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How to Leverage Digital Oral Health Scans

This technology offers a wide range of benefits, from patient education to insurance acceptance.


When purchasing new technology for your dental practice, it’s important to determine how every dental team member can (and will!) integrate it into his or her job role. Digital oral health scans are not only an excellent way for your clinical team to create baselines of patient care and treatment plans, but they can also be leveraged by the administrative team for a full-circle utilization of your high-tech, innovative software.

Accessing the Benefits

Following are some key ways you can leverage digital oral health scans to boost your practice’s success.

  1. FIGURE 1. Digital oral health scans can be used to provide an insurance company with a more detailed understanding of the patient’s oral health status, the procedure, and why the treatment is necessary.

    Insurance Documentation. Digital oral health scans can be used to provide an insurance company with a more detailed understanding of the procedure and its necessity (Figure 1). They offer flexibility when it comes to the angles of the image, and as a digital oral health scan provides a total image of the mouth, individual images can be extracted (Figure 2). For example, if you are using a digital scanner, you can take snapshots of individual teeth from multiple angles to show occlusion, biting, cracks, and overall oral health. After a dental procedure is completed, you can submit digital oral health scans to the insurance company to support the claim for reimbursement.

  2. FIGURE 2. As a digital oral health scan provides a total image of the mouth, individual snapshots of certain teeth can be extracted.

    Help Your Treatment Coordinator Close a Case. If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a digital oral health scan is a novel. Digital oral health scans significantly impact how well patients understand their treatment plans, which, ultimately, encourages them to reserve an appointment.

Allow patients to touch the digital oral health scan. They can manipulate the screen on their own, providing the opportunity to really look at their dental conditions. The detailed images and personalized treatment plans will help your treatment coordinator present the prescribed treatment to patients, enabling them to make informed decisions in their journey toward achieving excellent oral health.

  1. FIGURE 3. Digital oral health scans are well suited to provide “before” images, demonstrating a patient’s malocclusion.

    Before and After Success. Digital scans can show patients the results of dental treatments, such as major cosmetic restorations and orthodontic processes (Figure 3). If a patient is making a large investment in his or her dental health, at the end of treatment, you can create a custom pamphlet that showcases his or her dental journey — from the initial scan to the final result. This can help build a personal connection between the patient and the practice, increasing patient loyalty. By providing before-and-after images, you demonstrate the effectiveness and quality of your practice’s dentistry and create confidence within your patients.

  2. Marketing. Digital scans can help attract new patients and enable a dental practice to differentiate itself from competing practices. Demonstrate the accuracy of the technology by creating a 30 second time-lapse video for your social media channels. Post images of patients looking and manipulating their scan on the scanner. Most important, develop a compelling message: “Take control of your oral health with a scan!” or “No more goopy impressions!” Be sure to also mention the convenience of the scan, as it can be done quickly and comfortably.

Demonstrated Value

By using digital oral health scans to show patients the results of dental treatments, you can demonstrate the value of needed dental care and the benefits of investing in their oral health. You can leverage them to help patients understand why certain treatments are necessary and motivate them to take a more active role in their dental care.

Use the digital oral health scan to provide education, demonstrate the value of your patients’ needed treatment, and aid in obtaining insurance coverage. When you do, you will see how impactful your new technology is with patients, coming from all team members in your practice.

From Front Office Magazine. November/December 2023; 1(2):14-15

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