Summary: In this podcast episode, sponsored by DentalMonitoring, Alyssa Emory-Carter, DDS, MS, explains how DentalMonitoring allows for dynamic scheduling in the orthodontic practice and how this can revolutionize patient management and destress the day for both doctor and staff. 

Key takeaways:

  • Carter shares how she first implemented DentalMonitoring with her aligner patients and how that success led her to adopt the technology with braces patients.

  • With DentalMonitoring, Carter has been able to reduce unnecessary visits by addressing issues remotely and focus on “purposeful” visits when patients come to the office.

  • Dynamic scheduling has overhauled traditional appointment setting, basing patient visits on actual treatment need rather than predetermined intervals.

  • The system reduces practice stress by improving preparedness for visits, thus enhancing both patient and staff satisfaction.

In this podcast episode, sponsored by DentalMonitoring, host Alison Werner is joined by Alyssa Emory-Carter, DDS, MS, an orthodontist with a multi-location practice in Texas. The two delve into how DentalMonitoring allows for dynamic scheduling in the orthodontic practice and how this can revolutionize patient management and destress the day for both doctor and staff. Carter provides practical insights for implementing the remote monitoring platform with both aligner and braces patients.

Adopting DentalMonitoring

Carter started using DentalMonitoring in 2018, motivated by the desire to enhance the management of aligner patients. She observed that traditional in-person aligner checks often revealed issues with tracking, leading to additional unplanned appointments. DentalMonitoring helped identify these issues remotely, ensuring patients only visited when necessary, significantly streamlining the appointment process.

Expansion to Braces Patients

The positive impact of DentalMonitoring with aligner patients led Carter to extend its use to braces patients. Initially unsure of its full capabilities, the integration highlighted the technology’s potential to refine treatment for all orthodontic patients, not just those using aligners. This expansion demonstrated substantial benefits in managing and adjusting treatments based on real-time data provided by the platform.

Revolutionizing Scheduling Practices

A key transformation Carter emphasized was the overhaul of traditional scheduling intervals. With DentalMonitoring, patients now receive appointments based on actual treatment needs rather than a pre-set schedule. This shift not only reduces unnecessary visits but also enhances the overall treatment experience by ensuring that each visit is “purposeful” and required based on actual treatment progress.

Learn More: Grow Your Practice With DentalMonitoring Without Adding an Additional Salary

Impact on Practice Workflow and Patient Experience

According to Carter, the implementation of dynamic scheduling has significantly reduced stress within the practice by eliminating the unpredictability of patient progress and needs. It allows for better preparedness for each patient’s visit, improving the efficiency and satisfaction of both staff and patients. Moreover, this system fosters a more personal and attentive approach to patient care, says Carter, as the staff can anticipate and prepare for specific patient needs ahead of each appointment.

Transition to Dynamic Scheduling

Despite the benefits, the transition to dynamic scheduling and the integration of DentalMonitoring was not without challenges. Initial resistance from staff and the complexity of shifting to a new system required careful management and clear communication. In this conversation, Carter highlights the importance of getting the entire team on board and adequately trained to leverage the full potential of the technology effectively. OP

Podcast Transcript

Alison Werner 0:05
Hello and welcome to the Orthodontic Products podcast. I’m your host Alison Werner. On today’s episode sponsored by DentalMonitoring. We have Dr. Alyssa Emory Carter, an orthodontist and private practice in Texas. We actually profiled Dr. Carter last year in our March issue, but she’s back with us today to talk about DentalMonitoring and how it allows for dynamic scheduling in your practice. Dr. Carter, thanks for joining me.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 0:27
Thank you for having me today. It’s an honor to be here and I’m excited to to help share the word with the orthodontic profession.

Alison Werner 0:35
Great. Okay, so let’s get started by can you tell our listeners a little bit about your practice?

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 0:41
Absolutely. I am the owner of Dr. Alyssa Orthodontics. And we have three locations, one locations very small. But we have three locations. And we have an amazing team. And I kind of float back and forth based on the needs per month at each office. The premier practice in the town I was born and raised in, our little bigger town outside of the town I was raised in and just right down the road, I bought another practice. And so our practices are kind of unity of practices from other doctors that we’ve brought together.

Alison Werner 1:21
So can you talk about how long you’ve been using DentalMonitoring, and what actually prompted you to incorporate this type of remote monitoring platform into your practice?

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 1:31
Absolutely, we started using DentalMonitoring in 2018. So it was pre-COVID. And it was solely for the purpose of trying to monitor our aligner patients in a more predictable way. So we were having the same issues that any practice has where patients come in for an aligner check, and they’re not tracking. So you can’t really do as planned and they’re having extra appointments. And we’re like how can we make sure that they track but not have to come in every single week for those aligner checks. And that’s really just where it started. And then it’s morphed into a whole new thing since then.

Alison Werner 2:07
Okay, so I knew from kind of talking to you before this, that you’ve actually gone about incorporating this, you talk there about incorporating with the aligner patients, but you actually kind of did that staggered approach, but then in an all in approach at this with a different office, can you talk about that approach.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 2:26
So in the practice that they kind of the original part of their practice, it was aligners first, and then after we started seeing what the software had to offer, the reporting that you can get from it, etc, we said, “Man, this could be very, very useful for our braces patients,” or I did and and once my mind starts thinking about something, it’s hard to de-focus it from that. So I just kind meet with DM asked what all it could do. And try to understand that to a higher level. And then we added the braces part. And to be completely honest, at first, I wasn’t fully aware of what the braces side had to offer at that time. When I bought the third location a little over a year, almost a year and a half ago, they had zero exposure to DM, and I just said, Hey, every single patient no matter what’s going into it, because in our primary practice, we were doing that and we wanted to make sure that we just kind of got caught up and understood and we had systems in place already. So looking back, that probably would have been the better way to do it had I known what I know now and and the braces side of that technology. I mean, 2019 It’s been four years. So it’s they have just totally expanded everything it has to offer on that side. And so now it’s so much easier to just jump in for braces and aligners, and we found that the adaptation in the practice for that we started aligners and braces right off the bat didn’t back down. Got through any little hiccups and hurdles much smoother and easier and less in size. The compliance with a patient’s there, because the team understands it so much better. They learned it more rapidly. It’s just been a totally different experience than when we tried to tiptoe into it. In addition to that, it also changed our practice and our schedule. So much quicker. So saw results almost instantly versus taking six, 9, 12 months to notice anything.

Alison Werner 4:44
Okay. So can you talk a little bit about you know, I think people are very, somewhat familiar more or more familiar with kind of the aligner usage with DentalMonitoring. What are the tools when it comes to the braces or what do what how does it really help you with the braces patients that maybe you were weren’t expecting or that it’s made you have a better handle on those cases now than maybe you did with just traditional appointments.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 5:08
So there’s the braces side to me is very, very exciting. And I wouldn’t do aligners without it. That’s just out of respect for the patient and wasting their time if they’re not tracking and not understanding. So I wouldn’t even practice aligners without it. The braces side is so exciting because there’s always just been this way of practicing traditional orthodontics. And, you know, there’s different types of brackets, and we’re all going to diagnose and treatment plan slightly differently. But the braces side, you are taking out so many things that used to be retroactive or in nature, so or reactive in nature. So, for instance, the patient scans every week, and then the AI looks at that scan and sends us a report. And what we do is we put human eyes on that report, and we say, okay, is everything in this report accurate quickly. So if there’s a broken bracket or missing power chain, or an interference or something, we can see that and then we are addressing issues or things as they arise. But what it also does allow us to say, hey, this patient only would have been scheduled in this many weeks, we have an alert now to check their wire, and they may be ready, they may not be ready, etc. So we just let the AI continue to detect the tooth movement to a much higher degree than a human can. I’m not measuring a 10th of a millimeter of every single tooth movement at every appointment. Right? So. So that is completely changing the way that we treat our patients and the sequencing that we treat them etc. I there’s so much more I can add here. Because I don’t know what other questions you have. But there’s a lot more I want to make sure that we go over. So yeah, we’ll understand that.

Alison Werner 7:00
We’ll get there. We’ll get there. And if I don’t I’ll ask you a question that lets you kind of add anything that we didn’t touch. So let’s actually talk about how your scheduling has changed, because you kind of started getting there. So since incorporated DentalMonitoring you from what I understand patients that don’t necessarily get scheduled get that they get scheduled when they are ready for a purposeful visit. Can you talk about that.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 7:26
Yes, so this is something really exciting. And we’ve had to educate our patients about it, but because it’s just so different than anything their parents experienced, or how they had their other kids treated. But when it comes to scheduling, we used to see our patients depending on which wires, they’re in every 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 weeks, right. And it’s pretty much the same coming out of your mouth, for every single patient. So you put in this wire, you know, you’re going to say see them in eight to 10 weeks or see them in six to eight weeks. And we were treating every patient in the middle average of this bell curve. So if you think about a bell curve, and there’s the percentiles, right, and so we’re treating everybody as is as if they were going to fall in the majority percentile. And that’s just not the way human biology works. Yeah. And so what happens is patients come in and everyone outside of that percentile, you don’t do what you expected to do on that patient that day. Or even the ones in that percentile have something kind of go off track that you didn’t expect or something that broke or you know, something happens. Yeah, for those who don’t stay on track. So like up to 50% of appointments every single day, you’re not doing exactly what you had hoped you were doing in the order that you were doing it. And it can really affect your schedule. So it’s not only less appointments and more purposeful appointments for the patient, it’s actually a better patient experience because our schedule like every patient is scheduled the right way we know when they’re coming in for we know what we’re going to see we already know if there’s a bracket we need to fix when we already know if we need to make more space for a canines and we’re activating the coil before the patient ever walks in. And so it’s it’s affecting the probably the internal happiness and culture of our practice because it takes so many unnecessary stresses out of our day.

Alison Werner 9:24
Yeah. Well, that’s what I was gonna ask. It does seem like it removes the unknown for both you and your staff. So how was that transition for your staff? And you? How did you wrap your head around that idea of moving away from the traditional way of scheduling and doing this? What was that first transition like?

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 9:46
So two different practices. So let me start with the earlier adventure. The earlier adventure was much harder for the team to buy into. So some resistance some pushback with some, two members that are no longer with us. And I’m trying to express what my vision was and what I understood about what I was seeing it could do for us was probably where I failed the most. So I already knew in my head, oh my goodness, like, I can see that if we knew about all these things, it would be amazing, right? So at first I started telling the team about it. And what I’m trying to tell them is, it would show us if there’s a broken bracket, show us this and I think in in the most, the best way they can say it is that maybe they took it as I wanted to call them out every time there was a broken bracket or something. Okay, fully done correctly. And really what I wanted was it to train us to be the absolute best team that we can be for our patients, and also not waste our patients time anymore, and help our day in our experience and their days, be better off. So when they get home to their families, they still have energy left to give. And so I think I felt, at first trying to put this vision of what I saw could be possible. I had a few people, you know, that just they trust, and they bought in and they were trying really hard to make it all happen. And then really, we just took off and excelled. And one day when we’re like, it’s going to be this way no matter what. And, and so that was kind of the story behind when the second office that we went into the first office was already all in and had seen some changes that had already benefited us. So they almost had that example and that positivity behind them, encouraging them to get it going as soon as possible, get as many patients involved, to help our schedule and help our team together. And so that was a totally different experience. Yeah.

Alison Werner 11:57
So how was how would you say, did it change like the, the feeling in the office, because you talked a little bit there about how it kind of removes the stress of not knowing what a patient’s coming in for or having to adapt to where they are? Does it change the energy level with the staff and also you throughout the day? Have you kind of have a better idea, like how your day is gonna flow? And it’s not, maybe just a little stress? That’s what I’m kind of wondering.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 12:24
Yes, so the stress level has gone down a lot, because to be completely honest with you, we were blessed and we were growing. And we got to the point where the growth was affecting our patient experience. So still trying to provide the best care but because of that running behind on appointments, having to have patients have extra appointments because we couldn’t fix something right there that needed to be fixed without delaying their treatment, and no one wants braces longer than they have to right. And then in result obviously that affects your your team experience, you don’t want them missing lunch, you don’t want them working till six, 6:30 at night, by the time they get everything done and ready for the next day. So it was affecting everything, and to the point that you’re excited that you’re growing, but you’re less happy and thrilled to be at the workplace, which is not a good place to be. And so that’s where we really were. And that was a it wasn’t just one day here and there patient care, you’re always going to have a couple days a month where it’s just crazy, right? You have that morning or that afternoon, we work with humans. So we’re individuals, we’re different. But in when it’s every single lunch, every single afternoon for a few years in a row, it just takes a toll on the team, and it took a toll on me. And I was trying to do everything I could to do the best for the patient, and try to do everything I could to keep the team as taken care of as possible, and I felt like there was no there was just no balance or balance was just 20% here, 20% here, 20% here, so no one was feeling like they were 100% fulfilled. And just not a good place to be. So anyways, we started doing it. We went all in. And fear of the unknown is like the number one fear in the world. So whether it’s a kid going to the doctor, even if they’re not getting a shot that day, right, or a kid coming into our practices, not knowing what we’re going to make happen that day. And so just sometimes just a little bit of knowing what’s going to happen ahead of time we’re explaining those things like takes the stress way down. And that’s essentially what we’re doing is we’re taking out the fear of the unknown. And so for the most part that 50% of the day that was reactive or I had to go to the chair more than once and then that slows down how The doctor was supposed to be scheduled and I don’t know what to do, or this happened and we’re trying to achieve a plan on this chairside. It all can happen when the patients aren’t there. And so when the patients are there, that appointment is already pre planned for probably getting better care, because your mind is no so clear and fresh, you’ve already planned it when there’s not anything else around you. And then that allows for the team to also be like more focused and better able to take care of the patient, because when the patient shows up, everything they need is on the tray. And everything that they they knew, like, Oh, if this bracket broke, do you think we’re still able to get that wire back in or the next wire and, and I can tell from the scan, “Like, yes, I think we can. Go ahead and get that on the tray,” or etc. So I can’t under stress that it’s not just oh, when they’re ready for an appointment, they’re going to come in, which is a huge part of patient’s biology and a huge service to our patients to not need anything but a appointment that’s purposeful. Yeah, we have completely eliminated any type of check appointment in our office. So very, very rarely do we see a check appointment. And if a parent is taking off three hours of their day, to bring a patient in for a check appointment, and let’s say they make $20 an hour. That’s $60. It’s three hours out of their day, it’s stressful, it’s getting the kid back to school is trying to make sure they don’t miss more than one period a year for their appointments. It just it’s that way of traditional orthodontics at some point is going to disappear.

Alison Werner 16:41
Yeah. So talk to me about how you communicate talk to the patient about this idea and the parents about this idea of dynamic scheduling.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 16:52
Something else we failed miserably at first. The team didn’t understand it. So how could they they didn’t see the same vision I did. So how could they believe that right? Now that it’s they’re just they can talk about it all day. At first, it’s hard because you have parents that question things, or they only know how their other kids were treated, or they only know how they were treated as a child. And so you have to explain to them that like we actually are taking, we have more eyes on you and taking better care of you. We tell them upfront that there’s artificial intelligence involved. Used to, didn’t really mention anything about it, and now we tell them up front. Artificial intelligence is involved. It can, you know, read your scan at a higher level than the human eye. And it gives us a report. And then from that report is what we decide we are going to do or not do with your child based on what we see. And so it kind of has like an artificial touch that sees things better than the human. And then we have the human eye put on it to just verify and make sure that like what I would say needs to happen from this alert happens. And then obviously, we have human touch when they come into the office and whatnot. So it’s definitely a higher level of care. And we pull up examples, we show them what we’re seeing, we show them what our dashboard looks like. So we have some of our team members that have been in treatment will pull up their cases, we say, Hey, this is what Dr. Alyssa is evaluating. Yeah. Which has been really beneficial. The few parents that were very confused or like, haven’t had an appointment in three months, my dentist said I should have an appointment or my other kid had an appointment every four weeks, whatever it is, right? And I’m like, Hey, don’t worry, like when you, why don’t you come in and stop by and we’ll show you everything that we’re looking at. We show them we’re like, hey, we noticed plaque on this tooth. We are looking at your wire here. Here’s all the notes about your child’s treatment on every scan. Here’s the pictures from their scan. And once you show them that their mind I think soaks in everything is like, oh, okay, this is way better than me disappearing from the office for eight weeks and no one knowing what’s going on with these active appliances in my mouth and then coming back in.

Alison Werner 19:08
Yeah. And you are doing they’re doing weekly check ins for both aligner and braces patients.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 19:14

Alison Werner 19:15
Okay, talk to me about how dynamic scheduling contributes to practice growth. Have you seen something there?

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 19:25
I’m really really bad at marketing.

Alison Werner 19:30
I appreciate your honesty.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 19:32
What I could definitely be better at is actually is definitely be more proactive about educating the community and trying to market and trying to do things but I will say I think there’s a lot of internal growth from it. You always have a few patients that don’t like it or get upset about it or whatever. But for the most part, things have been very, very positive. And I think that will only continue to increase as both, it’s just the way we do practice now. And the longer you do, or the more your team sees the results of the patients, how quickly things are moving along how well they move along. The waste that used to be built in, you can waste four months if someone’s bracket breaks, and you don’t know, and you not only can’t go to your next wire, you had to drop down in wire. So it’s it’s exciting. And I think there’s a lot of marketing and practice growth that can happen from it. And we have, we have seen the practice growth. Last year, we had a phenomenal year. And this year, we’re having a great start. Yeah, and, and so that’s been amazing. And I feel like if we actually tried to be better about promoting it it would help even more.

Alison Werner 20:56
Well, I love your honesty, because I think it keeps it real. It’s hard. It’s hard to do everything.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 21:02
But I do think a lot of people reflect their experience with the technology, not only the technology we’re offering, but with the personal touch that we’re offering through using DentalMonitoring, as fearful as it sounds like, oh, I might not be in person as much anymore. But you actually are receiving better care and better touch because we’re essentially in your pocket. And so I do think there’s been a lot of practice growth from that, because we are very timely in our responses. And we are communicating with our patients very well through the app.

Alison Werner 21:38
That’s great. Yeah. How do you ensure that patients don’t fall through the cracks? How do you track patients?

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 21:45
You learn from the ones that have. No.

Alison Werner 21:49

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 21:51
There’s actually a lot of different ways to do this. And we’ve gone through different phases of systems. And we’re, I am incredibly blessed that my team feels very open to communicate with each other well, and bring ideas to the table. So if they see something that seems kind of cumbersome, they’ll say, Hey, this is how we’re doing it. Like do we think we could do this there, we have like little chat apps that we talked about these things in and, and so essentially, what we have been doing for the majority of the time that they’ve had labels, is using labels and putting ready to schedule. And then when they’re scheduled, we change it to the day they’re scheduled. And so we can run that report every day and see who still needs to be scheduled. We, we also have a Google Sheets, where it allows the offices to communicate with each other that has like patient’s name, what date I said that they are ready for their appointment, what appointment code they need. And then it says like first attempt, second attempt, third attempt and a little note section. So first attempt is you got to you need to be calling them pretty much the day that that name goes on the Google Sheets, it’s a call. If they don’t answer you send a text. Next attempt is usually next day trying to same thing, third attempt, same thing, if you’re still not getting through, then we need to like start sending emails, letters, etc. So that’s how we have kept up with the right now it seems to be working well. Essentially, we have 12 to 1500 patients in DM at any given time. And that list only gets about 20 patients added per day. Maybe if you’re doing it four days a week, it might be 30 patients per day. But there’s not a ton of patients being added every single day to that. So it’s very manageable for the front. We use to message them in the app and say great news, you’re ready for your next appointment, call our office, the next available time. And so each day when we’re reviewing, I get my little list of patients right. And if if they’re ready for an appointment, I kind of would like blast that list to my DMC and, which was my dental monitoring coordinator, and then she would blast those to each patient. And then all of a sudden our phones were ringing ringing ringing.

Alison Werner 24:11
Oh, yeah.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 24:12
We were missing some of those calls. So we created a system instead where here’s the patients that need to be called today. So that way, patients are like, Well, you told me to call on now they’re not answering. And so we go through phases, and this is how we’re doing it now. And we might do it different in six months. You can also use the recall ready in your practice management system. So you can put labels, we use dolphin right now and you can put a label in there and it’s like DM patient, non DM patient, you can print a recall ready report for the patients that are ready for an appointment haven’t been scheduled. I feel that we will probably move to that a little more effectively sooner than later. But there’s so many ways you just have to make sure that you’re the day that you start, you have a system to track who’s ready and Google Sheets is so easy for us that just just kind of where we landed and rolled with it.

Alison Werner 25:03
Okay, so for someone who wants to get started with transitioning to dynamic scheduling, and they’re using dental monitoring, what’s your what’s your, what are your tips for getting started? Those that first transition?

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 25:19
Okay, if somebody is about to get started, I would just say just do it. I know there’s a lot of questions about how do you manage it? Or where do you find the time to monitor it, etc. Anything that you do that’s better for somebody else is going to have hurdles, it’s not if it was easy, like, it wouldn’t be a thing. So it’s, you’re going to have little hiccups, you’re going to have a few frustrations, you’ll be like, Oh, I can’t believe that happened. The reality is, a lot of that’s happening anyway, just in a different way in our practices, like accepted it as normal, we’ve accepted that patients get letters and disappear for 90 days, and then you have to dismiss them, we’ve accepted that patients come in broken brackets, you didn’t know and you just are going to add time to their treatment because you had you couldn’t go up a wire but it’s a different way of accepting it, knowing that the end result is better for the patient and the team. So just do it. And if you have questions, utilize the webinars that are being new that DM is using to teach people utilize doctors, you know, that are using it. You know, there’s groups out there, Facebook groups that are there’s 1000s, of orthodontist, you can ask questions to attend meetings that you have and using it. And then really, one thing that I think is very important, especially at the beginning, is the doctor has to be involved. So this isn’t like a 3d printer, where as long as you get your team trained on it, you might not ever even know how to turn it on if you’re the doctor. Yeah, the X-ray machine, right? Like, I could go ahead take an x-ray by myself tomorrow, I’m going to be like taking way longer than my main sterilization specialist and records specialist because they do it every morning. And so it’s a little different than that, like at first, the doctor needs to be very heavily involved because it’s not one person you’re training to be a specialist that it is everyone in your office that you need to understand how it’s going to work.

Alison Werner 27:11
Okay, so even if you have a DentalMonitoring coordinator for your office, your advice is, everyone does have to have a familiarity with this.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 27:20
Everybody has to have a familiar already with it. Your DMC needs to know how to go hear messages. And now they even have other services to tack on to DentalMonitoring like remote response or something where they can help you with that part at first until you train it. Or if you really like them, you can keep it that way. But everybody in the office has to understand it. Because chairside, there’s things you have to put into DentalMonitoring for each patient. So when the patient’s in the chair, there’s certain things you put into the system. So we know exactly what we’re checking, what we’re looking at every week, between this time and the next time you’re in the office. And so our team is very good at that. And it takes training, but you get a quick system. And I would say it’s probably now the easiest thing that my chairside assistants do is open the dashboard and put the information in it takes some very little time.

Alison Werner 28:14
So before we wrap up, I want to ask you is because we had talked earlier about like there’s so many things you want to make sure we covered. Is there anything I missed or that I didn’t ask you about that you really want to make sure our listeners know about.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 28:26
I think something that’s kind of fun to throw in there is a little bit about our new schedule. So previous to DentalMonitoring, when half of the patients on your schedule are a check, the doctor can move very quick, they can move here here here, you might have to go back, but those little appointments that the assistant already knows exactly what’s happening, happen very quickly, and then you can squeeze in kind of these bondings and these other chairs, right. But if even if you’re running six or eight chairs at once, you are not scheduling six to eight bondings at once, right. But what happens is now patients only come in for purposeful visits. So they have a couple like remote columns or the means have already done remote checks. These are the wires that are going in. Essentially, if everything is on track, I probably am not needed. And you have all these other chairs left for something I’m needed for which usually means we’re putting brackets on. Most of it’s bonding right like polishing a patient doing enamelplasty, anything that requires like, legally me to be there. So what happened at first is we just were like, Okay, so this day just got built in there’s like 35 bondings in a six hour period on my schedule, and it just collapsed. Like I couldn’t be at all these chairs and it’d be and see the exams and we got very, very behind. So it took us a little bit of time to redo our, our template and our schedule and kind of figure out, Okay, how many realistic like debonds and bondings, you know, you can’t have eight hours with debondings and bondings is in a one hour period and expect the doctor to take care of all that. So we had some hiccups there and worked through those. And now we have a great template, it took team effort, it took a lot of brainstorming, I’m sure a consultant could have done it faster, but my team is amazing. And so now we have like a certain number of what we call like, bonding/debonding chairs each day, and they’re allowed to do however many bonding and debonding appointments in those chairs that they want, they can be back to back to back to back. But these need to stay without that. And so this these chairs do not require as much effort, or, I shouldn’t say effort, as much time for the doctor. Maybe more mental energy, but less physical. Yes. So that’s kind of been like a little obstacle that we worked through, and we’re continuing to work through it. And so I don’t ever really see like eight clinical chairs across anymore, because the patients in the chair need me. Like, they fully they’re there for a reason. And unless it’s just an archwire change, I’m needed. So little bit different and exciting and fun. And yeah, but we’ve also gone from three doctors total, down to one doctor, okay, um, the three doctors kind of if you took our total doctor days, we’re working in between, like 30 to 40 doctor days a month. Okay. And right now we’re seeing patients on average, like 12 to 14 days a month with one doctor. So it’s really the efficiencies that can happen. Yeah, in your scheduling. You know, we’ve really just cut our doctor days by by two thirds, we’re doing about 38 to 40% doctor days as we used to. And then each doctor day instead of seeing 100 patients, 120 patients we’re down to was about 60, now we’re down to about on average, 50, 53 patients a day. So that’s exciting.

Alison Werner 32:17
That’s a big change.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 32:19
It just shows you though the amount of and I’m not saying it’s wrong, like that’s how I got braces, and I have a smile. I have confidence and a smile because of it. It just shows you what, how our minds have been taught to take the best care of our patients, which was at the time, the only way it was the best way. Yeah. And technology is enabling us to take care of them at a higher level. And respect the most valuable thing we all have, which is our time and more effective treatment, less round tripping things like that is is always a win for everybody.

Alison Werner 32:55
Yeah, absolutely. I think you’ve really demonstrated that. With that, you know, with your last, just going to talk about your schedule and how that has changed and everything. Well, Dr. Carter, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me and our listeners, and I really appreciate your honesty. And really explaining your experience because I think it’s really valuable. And I think it kind of demystifies it for people. So thank you so much for that.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 33:19
Thank you for having me. And if anyone has questions or needs anything, you know, bump into me at a meeting, ask questions. Just reach out and we’re happy to help it’s we went through before the braces system was really up and running in DM and they’ve implemented so much to help us and they continue to do so. So it’s an exciting future for for us and our teams and in everything.

Alison Werner 33:48
Great. Well, thank you so much.

Dr Alyssa Emory Carter 33:50
Thank you.

Alison Werner 33:51
As always thank you for joining us. Be sure to subscribe to the Orthodontic Products podcast to keep up with the latest episodes. And be sure to check out Orthodontic Products to keep up with the latest industry news. Until next time, take care.

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