Noting “dental offices largely closed” in March amid the coronavirus pandemic, the AP (6/24, Murphy) reports that they now are “quickly bouncing back” with new safeguards in place to help minimize the risk of virus transmission. While only 3% of dental offices were open for nonemergency care by April, according to Marko Vujicic, PhD, ADA’s chief economist and vice president of the ADA Health Policy Institute, “polling data shows about two-thirds were back open in May and [Dr.] Vujicic expects that to reach 97% by the end of June.” Dr. Vujicic “estimates that only 1% of dentists will ultimately sell their practices, retire or file for bankruptcy.” The article adds that “dentists say government loans helped some of them survive the shutdown, and demand for their work is pushing them to reopen quickly.” Dr. Kirk Norbo, co-chair of the ADA Task Force on Dental Practice Recovery, “said those who have returned to his practice so far are glad to be back. He thinks the visits help people feel like they are ‘getting back into somewhat of a normal life.’”
Complete results from the ADA Health Policy Institute’s polling on how COVID-19 is affecting dental practices can be viewed at https://bit.ly/2BoVOGk.
Information for the public on what to expect as dental offices reopen may be found on ADA’s consumer website MouthHealthy.org.