How DSOs Can Effectively Boost Same-Store-Growth with Intraoral Cameras and Teledentistry

intraoral camera


By Jamie Collins, RDH-EA, BS

In recent months, many DSOs have put more emphasis on increasing same-store sales over acquisitions and de novo expansion strategies.

The prevailing wisdom is to optimize the profitability of acquired and existing practices in order to manage the expectations of investors and stakeholders who want to maximize their existing investments via consistent revenue growth and profitability before making additional investments.

A less expensive investment, and one that can ensure a better ROI on existing DSO locations, is that of intraoral cameras alone, or even better…bundled with a teledentistry solution.  The affordable innovation meets and exceeds patient expectations with convenience and ultimately provides a profitable and effective solution for DSOs.

The synergy of these technologies not only enhances patient care but also offers substantial benefits for boosting profits and revitalizing underperforming locations within DSOs and group dental practices.

The industry leader in the integration of intraoral cameras with teledentistry is MouthWatch, which has been successfully combining its high-performing, high-value Standard and new Plus+ HD intraoral cameras with its all-in-one teledentistry platform TeleDent for more than a decade. Let’s examine the “dynamic duo” that can improve DSO profitability.

Intraoral Cameras: Clicking With Patients

Intraoral cameras enhance the way dental providers educate and communicate with their patients. With a click of a button, the cameras capture detailed images of the oral cavity, enabling dental teams to easily and instantly visualize and document a patient’s oral condition. By equipping every operatory with an intraoral camera and using it during every patient exam, DSOs and group dental practices can boost a provider’s and a location’s profits. Here’s how:

  • Enhance Patient Engagement: Standardizing the patient’s ability to visualize their oral health issues firsthand enables every patient in every DSO location to better understand their dental needs.
  • Build Trust: When patients can visualize their oral health status and needs for themselves, they are more likely to trust the recommended treatment plans and feel satisfied with the care they receive at dental group offices. Demonstrating the needs through images builds rapport and trust with patients, “seeing is believing.”
  • Improve Treatment Planning: Intraoral cameras enable dental clinicians to identify and document dental concerns early on, facilitating more accurate treatment planning in every office throughout the organization.
  • Boost Acceptance Rates: By displaying intraoral photos on a monitor, dentists can educate their patients about the urgency and necessity of certain treatments. This leads to patients who are more invested in their own care, thereby increasing case acceptance and production rates within each location. Intraoral imaging takes the “selling” out of dentistry when it is reinforced through images.
  • Increase Revenue Cycle Management: When DSO offices document each patient visit with intraoral photos and attach them to insurance claims, insurance claims and preauthorization approval rates increase. Less time and effort is spent chasing claims, and leads to faster reimbursement of procedures.

The One-Two Punch for Increasing Production and Efficiency 

When intraoral cameras are combined with teledentistry, DSOs and group practices harness these two synergistic technologies to achieve the following:

  • Extend Your Reach: Teledentistry enables each brick-and-mortar office to expand its radius to reach patients in all locations. Providing a patient with clear and easy access to dental care via teledentistry expands your reach to underserved, remote locations where access to dental care may be limited.

By using a hub and spoke approach, hygienists can “meet patients where they are” and use intraoral cameras to document their oral exams. The intraoral images can be shared with their brick-and-mortar home base location where a collaborative or supervising dentist can diagnose and create a treatment plan. Then the patient can be scheduled for treatment as indicated, thus increasing production for that location. The financial advantage with this model is the dentist is able to bill for the periodic evaluation and the teledentistry codes in addition to savings on the disposables and reserving chair time for productive procedures.

Another approach viable in many states includes allowing offices to be open on days when no dentists are available, but dental hygienists can see patients under the virtual supervision of the dentist. Or opening smaller, lower cost locations that focus only on prevention.

  • Optimize Appointment Scheduling: A robust teledentistry platform such as TeleDent can be used with smartphones and computers as well as intraoral cameras. This virtual capability provides patients with more flexible and convenient appointment scheduling options by reducing the need for in-person visits for certain types of appointments. These include exams, consultations, post op visits, and ortho checks, among others.
  • Efficient Resource Allocation: Intraoral cameras and teledentistry allow group practices to assign staff virtually across all locations as needed. For example, understaffed and underperforming locations can benefit from the expertise and resources available at other sites through virtual consultations and support, leading to improved performance. Evaluations, emergency consultations and post op support can be achieved from the virtual dentists with in-person treatment provided at the alternate locations.

The integration of intraoral cameras, either as a stand alone or in pairing with teledentistry presents a compelling opportunity for group dental practices to enhance patient care, improve operational efficiency, and drive growth and revenue. By leveraging these technologies strategically, group practices and DSOs can boost production and revitalize underperforming locations, ultimately positioning themselves for long-term success in an ever-evolving healthcare landscape and providing their investors and stakeholders with the ROI they expect.

About the Author: Jamie Collins, RDH-EA,BS, is a licensed hygienist in Idaho and Washington states dedicated to advancing the dental profession.  With over twenty years in the dental field, Jamie continues to be involved in many aspects of patient care.  Her passion for patient care, especially for those with higher risk factors, motivates Jamie to share tips and tricks of the dental  profession. Through speaking engagements and writing over 80 articles for various publications, Jamie educates dental professionals worldwide. She is the recipient of the 2021 and 2022 ADHA Trailblazer Award and was the first recipient of the ADHA Standout Seven Corporate Hygienist award in 2022. Jamie is Director of Sales at MouthWatch, LLC ( and Dentistry One LLC (www.Dentistry.One) and can be contacted at