Yet To See Stagnation In The Dental Industry Recovery

The latest report on the dental industry from HPI ADA continues to show steady gains. From patient volume to employees returning to work to collection volumes, positive trend lines persist in the data, providing a much welcomed optimistic report on the health of the dental industry.

As of the week of June 15th, 49 states are open for elective care. With 97% of dental offices reporting they are open in the U.S., and one-third are reporting business as “back to normal”, the dental industry continues to show strong gains. No one knows yet if the dental industry will fully recover to pre-COVID-19 levels. However, this positive data appears to hint at a bright future for the dental for the dental industry as practices continue to adapt.

Patient volume during the week of June 15th showed another strong gain reaching 65% of pre-COVID-19 levels. The increase does not show stagnation in inpatient volumes yet. As the future continues to unfold, we will better understand if the patient volume can recover to pre-COVID-19 levels. With dental practices having to adapt to a new normal, practices may have to extend hours or try avoiding subsequent visits by providing more care in one appointment to allow them to return to those same levels.

Total collection volumes continue to rise steadily. As of the week of June 15th, they are at 56% of their pre-COVID-19 levels. This trend parallels the continued hiring back of staff and employee dentists at a record pace.

HPI also looked at a subset of states that have been open and providing elective care for 7 weeks. This includes 27 states that have been open since the week of May 4th. Looking at the trends of these early opening dental practices can help provide us a view into what states opening later may expect to experience. Overall the trend is very positive. These states report 98% of dental practices re-opened. Of those, 42% say they are “back to business as usual”. This refers to patient volumes, not the actual practices and procedures used pre-COVID-19. They are seeing 70% of pre-COVID-19 patient volume. This increase does not show signs of plateauing yet. The staff has returned to 92% of pre-COVID-19 levels, with three out of four employee dentists being hired back. These are all very positive signs for the recovery of the dental industry.

Through this latest survey we continue to find encouraging trends in important indicators of dental industry health. Patient volumes, total collections, and the hiring back of dental professionals continue to reflect positive growth in the week of June 15th. How long will we see growth? When will trends begin to plateau? Those questions remain to be answered. For now, however, the data shows an optimistic recovery thus far.