Category: Author: David Hall
We are now halfway through week 6 after the announcement of the American Dental Association recommending pretty much the shutting down of dental practices across the country, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and we are in the second week of seeing a slight uptick in the numbers of appointments being requested by patients. The first four weeks we were seeing a reduction of 2/3 in the requests for appointments, with the fourth week being the worst—a 70% reduction. For the past week (Friday, April 17 through Thursday, April 23) that reduction is only 52%. Here is the chart:
We are now seeing in several states governors ending their restrictions on dental practices. In Arizona, two days ago, Governor Doug Ducey issued an executive order permitting dental practices to open on May 1, which is a week from today. We’ll be watching to see what effect these decrees in various states have. Our data so far seem to indicate a timidity on the part of the public in visiting the dentist, and my guess is that it may take some time, even in the face of the removal of legal restrictions, for dental practice activity to return to normal, given the fears that people have. An article appeared Tuesday in the Los Angeles Times telling about the reluctance people in California have, even in the face of frank medical emergencies, to visit hospital emergency rooms. In spite of very careful safety protocols being in place for these emergency rooms, emergency visits in California have been cut about in half.
We’ll be keeping you posted on the response of the public, across the country, based on data from our clients.