You should offer both virtual consults and in-person consults in your practice. Block a variety of times in your schedule every week for virtual consults on an admin day.
Be sure you are still sending out all your medical and dental Hx and office paperwork in advance through DocuSign as well as a “Smile Questionnaire.” For a sample of one, please email me at [email protected] To prepare for a virtual consult, it is really helpful to have some initial images. I love SmileSnap® and www.GPOrthoTracking.com for this. Don’t worry too much about the quality of images. They’re to give an “idea” of whether the patient is even a candidate and if an in-person consult might be necessary to finalize the consult. Be sure to have samples of what ideal photos look like on your website and encourage patients to bite on their back teeth in the biting photos and use retractors like chopsticks or spoons. You can also mail the patient a retractor along with a welcome letter.
Once the paperwork and selfies are returned, you can offer the patient a virtual consult or an in-person consult. Preference should be to a virtual one based on the patient’s availability and simplicity of treatment.
Have a variety of convenient appointments available. Calendly is a good option for scheduling if you don’t want to invest in an expensive system. Premium Calendly is only $144 per year and you can embed the widget in your website, which draws more traffic. A team member can run the virtual consults and “pull in” the doctor when needed. If you want to “test drive” Calendly, you can see it in action at my own website at www.straightsmilesolutons.com/contact
So to recap here are the steps:
1. Embed a widget like SmileSnap or www.GPOrthoTracking.com on your website to capture the initial “selfie” photos in a HIPAA-compliant manner. This will give you an idea of what is going on and if you should schedule an in-person consult or a virtual consult. It’s also helpful to do some kind of smile screening questionnaire. I have a copy of this kind of questionnaire in my archives to feel free to request if you’d like a template.
2. Have all your forms available through DocuSign as well as a Smile Questionnaire.
3. If the case looks simple and/or if the patient is looking for anterior improvement only, a virtual consult should work and you may not need a subsequent in-person consult. You can use Calendly to have the patient schedule it and send a private zoom link once they do. The OM or TC can run the show and pull the doctor in as needed if the patient is ready to sign paperwork. It is helpful to have the patient’s selfie photos ready to share and refer to. It’s a good idea to review them ahead of time with the doctor as the patient’s smile questionnaire. It is still okay to do a virtual consult for more comprehensive needs, but the doctor will likely need to confirm the consult with more records and an in-office clinical exam.
4. Having transparent fees on your website is very helpful. I like to have one fee for “branded” aligners like Invisalign and one fee for “limited,” “anterior” or white label/in-house aligners. Just two fees only. No up-sell.
5. If the patient is engaged an interested and it looks like a good match, bring the doctor into the virtual consult. Patient should have their retractors, spoons or chopsticks ready for the doctor. A treatment plan is created, and contracts and financials can be sent by Docusign/Stripe or Paypal. Regardless, Patient gets emailed Tentative Treatment Letter