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HPI poll: Economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic levelling off nationally

Dentists report impact on their wellness

September 08, 2020

By Kimber Solana


The economic recovery of dental offices appears to be leveling off nationally with 99% of dental offices open and patient volume at 74% of pre-COVID-19 levels, according to data from the ADA Health Policy Institute impact of COVID-19 poll for the week of Aug. 24.
   
These numbers are largely unchanged from the previous wave of HPI polling held on the week of Aug. 10, which saw 98% of dental offices open and patient volume at 73% of pre-COVID-19 levels.
   
In addition, staffing in dental practices continues to slowly grow and was at 94% of pre-COVID-19 levels, according to the HPI poll.
   
In this wave of the poll, dentists were asked about their wellness, including the professional and personal challenges brought in by pandemic. Four out of five dentists reported experiencing physical reactions due to use of enhanced personal protective equipment. General discomfort, heat stress, exhaustion and headaches were the most commonly reported reactions.
   
Dentists also indicated that the most challenging practice-related issues during the pandemic have been planning for the future, obtaining PPE and supplies, and financial sustainability.
   
Lastly, more than half of respondents reported personal challenges with anxiety, financial problems, sleep quality, weight change and/or depression during the COVID-19 pandemic. About one-third of respondents indicated relationship problems and/or increased use of alcohol or other substances.
   
Complete results comparing data for the 12 waves, including results broken down by practice size, dental service organization status and at the state level, is available here.
   
Marko Vujicic, HPI’s vice president and the ADA’s chief economist, recorded a presentation of the latest results, which is available on YouTube. All previous webinars area available on the ADA YouTube channel. Subscribe to receive information on new videos as they are released.