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An Introduction to VoIP for Dental Practices

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The best practice is to have the patient book themselves in online. However, for those that prefer to talk through their treatment with a consultant first, there’s still no better way than picking up the phone and making a call. Yet, making calls has changed drastically over the past few years. Years ago it could take an age to dial up and get connected to the right person. Now, pretty much all calls are routed instantly, be it an international call or a local one. This is because phones have evolved into IP devices that are connected to the internet, via a broadband connection or through mobile services.

Today’s phones can also do many tasks at once, whereas in the past you’d need a totally separate device to send and receive emails, for example. In fact, as phones have evolved, they’ve now become so much more than just a phone – these days, IP devices can do pretty much whatever you need them to. And the way you use them has changed too – instead of being tethered to a landline because it’s the only device you have, people are now using smartphones to make calls.

Broadband internet has also changed the way we work – it’s meant that workers can take their office anywhere. Many of us now use cloud services for our email and storage, meaning that no matter where we are, as long as there is Wi-Fi connection, then we can access our emails and files. This has really changed the way we work, and has meant that working from home is now a very real option for many professions. With this flexibility comes great responsibility – and part of this is making sure that “office email” and other cloud services are accessible no matter where you may be.

IP telephony is simply using an internet connection to make calls. That’s it. There are many providers that offer this service, and it can be very inexpensive to use when compared with traditional phone lines. In fact, the latest smartphones have a VoIP client built in, meaning it is easy to route calls from your smartphone via your broadband connection at home or work, or whatever internet connection you happen to be using at the time.

The concept of VoIP is not new – in fact, most businesses now provide their employees with an IP device that they can use for work calls. This means that the business controls the device, and specifies which service provider it should connect to. The benefits are clear – by using an IP device with a business phone service, employees are no longer tied to their desk. They can make and receive calls at home or on the move, something that is very attractive to many professionals.

The beauty of VoIP is that it works almost with any telephone. So whether you have an old analogue desk phone, or even an iPhone, many providers allow you to route calls through your broadband connection, and manage them online. More advanced services even give visibility on how much phone activity is happening at any point in time, meaning it’s easy to keep track of costs.

The provider will charge either a monthly fee for the service or a few pence per minute with minimal setup charges. In addition, it may be possible to get a refurbished IP phone from the provider with a month’s contract.

It’s easy for dental practices to switch phone service providers – most will have a help desk or account manager who can switch your office over in a matter of minutes. And you’ll find that going VoIP means saving money on phone services, which can all be controlled online.

VoIP also offers a number of advanced features that aren’t available on landline systems – for instance, it’s possible to ‘follow me’ so calls ring at multiple locations simultaneously. This means a receptionist can have a call come in and hear the caller asking to speak to Dr Doolittle. They simply click a button to make the call ring on their smartphone, while still continuing with the current caller at the desk.

So next time you’re thinking of changing your phone service provider, why not talk about migrating to menetalk – UK’s leading business VoIP providers? With so many advanced features available at minimal cost, you’ll soon see how easy it is to use.