Dentists are under a lot of pressure. The dental profession is a stressful one to start with, requiring the stamina to stand on your feet all day, patient staff and the ability to multitask nearly non-stop. Running a dental practice involves many challenges, even in the best of times. And now, with the COVID pandemic, things are harder than ever. Dentists need solutions that free up their time to handle all the challenges that come their way in their busy practices. Online dentistry with a virtual dentist app is one tool dentists use to take some of the pressure off themselves and their staff.
Dentists Face Multiple Challenges
Running the Practice
Dentistry has never been an easy profession. Dentists must handle multiple challenges each and every day. Dentist schedules are demanding. Most dentists are handling multiple patients at any one time, completing a stage of a procedure, then handing the patient off to a dental assistant. There are administrative issues, regulatory issues and unforeseen scheduling and staffing issues that happen on a day to day basis. One of the most stressful tasks is handling unhappy patients and avoiding complaints and even litigation. A day in a dental office can be exhausting.
After the arrival of COVID, dental practices shut their doors during the nationwide lockdown. Even after lockdowns were lifted, few dentists could safely see patients and treatment was limited mostly to emergencies. Not only did this situation create enormous financial hardship for dentists, it led to layoffs and the loss of dental hygienists and other office staff. Many of these trained employees moved on to other jobs, such as ones they could do from home. Now, like in many other sectors of the economy, finding qualified dental staff after the pandemic has become very difficult. Licensed dental hygienists and dental assistants are in short supply. Many dental offices are running on fewer staff than they need, which is exhausting for everyone who is working, adding stress to already difficult jobs.
Dentists face significant financial pressures. Setting up and running a dental clinic is costly and usually puts the dentist in debt that must be paid for years to come. Staffing the office and covering overhead costs is expensive, and getting more costly every day. And, of course, the COVID pandemic added significant financial pressure on dentists who could not see patients for long periods of time and, even now, face reduced income as people continue to avoid seeing their dentist in a lingering pandemic. Many dentists lost leases, let staff go, and incurred financial losses. Some have retired or left the profession.
Technology has been a boon to the medical and dental industries. It continues to offer advances in improved care and better outcomes. Of course, technology can be very expensive. Dentists must decide whether investing in the latest tools to offer their patients better care will pay off for the practice. This is one more financial stress dentists face. Inexpensive tools, like an online virtual dental app, are an easy choice for dentists who can add new services to the practice that benefit both the dentist and patients for very little cost.
Being a Dentist is a Physically Demanding Job
Dentists spend most of the day on their feet, working in small focused movements. This results in stress on the back, neck, shoulders, hands and feet. Years of working as a dentist can take a toll, unless dentists make an effort to get the care and exercise they need to maintain physical health. Dentistry can also be psychologically taxing, as dentists face all the financial and other stresses discussed above, as well as managing the hectic day to day situations at the office, sometimes dealing with upset clients, scheduling and supply problems, staff issues and absences, patient emergencies and more. Dentists need help to reduce day to day pressures on themselves and the staff, and address some of the difficult issues that plague so many dentists in practice today.
Virtual Dentistry Eases the Pressure
One new technological development has been a boon to both medical and dental professionals. This is the advent of telemedicine and teledentistry. The ability to provide virtual care helps lighten the impact of many of the worst stresses that dentists face in their practices. A mobile-to-mobile dental care app like GoodCheckup® lets dentists meet with patients in a more casual setting, often after office hours, giving both parties a chance to communicate in a way that rarely happens in a hectic clinic atmosphere. This gives the dentist a chance to answer questions, address concerns, smooth misunderstandings and discuss solutions for the patient’s dental issues. A mobile-to-mobile consultation is easy, inexpensive and can be held from the dentist’s desk or from home after hours or on weekends, letting the dentist work in a less stressful environment part of the time.
There are so many benefits for a dentist offering virtual dentist consultations. Here are just a few:
- Adds hours to the day and revenue to the income statement. While virtual dental consulting fees are usually minimal, there are no staff, overhead or equipment costs associated with them
- Great for after hours and weekend emergencies to advise patients and provide prescriptions if needed
- Allows dentist to interact with patients in a non-clinical setting and address issues they may have in a more relaxed atmosphere
- Frees up chair time for more lucrative and urgent dental procedures, helping the practice earn more revenues overall
- Allows dentist to discuss procedures informally with patients remotely, such as second opinions and cosmetic dentistry, that can bring in added revenues
- Takes pressure off dental staff in the office by moving some appointments to the remote app, easing the impact of staff shortages and workload
- Patient, dentist and staff appreciate remote accessibility during COVID outbreaks
- Convenience and easy access makes patients happy and increases loyalty to the practice
- Great for pediatric dentists and orthodontists to meet with young patients and advise on home care
- Retired or dentists working part time can earn extra income
Adding a virtual dentistry service to your dental practice is an easy way to lighten the load during office hours and make both staff and patients happier. Download GoodCheckup® today. Sign up is quick and easy. Set up your consulting hours and invite your patients to use the app for dental emergencies, follow-ups, second opinions, pre-op appointments, pediatric first visits and other kids’ dental issues, and any other time you and the patient want an easy way to be in touch to address their dental concerns. Having virtual dentistry in your toolbox makes running a dental practice a little bit easier.