The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a serious impact on the dental surgeries business in the United States. Current survey data published by the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute (HPI ADA) shows that the number of offices operating in standard mode decreased slightly each month starting in July of this year.
The fact that the United States is still struggling with the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic does not make things any easier. Although it was clearly quelled, on October 27, 94,559 new cases were recorded (almost three times less than in mid-September this year).
The number of practices that operate in the normal course is declining
In mid-October, 62% of dentists surveyed by HPI ADA reported that their offices were open and operating “normally.” However, this number has decreased monthly since mid-July, when it was 68%. consequences sondażu HPI ADA 1461 Dentists were published on October 25th.
However, the status of the offices varied by location. North Dakota was the only state where 100% of dentists reported their offices were open and operating as usual in mid-October. The good score (89%) was also applied to Missouri. The most difficult situation at that time was in Puerto Rico (a territory dependent on the United States) and Hawaii. In Puerto Rico, only 29% of dentists report that practices are open and unrestricted, and in Hawaii, 36%.
In the same period in October of this year, 37% of US dental surgeries had “lower-than-normal” patient numbers. According to HPI, that number was lower in July at just 31%. Also in October, the percentage of offices that remained closed were higher in Oklahoma (6.7%), Puerto Rico (5.9%), New Jersey (3.9%), New York (3.8%) and Massachusetts (3.3%).
Problems with financial resources and personal protective equipment
To maintain financial stability, 20% of dentists surveyed have increased their service fees, and 16% have changed suppliers of dental and laboratory materials in the past month. Other steps dentists have taken include reducing staff time, resigning from servicing dental benefit plans for staff and obtaining loans to continue performing the practice.
Another issue is providing the necessary personal protective equipment to protect against SARS-CoV-2 infection. In mid-October, dentists from 21 states (including Arizona, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nevada, Colorado, and West Virginia) reported that they had “no stock of N95 and KN95 masks.”
Another problem facing dentists in the United States is the treatment backlog caused by the epidemic and the increase in stress-related dental problems. The respondents reported that the number of patients with bruxism increased by 69% and the number of patients with dental fractures by 63%.
– The habit of washing hands has contributed to reducing the incidence of so-called dirty hands diseases – says Dr. Thomas Dzczytkowski, a virologist we asked what could change the epidemic in our lives, once we can successfully control it.
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