Management Telemedicine

How business leaders (and dentists) can plan for the next normal

From McKinsey:

The figures for telemedicine and virtual health are just as striking. Teladoc Health, the largest US stand-alone telemedicine service, reported a 50 percent increase in service in the week ending March 20, and is adding thousands of doctors to its network. The Federal Communications Commission is spending $200 million to improve connectivity between patients and virtual-healthcare providers, and the US Department of Health and Human Services has increased reimbursements for telemedicine and enabled cross-state provision of virtual care.

Source: How business leaders can plan for the next normal | McKinsey

More evidence that telemedicine (and teledentistry) will be a huge part of the future of health care. There are many reasons for this and the Covic pandemic has accelerated the change and eliminated many of the barriers to change.

Dentistry will continue to be a hands on profession however there are many tasks we could perform remotely. Following is an article I wrote a couple of years ago written as “News of the Future” that presents how we could be using teledentistry a few years from now. All the technology presented in the article is already available.

May 21, 2022: Arnold Zimmer , a San Jose dentist, prepped a tooth on a patient in Fargo North Dakota. By means of tele-dentistry techniques Dr. Zimmer used 3D images of the patient, including bones, teeth and soft tissue integrated into a virtual patient simulation transmitted to his office in California over the Internet. He transmitted his telepresence image back to the clinic in Fargo to talk with the patient and inevitably to ask him to open his mouth.

With Augmented Reality Glasses to guide him Dr. Zimmer slipped his hands into a pair of cyber gloves in San Jose to guide the digital laser handpiece connected to a surgical robot at the other end in Fargo. He used real time 3D images of the tooth prep including patient vitals off to the side and a shadow image of the pulp below the surface to help guide the prep.

The image of the prepped tooth was than transmitted to an artificial intelligence driven online system to design the restoration. The design process took 12 minutes. A master technician in Bern Switzerland then reviewed the design and checked it off in one minute. The design was whisked back to a 3D printer in Fargo to create the restoration.

Dentists and lab techs in Fargo could not be reached for comment.

3D images, virtual patient integration, telepresence robots, 3D goggles, surgical robots, augmented reality, digital impressions and 3D printers all exist right now. 

Dental Speaker

The BIGGEST Barrier to going High Tech

Implementing new technology involves more than buying and installing a product – it also requires change. People resist change for a variety of reasons and overcoming that resistance, from both doctors and staff, is often more of a challenge than actually using the technology.

Source: Dental Technology Courses | Internet Presence | Paperless Records | Digital Radiography | Lawrence F. Emmott, DDS | Emmott On Technology


Get the Book – Go Paperless

Make the commitment and Go

Most likely you already have everything you need to go paperless.

Stop putting it off, make the commitment, going paperless can save you tens of thousands of dollars. Buy the book, take the first step.

My comprehensive technology guide, “How to go paperless in the dental office” will answer the basic question…Why bother?  It then provides step by step help in setting up a paperless office, including the eight essentials that need to be in place before you get started, four ways to digitize stuff, and front deskless workflow. There is even a budget and financial analysis that shows how your current paper system is costing you over $40,000!

“How to go paperless in the dental office” will answer all your questions, provide a plan and show you how to save money… all delivered in a fun and easy to understand style.

Follow the link to order your copy today.

e-Services Management Paperless

Digital Workflow – Beyond Paperless

If a dental team member believes his/her job is pulling charts, filling out forms and calling patients then she/he is stuck in the past doing a job that has (or at should have) ceased to exist. Technology in the form of management software, online e-services and even smart phone aps will do most of the daily practice management tasks people used to slog through every day. Not only will technology do the job it will save the practice thousands of dollars.

Technology used well has a huge ROI, Technology used poorly is a money pit.

The most valuable dental team member now and in the future will be the person who knows how to use and integrate all the technology to do these tasks. Technology should not be the extra we add to our business and clinical functions it should be the core of all off them. The person who masters these technologies will be the practice technologist. I repeat, the most valuable person in the office is the practice technologist.

Here are a few of the tasks that dental staff used to do that should now be done with software and e-services: Phone reminders, taking payments, pulling charts, re-activation, writing chart notes, checking eligibility, patient forms and data entry.

In order to accomplish all this and get a great ROI the office needs four things:

  1. Digital (paperless) records
  2. A web page with Internet access
  3. Intraoperative software and e-services
  4. Most important, people who know how to use it all, a practice technologist
Hardware Office Design Security

Public & Private

Some things seen on the computer monitor are public. Those are things we want the patient to see, their own chart, x-rays, photos or patient education. Other information should not be seen. That would include another patient’s chart or even the daily schedule. That is private.

Another way to refer to these is the patient monitor and the practice management monitor. Computer monitors in the treatment rooms need to be placed so that they can be seen or not as needed. That means either movable or multiple monitors.

Room Design and Computers in the Back

General Management

High Tech Consulting

Exhausted dentistAre you having trouble going paperless or figuring out the complex data safety issues and HIPAA. You are not alone. If you want some one on one help contact me directly at

or follow the link below and fill out the online evaluation. There is an assessment tool and a questionnaire to get you started.

Look Here for details Consulting 

It is so easy to make an expensive mistake when buying technology!

Dentists face two daunting challenges. First, if they fail to use new technology effectively they risk falling behind competitively. Secondly, implementing new technology is expensive, however undoing a mistake can be even more expensive. As a result dentists are cautious about new technology and justifiably suspicious regarding vendor claims.

The Emmott on Technology team mission is to help dentists make wise technology choices minimize costs and maximize profits through the effective use of computers and technology.


The Three Biggest Mistakes

The three biggest mistakes dentists make when attempting to use technology are:

  1. Failing to know what is possible and developing a high tech vision or plan.
  2. Not getting enough training including ongoing training.
  3. Continuing to do things the old way instead of using technology to do things differently.
Management Security

Computer Use Policy

PPP (Professional Protector Plan) the dental liability insurance plan offers a sample computer use policy for their liability policy holders. You can see it here: Computer Use Policy

Here is a short sample:

Misuse of Clinic computers, networks, and Internet access may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Examples of Misuse
The following list contains examples of misuse. This list is not exhaustive.

• Logging onto computer by using someone else’s password.
• Revealing your password to others, or allowing use of your password by others, including other employees, family members, or other household members.
• Attempting to circumvent data protection, security restrictions, or usage/history logs.
• Engaging in private or personal business activities.
• Attempting to change computer date or time.
• Sending, receiving, or otherwise accessing personal email.
• Accessing social network sites.
• Participating in chat rooms, instant messaging, blogs, or forums for non-business use.
• Use of social media to post, discuss, or otherwise reveal any information related to patients in any manner.
• Making unauthorized copies of Clinic files or other Clinic data.

There is more including use of social media and expectations of privacy.

It is a sad fact the dentists need to consider having some sort of computer use policy in place. First it can help as an educational device. Staff members need to be aware that using the Internet and answering suspicious e-mails could put the practice in jeopardy. Second it is an indication to regulators that the office has made attempts to train the team. Training is a HIPAA requirement. Finally it protects the dentist from possible adverse employee actions in the case of termination for cause.


Practice Advisor

If you are  Dentrix user you need to check this out. Having digital data lets you manage your practice in a much more efficient manner. The trouble is most dentists do not know what to evaluate and don’t have the time to do it.

Dental Speaker Internet Paperless

Hinman 2018


Source: 2018 Speakers – Dr. Lawrence Emmott

I am honored to be presenting four sessions at the 2018 Hinman in Atlanta. Follow the link to register



Who is the Best Dentist?

Let’s try a thought experiment:

Imagine that you are a well-educated middle class adult American. You are looking for a dentist. You know nothing about dentistry except what you see on television or have experienced in the past. You have two dental offices to choose from Dr. Adams and Dr. Baker. Both are convenient and have been recommended by a friend.

Doctor Adams: sends you an e-mail welcome and allows you to fill out forms online before your appointment.

Doctor Baker: calls and leaves a reminder message and hands you a clip board when you arrive for your appointment.

Doctor Adams: takes digital photos and x-rays which the dentist shows you that instant on a large monitor to help you understand your dental condition.

Doctor Baker: does not take photos and takes film x-rays which the doctor looks at when they show up at the end of the appointment.

Doctor Adams: prepares a crown and delivers it that same day as you wait.

Doctor Baker: prepares a crown, takes an impression, places a temporary and has you return in a few weeks to have the crown delivered.

Based on these experiences which office would you believe to be “the better dentist”.

It would be nice if patients judged us by the quality of the dentistry we deliver. But of course patients have no way to judge the marginal integrity of a restoration or the cleanliness of a root surface. So they judge us on easily observed superficial factors

It is possible that Dr. Baker is a better dentist than Dr. Adams. It is possible, but the patient will never figure it out.

Here is the kicker. Most likely Dr. Adams is in fact a better dentist. Dentists who take the time to keep up with the latest technology and up to date procedures are almost by definition better dentists.


Start taking pictures again

Our simplest intra-oral camera ever!! featuring a Dine modified small format digital camera.

The camera weighs under a pound and fits into the palm of almost any hand. The camera is capable of accomplishing the full range of dental photography with ease from the 1:1 extreme close-up of a posterior quadrant to anterior, lateral, and all mirror photos including occlusals and linguals.

Source: Dine Digital Solution |

Digital photos are so easy to take and so valuable they should be a standard part of every new patient exam.

Photos are invaluable if you ever need to defend yourself in court.

Photos are great for charting. With a good set of intraoral digital photos and x-rays you can do much of the charting at your desk. You no longer need to be chairside with the assistant calling out findings while she scribbles things down on paper. This is especially true with existing restorations, broken teeth and other conditions. You can also make a treatment plan from the digital photos and x-rays.

It is possible to take patient photos with a smart phone however you need an attachment to provide a flash and depth of field for good intraoral photos. Plus you need to disable the cloud storage feature of your phone in order to protect patient privacy per HIPAA.

Management Paperless

You Need People to go Paperless

“Going Paperless” is based on computer technology so it is only natural to focus on the computers and the software when planning to go paperless. However the technology is only half of the equation. If the people in the office aren’t prepared and enthusiastic the technology alone will never work.

This includes the dentist, some dentists are actually proud of the fact that they don’t know the first thing about the office computers. That is just foolish; the dentist does not have to be a mouse master with intimate knowledge of every click and cranny of the software in order to go paperless however the dentist must know the basics, the dentist must know what is possible, or else the whole system will never make sense.

One of the frustrations dentists and team members encounter is cook book failure. That happens when someone just knows one way (like step by step cook book directions) to use the software but he/she does not understand what is being done and why. When that happens just one slightly different or neglected step and the cook book fails. The user is lost and has no idea how to find their way back.

It is not enough to know which icon to click you must know why you are clicking it and what you wish to accomplish.

To avoid cook book failure users need to have a general understanding of Windows. You need to know how to turn on your computer system, how to use a mouse, click and drag, right click, open close dropdown and navigate the Windows file system.

However basic training on using your Practice Management System is not enough. You need to have “Going Paperless Training”.

Hire a trainer and then ask the trainer to teach the dentist and staff how to do the following:

  • Set up CDT Codes with fees etc.
  • Create extra codes for things like crown delivery or suture removal.
  • Create and set up progress notes.
  • Enter everything on the digital chart you used to enter on the paper chart.
  • Existing restorations, conditions such as decay or fracture, treatment to be done, perio conditions and all the rest
  • Set up and create prescriptions.
  • Set up and create lab slips.
  • Scan papers and store them in the record.
  • Import data from another application.
  • Export data from the chart.
  • Merge data from the chart to a document.
  • Bridge to other data or applications such as photos or radiographs.

For more help going paperless look here:

Management Software

Dentrix Fee Schedule Maintenance

This is one of many how to videos for Dentrix users you can find here on YouTube


Digital Diagnostics

The core of hi tech diagnostics is the ability to scientifically measure a physiologic condition and then to convert those measurements to a digital format for analysis and recording. The result is a highly accurate and consistent measurement.

Traditional methods of diagnosis are often little more than highly educated subjective guesses. To become a good diagnostician requires training, skill and experience. No random man on the street can pick up an explorer or look at a film radiograph and detect decay. However any old man on the street can look at a computer screen and see that the green part is healthy and the red part is decayed.

Since most dentists have spent years developing these subtle diagnostic skills, and they are justifiably proud of them, they tend to reject technology that suddenly makes those skills obsolete. They confuse method with results.

Hardware Paperless Security

The File Room of 2027

Today: The dentist has a room filled with charts, radiographs, correspondence, EOBs and all the other records along with endless little white boxes filled with plaster models. Finding the models and records for a case done six years ago requires an exploratory party and soon bears a striking resemblance to a wilderness expedition. But make no mistake about it the records are there and we will find them eventually.

Ten Years from Now: All the records including forms, histories, treatment notes, radiographs, tracings, photos and 3D images of bones and teeth are stored digitally. Thirty years of patient records don’t take up a room but are stored somewhere in the cloud actually taking up a physical space smaller than a deck of cards. The records can be called up immediately from anywhere in the known universe with a computer and an Internet connection.

Paperless Dental Records:

Dental Speaker Future Tech

Four Hours of CE, Technology Summit

September 16, 2017

Climb For A Cause is partnering with Roseman University College of Dental Medicine

Dentists from across North America will converge on Roseman University of Dental Medicine in South Jordan, Utah for a four-hour overview of important new technology tools!

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Larry Emmott: The Future is Here and it is Amazing!

Our line-up includes voices from all sectors of the dental technology industry who will share how to efficiently and effectively grow your practice so you can stay competitive in a market environment where Corporate Dentistry is making inroads.  

Visit for details  on presenters and topics, and to register.

Climb For A Cause, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charity providing dental education and treatment to needy children around the world, will be hosting it’s Twentieth Annual Hiking Event of Mt. Timpanogos on Sunday, September 17.

Visit to learn more!

 or for more details call 312-455-9498 and ask for Danny

We look forward to having you join us!


Electronic Dental Record guidance from the ADA

From ADA News:

The committee earlier this year published ADA Technical Report No. 1030, Dental Provider’s Guide to the Electronic Dental Record, which discusses key concepts of the Electronic Dental Record and provides guidance on implementing an Electronic Dental Record system into dental offices.

Source: Electronic Dental Record concepts, guidance for use laid out in report

The report may be downloaded at no cost to members available from the ADA catalog at

Dental Speaker Management Paperless

Thanks Patrick

A wonderful testimonial from Technology on the Rocks veteran Patrick McGibbon

Dental Speaker Just for Fun

Technology on the Rocks: NEW DATE

New Date: The next Technology on the Rocks Adventure CE program is scheduled for May 18-20, 2017 in beautiful Sedona Arizona.