Monday, January 7, 2019



As an alternative to in-person case presentations for extensive, complex treatment plans, dentists are starting to understand how effective a virtual video consultation can be. The dentist can record the consultation in layperson's language uninterrupted, concentrating on the patient's needs. The patient can then watch the video whenever it's convenient, and concentrate on the treatment the dentist is proposing.

Models or sketches on which to demonstrate treatment needs, photographs showing results of similar treatment on other patients, alternative treatment proposals, even fees, can be presented in a 10 to 15 minute video. The patient can learn about all aspects of the proposed treatment and review the virtual consultation as many times as necessary, even showing it to a spouse, partner, or other family member who may have a role in acceptance of the proposed treatment.

Suggestion: Discuss the concept of virtual case presentations with your team. Weigh the pros and cons. Would your patients accept or reject this alternative? Consider the profile of your patient population—would older patients, used to in-person communications, accept the virtual presentation, or be turned off by it? Would younger patients like the opportunity to see their case presentation in the comfort of their own home, with no need to schedule another office appointment?

Talk with a videographer or your in-office IT staff who could record your case presentations and distribute them to patients—do they foresee any problems? When calculating the cost of producing virtual consultations, be sure to include the savings resulting from not have to schedule an in-office consultation.

After thorough evaluation, you and your team may choose to try virtual case presentations with a few patients—or you may just reject the idea as not appropriate for your practice. Either way, you will have retained an open mind as you evaluate this new and different method of involving patients in their own oral health decisions.

Be sure to check out our Free Resources for Your Practice for additional insights, information, and practice management tips.

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