Unlocking the Potential of VoIP in the Dental Industry
News and Blogs
15th November 2023
What is VoIP, and how does it work?
Welcome to the fifth instalment of our VoIP series!
In this article, we’ll delve into the world of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and explore how it can revolutionise the way dental practices communicate, cut costs, and enhance patient care. Whether you’re already well-acquainted with VoIP or just getting started, read on to discover how to leverage this technology for maximum benefit.
Let’s start with the basics – what exactly is VoIP? In simple terms, VoIP is a technology that allows you to make phone calls using an internet connection instead of traditional telephone lines. Instead of using expensive landlines, you can use your existing internet infrastructure to make and receive calls. But VoIP isn’t just limited to phone calls – it also supports video conferencing, instant messaging, and more.
How much does VoIP cost?
One of the most appealing aspects of VoIP for dental practices is its cost-effectiveness.
Traditional landline phone systems can be expensive to set up and maintain, with separate hardware, installation, and ongoing maintenance costs. In comparison, VoIP systems have lower upfront costs and often require minimal maintenance. Additionally, since VoIP uses the internet for communication, long-distance calls can be significantly cheaper – perfect for practices with patients or offices in different locations.
VoIP offers various cost structures, depending on the method you choose for making and receiving calls:
VoIP Subscriptions: Many VoIP software options are free for personal use, but some, like Skype and Zoom, may charge fees for specific services, such as calls to non-VoIP users or landlines. These costs are often minimal for dental practices, especially when compared to the benefits.
VoIP Hardware Costs: There will be associated expenses if you opt for hardware-based solutions like VoIP phones. However, these costs are usually a one-time investment, and the hardware can serve you well for an extended period.
Line Rental: If your dental practice relies on fast fibre broadband, you may still incur line rental charges, as these services use the same fibre. It’s essential to consider these costs when evaluating VoIP options.
Do I need VoIP?
The answer is yes! Regardless of your dental practice size, you can benefit from using VoIP. Whether you’re a solo practitioner or part of a larger team, VoIP can help streamline communication and reduce costs, especially if you need to communicate with international or long-distance patients or partners. Plus, its versatile features, like video conferencing and instant messaging, can enhance patient care by allowing for remote consultations, faster communication between staff members and collaboration between healthcare professionals.
What are the different types of VoIP?
VoIP Apps: Popular apps like Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, and Facebook Messenger enable dental practices to make VoIP calls, either on a computer or mobile device. This option is preferred because it requires minimal setup, and most patients are likely already familiar with these apps.
Hardware-based VoIP Systems: These systems use physical hardware like VoIP phones or adapters to make and receive calls via the Internet. They offer more advanced features than app-based systems, making them ideal for larger practices requiring a more robust communication solution and can be integrated with your existing setup.
Digital Voice: Some providers offer Digital Voice, also known as Internet Calls, which uses VoIP technology for home phone calls. This solution is perfect for dental practices transitioning to full-fibre broadband.
Hardware-Based VoIP Phones: Dental practices can invest in IP phones, which offer a range of valuable features for communication and collaboration. These phones can be easily integrated with your current setup, making them a convenient and efficient addition to your practice.
VoIP Adaptors: VoIP adaptors allow dental practices to use their existing phones for VoIP calls. Not only are they more straightforward to set up than VoIP phones, they are more flexible, allowing you to use both traditional phone lines and VoIP technology.
VoIP Computer Software: Dental practices can install computer software that enables them to make and receive VoIP calls directly from their computers. However, if you opt for this solution, we recommend using it alongside a quality headset and checking for call rates.
Dental practices have several VoIP options to choose from, each with its own benefits and considerations:
How do I use VoIP?
Using VoIP in your dental practice is relatively simple and the method for using VoIP often depends on the option you’ve chosen. For apps like WhatsApp or FaceTime, it’s as simple as opening the app, selecting the contact, and initiating the call. With hardware systems or adaptors, you’ll have dedicated equipment, and the process can be more technical. Regardless of your choice, VoIP calls are easy to make and offer the same convenience as traditional phone calls. So, once you’ve chosen a VoIP option that works best for you, follow the instructions provided by your provider to set up your system!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I get VoIP for my dental practice? A: Absolutely! VoIP is an excellent option for your dental practice if you’ve got a reliable internet connection.
Q: How much does VoIP cost for dental practices? A: The costs vary depending on the method and services you choose. Dental practices can use free or budget-friendly calling options with VoIP apps.
Q: Are VoIP calls expensive for dental practices? A: VoIP calls are generally wallet-friendly, especially for local, national, and international calls. Some VoIP systems even offer free calls to fellow users of the same service.
Q: Can I keep my old landline phone number for my dental practice? A: In most cases, it’s more practical to set up call forwarding from your old landline when switching to VoIP. Dental practices can also continue using their existing mobile numbers with services like WhatsApp.
Q: What kind of call quality can dental practices expect with VoIP? A: Call quality is tied to the stability of your internet connection. VoIP calls can work smoothly with just a 2Mbps internet connection, but having a stable connection is key for top-notch quality.
Q: Can I call non-VoIP phones via VoIP for dental practices? A: You can make calls to non-VoIP phones using VoIP, but it’s crucial to be mindful of potential extra charges, such as those for premium line numbers or international landline calls.
We hope this instalment in the Microminder series has helped you understand VoIP and its potential for your dental practice. With its cost savings, enhanced communication and collaboration features, and improved patient care opportunities, VoIP is a valuable tool that can help take your practice to the next level. Remember to weigh all costs and options carefully when choosing a VoIP solution, and don’t hesitate to contact our team of experts for further guidance.
Get in Touch:
The evolution of communication technology has revolutionised the way businesses operate. The transition from traditional phone systems to VoIP is no longer a luxury but a necessity for organisations seeking enhanced functionality, cost savings, and improved scalability. With Microminder’s reliable and comprehensive VoIP solutions, businesses can overcome pain points associated with traditional phone systems and unlock the full potential of their communication capabilities.
By embracing VoIP, you can empower your practice with advanced features, excellent call quality, and seamless customer interactions, ultimately driving business growth and success in the digital age! Click here to learn more, or contact us today at 020 8799 6883!