In a recent webinar, the Health Policy Institute and the ADA presented findings from a recent survey of dental practices focused on the state of practices reopening. In the week beginning May 18, they surveyed approximately 12,000 dentists nationally, obtaining a response from about 50%. As of May 18th, 40 states had re-opened for elective dental care, which includes a mix of states with and without restrictions and the results indicated positive trends in the dental industry.
The national outlookNationally, dental practices are re-opening. The survey found that 10.8% of dental practices stated they were open and doing business as usual. Another 53.9% reported being open but having lower patient volumes than normal. Larger dental practices, defined as having 10 or more dentists, are returning to work faster. These practices reported 18.4% being open and back to business as usual and 44.8% reported being open but lower patient volume than normal. Not surprisingly, practices that re-opened were more likely to be located in counties with lower COVID-19 infection rates. Top stats from a national perspective
- Patient volume continues to rise nationwide. Patient volume was at 38% of pre-COVID-19 levels the week of May 18th.
- Dental practices continue to hire back staff at a steady pace with 58.1% fully paying staff and 26.5% partially paying staff the week of May 18th.
- Layoffs hit employee dentist s hard. They are now being hired back, but not as rapidly as other staff. During the week of May 18th, 27.3% were being paid in full, with 37.9% being paid partially.