Courtesy of DentalMonitoring
3 Solutions Smile Mate

Pearls for Your Practice: SmileMate by DentalMonitoring

COVID taught me some bad habits! I suppose that happened to most of us, though—lock us up in our houses for weeks at a time with no access to a social life and bad habits happen. One that I picked up was takeout food. It was really the only way to get out and have a feeling of some normalcy. I became a connoisseur of the best takeout in San Antonio. Pizza, wings, Chinese, Thai, Korean BBQ, Texas BBQ, sushi…I know all the best spots. I also became a huge snob for ordering via apps and websites. I came to expect that a restaurant would offer an easy electronic way to interact with them when ordering—heaven forbid I would actually have to pick up a phone to order.

I think this happened to many of us. It happened with our patients, too. They now expect more robust functionality when it comes to interacting with our practices. That’s where SmileMate by DentalMonitoring comes in.

SmileMate is a virtual consultation platform that you can easily add to your website. It gives existing and prospective patients the ability to submit photographs and information securely to you for review and consultation. This eases the process for the patient and gives them 24-hour access to your practice. Of course, you don’t have to be available to read the consult 24 hours a day, but this lets patients “strike while the iron is hot” even if that’s outside of your normal hours.

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Your practice can implement SmileMate in different ways: add a widget on your home page, embed it directly into a page on your website, or link it from any button to a customizable landing page—and it's up to your practice to decide how to use it. What's more, it's "white label," which means that to patients, it looks like your product—your practice can customize your page, which makes for a seamless transition.

Patients fill out their demographic information and answer some questions about the reason behind the consult. SmileMate then walks them through taking some photographs of their smile and teeth. This all gets uploaded to their portal and then it’s off to you to review.

But wait—there’s an important step that happens in between that! SmileMate uses AI (artificial intelligence) to review the photos and analyzes them for things like missing teeth, cracked teeth, occlusal issues, angle classification, etc. In your inbox, you’ll get a full report to review that includes the patient’s demographic info, photographs, and AI analysis. You can then review this information and send the patient a response. You can use a canned response to commonly requested services such as veneers or Invisalign or customize your response. This gets sent to the patient, and you have a high-quality informed lead for the practice.

Generally the prospective patients who do the SmileMate virtual consultation are looking for high-value services such as Invisalign or veneers. If this helps attract even one of these patients into the office per year, it’s a win.

SmileMate is inexpensive and is easily integrated into your existing website. People expect more from a website these days than just grainy stock photos and contact information. SmileMate can help you deliver on that expectation all while catching more high-quality leads for your practice. Hard hit double into the left field gap for SmileMate!

Editor's note: This article appeared in the December 2021 print edition of Dental Economics.

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