Check Up On Your Practice’s Security

How often does your office do a security check-up?

Dental providers know that monitoring and maintaining health is integral to preventing disease and decay. Establishing and maintaining good oral hygiene habits, along with regular check-ups and dental cleanings, keep patients on the path to a lifetime of good oral health. Oral health is not independent from the rest of the body: many physical systems work together to keep our bodies healthy.

Much like personal wellness, your office’s security also requires regular maintenance. Keeping your practice safe is not limited to one security precaution, but rather, a network of systems, practices, and precautions that together continually prevent threats and breaches. Ensuring all your practice’s security steps are seamlessly coordinated is the key to ensuring your office is best protected from cyberattacks.

We have compiled some key points for assessing your practice’s security.

Regularly Update Passwords & Passphrases

Person typing in password

Whether your office opts for passphrases or passwords, a strong password offers good protection against internal and remote hacking attempts. Ensuring everyone in your office follows a few key habits fosters better security. These habits are:

  • Never share passwords – each user should have their own password to log into your practice management systems

Systems such as ABELDent’s Authorization Manager enforce individual user IDs and passwords. Authorization Manager is a key component of ABELDent that lets you set up user IDs and passwords and restricts access to specific program functions based on defined roles. Only users granted permissions can act on data in certain ways.

  • Frequently change passwords – change passcodes and passphrases at regular intervals. 60 and 90 days are common intervals used by organizations.

The updated Authorization Manager in ABELDent CS and LS+ includes supports several current password best practices, including strong password enforcement (minimum length and complexity), password change on intervals, and automatic lockouts after five unsuccessful attempts.

Train Your Team on Security Measures Regularly

Person writing in notebook while using laptop in background
Photo by Ono Kosuki on

The easiest and most foundational way to prevent data breaches is by being equipped with knowledge. Keep your team, especially administrative team members, up to date on current cybersecurity training protocols. That teaches them to identify potential threats such as suspicious phone calls, emails, and links.

In 2021, CIRA reported that 93% of organizations in Canada conduct yearly cybersecurity training for at least some employees. It is clear that cybersecurity training is not only an asset, but a necessity.

Whether you train your team annually, quarterly, or at some other interval, ensure your team has the latest security knowledge available to recognize and stop potential breaches before they cause problems.

Have Security Systems In Place

On top of standard security practices, such as firewall, antivirus, and regular system checks, running top-of-the-line practice software that has built-in measures to secure your data. Additionally, ensure that your system is kept up-to-date with the latest software and hardware updates. The longer these systems remain out-of-date, the greater the risk you assume.

Stay on top of system and software updates – the latest patches and updates not only contain new features, but also fortify your software’s security and may also improve performance. A system that provides regular, automatic updates such as ABELDent, saves you time and ensures you never fall behind.

Running top-of-the-line dental software is another step in fortifying your practice’s data. ABELDent CS (Cloud Solution) and LS+ (Local Solution), for instance, include up-to-date security measures such as Authorization Manager, mentioned earlier.

ABELDent CS also automatically backs up your practice data on Microsoft’s Azure Cloud, ensuring that the practice management data stored on your ABELDent system is secured.

Back-Up Your Data Regularly

Hackers may attempt to breach your practice’s security to steal your data, such as patient files, and financial records. They may also install software that locks your data (i.e. “ransomware”) and demand payment for you to regain access. If the worst-case scenario happens, and your office loses access to your files, it is critical that you have a safe copy that allows you to remain operational.

A service like ABELDent RBS (Remote Backup Service) is designed to protect data against local and remote threats with minimal effort. Every night, ABELDent RBS encrypts and transmits your practice data to a secure cloud server. In the morning, your office receives an email summary of the daily backup. If your practice ever encounters a problem that prevents you from accessing your data, you have a recent copy in the cloud that you can restore from.

How does your practice’s security measure up to the points listed above? Is your practice’s security in good health, or are there ways your office can improve to prevent a data breach or the contingent effects of a cyberattack? Let us know in the comments, or contact us with any questions you may have regarding your practice’s security, or if you are interested in ABELDent’s premium protective products.

Why ABELDent Is Your One-Stop-Solution For All Of Your Practice Management Needs

How much does your current dental software allow you to do? Does your current software provide you with all the tools you need to manage your practice? How many different programs does your practice use daily? 

These are some burning questions fuelling the growing number of offices switching to practice management platforms that provide more tools. 

In previous blog posts, we discussed some of the reasons Dentists, Hygienists, and Office Managers are opting for an all-in-one software solution. Whether it is because of the simplicity of automatic updates, or the surety of meeting compliance standards, many practices are moving to modern, comprehensive solutions like ABELDent CS/LS+.  

How much difference would a comprehensive solution make in your practice?  

Implementing a “one-stop-shop” solution such as ABELDent could benefit your practice in multiple ways, such as: 

  • All-encompassing dental software in your office minimizes potential gaps in data that can result from having too many different platforms in operation.  
  • A comprehensive software eliminates the need to navigate back-and-forth between various programs, simplifying your team’s workflow and improving efficiency. 
  • An all-in-one package saves you money compared to multiple purchases and/or subscriptions.  

What is the problem with using too many applications? 

We have discussed various issues that can stem from using multiple applications in your daily routine, such as syncing problems between two or more platforms, which can cause data gaps. Syncing issues may mean that some applications display outdated information, such as allergies, medications, and other crucial information.  

If your office has technical difficulties, contacting different support teams from various companies can get overwhelming. Keeping up with multiple updates and patches may cause discrepancies between different applications and may lead to poor integrations.  

One of the primary benefits of using comprehensive dental software is that all-in-one solutions minimize problems caused by third-party platforms. ABELDent products are designed to work seamlessly, ensuring smooth and seamless usage.  

The financial screen (left) and the patient’s charting screen (right) in ABELDent CS and LS+.

Keeping your practice data on one system is not only easier for you to manage, but more secure.  


A single comprehensive solution is more secure for multiple reasons. The more applications your practice uses, the higher the chances of corrupted data, hole-poking into your practice data, and possible integration issues. A one-stop solution such as ABELDent mitigates these risks, letting your team operate worry-free.  

Are you looking to transition to an all-in-one dental software? 

Opt in for ABELDent CS or LS+. ABELDent continually improves and adds new time-saving features that help provide top-quality care to patients easier than ever. ABELDent’s capabilities have a wide range, hitting all, if not most, your practice management needs. Some of our most notable features include: 

Reach out to us today to request a demo or make the switch, or watch some of our videos to learn more about our all-in-one solution. 

Get Ahead of Outstanding Treatment

Have some of your patients fallen behind on treatment in the past two years? COVID-19’s impact stretches beyond a health crisis, causing job losses and lay-offs worldwide, especially in 2020. Perhaps some of your patients are just now getting back on their feet but have not had a chance to think about getting their routine cleaning at your office. Possibly, some of your patients have been apprehensive about coming in due to health risks, such as immunocompromised patients, elderly patients, or individuals with heightened anxiety. Maybe some of your patients have outstanding treatment such as restorations, pending implants, crowns, etc. Despite the possible reasons that patients have fallen behind on treatment, one major question stands: does your office have an efficient method for contacting patients who have outstanding treatment?­­ 

Dentist with Patient

ABELDent Patient Communication (APC) is a bundle of features that enhances your office’s patient communication abilities. For example,  APC is hugely time-saving and drastically reduces your administrative team’s time spent on telephone tag by helping your team focus on patients who are willing to come in quickly. 

With APC, your administrative team has more time available, as they no longer need to review expansive lists of patients who have fallen behind on treatment. APC is a streamlined solution for practices that want simplified yet effective communication tools. One of the most impactful features of APC is automated recall booking, which automates messages to patients and provides them a simple functionality for sending a response back to your office. Automated recall booking improves the efficiency of patient follow-up, ensuring patients that are overdue for treatment are quickly attended to. 

In addition to automated recall booking, APC allows for two-way texting, which has been shown as a communication method that patients tend to prefer. APC helps you keep your schedule full by keeping a shortlist of patients who have requested specific times, along with a general short-notice list for contacts who want to come in as soon as possible. This helps your practice fill last-minute openings to prevent unwanted downtime.  

Two phone screens with APC on them. What your patients see

APC also brings enhanced security to your patient interactions, ensuring all communication data is encrypted and safely stored. In 2022, top-of-the-line cybersecurity is not only an asset for your practice, but it is a necessity. Cyberattacks were increasing in frequency prior to the pandemic, and with the added vulnerability of COVID-19, practices cannot afford to take any risks with their data.  

APC provides tools to help your practice bounce back from the negative impacts that COVID-19 has had on the dental industry. Spend more time providing top-quality treatment with patient communication software that makes daily activities easier than ever. Are you interested in using APC in your practice? Let us know and we can set you up with what you need. 

Managing Patient Treatment with ABELDent

Patients who miss their appointments or do not reschedule their next visit can “fall through the cracks”. Without a system in place to keep up with unbooked treatment, patients may go many months without important dental treatment. This can jeopardize your practice production and may lead to weakened patient rapport caused by long time periods between visits. 

Other crucial issues with patients “falling through the cracks” includes the risk of oral health decline, misinformed patients, and a potential rise of emergency visits from patients who neglect their oral health.

It can be a challenge to convince some patients of the importance of their oral hygiene. Oftentimes, patients do not realize how important regular cleanings are until they are facing issues such as decay, potential extractions, and endodontic treatments.  

ABELDent dental software provides dental offices with a concrete solution to this problem, helping you book patients who may have missed previous appointments to increase the likelihood of completing treatment. 

With ABELDent’s Treatment Manager, you can quickly search for patients that have unbooked treatment, filtering the search list in a variety of ways, including: 

  • Range of Dates: search by the patient’s appointment due date, follow-up date, or the date a treatment plan was created for the patient 
  • Treatment with specific providers: helpful for keeping providers busy and ensuring that treatment is booked with the desired provider 
  • Type of treatment: such as restorations, extractions, crowns, implants, or hygiene appointments, enabling you to focus on high priority procedures 
  • Cancelled appointments: detailed down to the way the appointment was cancelled, such as a no-show, forgotten appointment, or last-minute cancellation 
  • Location: helpful for practices with multiple locations 
  • Or any combination of the above 

Using Treatment Manager, you can find patients who missed appointments from a date range and remind them to rebook their treatment with your office. Rather than leaving the onus on your patients to rebook their treatment, your office can initiate contact to stay on top of unscheduled treatment.  

Treatment Manager is just one feature of ABELDent dental software that helps make practice management easier for your whole team. Watch our video to see how ABELDent’s Treatment Manager can turn no-shows and cancelled appointments into completed treatment, happy patients, and practice production. 

5 Ways Patient Communication is Enhanced in ABELDent CS and LS+

This blog post is an overview of the highlighted features that ABELDent users find most helpful when using our software. Watch our video to see these functionalities inaction and learn just how much simpler your office’s communication with patients can be. 

1. Simplified New Patient Intake 

New patients no longer need to fill out papers or use office equipment (such as tablets) to fill out intake forms. Once you set up a file for a new patient, your office can send an intake form to new patients electronically, where they can simply fill it out on their own devices. Want to see how this works? Go to 1:25 in the video above for details! 

2. Appointment Reminders 

With ABELDent CS and LS+, you can automatically or manually send emails, texts, or both to patients who have given consent to receiving alerts this way. Automatic messages are useful for sending bulk reminders, for example, giving one-week confirmations to various appointments. With manual messages, you have more specified control over who receives what at a given time. 

Instead of asking patients to call you back, which may yield poor results, or even result in no-shows for your practice, you can prompt patients to click the confirmation button in the email or indicate a confirmation via SMS. Not only does this method of communication help your front desk staff save time by minimizing outgoing phone calls, but your patients are also more likely to respond faster than traditional phone calls. To see this feature in action, go to 2:43 in the video above. 

3. Two-Way Texting 

As mentioned above, individuals have been proven to respond much faster to text messages than to emails or phone calls. You can quickly resolve appointment concerns (such as rescheduling or emergency cancellations) via text message in a matter of minutes, as opposed to waiting for a patient to call back, and possibly leave a voicemail. You can also quickly text a patient if you need to get an answer to an important question fast. To see how our two-way texting feature works in ABELDent CS and LS+, go to 3:36 in our video. 

4. Touchless Health History & COVID-19 Forms 

Not only are touchless forms physically safer than traditional paper forms, but they are also safer via online encryption that ABELDent provides to keep PHI (personal health information) secure. Patients receive an email with a button that leads them to a secure webpage where they fill out their information. Once the patient submits their form, the data is encrypted and is sent directly into the patient chart. No one can click the link provided in the email once the form is submitted. 

Touchless forms are physically safer, protecting both your staff as well as your patients from unnecessary touching and transferring of germs. Your office does not need to use equipment such as tablets, which dozens of people may touch in a day. 

In addition to the physical safety and data security that ABELDent online forms entail, our touchless forms are also more convenient for both your team and your patients. Your patients can fill out their COVID-19 or Health History forms on their own time prior to their appointments, or even right before their appointments from their own devices. Your team does not have to transcribe any of the information into their patient charts, eliminating typing errors on your end. To learn more about touchless forms, go to 4:42 in our video to watch how they work! 

5. Regular Updates 

We are always looking for ways to improve upon our products, and we are actively listening to the reviews and feedback from our customers when adding new features. More helpful and time-saving patient communication features will keep coming your way when you choose ABELDent CS or LS+ as your dental software. Navigate to 6:28 if you want to see the point-form summary of ABELDent patient communication. 

If you are interested in upgrading to ABELDent CS or LS+ or are looking into switching practice management software, we are always around to help you. Contact us today with any questions you have! 

3 Ways Using Video Tools Benefit Your Practice

Video is more than just a promotion tool.

Has your dental practice made any videos in the past? Do you currently record videos for patients, or does your office have a YouTube channel? Even posting videos on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok can be effective in building an online presence.  

Whether your practice posts videos or not, it is helpful to know the potential impact videos can have on both your dental office and your patients. Understanding the outcomes that may come from creating a few videos is the first step in deciding whether or not to produce some video content, and also deciding whether it is worth it for your office, or not. In this blog post, we are going to cover some of the ways you can use videos as a dental clinic, such as: 

  1. To promote your practice online 
  1. To strengthen patient-provider relationships, even with prospective patients 
  1. To make oral healthcare information such as aftercare instructions more accessible for patients (and the general public) 

Using video for online advertising 

Person opening Youtube on a smartphone

When comparing text-based promotions to video ads, the latter boasts better results. The facts and statistics speak for themselves: using video content is far more effective than text-based content. If your dental practice needs some website content or you are looking to establish an online presence, consider using video.

If your office already uses Google Ads, using YouTube for video content may be a promising choice. YouTube, which is owned by Google, seamlessly integrates with other Google products (such as Google Ads), which can help make your promotion process easier; for example, you can promote videos as an ad if you want to reach more prospective patients and expand your practice.

Using video for strengthening patient-provider relationships 

Patient-provider relationships are one of the main pillars of dentistry, being the driving cause for fostering healthy relationships and keeping patients coming back for routine treatment. Videos offer a chance for you to personify your clinic’s online presence, making it easier to foster patient-provider relationships online by having a positive first impression. 

Videos are one of the more empathetic media forms, giving viewers a chance to emotionally connect with the person on-screen. Moreover, videos can build trust for the viewer, depending on the content. Even if your video does not show a person at all, (e.g. it may only contain text or pictures to explain a concept), video is far more engaging than text or images, allowing viewers to focus on your content for longer. 

Some examples of videos that practices post are: 

  • Virtual office tour – beneficial for prospective patients to learn what your clinic looks like beforehand, and gives you a chance to demonstrate any safety or hygiene precautions your practice may be taking 
  • Post-operative instructions – we will talk more about this in the next section (below) 
  • Announcements – for example, holiday hours or new team members 
  • Team introductions – shows that your office cares about prioritizing patient-provider relationships by offering a good first impression to any prospects 

There are hundreds of potential videos your office could make, depending on the needs you are trying to meet by using this format. 

Using video as a form of teledentistry – making oral health information accessible online 

Dentist on laptop screen

When utilized in certain ways, videos can qualify as telehealth, such as promoting good hygiene habits for patients when out of office, or providing relevant information to your patients. According to RCDSO, sharing a recorded video is a form of asynchronous teledentistry, as long as the material is being used to help evaluate a patient’s condition, or assist in treating a patient outside of a real-time interaction. In other words, sending a patient a video of aftercare instructions counts as teledentistry, which can be a useful tool in ensuring patients follow instructions correctly.  

For more information on teledentistry in Ontario, check out RCDSO’s informational page on the topic. 

Video creation is not as much work as you may think 

The great thing about using video as a medium in 2021 is that the process has become accessible for nearly anyone with a smartphone. Ultimately, video creation does not have to be high-effort or high-cost. Utilizing this medium can be as simple as recording a short video on your smartphone, and either uploading directly or using a cost-effective (or even free) editing tool.  

There are various platforms and tools that your office can use to create and enhance video content, some specifically geared towards people who do not have any video editing experience (e.g. CanvaVimeo, etc.) You can even utilize smartphone applications if you just need to do some simple enhancements to your videos, such as adding text or images to your projects. 

If your office is interested in producing video content for patients and prospective patients, setting up a process with an administrative associate may be required to produce quality videos. For example, few planning steps are always required before jumping into creating video content. As an oral healthcare provider, you may not have time to produce such content with your schedule full of patients. For this reason, we encourage having a pre-established process with team members, or maybe even a group outside of your regular dental team. Perhaps your clinic wants to opt for a few pre-recorded post-operative instructions to send to patients after their oral surgeries. There are various options for all types of practices, it’s just a matter of putting the time into crafting something that can be used time and again. 

Simplified Charting in ABELDent CS and LS+

A comprehensive charting system is a necessity for your dental office. While practice management systems offer the same range of charting mechanisms, ABELDent provides you with simplified systems for clinical charting such as templated clinical chart notes for quick and easy record-keeping with no compromises. ABELDent comes with clinical note presets that you can edit or change to fit your practice’s needs. These fast templated notes mean your team spends more time focusing on providing top-quality treatment without sacrificing detailed records. Other benefits much like templated clinical notes are what makes ABELDent such a useful tool for dental professionals. In this blog post, we are going to go in-depth about some of ABELDent CS and LS+’s charting features.

Charting Existing Conditions

Even new hires can easily adapt to working in your practice by utilizing ABELDent’s simplified workflows. 

All your team needs to do is use the buttons on the left side of the clinical chart to mark existing conditions and treatments quickly and efficiently.  

Quick Tip: 

To add an existing condition to your patient’s chart, click the tooth with the condition, then press  the button for the condition you want to apply. For example, below, the patient’s 18 is marked as ‘missing’.  

Tooth 18 is marked as ‘missing’ in the patient’s clinical chart.

To mark an existing condition on more than one tooth, hold down the button for that condition until it turns blue. Then click on all of the teeth that you want to post that condition to. This simple shortcut can save to time and effort each day. 

Watch the video below to see how simple and efficient charting conditions on multiple teeth is in ABELDent. 

Charting New Treatment 

When adding today’s treatment, or creating treatment plan(s) for a patient, ABELDent gives you the option to filter procedure codes so you can quickly select the most common treatments or codes. For example, when charting a restorative procedure, simply select the tooth surface(s) that need to be restored, and ABELDent will display the appropriate procedure code for you to choose from.

Another time-saver is the ability to record treatment provided to a patient by one or more providers. If two or more different providers see the same patient on a specific day, you can easily change the provider without closing out of the chart. This keeps provider production separate. Additionally, deleting codes is as simple as clicking the code you want deleted, then navigating to the trash-can button below the chart. 

Intuitive charting is just one of the various benefits ABELDent CS and LS+ provides its users. To learn more about how ABELDent can make practice management easier, contact us today!

Here’s Why Dentists Are Opting For an All-In-One Practice Management Solution

How many different software platforms does your dental practice use daily? 

Dental offices have a growing number of technologies available to meet practice specific practice needs. Some practices use more of these than others, trying to get the most benefit from each. This approach can sometimes get complicated.  For instance, if one or more of the solutions have difficulties, it can lead to having to spend time on the phone with multiple companies while at the same time trying to work through the issues created in the office. Most of all, having many different types of software can result in new problems when one of the solutions is updated without a corresponding change in other software.  

A more comprehensive dental software can help to minimize these issues, and often save you money at the same time. 

A computer screen with ABELDent open on the screen, showing a patient's clinical chart. There are 3 icons showing a tooth with a checkmark, a calendar, and a smartphone.

While there are cases where using different software solutions can be useful, the benefits a practice receives from smoothly integrated, consistent software can surpass the benefit of using various platforms in your practice. The more complexity in your overall software environment, the more likely that redundancy and inefficiency will creep in, result in each solution providing less than optimal benefit.   

ABELDent offers multiple capabilities for dental practitioners, including but not limited to easy patient messaging, simplified scheduling, templated clinical notes, detailed clinical charting, and extensive financial workflows. Let’s dig deeper to discuss why ABELDent is the all-in-one software your practice just might be looking for. 

Benefit from regular updates, and opt for auto-updates for simplicity 

Regular updates ensure your software runs as smoothly and as securely as it possibly can. As time goes on, cybercriminals adapt to new security measures and begin to pose as threats again,  which is why keeping any software up-to-date is essential. In addition to refined security, software updates ensure that your programs run smoother. ABELDent CS and LS+ users benefit from regular automatic updates, which means there is no work on the practice’s end to manually download recommended updates. 

Software that extends beyond charting and scheduling 

Using platforms from multiple vendors may result in weak integration, or declining levels of integration over time.  This can result in manual effort or data redundancy for your team, with each platform providing less than optimal benefits.  ABELDent benefits your practice with built in features such as patient messaging and patient-facing digital forms (see video below) that integrate seamlessly with existing patient charts. For instance, if a patient indicates a new medication or allergy on a health history form, all your team has to do is insert the new information into their patient file which then displays alerts on various screens throughout the program. That way, when your team and scheduling or preparing to treat the patient, the information to treat the patient effectively will be top of mind.  

Our video tutorial on using our completely secure, digital, touchless patient intake forms.

Practice management software that has multiple capabilities is a staple when you are searching for a new solution. (Read: Clinical Charting Features to Look For). Instead of worrying whether a scheduling software integrates with a separate clinical software, which also integrates with a patient communication platform, try a comprehensive solution with these basic necessities built in. Not only is doing this more cost effective, but also easier to manage. 

Avoid vulnerabilities with compliance 

As trusted healthcare providers, dentists have professional responsibilities to meet regulations related to patients and their secure data. ABELDent stays up-to-date with regulation changes that impact communication with patients, such as CASL, PHIPA, HIPAA, and PIPEDA. Incoming mandatory changes to governmental privacy regulations may affect ongoing routines and require new data be stored to ensure practice compliance. We provide the tools that allow your practice to easily comply with these regulations, regardless of your province or state. 

ABELDent makes practice management easier for you by offering benefits such as detailed periodontal and oral charting, seamlessly integrated touchless forms, and templated clinical notes that save your team’s valuable time. If you are interested in switching to software that is simple and easy to use, while continuing to expand the needs that can be met by a practice management software, contact us today. 

Checking In With Your Wellness and Settling Back Into A Routine

The fall season is around the corner. Kids and college students are preparing to focus on their education once again, and patients and dental providers are starting to settle into a routine again now that the Summer is nearly over. Settling back into regular routines is stressful enough. The uncertainties that accompany the current pandemic can make things harder than usual for dental professionals. Additionally, physicians and scientists are finding dramatically higher rates of depression and anxiety due to COVID-19’s impact on our social lives, work lives, and overall wellbeing. 

Taking your own personal wellness into account not only benefits your mental and physical health, but also enables you to be more effective in the office. Furthermore, you may find that you provide better quality care to your patients when you make your wellbeing a priority. In this blog post, we want to highlight some techniques you and your team can use to check-in with your wellness and make settling back into routines easier this season. 

1. Avoid procrastinating treatment with difficult patients and schedule more intensive treatments earlier in the day 

Positive young male dentist with tablet reporting good news to patient in doctors office

An article* in the British Dental Journal from 2018 asks whether education institutions are doing enough to prepare dental students for the stressors they will face as oral healthcare providers. The researchers (Colley, Harris, Hellyer, and Radford), propose a few solutions to help new dental providers with stress management early on. Some of these solutions include avoiding procrastination when it comes to difficult patients. More difficult clinical procedures can be scheduled  at the beginning of the day to reduce  end-of-day stress. The article also includes some more generic stress management techniques, such as separating work life from home life, as well as including positive affirmations in one’s morning routine.  

2. Make time for physical activity

A smart-watch showing statistics

Researchers continue to cite physical exercise as a major stress reliever due to the production of endorphins. Although you may be on your feet a lot during the day going between operatories, dentistry has been noted as being a fairly sedentary profession. Making sure you are taking breaks to get some movement during your day, or even making some time before or after your time at the office can help you feel a little bit better if you are stressed or overwhelmed. 

3. Your team is there for you – utilize their skills!

Two dental team members at a desk looking at a screen

In your dental practice, you very likely work with a group of skilled individuals who each bring something unique to the table. Passing a responsibility onto a qualified team member may be an effective temporary solution while you use a stress management technique to regroup.  

A lot of day-to-day protocols have changed  to accommodate COVID-19’s impact on the dental practice. With approximately 63% of Canadians fully vaccinated (as of August 21, 2021), the preventative measures most offices have integrated into their routines  are likely to become  long-term industry requirements, making daily tasks require more effort and time. While many of us have adjusted to the norms of living through a pandemic, it is important to give ourselves some compassion as we continue to work in difficult circumstances. 

RCDSO provides resources for dental providers looking for help with improving their overall wellness. ADA also provides resources for individuals who are looking for resources, as well as some information on statistics regarding dental providers and mental health during the pandemic. 


*Colley, J., Harris, M., Hellyer, P. et al. Teaching stress management in undergraduate dental education: are we doing enough?. Br Dent J 224, 405–407 (2018). 

Strategies To Get Patients Back In Your Office For Routine Appointments

The dental industry has undoubtedly been negatively impacted by the pandemic’s ripple effects worldwide. Oral healthcare was quickly identified as a risk due to the nature of the virus transmission, as well as the use of aerosols in many dental treatments. Dental providers have adapted and implemented many new processes to keep patients and dental teams optimally safe from the virus. 

Despite this, many dental patients have deterred their appointments and treatments (such as restorations, implants, endodontic treatments, etc.) While dentists (in Canada) have reopened for routine treatment a few times, many patients are still only going for emergencies. Articles from multiple sources have discussed whether it is safe to go to dental visits, making groups of people anxious about exposing themselves, even if their provider goes above and beyond in risk-prevention.  

On top of the existing health risks that we are facing, with a rise in misinformation due to various sources referencing different sets of regulations, it’s inevitable that patients are largely confused about visiting dental offices for routine appointments. In this blog post, we will be going over some strategies your office can use to take charge of communication to fill up your chairs once again. 

Ways you can put your patients at ease and generate interest in routine appointments 

1. Make an announcement on your webpage or social media profiles 

Announce on your social media banners, or even your website homepage, that your office is accepting patients for routine appointments. Consider leaving your announcement up for a while (e.g., a few months), or until your practice sees an upturn of patient interest. 

2. Reference reputable organizations 

Along with your webpage or social media update, as mentioned above, you can strengthen your message by referencing groups such as CDC or ODA’s affirmation that dental visits are currently encouraged. Ensuring patient knowledge is one of the starting points towards bringing them back to your office. 

3. Make things as touchless as possible, and let patients know this beforehand 

Look into having touchless payment options (such as credit card, or Interac), and have touchless forms available for your patients to fill out. Patient intake forms, COVID-19 screening forms, health history forms, x-ray forms, and other various treatment consent forms can be digitized to optimize patient and staff safety and comfort. Additionally, informing patients of these features beforehand may encourage them to come in since your office is taking pre-emptive measures to be as safe as possible. 

Features to look for that help keep your chairs full 

1. Automated recall booking systems 

Having a system like this allows your hygienists or reception team to fill your schedule months in advance without scrambling last-minute at the end of an appointment. Intelligent automated recall booking should recognize the interval that a patient is set up for and show availabilities for the given appointment type when they are due.  

2. A treatment manager 

Having a built-in treatment manager helps you know who to contact to fill your schedule. For instance, if people missed their appointments, haven’t come for a few years, or have unfinished dental treatment, treatment managing programs should be able to identify and recommend contacting these patients.  

Putting information online to ease patient concerns, as well as having tools in your office that help you fill your schedule more efficiently are two key methods you can fill up your chairs once again.