Editor's note: This article was updated July 6, 2020, to provide additional links to related DentistryIQ content.
After months of predictions, "the new normal" is finally here. Nationwide, the dental world is settling into a daily routine that now includes upgraded personal protective equipment (PPE), buzzing patient portals, and seamless teledentistry.
As publishers of dental news and information, we've seen an incredible surge of activity from our audience over the past three months. In particular, we've seen heightened interest in products and services to help with COVID-19 recovery. But interestingly, many of these products and services aren't just assisting providers in getting back on their feet. They're helping to reinvent practices.
To bring everything together, we've assembled a two-part feature that highlights 14 companies, products, and services that are helping practices redefine themselves. (Part two may be found here.) We've included links to our related articles and videos (so you can dive deeper if you'd like), as well as links to demonstrations and special offers. Let's begin!
1. Idea2Parts Face Shields
Face shields from Idea2Parts are unique in that they were designed by a dentist—therefore they actually work for dentistry. Idea2Parts offers three types of face shield systems:
- Comfort Chest Shield System—This system is marketed as "comfortable, adjustable, and ideal when wearing loupes and lights."
- Reusable Series X Face Shields—These shields are lightweight, sturdy, comfortable, and attractively priced.
- Disposable MX2 Face Shields—These shields are designed to be higher-quality than other disposables, yet still be economical.
Idea2Parts Face Shields comply with OSHA Reg. 29CFR1910-1030 for blood-borne pathogens. You can visit this link to learn more and purchase Idea2Parts PPE.
2. Live Stream Season Pass from The Dawson Academy
The Dawson Academy is known for its online continuing education (CE) being a cut above. That's obviously a good thing, as the pandemic has forced dental professionals to look for better at-home CE opportunities.
In response to current needs, The Dawson Academy developed the 2020 Live Stream Season Pass. The idea is that clinicians can move beyond "usual and customary" and increase the range and sophistication of their services.
The Season Pass gives you access to an 11-part series of new live-stream courses. The classes cover topics such as implants, fixed hybrids, removable, cosmetics, occlusion, digital dentistry, practice management, and materials. Seventy-seven hours of continuing education are available, and you get access to the content for one year. As a bonus, the Season Pass gets you live Q&A feedback from The Dawson Academy's expert educators.
3. Simplifeye teledentistry software
Yet here we are in 2020, and it's not uncommon to bring up a doctor on your smartphone while you're on vacation to help you with a sinus infection, identify a mysterious rash, or offer advice about an achy joint.
Given this, it's a bit odd that teledentistry has remained on the outskirts of mainstream oral care. But that seems to have changed in recent months. For modernized dental practices, teledentistry now feels less like a novelty and more like a necessity.
Getting into teledentistry is no small task, and COVID-19 has required practices to do so on short notice. That's where intrepid companies like Simplifeye come in. Simplifeye, as the name suggests, is a teledentistry platform that simplifies every aspect of the teledentistry process. As Simplifeye founder Ryan Hungate, DDS, said in one of our recent interviews, if you can answer a text or send an email, you're more or less trained to use Simplifeye. (See "Coronavirus impact on dental practices: Teledentistry for techies and technophobes [Video].")
Of note, Simplifeye offers a “virtual front desk” that essentially adds headcount to your staff. The virtual front desk handles the intake side of teledentistry appointments, including 24/7 live chat and scheduling. Simplifeye even makes billing automatic and offers assistance with coding questions.
With Simplifeye you can now collect patient consent, manage billing, and collect insurance information remotely. Plus there are 0% merchant fees. The bottom line? Consider checking out Simplifeye for a modern, contact-free patient solution.
4. Cloud-based practice management software from Curve Dental
Today, Curve helps more than 27,000 dental professionals. The company continues to focus on giving doctors and their staffs the ability to take control of their workflows and provide better patient experiences. In the days of COVID-19, we likely have reached a point where comprehensive cloud-based software is no longer optional. It's day has finally arrived.
Curve offers a host of remote features, including billing, form completion, and patient payments. It has top-notch cybersecurity protection, third-party intrusion detection, automated data backups, and automated updates—all of which provide peace of mind. Plus, Curve has always prided itself in customer care, so you won't be stuck with technology you don't understand.
Don't wait for more evidence of Murphy's Law. Look into a demo of Curve Dental's practice management software.
5. MMG Fusion's Patient Portal and ChairFill
"Managing patient relationships and acquiring new patients isn’t like it used to be. We now have so many different services that we pay for monthly that we didn’t have 10 years ago. From a patient communication suite that texts and e-mails appointment reminders, to data-gathering key performance indicator (KPI) software, to an online review gatherer, we regularly write big checks for each of these practice management services. MMG Fusion can help by combining these, eliminating many of those bills while helping increase your production and grow your practice." (See the full Pearl here.)
Since that time, the value of MMG Fusion's software has only grown. Today MMG Fusion bills itself as "The all-in-one software suite working to market, manage, and grow your practice." Put another way, when all of the company's capabilities are under your roof, you bring the full power of artificial intelligence into your practice.
During the pandemic, the company's Patient Portal and MMG ChairFill are helping practices manage the tricky tasks of scheduling and keeping in close contact with patients. Patient Portal offers online scheduling, access to pre- and post-appointment tasks, and allows for integrated payments. MMG ChairFill complements the Patient Portal by providing automated tools to maximize growth, reactivate latent patients, and appoint new patients. It also integrates into Curve Dental's practice management software. (See Curve's description above.)
Check out this interview of Paul Intlekofer, founder and CEO of MMG Fusion, about this powerful platform.To sign up for a free demo of these practice-saving products, visit this link.
6. OraCare activated oral cleanser
Some things that you could be telling patients about are your new suction systems and air filtration devices, but you could also talk about prerinsing.
But which prerinse would you use?
Enter OraCare. The oral cleanser, whose key ingredient is activated chlorine dioxide, has had a boon of interest since prerinsing is now a part of the infection control conversation. OraCare markets itself as a safe alternative to chlorhexidine that helps neutralize viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
To learn more about the science behind OraCare and hear about its "necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention" beginnings, take a look at this interview with Dr. Robert Martino: "Coronavirus impact on dental practices: The essentials of pre-procedural rinsing (Video)."
7. Bien-Air handpieces
According to Daniel Call of Bien-Air, many handpiece designs are artifacts from the 1960s and 1970s. Call is featured in this interview, "DIQ webinar series: Is your high-speed handpiece safe? (Video)", in which he talks about the performance and safety gap amongst handpieces. If you want to know if your handpiece is safe and what to look for when buying a handpiece, we'd recommend the interview as a starting point.
In the era of COVID-19, Bien-Air handpieces deserve a closer look for reducing cross-contamination. They come equipped with sterilizable anti-retraction valves (ARVs) that stop the backflow of water into non-sterilizable handpiece couplings and hoses. While most electric handpieces locate ARVs in the non-autoclavable micromotor, Bien-Air is the only one that fits the ARVs in the body of the handpiece, which can be sterilized between patients.
8. KN95 respirator face masks by Bona Fide Masks
The Powecom KN95 is FDA-authorized for use in health-care settings by health-care providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency. As we're seeing with many PPE companies, Bona Fide's KN95s are affixed with anti-fake and anti-counterfeit stickers for safety. Learn more at this link.
Additional COVID-19 practice recovery products
Ready for more recovery? Find the next six products in our list in this article.
Zachary Kulsrud is the editorial director for Endeavor Business Media's dental group, publishers of Dental Economics, DentistryIQ, Perio-Implant Advisory, and RDH magazine.
- How a 230-location DSO is planning to test all patients for COVID-19 and assist with follow-up care
- Credentialing trends dentists should watch in light of COVID-19
- Employees at high risk for COVID-19: What does the EEOC require of dental practices?
Editor's note: To find DentistryIQ's complete coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic, visit COVID-19 topic center.