I used to feel that virtual orthodontic consults were simply 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 changed everything. We were forced to develop a complete virtual treatment platform to ensure that we could 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 were physically closed. And serendipitously, my team and I 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 that is helping us thrive in challenging times.
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 a 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 have successfully utilized them to improve our practice now that we are back in the office treating patients (Post-Pandemic Mindset).