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


Regain Patient Volume Banner Image

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)

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

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

HPI poll: Economic recovery from COVID-19 pandemic levelling off nationally
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.
Source: American Dental Association

ADA fights for dentists' inclusion as essential workers during public health emergencies
The American Dental Association developed an interim policy asserting that dentistry is essential healthcare, and it will be considered as a resolution during the ADA's house of delegates meeting in October.

The interim policy, which argues oral health is essential to systemic health, stands in contradiction to the World Health Organization's Aug. 11 interim guidance recommending patients delay routine dental visits until the pandemic is more under control. The ADA released a statement Aug. 12 saying it "respectfully yet strongly disagrees" with the guidance.

The policy will call on state agencies and lawmakers to include oral health professionals when designating the essential workforce during public health emergencies. The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency have already recognized dentistry as an essential service.
Source: Becker’s Dental

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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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)

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


Small Business Relief Efforts for Dentists Banner Image


Practice Finance


Fact Sheet - Small Business Administration Loans for Dentists
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

The Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act
This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that are available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.. Please note: the application for the Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPP) closed on August 8th. A seasonal employer that elects to use a 12-week period between May 1, 2019 and September 15, 2019 to calculate it maximum PPP loan amount must use the same 12-week reference period for calculation of any reduction in the amount of loan forgiveness. The deadline in the PPP forgiveness process doesn’t come until 10 months after the end of the loan’s covered period.

  • PPP Loans
  • Small Business Debt Relief Program
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency
  • Economic Injury Grants
  • Small Business Counseling, Contracting and Tax Provisions

Source: U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship

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

  • You may use the PPP funds up within 24 weeks (previously 8 weeks).
  • Up to 40% of PPP funds can be spent on rent, utilities, and mortgage interest (nonpayroll costs).
  • Extension of rehiring staff to avoid reduction in loan forgiveness from June 30th, 2020 to December 31, 2020.
  • You may defer payroll tax payments due in 2020 by paying 50% by December 31, 2020 and the other remaining 50% by December 31, 2022. This holds true even if you receive a PPP loan.
  • The limit for owner-employee wages eligible for forgiveness has been revised and increased to $20,833.

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, March 2 thru September 30th, 2020


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

Additional Digital Events and Webinars Banner Image

HPI Poll: Impact of COVID-19 on the Dental Care Sector - Week of August 24th
To better understand the impact of COVID-19 on U.S. dental practices, the ADA Health Policy Institute has initiated a biweekly poll on economic conditions during the pandemic. The polls aims to quantify the magnitude of the pandemic's impact on dental practices over time.
HPI has updated its projections of how COVID-19 will impact the U.S. dental economy in the near future. Our latest modeling predicts that U.S. dental care spending could decline by up to 38 percent in 2020 and 20 percent in 2021. We model alterative scenarios as well and they have a more muted impact.
Source: American Dental Association

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