Dental Office COVID-19 Resources

As we continue to monitor the ever-changing landscape surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain committed to supporting your practice. We have gathered resources to help navigate these unprecedented times. The information within this guide is monitored and updated regularly.

These resources address the following topics:

  • Regaining Patient Volume
  • Office, Patient and Procedure Safety
  • Small Business Relief Efforts for Dentists
  • Additional Digital Events and Webinars




How  to overcome the 'pandemic plateau' in your practice
The plateau of business growth for dental practices means getting back to as close to "normal" as possible amid the COVID-19 crisis. There was a resurgence when we first reopened to accept more than just "emergency" patients, and the numbers climbed steadily until recently. According to the ADA, the climb is slowing down and has plateaued to 70% of the pre-COVID levels. Some practices are doing better than others, with the pang of "it isn't what it was."

  • What are some of the issues and challenges that are slowing down growth in our practices right now?
  • What used to work doesn't work anymore
  • Insurance payments have slowed down
  • Is your online presence pre-COVID-19?

Source: James Anderson, DMD, Dr. Bicuspid (free registration required)

For Dentists - Mental Health Resources from the ADA
Guides and webinars for mental and physical wellness during this stressful pandemic.
Source: American Dental Association

Unmasking dentistry during COVID-19
In the era of increased PPE, building connections with patients can present real challenges. Marketing expert Michael Ventriello shares a few  updates practices can make to add a personal touch to patient communications.

  • Team photo and video shoot.
  • Photo business cards.
  • Appointment and recall reminders.

Source: Dentistry IQ, Michael Ventriello

How hard is COVID-19 hitting dentists' wallets?
If patient volume remains stable, about 1 in 5 will consider selling their practice and 1 in 6 will consider retiring according to the results shared during a recent HPI webinar. Dentists have taken various measures to maintain the financial sustainability of their practices, including borrowing from a bank, raising fees, and reducing staffing.
Source: American Dental Association - Webinar Slides

17 dentists on practice operations as COVID-19 spikes again
If patient volume remains stable, about 1 in 5 will consider selling their practice and 1 in 6 will consider retiring according to the results shared during a recent HPI webinar. Dentists have taken various measures to maintain the financial sustainability of their practices, including borrowing from a bank, raising fees and reducing staffing.
Source: American Dental Association - Webinar Slides

Boost your DentistryIQ: How  to exceed expectations of today's new  patients
The new-patient experience has changed during the pandemic. How can technology actually help with that lost in-person connection? And what else can technology help with? Mike Buckner of Weave has some ideas.
Source: Dentistry IQ, Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD

Dental patient volume at 78% of pre-pandemic levels, ADA poll says
Patient volume is back at nearly 80 percent of pre-pandemic levels, according to Jan. 5 data from the ADA. A poll taken the week of Dec. 14 found patient volume was estimated at 78 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels. That's up from 76 percent from a poll taken Nov. 30. Staffing was at 98.5 percent of pre-pandemic levels, and about three-quarters of employee dentists wer being paid in full.
Source: Backer's Dental & American Dental Association, last updated Dec. 14 2021.

Dental Care Should Continue During Pandemic
At this point in time, the American Dental Association (ADA) firmly believes dental care can continue to be delivered safely. Guidance recommended by the ADA and the Centers for Disease Control and PRevention (CDC) continue to safeguard the health of the public. Dental care is essential health care. Regular dental visits are important because treatment, as well as prevention of dental disease, helps keep people healthy. See the ADA's statement from August on this topic. A study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association found the prevalance of COVID-19 among dentists to be less than one percent.
Source: Statement attributable to ADA President Daniel Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D., November 17th, 2020.

19 Ways to Defeat the Pandemic: What you can do now and when you are back to work
During these turbulent times, we dental professionals have many questions and concerns about the future of our practices. Renowned dentist and noted speaker Dr. Mark E. Hyman will lead a discussion about navigating these unchartered waters and give you 19 ways to survive and actually thrive when times are tough. He will show you how to lead your staff, reassure and make your patients comfortable once your doors are open again and maintain your own enthusiasm and confidence. From reaching out to the community to keeping your dental team together even when money is tight, Dr. Hyman’s tools will help you reboot your practice and plan for future success. FREE - requires registration.
Source: American Dental Association (free registration required)

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ADA releases COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet
The American Dental Association has released a COVID-19 vaccine fact sheet to serve as an educational resource for dentists. The reouce is meant to help answer questions, allay concerns, provide upt-to-date guidance and enable individuals to make informed decisions regarding vaccination. The fact sheet includes information on the status of COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., where dentists fall for vaccine prioritization, and the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Source: Becker's Dental

COVID-19 Coding and Billing Interim Guidance: PPE
The ADA put together a guide to help with guidance and questions about PPE coding, billing and financial support programs.
Source: American Dental Association

Interim Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response |Updated August 4th, 2020
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognizes that dental offices need unique guidelines for infection control as dental settings begin to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic the United States. This guidance from the CDC is very similar to the science-based recommendations given from the ADA at the beginning of the pandemic. Updates since August 4th, 2020 include:
Guidance has been rearranged for clarity.

  • Updated the definition of fever to align with CDC’s Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Patients with Suspected or Confirmed Coronavirus Disease in Healthcare situations.
  • In areas with moderate to substantial community transmission, during encounters with patients not suspected of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that dental healthcare personnel:
    • Wear eye protection in addition to their facemask to ensure the eyes, nose, and mouth are all protected from exposure to respiratory secretions during patient care encounters, including those where splashes and sprays are not expected.
    • Use an N95 respirator or a respirator that offers an equal or higher level of protection during aerosol producing procedures.
  • Added language that protective eyewear with gaps between glasses and the face likely do not protect eyes from all splashes and sprays.
  • Additional guidance on social distancing and how to respond to COVID-19 exposures among dental health care personnel and others.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Guidance for Dental Settings During the COVID-19 Response
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held its first Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) call focused on dentistry on June 3. Presenters from the Division of Oral Health provide an overview of updated guidelines for dental office that include resuming elective procedures and how to optimize personal protective equipment (PPE), and more.

Presenters

  • Casey Hannan, MPH Director, Division of Oral Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Michele Neuburger, DDS, MPH, Infection Prevention Control Team
    COVID-19 Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Alberto Garcia, MS, Worker Safety Team, COVID-19 Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • CDR Marie de Perio, MD, (USPHS), Worker Safety Team, COVID-19 Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • LCDR Megan Casey, RN, BSN, MPH, CIC, (USPHS), Worker Safety Team, COVID-19 Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Their Teeth Fell Out. Was it Another COVID-19 Consequence? - Tooth loss may be long-term COVID-19 Side Effect. 
Some COVID-19 survivors have reported losing teeth with neither blood nor pain, according to a Nov. 26New York Times report. It is also possible COVID-19 could exacerbate oral health problems, David Okano, DDS, a periodontist at the Salt Lake City-based University of Utah, told the newspaper. Some dentists also believe an immune response elicited by COVID-19, known as a cytokine storm, may occur in the mouth, according to NYT. "Gum diseas is very sensitive to hyper inflammatory reactions, and COVID-19 long haulers certainly fall into that category," Michael Scherer, DMD, a California prosthodontist told the newspaper.
Source: The New York Times and Beck'er Dental

Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit
The ADA has created a toolkit for dentists returning to work that includes recommendations and measures that will protect patients, staff and dentists in the interim as dental practices begin to open back up and provide both routine and emergency dental care. Sections include:

  • Welcome Back Reassurance Sample Letter
  • Pre-Appointment Screening Process
  • In-Office Patient Registration Procedures
  • Reception Area Preparation Strategies
  • Chairside Checklist
  • Staff Protection Strategies
  • Shopping List

Source: American Dental Association

Webinar: Return to work toolkit Q&A
This ADA webinar takes the ‘Return to Work Interim Guidance Toolkit’ to life by recording this online resource to help you and your staff prepare once reopening.

Presenters

  • Elizabeth A. (Betsy) Shapiro, DDS, JD, CAE: Director of Practice Management Resources and Strategy, American Dental Association
  • Kirk Norbo, DDS: ADA Co-Chair of Advisory Task Force on Dental Practice and 16th District Trustee

Source: American Dental Association

ADA's Patient Resource Center
Available to ADA members-only, this resource center was made with the patient in mind for dental offices to help communicate and educate patients in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic now that routine and emergency care visits are much different. Included in the toolkit is a ‘What to Expect Guide’, Frequently Asked Questions, and materials for social media posts & office signage.
Source: American Dental Association

Teledentistry beyond COVID-19: Applications for private practice
This article was authored by Cindy Hartwell, dental benefits analyst at CDA Practice Support, and features an interview with Dr. Nathan Suter, a private dental practice owner and teledentistry consultant.
Source: California Dental Association

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Practice Finance

PP2 Loans - Are you eligible?
New PP2 Loans are being rolled out in phases, and the bulk will become available on Tuesday, January 19th, 2021. This video provides an overview of what the new round of loans will look like, and the differences between the first and second rounds of loans. The second round of PPP loans are bigger because there's more demand due to the length of the pandemic. Watch this video to understand should you qualify, what you can expect in the application process.

Presenters

  • Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DMD, chief editor of DentistryIQ and editorial co-director of Through The Loupes
  • Mark Schmidt, CEO of Fun-Ex Solutions Group
    Source: DentistryIQ

White House signs $900 billion coronavirus relief package - what is important for dentists?
On Dec. 27th 2020, President Trump signed the new $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill. The below are what affects dentists the most

  • Expenses paid for with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are now tax deductible
  • Allocates additional EIDL grant money
  • Eliminates the requirement that PPP loan forgiveness be reduced by the amount of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant that was recieved by the business
  • Allows PPP borrowers to utilize the Employee Retention Tax Credit.
  • Increases the wage cap and percentage of eligible wages for the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

Source: American Dental Association

Fact Sheet - Small Business Administration Loans for Dentists
 | Updated December 22nd, 2020
A recap of the loans affected by the CARES Act and updates provided by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act from The American Dental Association and Academy of Dental CPAs.
Source: American Dental Association and Academy of Dental CPAs

Everything You Need to Know about Coronavirus Federal Small Business Stimulus Aid Programs
Multiple coronavirus relief packages were approved by Congress and signed by President Trump to offer financial assistance to businesses. This resource offers a breakdown of what's in each package and how your business can take advantage of these relief efforts. This resource will be continuoulsy updated. Contents:

 

  • Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)
  • Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSA)

Source: USChamber.com

Paycheck Protection Program law eases loan forgiveness
This article helps explain the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 and it’s updates, including:

Source: DentalEconomics.com

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund: For Providers
The Federal government has assigned $175 billion in payments to be distributed through The Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Providers of dental services are included and may receive PRF payments for healthcare-related expenses or loss of revenue due to COVID-19. This link steps you through applying for the phase 3 general distribution of this fund and how to attest your payment once received.
Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

COVID-19: Implications for business
Provide business leaders with a perspective on the evolving situation and implications for their companies.

  • Current and projected economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis
  • Major work streams that companies are pursuing

Source: McKinsey & Company

 
Employees and Human Resources

Essential Human Resource Questions
Temporary closings, health insurance, paid time off, sick leave and CARES act.
Source: Bent Ericksen & Associates

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) from a legal perspective
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) benefits are explain in detail.
Source: America Dental Association, March 31, 2020

Employment Agreements
This is an uncertain time for many employees, including dentists. Here’s a breakdown of the common terms in dentists’ employment agreements that may apply now.
Source: America Dental Association, 2020

OSHA COVID-19 Control & Prevention Guidance: Dentistry Workers and Employers
As an employer, you have a responsibility to ensure working conditions are safe for staff during these challenging times. This resource contains advice and information from OSHA to assist employers specific to dentistry to provide a safe workplace during COVID-19.• This dentistry specific guide supplements the general interim guidance for workers and employers of workers at increased risk of occupational exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

  • This guide is broken down into the following sections
  • Dentistry work tasks associated with exposure risk levels
  • Elimination
  • Engineering Controls
  • Administrative Controls
  • Safe Work Practices
  • Personal Protective Equipment
  • Further Information

Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration

If You Are Sick or Caring for Someone
Workers with ill family members may need to stay home to care for them. Visit this resource from the CDC.
Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Contact Tracing Information
As a dentist office, you may be asked to provide a patient’s name and other information to public health officials to assist in contract tracing for COVID-19. This resource covers what information is allowed depending on if you’re considered a covered practice under HIPAA. For more information on which health care providers are covered by HIPAA, navigate to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services resource - Are You a Covered Entity?
Source: American Dental Association, 2020

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HPI Poll: Impact of Covid-19 on the Dental Care Sector - Week of Dec. 14th, 2020
To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. dental practices, the ADA Health Policy Institute has intiated biweekly polls on economic conditions during the pandemic. The polls aims to quantify the magnitude of the pandemic's impact on dental practices over time.

The vast majority of dentists find it extremely or very important that they get vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the ADA health Policy Institute's latest data from it's COVID-19 economic impact tracking poll conducted the week of Dec. 14.

The poll found that 64 percent of dentists said it is extremely important to get vaccinated, and another 20 percent answered it is very important. In addition, the majority believe they should get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is avaiable to them. Older dentists, dentists in large group practices, and specialists find vaccination to be particularly important.

These poll results and other findings were shared ina  short webinar available on YouTube, which covered issues related to recovery and renewal, point of-care COVID-19 testing and consumer sentiment.
Source: American Dental Association, Webinar recorded and current as of December 14, 2020.

Q&A Video: Understanding SBA Loan Options for Dentist Owners
This video answers questions about the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPP) from ADA and Academy of Dental CPAs experts. This webinar focuses on providing changes to the PP loans and how you can navigate them. Key information discussed:

  • PPP changes with the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act
  • PPP loan forgiveness and PPP loan scenarios
  • ADA’s advocacy for small business dental practices

Presenters

  • Mike Grahan, SVP, ADA Government and Public Affairs
  • Cathy Albrecht, ADA Senior Associate General Counsel
  • Allen Schiff, President, Academy of Dental CPAs
  • Megan Mortimer, Congressional Lobbyist, ADA Government and Public Affairs

Source: American Dental Association

Disclaimer
DenteMax, LLC makes no endorsement or representations regarding any information or services offered by independent third parties mentioned in this Guide. The sources listed are solely responsible for the products or services offered by them. If you have any questions regarding any of the information or services mentioned in this guide, you should contact the source directly. Note, by clicking any link in the Guide, you will go to a new website/app (“site“) hosted by these independent third parties which may require you to agree to their terms of use and privacy policy. Regaining Patient Volume How to overcome the 'pandemic plateau' in your practice