“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Never have Ferris Bueller’s immortal words resonated more with Orthodontists than today. Take this lecture for example. I was scheduled to give a talk at the AAO Annual Session in Atlanta entitled “Virtual Orthodontic Consults: A Novel Approach to Engage Patients Who May Otherwise Choose Direct to Consumer Options”. My plan was to dive deep into virtual orthodontic consults as a tool for quality orthodontic oﬃces to provide potential patients with the convenient options they are requesting, and possibly engage these patients before they choose direct to consumer treatment — a marketing concept that has been working successfully in my practice for quite some time. However, an unprecedented global pandemic just changed everything. We have been forced to develop a complete virtual treatment platform to ensure that we can continue to manage our patients’ treatment during mandated closure of our physical oﬃce. We made the decision to be virtually open to serve our patients even though our oﬃces are physically closed. And serendipitously, my team and I have learned a lot about the potential for virtual visits to enhance (not replace) our in-oﬃce patient experience to help us deliver quality orthodontic care in an eﬀective, eﬃcient, and convenient manner — a mindset change which we would likely have never explored pre-pandemic. I look forward to sharing ideas, workﬂows, scripts, successes, failures, and strategic plans with all of you!
Discuss the concept of virtual orthodontic consultations as a tool for quality orthodontic oﬃces to provide the convenience that some patients are craving in order to engage them before they choose direct to consumer options (Pre-Pandemic Mindset)
Explain in detail our Virtual Treatment Platform that was developed in order to manage our patients’ treatment during mandated closure of our physical oﬃce (Pandemic Mindset)
Explore what this forced workﬂow change has taught us about the perceptions and logistics of virtual visits, and how we plan to utilize them to improve our practice when this mess is over (Post-Pandemic Mindset)