With Dental Monitoring, Dr. Alyssa Emory-Carter has increased office efficiencies, boosted communication and convenience for patients, and taken the hassle out of scheduling.
Dr. Alyssa Emory-Carter achieves high-quality treatment, close patient follow-up, and patient satisfaction with DentalMonitoring
DentalMonitoring is a remote monitoring solution that catapults orthodontic practices into growth mode. The AI analyzes, detects, and reports on 130-plus oral observations. The technology brings the doctor and patient closer during treatment and improves patient compliance while reducing unnecessary and inconvenient physical visits. The advanced digital solution produces a wealth of observable data that doctors can use to improve treatment procedures, staff training, protocols, and workflows. Patients use the app for constant communication with their doctor and team. Easier communication improves patient compliance and hygiene because patients know their doctor monitors their treatment closely. Both patients and parents can see the time-lapse treatment progression, further encouraging treatment engagement.
Many practitioners began using DentalMonitoring to solve a specific issue in their practice. As they continue to use the system, they often decide to make DentalMonitoring a foundation of their practice operations. Going all-in with DentalMonitoring means that a doctor enrolls every patient after seeing the benefits of remote monitoring for a smaller group, often their aligner patients. As doctors progress with using DentalMonitoring to treat all of their patients, including all their braces patients, they can shift their office to dynamic scheduling. Dynamic scheduling means there are no routinely scheduled appointments. Instead, patients see their doctor in person because DentalMonitoring’s AI has helped the doctor to identify when a physical appointment is necessary, such as an archwire change.
Dr. Alyssa Emory-Carter began using DentalMonitoring in a pilot study for her clear aligner patients. At this time in her practice, the team was working long hours, missing lunches, and unable to treat patients to the level of excellence she demanded. She was exhausted but believed in her ability to fix the problem and began looking for solutions. That’s when she realized that DentalMonitoring was the solution she needed. The light bulb moment came to Dr. Emory-Carter when she spent an hour of her already overbooked time exploring DentalMonitoring’s artificial intelligence. She understood each of the 130-plus oral observations that the AI can report, making her path to efficiency clear. She could use this tool to maximize her time in the clinic.
Dr. Emory-Carter is happy to admit that using DentalMonitoring has made her a better orthodontist. She explains, “You have to open your mind and believe that we can do things in a way that we’ve never done before in our profession.” But this doesn’t mean that she only uses DentalMonitoring to make her life easier. Dr. Emory-Carter says, “Our kids shouldn’t have to miss 20 days of school to have their teeth straightened. Parents shouldn’t have to take off work 20 times.”
The effects of DentalMonitoring in Dr. Emory-Carter’s practice are wide-ranging. When she began using DentalMonitoring, they were seeing 100 patients a day, 4 days a week. Her team was tired. They dealt with the chaos in the practice as they missed lunches or stayed late to squeeze in emergency appointments. But within 6 months of putting all her patients in remote monitoring, they could feel a positive change in the practice. They reduced in-patient visits by 40% as they built a system to support the practice culture that Dr. Emory-Carter demanded — high-quality treatment, close patient follow-up, and patient satisfaction.
DentalMonitoring has supported Dr. Emory-Carter’s efforts in recruiting, training, and retaining healthcare professionals. As team members developed their procedures, she found that staff members who demonstrated a desire to grow and develop their skills were enthusiastic about using new technology like DentalMonitoring. It was the committed and curious individuals who flourished in their roles.
But anecdotal evidence about emotional improvements or stress relief isn’t a great argument for clinically minded dental professionals. The hard truth is that Dr. Emory-Carter has also used DentalMonitoring to facilitate practice growth. She recently bought out her practice partner and bought a third office location. Dr. Emory-Carter now happily sees patients 3 days a week, down from 4 when she treated fewer patients. She’s incredibly proud to list her statistics: 750 patient starts, two front desk employees, eight clinical assistants, and two treatment coordinators. One of the keys to a smooth operation is that everyone in her office can use the DentalMonitoring dashboard, with specific assistants handling most of the communication.
Since every staff member has functional proficiency using DentalMonitoring, it isn’t disruptive if someone on the team is absent.
DM Insights: Data drives improvements
In late 2022, DentalMonitoring added DM Insights to its suite of solutions. Dr. Emory-Carter has taken advantage of this new data hub that measures practice activity and clinical data to drive results and coach her team. As Dr. Emory-Carter began exploring the data, she began identifying patterns and trends in her practice. Armed with new knowledge about what was happening in her practice, she began to look for possible causes for sub-optimal performance. As she explored the reasons for what she was seeing in the data hub, she could finally take action and make improvements. “When you see that 25% of broken brackets are lower right sevens, that’s not a coincidence. All of our clinical team is right-handed.” This realization led Dr. Emory-Carter to train her team to improve their procedures. Practices using this process of data-driven optimization can track the improvements in their DM Insights. Dr. Emory-Carter explains that at the start of using DentalMonitoring and DM Insights to guide training, she found that there were voids behind the attachments caused by not accurately placing the attachment template. “That was something I wouldn’t have known if we didn’t have the data from the patients scanning when they walk out the door. You can see what walks out your door that day and compare that to what happens in subsequent scans.”
Dr. Emory-Carter has been able to market herself as the most convenient and advanced orthodontic option for her community.
Dr. Emory-Carter says, “The data is powerful. This is the truth.” But she makes sure to work with her staff so they don’t perceive the data as a personal critique. Instead, Dr. Emory-Carter and her team encourage each other that they are all in it together. Working for Dr. Emory-Carter requires two simple actions. Dr. Emory-Carter says, “We take care of patients, and we take care of each other.” If patients walk out of the office with open gates, another assistant may have to stay late to treat that same patient the next day. This level of mutual accountability drives her team to be the best.
Dr. Emory-Carter explains, “We take the data and translate it to appointment times. We can see the inconvenience to our patients. We always wanted to decrease emergency visits and increase our bonding protocols for better bond strength, but we couldn’t isolate each issue until we had the details coming out of DM Insights.” Insights lets Dr. Emory-Carter pinpoint where she can make improvements. The efficiency she has created has allowed her to modify her schedule, freeing up the time needed to make new improvements based on the data she sees in DM Insights.
Communication with patients is vital. DentalMonitoring sends automated messages based on a practice’s custom protocols and preferences. The AI analyzes the patient scans and triggers automated messages based on the result of the 130-plus intraoral observations. In addition, practice staff can quickly send messages to the patient from a database of customizable messages as needed. Common automated messages encourage hygiene improvements or remind patients to wear their aligners for the correct amount of time.
DentalMonitoring also streamlines direct communication between the practice and patients, freeing up front desk employees from the burden of incoming calls about clinical matters.
Traditionally, patients call the front desk to ask a question about their treatment. Next, the patient is put on hold or leaves a message, which requires the front desk employee to leave the workstation and interrupt a clinical assistant. Then, after getting the information needed to answer the question, the front desk assistant relays the information to the patient. With DentalMonitoring, the patient’s questions are answered in the app. Communication happens when staff has time in their day to answer questions. Busy practices that use the remote monitoring solution couldn’t be happier about the ease of use. When Dr. Emory-Carter started with DentalMonitoring, they didn’t use the direct communication features. After looking further into the benefits, she and her team prioritized in-app communication. Within 30 days, they’d handled 300 messages over the app. This intentional change prevented 300 interruptions to the practice and eliminated 300 inconvenient conversations for their patients.
One of the simplest tasks in the system is modifying the patient’s scanning schedule. They ask patients what day is convenient and use that information to achieve successful, regular scanning. This is incredibly important because the system requires regular scanning to drive advancements in clinical control. The new Adaptive Scan Interval feature allows the system to adjust the interval between aligner changes based on how well patients respond to treatment. This new development is yet another way that DentalMonitoring helps practitioners save time.
Dr. Emory-Carter has used DentalMonitoring to stand out in the market, branding her remote treatment “AO on the Go.” She’s been able to market herself as the most convenient and advanced orthodontic option for her community.
Dr. Emory-Carter explains that the real flashpoint was when they stopped explaining remote monitoring as a way to make things easier for the practice. Instead, they began explaining that monitoring helped her team provide better care that was more convenient. DentalMonitoring, she explains, is not about seeing patients less. Patients are seen more often, albeit remotely. The key is that they come into the office right when they need to be seen.
Dr. Emory-Carter explains that their treatment philosophy has changed and that the treatment schedule is based on the AI prescription and is updated every 7 days. Judging by Dr. Emory-Carter’s DM Insights dashboard and her patients’ smiles, it’s working.
After reading about DentalMonitoring, read how Kenneth Burke feels about texting with patients and increasing communication. https://orthopracticeus.com/how-to-improve-your-orthodontic-practice-by-texting-with-patients/
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