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Over the years, we have heard a variety of systems suggesting to increase patient conversion rates. In orthodontics, management styles and systems vary as much as treatment plans do for individual patients. If your new patient process has not been reviewed and updated in the last few years, you are missing one of the great opportunites that can add value to the orthodontic experience: digital imaging. Not only can digital imaging save you time and help develop a stronger referral base, it can streamline your new patient process and raise the level of service that you are able to provide to patients and parents.

Implementing digital imaging in your new process gives your treatment coordinator an effective communication tool that promotes your office as being up-to-date with the latest advancements in technology. Not only does this create a strong visual image for patients and parents that are present for the initial exam, but it allows for custom take-home images that gain the support of the absent parent. Educationally, digital imaging opens the door for tremendous interaction. Ongoing education with the patient and parent can be accomplished when discussing oral hygiene, elastic wear, and overall patient cooperation. Likewise, it increases our ability to make contact with referring offices. "Lunch & Learn" seminars become even more effective for general dentists and specialists when they visually see how digital imaging is used as a communication tool.

The value of investing in a digital imaging system can be readily seen in the new patient process and throughout the stages of orthodontic treatment. When deciding how best to implement this valuable tool into your office, it is recommended that you first review the goals of the initial examination and examine your current sequence of initial appointments. Ideally, you want to combine key appointmens without losing any impact.

Whether you decide to present information in a one-step, two-step, or three-step format, keep in mind that no set system will automatically work for you just because it has worked in other offices. You will need to customize your new patient process to fit your particular office.

Learn more about implementing digital imaging into your office procedures by attending a two-day seminar sponsored by Eaton Consulting .

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