Looking back on 10 years that you, our customers and partners, have made a success, a success that’s now a launchpad for the next 10 years.
Sometimes technology companies start in garages – sometimes it’s in the unused operatories of your father’s dental office. That’s where MouthWatch was first headquartered, in Manhattan at Dr. Jerry Herman’s midtown practice. One of our first hires conducted his interview with our founder in his car double-parked on 5th Ave.
In the early days, co-founders Brant Herman (CEO) and Bob Bellhouse (COO) wore many hats. An early hire, our Director of Marketing, Michael Lommel, remembers having strategy calls with the CEO and hearing the distinct sound of packing tape. Brant was boxing camera shipments— while brainstorming with Lommel on how to get the message out that would drive getting more cameras and teledentistry out to practices. Little by little, the MouthWatch team evolved and grew, including dedicated shipping, support, marketing, client success, and sales teams. Currently, at over 25 employees and still growing, our headquarters and warehouse are now in Metuchen, New Jersey.
Though MouthWatch would become the market share leader in intraoral camera sales to dental professionals and businesses, that wasn’t the plan to start with. The “Home Dental Monitoring System” was an intraoral camera and early ”teledentistry-lite” software targeted to consumers for home use so that they could share images with their dentist. Never heard of it? Yep. Maybe a bit ahead of our time!
But we learned.
We learned that dentists and hygienists loved our cameras. We pivoted to marketing cameras to dental professionals for in-office use, while also learning what practices, programs, and providers needed from a professional-grade teledentistry platform. We learned that providers would also use TeleDent to collaborate with each other and that when empowered with teledentistry, dental professionals found innovative practice models to improve care delivery. (Explore the Teledentistry Innovation Awards.)
Never waste a crisis
And then a learning opportunity happened for the dental industry. Enter March 2020: teledentistry was thrust into the solution-spotlight for continued care. In the following weeks and months, dental professionals discovered the opportunities and merit of telehealth in a dental care context. As teledentistry adoption continues to grow, so does our cloud-based teledentistry platform that saves travel time for patients and chair time for production (along with a wide range of other benefits).
The rapid adoption of teledentistry in the last few years has shown people the possibilities of what dentistry can offer via telehealth modalities. The American Dental Association created CDT Codes for Synchronous (D9995) and Asynchronous (D9996) teledentistry for dental providers to provide care in innovative ways. Dental professionals have seen how they can transform their work to offer more flexibility and opportunity. Naturally, convenience is a big driving factor in how people choose healthcare services, and dentistry proves no different. Patient behaviors are changing and MouthWatch is providing the solution for dental professionals to stay current with patient trends and demand.
Let’s talk in 2032
Ten years ago in 2012, when MouthWatch was first created, teledentistry was not a term many people were familiar with. Something our company was determined to change. Today, articles and conference presentations on teledentistry are much more common. Teledentistry has become a bigger part of the discussion around oral health, while patients across the board have become more comfortable with virtual care. We’ve focused on playing a role in the education around teledentistry, and recently received the ability to provide CE credit through our MouthWatch Learning initiatives.
And there are still blue oceans out there. Our intraoral cameras have been used to train medical professionals for examination, documentation, and referral of patients, improving the standard of care. With TeleDent and our intraoral cameras, we are also aiming to close the loop between medical and dental professionals and perhaps help be part of a wider shift to value-based care. And how will Artificial Intelligence be part of the future of dental care?
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MouthWatch’s vision is to help providers transform care. While we look back at 10 years of growth and change, we look forward to working together with our partners, customers, and peers to make the next 10 years even more transformative.