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HPI poll examines impact of COVID-19 on dental practices

Data to help shape ADA response to pandemic

April 01, 2020

By Matt Carey

A first look at economic impach of COVID-19 in dental practices

The ADA Health Policy Institute launched an ongoing biweekly poll the week of March 23 that shows 76% of dentists surveyed had closed their offices to all but emergency patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Another 19% indicated their offices are closed completely.

HPI initiated the poll to track how dentists are handling the COVID-19 pandemic. The results showing breakdowns by state, age, practice size and more are now available from HPI online in an interactive web page.

"We received an overwhelming response from dentists, with more than 19,000 dentists participating in our poll," said Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., chief economist and HPI vice president. "Having real-time data is critical to support the ADA’s response to the crisis."

Top of mind topics for dentist support

When asked if their dental practice staff was getting paid for that week of work, 45% or responding dentists said the staff was receiving partial pay, 27% said full pay and 28% reported not paying any staff. The volume of total collections is down significantly with 82% of respondents saying collections were less than a quarter of what is typical in their practice.

Dentists who wish to participate can sign up using this HPI form.

"It is important that we track data over time consistently," Dr. Vujicic noted. "We were thrilled that over 11,000 dentists have agreed to regularly report data. Given all the stresses and uncertainty dentists are dealing with, it is amazing to see such a commitment to help."