Category: Author: David Hall
We are now halfway through the fifth week from March 17 when the American Dental Association recommended that we limit dental care to non-elective procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic. And for the first time we are seeing a significant uptick in appointment requests coming from patients. Appointment requests are now down only 55% from the 2019 average. Here’s the graph:
We repeat that this is not a measure of the intensity of the pandemic nor of any regulations, but of the minds of the patients and how they are responding to the news they are hearing about the COVID-19 pandemic. However, I should note that the psychology of the patient response is tied strongly to official statements that are made. It wasn’t until the American Dental Association made its statement that there was any serious impact on appointment requests. I have also noticed that when our Arizona governor issues certain executive orders, it has a strong impact on the minds of the people. When he ordered certain businesses closed, there were employees of businesses that were on the exception list that all of a sudden decided that they should work from home. So it appears that the talk in official circles of it being time to ease up on restrictions is making people less worried about making dental appointments.
An encouraging thing in this week’s data is that the increase is almost entirely due to better numbers the last two days of the week—Wednesday and Thursday. (Each week we are taking the data from Friday morning of the week before to Thursday evening of the following week.)