Reimagining Dentistry for a Post-Covid World

By Doug Hudson and Dr. Marc Schlenoff

By Tend

On March 20th, with Covid-19 cases in New York City skyrocketing, we closed our studios to do our part in managing the pandemic. Today, with cases on the decline, we’ll begin the process of reopening. But the “Tend” our patients experience now won’t be the same as before. We’ve remade every moment of our patient journey to put the health of our patients and our team first.

When we first opened in 2019, we rethought every little detail of going to the dentist to create a soothing, trustworthy, judgment-free, and personalized experience that our patients would actually look forward to. We used the same approach to reimagine dentistry for a post-Covid world. Our safety measures aren’t simply bolted onto the experience we built before. They’re a fully integrated part of a brand-new experience that we redesigned from scratch.

These are the three areas we focused on:

02 Safety Through Digitial3

Safety through digital innovation

Pre-Covid, we checked insurance cards and took credit cards at the front desks in our studios. Today, we collect this information digitally before you come in. This ensures a contactless check-in and check-out experience at the studio. It also saves you time for a shorter, safer visit. The custom intake flow we created is fast and seamless with very few clicks, no forms to print out and bring with you, and no annoying phone calls back and forth.

Three days before your visit, we reach out by email to perform a health check. We ask if you’ve experienced any Covid-19 symptoms, or if you’ve been exposed to anyone sick. If you have, we make it super easy to reschedule.

03 Reimagined In Studio

A reimagined in-studio experience

Pre-Covid, we promised zero waiting at our studios. Today, we make the same promise, but we stagger visits with even more buffer time to minimize patient overlap. This means you’ll arrive in a calm, quiet space where you’ll be seen right away, without sitting in any common areas or passing other patients in the halls. And, of course, we require masks, social distancing, and hand sanitizing for all inside.

We also perform a temperature check on arrival and a follow-up health check, to make sure you haven’t developed any new symptoms or been exposed to anyone sick. Before your checkup or procedure begins, we ask you to swish with an antiviral rinse that reduces the viral load in the mouth, if one exists. This measure helps keep our team safe. And by protecting our team, it ultimately protects you.

Medically sanitized surfaces and sterilized equipment are standard practice for dental offices. For clinical team members, so is wearing PPE like masks and gloves. We are stepping up these practices by cleaning every surface you might touch, just for you, before you come in, professionally sanitizing our studios every night, and enhancing our clinical team’s PPE by adding face shields.

04 Only The Visits

Only the visits you need

Pre-Covid, if one of our dentists recommended that you get additional treatment like a filling, we’d ask you to come back on another day. Today, we offer treatment right away to reduce your trips to and from the studio and your germ exposure while in transit.

Ever since we closed our studios on March 20th, we’ve been offering free virtual visits. We are continuing to offer virtual visits. If you’re not sure whether you need to be seen, give us a call. We’ll talk through your concern and give you a recommendation on how to proceed, weighing how you feel with what you’re comfortable with, given your health and family circumstances.

05 Whole You Focus2

A whole-you focus

From the virtual visits we’ve conducted, we know that New Yorkers have been living with significant dental issues for weeks or months. They need restorative and, in some cases, emergency care that they haven’t been getting. We are reopening for them. And as soon as you’re ready, we’ll be here for you.

When we reimagined dentistry the first time, we focused on reframing your expectations about how relaxing it could be. How credible. How accepting. How customized. Today, we want to reframe your expectations again. We want you to look forward to your visit because you know that we’re putting your safety first with new digital tools, a new in-studio experience, and only the visits you actually need.

Oral health is important. But it’s just one part of overall health. We are focused on the whole you.

— Doug and Marc

Doug Hudson is the CEO and Co-Founder of Tend. A serial healthcare entrepreneur, Doug has founded and led several consumer-facing ventures, including serving as founding CEO of SmileDirectClub and Chairman and CEO of DiabetesCareClub, CPAPCareClub, and HearingPlanet. He splits his time between NYC and Nashville with his wife and three daughters.

Dr. Marc Schlenoff is Head of Clinical Development at Tend. Prior to Tend, Dr. Schlenoff was a Program Director at Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine. He was also the Medical Director for Columbia University Health Care. The Consumer’s Research Council of America named Dr. Schlenoff one of America’s Top Dentists for nine consecutive years.


The first dentist you'll actually look forward to.