What software tools used by DSOs are good for solo practice?

Joining a Dental Service Organization (DSO) has become an increasingly popular option for dentists, as it offers support and eases the administrative burden of running a dental practice. DSOs are usually early adopters of industry technology. They sometimes employ entire teams dedicated to identifying and implementing new solutions that improve the efficiency of reception, back-office and clinical workflows.

I practiced in a small dental office for 10 years and now sell software to DSOs. So I got to see firsthand the wide range of tools these organizations use to operate smoothly and profitably. However, as dental technology companies continue to innovate, solutions that traditionally only made sense for large multi-site groups are now cheaper and more accessible for independent practices. So which of these options should you consider for your practice?

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Homogeneous financing products

We’ve all worked with a variety of finance companies, which typically differ on two factors: approval rates and practice fees. We’ve seen a new wave of user-friendly options, such as Sunbit, that deliver a modern customer experience. They can get patients a credit check in seconds without the tedious applications we are all used to with cardholders.

Artificial intelligence

Dental providers are well trained in reading X-rays and can diagnose disease on a series of full mouths at a glance, but a little help never hurt anyone. Emerging AI tools such as Pearl, Overjet and Denti.AI can identify and highlight X-ray findings such as caries and bone loss. These solutions aren’t meant to replace you, but rather to help you work faster and be less likely to miss something.

Verification and insurance quote

Then there is the dreaded but necessary task of verifying patient benefits. Each practice proceeds in the same way: with a combination of website checks, phone calls and faxes. Innovative software products like Air Pay automate this process for dental practices and instantly calculate patient liability. Software solutions in this category are much less expensive and error-prone than human call centers, often overseas.

Practice intelligence

It’s no secret that practice management systems leave a lot to be desired. Software vendors such as Dental Intelligence and Jarvis Analytics provide insightful dashboards that allow you to visualize your practice data in ways that were previously difficult to create. From identifying savings opportunities to measuring clinical standards, when used correctly, these new platforms are guaranteed to help you optimize every aspect of your business.

Similar to the adoption of CBCT and digital scanners over the past decade, traditionally complicated and expensive software is now used by independent practitioners. With all the challenges we face in managing our practices, now is the time to take advantage of these impactful solutions.

Editor’s note: This article appeared in the August 2022 print edition of Dental economy magazine. Dentists in North America can take advantage of a free print subscription. Register here.

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