AAO 2017 – What’s Hot and What’s Not

If you weren't able to make it to San Diego this year you missed out on the nice weather, fantastic nightlife, and a lot of new and exciting products and services in the exhibit hall.

While at the show we talked with quite a few orthodontists about what they thought of all these new trends in orthodontics and attended many interesting talks in the lecture halls.
Here is a quick summary of what we found:

Top 3 - clinical:

3D CBCT - Much better diagnosis accuracy than traditional pan-ceph + pictures. Still unresolved: high cost, concerns about unnecessary radiation exposure, rather large data sets, and subpar integration with most practice management systems.

Wireless intraoral scanning - The new 3Shape Trios 3 wireless is simply amazing and might be worth it for those of you who do a lot of Invisiline cases. High cost and lack of direct integration with the practice management system are still unresolved issues.

Accelerants - AcceleDent seems to be the leader in this space with a peer-reviewed case study claiming treatment duration reduction of up to 50%. Challenges are ensuring patient compliance and justifying the additional cost.

Top 3 - business:

Digital marketing - Stand out from the crowd, fill more chairs, and attract higher quality patients. What works: organic SEO, paid search, and custom content tailored to your practice and your target prospects’ needs. What doesn’t: social media, unrelated blog posts, over-the-top websites.

Ask your provider for ROI metrics and track your referrals by the source to stretch your marketing dollars further.

Patient engagement - Put your patients in control in a 24x7 world. Email / SMS appointment reminders, patient-driven confirmations, cancellations, rescheduling, secure web forms. HIPAA-compliant email / secure messaging portals. Consider extending your existing practice management software with third party products, or switch to a practice management system with all these features built in.

Automation - Do more with less. Put your practice on autopilot as it relates to insurance claims, payments, collections, accounting, and standardize staff workflows. Consider switching to a practice management system focused on productivity, automation, and with all these features built in.

Fading away:

Referrals from general dentists - Welcome to the world of clear aligners and SmileDirectClub. Consider digital marketing to differentiate your practice instead.

Robo calls - Younger generations abhor automated phone calls and hate conversing over the phone with humans even more. Switch to an electronic patient engagement system instead.

Local area networks (LANs) - The cloud is here to stay. Web browser-based practice management software is limited by the browser’s sandbox and is generally inferior to a LAN-based system from a clinical standpoint; a native cloud 2.0 practice management system removes that limitation and can also offer a much larger set of web-specific additional capabilities.

Call me at (888) 845-7621 x711 if you have any questions about these topics or want to hear more about what I discovered at the AAO Show.

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