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Confidence amid economic concerns

4th ADA Survey of Economic Confidence reveals second quarter trends

Findings from the 4th ADA Survey of Economic Confidence reveal pockets of prosperity for 10 to 20 percent of responding dentists, while almost 50 percent report that key dental metrics are still trending in a negative direction.

Overall, second quarter results were more negative than those of the first quarter of 2009, but not as negative as those for the fourth quarter of 2008.

Administered via e-mail to a nationally representative sample of dentists from July 6-15, responses were received from 1,275 dentists. The quarterly survey is conducted by the ADA Health Policy Resources Center.

  • More than 51 percent reported that net income was lower for the second quarter than it was for the first quarter of 2009.
  • Almost 45 percent reported that gross billings were lower during the second quarter.
  • More than 45 percent reported that treatment acceptance rates were lower for the second quarter.
  • Less than 20 percent reported an increase in the number of new patients.
  • More than 50 percent reported that open appointment times had increased during the second quarter.

Despite these results, survey findings show dentists are becoming more confident in future economic conditions.

The percent reporting that they are either "somewhat confident" or "very confident" has increased by almost 15 points between the fourth quarter 2008 and second quarter 2009. ADA members can download the report from ADA.org at www.ada.org/goto/freereports.