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Digital Dentistry: 5 Practical Advantages of Cloud Technology

Is Your Dental Practice in the Cloud? 5 Practical Advantages of Cloud Dental

Over the past few years, one of the most prolific buzzwords within technology has been this seemingly nebulous concept of the “Cloud.” At this point, it can almost be embarrassing to ask out loud, “What exactly IS ‘The Cloud’?” Let’s break it down. The cloud refers to software and services that require little more than sufficient internet bandwidth to function. Instead of files and tools existing locally and uniquely on an individual computer, they exist on an internet-based ecosystem. This means that users can assess the same files and applications from nearly any device, anywhere with internet access, at any time. Cloud-based software is appealing to many healthcare practitioners because it is user-friendly, easily accessible, and has unlimited storage capacity. Here are 5 practical advantages of moving your practice to the cloud: 

  • Security
  • Reduced IT Support
  • Operational Efficiency
  • Cost Efficiency
  • Collaboration



Cloud technology is gaining popularity because it does not require a server and automatically possesses data back-up and protection, unlike traditional desktop software. With traditional methods, patient data is backed up on a USB or external hard drive, which allows for many data breach opportunities. In 2019, the ADA reported hundreds of dental practices PHI were breached with many resulting in failed firewalls and data ransom demands. Unlike a traditional server, cloud-based data is protected at all times by several layers of encryption and security. With the reduction of your hardware footprint, you have fewer opportunities to commit a HIPAA violation and digital criminals have significantly fewer points of attack.

Reduced IT support

With no need for servers and traditional hardware, the level of effort required to maintain your IT system is dramatically decreased. Software and system updates are much easier and cheaper when delivered digitally through the cloud. Instead of ordering brand new hardware with each update, you can simply keep the same hardware you have and run updated programs. Rather than spending hours on tedious reboots, you can easily restore your data in minutes from an automatic digital backup. With so much patient care time wasted on downed servers, your productivity levels can plummet. If your practice operates in the cloud, this issue is completely eliminated, allowing you to focus on your patients.  

Operational Efficiency

The Cloud enables practices to run software that allows for full administrative control AND robust data analytics. Many existing dental software programs can either provide administrative controls well or can provide data analytics well. Very few can do both. Cloud-based software such as OpenDental, Dentrix, and Dolphin, provide you with the best of both worlds. These tools track patient care, appointments, treatment plans, billing, and dental analytic measures. Once you start to have your data measured, you can then use these cloud-base practice management programs to monitor the growth of your practice, identify areas of opportunity, and ultimately, drive production levels.

Cost Efficiency

Since cloud-based software requires much less administrative attention, dental practices experience fewer IT fees and fewer paid hours spent on IT management. Practices can spend considerably fewer resources on IT, maintenance, and eliminate outside fees for traditional software. Instead of shelling out every few years for hardware updates, installation, and constant electrical power to the server, your only cost on the cloud is the monthly subscription fee from your data host.


All personal, clinical, and financial information is stored in the cloud instead of a server, which means it can be accessed at any time – whether there is a late night patient emergency or you are on vacation and need to communicate with your office staff. It can be accessed from any type of tablet, mobile phone or laptop, meaning there are no limitations in access to information. Unlike traditional server software, cloud based dental software is always improving its features and creating upgrades for high quality and user-friendly software, allowing modern dental offices to constantly advance and thrive. If you are a part of a DSO, cloud-based software offers benefits beyond efficiency. The cloud can be used in multiple locations, with multiple doctors and provides easily accessible information with no challenges in losing data. Cloud-based software is the number one way to have centralized information and operational efficiency across multiple locations. Insurance plans and fee schedules can be shared across offices with no need for duplicate records and multiple providers can travel to associated offices without worry of record transfer.


As practices continuously seek ways to drive efficiency, while improving patient care and experience, moving to the cloud is the simplest and most cost-effective solution. Not only does the Cloud enable you to grow your practice, the cloud will actually grow with your practice. After moving to the cloud and gaining tremendous efficiency that allows you to increase your practice capacity, you don’t have to worry about ordering extra hardware. The cloud has you covered. Expanding your data capacity is as simple as signing up for an increased subscription plan. Full practice expansion at the click of a button? That can’t be beat. This is the difference the cloud makes. Don’t let your practice fall behind, call IRIS today to see how we can help you move your practice to the cloud.


If you would like to learn more about using the cloud, or any of the solutions listed above, please reach out to or ask about it during your next technical business review with the customer success team.

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