The key to a dental practice’s successful business is the equipment and software applications the office incorporates into and uses in the practice. New technologies and highly specialized dental practice applications have proven important and beneficial for both the dental practice and the patients who seek its care. But these specialized technologies require experience and knowledge to oversee and manage. Having its own IT department is generally not an option for dental practices, so they outsource it. Outsourcing, however, can be another problem if the IT vendor is not capable of managing these highly specialized programs and technologies. Here’s what you need to know if you have a dental practice and are looking for IT support services.
What are dental practice applications?
Technology has been and continues to change dentistry. Accompanying change is the advancement of software applications. Dental practice applications are those applications specific to a dental practice, including specialized dental practices like:
- Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- Pediatric Dentists
The problem with dental practice applications is the sheer amount of available applications. There are applications for general dental purposes to applications for specific, targeted purposes. The number of applications makes it hard to choose which ones are best for your practice. To give you an idea of the scope of choices you have, here’s a short list of dental practice applications.
Practice Management Software
- ACE Dental
- ADSTRA Dental Software
- Computer Age
- Curve Dental Hero
- Datacon Dental System
- Dentrix Enterprise
- Easy Dental
- MouthWatch TeleDent
- Patient Base
- PBS Endo
- Practice-Web Dental
- Practice Works
- StrongBox Dental
All of the above-named applications have their benefits and some have drawbacks. Finding the applications that work best for you and your practice, however, can be a daunting task. You feel like you may be missing something if you pick this one over that one. Some practices may choose to work with multiple applications, depending on the purpose and capabilities it brings to the practice.
In the end, you only want what is best for you, for your practice, for your employees and staff, and for your patients. Thus, choosing the right dental practice management software can be stressful. What’s more: keeping it updated and managing it can prove just as stressful, especially when you have other dental practice applications that you need for your practice, like imaging software. Again, there are a number of imaging software from which to choose and below are examples of the same.
Imaging Software and/or Dental Intraoral Cameras
- Dentrix Image
- DEXcam 4 HD
- Dexis Imaging
- DocPort i.o.
- Dolphin Imaging
- Eaglesoft Imaging
- Kodak Imagine (Trophy)
- Ortho Imagine
- Sidexis 4
- VixWin’s Gendex
As mentioned, the same applies with imaging software as it does with dental management software: there are a lot of options, and all options have their benefits, which makes choosing the right ones for you difficult. Further, the combination of all these dental practice software makes managing them more complex because it requires specialized knowledge of the industry, the equipment, and the software itself.
Because of this complex dynamic, many IT vendors simply are not equipped with the experience and knowledge. As such, their services fall short. In fact, their services may even be doing your practice harm.
For instance, we had a recent call from a Texas dental office. The representative from the dental practice said the practice has “10 computers and ever since [the dental practice] hired an IT service, [he has] been having much more issues with [his] IT than [he] feel[s] [he] should.” Needless to say, he was frustrated. He said he is looking for “experienced and efficient support who has in-depth familiarity with Windows, Eaglesoft and/or dentrix, Dexis, I/O camera (Sopro and Digitaldoc) and Tekscan, Sidexis 4, and networking.” So, first, as you can see, dental practices can use many different applications. Second, you can also see how difficult it is to find an IT provider who can properly and efficiently manage these specialized applications and provide competent computer networking support. Basically, it is difficult to find an IT vendor that can do everything a successful dental practice requires it to do.
What should you look for in an IT support provider who understands dental practice applications?
There are a number of capabilities you need your IT support provider to have in order to make sure you get what you need. Here are three questions to ask to help you identify the right IT vendor that allows you to take control of your technology.
Does the IT provider have experience with specialized dental practice applications?
Of course, you need any IT provider you hire to know all things about specialized dental practice applications. These programs can be difficult to manage. Some may be integrated with another. Some may not. Having an IT provider experienced with a large range of dental practice software can help you in many ways.
The first obvious way is: the IT provider will manage your software efficiently because it has an intuitive understanding of what works best under what circumstances.
The second less obvious way is: the IT provider should be able to review your wants and expectations with you to ensure you are currently using the right software or to advise you on the right software to purchase. An IT provider can only help with this process if it has specialized knowledge of the industry.
At SymTec, we specialize in dentistry applications and make it our mission to stay current on all the latest technologies available to dental practices, including specialized dental practices. We understand that for far too long, the dental industry has been in want for IT vendors who have a deep understanding of the technical and technological complexity of their practices. As a result, we have built an IT team to fill this gap.
Does the IT provider provide other computer support services?
Managing applications is only one part of the process. A dental practice requires a full service IT provider who can manage it all. As the aforementioned Texas dental office, the representative said it needs an IT provider who has the knowledge and expertise to manage its many different software, but it also needs an IT provider who understands networking. What the Texas dental office did not mention is the need for other necessary services, like:
- Managed IT services
- Cloud services
- Microsoft Office 365
- Hardware purchasing.
All of the above services matter to a dental practice, especially as it applies to compliance with HIPAA.
At SymTec, we recognize the importance of a full-service IT provider who can really do it all. These services are imperative to the quality, safety, and security of your practice’s performance. We approach your dental practice holistically because we want to ensure you are whole and have all the IT services you require. We can also custom-build cost-effective solutions so that you get exactly what your practice needs and what will make it excel.
Does the IT provider work remotely?
Because dental practices are located throughout the country — from small, rural towns to large, bustling cities — and because most IT service providers lack in experience and specialization in the dental industry, a remote option for an IT service provider may be your best option if you want the best in services.
As Wesley Bradford of SymTec says, “ We have a great remote option for dental offices.” Indeed, SymTec offers an ongoing remote monitoring and maintenance program. So, not only do you get consultation, customization, experience, and knowledge, you also get 24/7 maintenance and remote monitoring for peak performance and security.
Where to find an IT support provider for your dental practice?
If it’s experience and specialization in the dental industry you seek, then SymTec has what you want. We have local offices in Utah and Idaho but provide remote services across the nation. Contact us today to learn more. We look forward to helping you get your dental practice on track to success.