • Asheville was recognized as one of the Top 15 Cities in the United States. – Travel + Leisure’s,  July 2017
  • Ranked #1 for Best in the U.S. Destination for 2017 – Lonely Planet, January 2017

Asheville is the ultimate outdoor playground and an ideal destination for someone seeking an active lifestyle. This opportunity will allow you to practice with a skilled and motivated team focused on delivering exceptional clinical care to patients. Ideal candidate is available by fall 2018 and eligible for North Carolina state licensure. To learn more about this practice opportunity, please forward your CV and letter of interest to shannon@bentsoncopple.com.

Click here to view additional practice opportunities available from Bentson Copple & Associates.