The percentage of dentists who feel somewhat confident in an economic recovery within the next six months dropped 7% from April to May. In May, 22% of dentists indicated they were "very" or "somewhat" confident in an economic recovery, down from 29% in April.
The drop reflects dentists' confidence in the recovery of their practices. Sixty-five percent of dentists indicated they were "very" or "somewhat" confident in a recovery of their own practice, down from 69% in April.
Other poll results collected from 1,400 respondents indicated that dental practice schedules have remained steady as practice schedules have been 86% full. There are still significant dental team recruitment needs. Approximately 4 in 10 dentists were recruiting dental staff in May, with dental hygienists being the hardest positions to fill.
About 22% of dental hygiene positions were unfilled in May, and dentists in urban areas feel this shortage the most. Fifty-one percent of total dental hygienist positions available are in the top 20 cities. In other urban areas, 19% are open. In suburban areas, 17% are open. In rural areas, 19% are open.
The HPI's Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry monthly poll began in January to analyze the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on dentistry. Researchers were seeking to understand dentists' opinions on issues related to their practices.
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