A March poll conducted by the ADA Health Policy Institute (HPI) has found that dental practice schedules have gotten busier since January, up from 77% to 88%.
The poll, published on March 29 by ADA News, included more than 1,900 participants. It also found that roughly two-thirds of dentists are requiring patients to wear masks in the waiting area, despite February guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicating masks are no longer necessary indoors in areas with low COVID-19 prevalence.
Other findings include the following:
- 79% of dentists cited patient cancellations as the reason for a less-than-full schedule.
- 70% of dentists require clinical staff to mask throughout the workday, and 62% require nonclinical staff to mask.
- 33% of dentists are currently recruiting hygienists.
- 38% of dentists are recruiting dental assistants.
The survey also found that fewer than three out of 10 dentists are confident in U.S. economic recovery, but most remain at least somewhat confident in their practices and the dental industry's recovery, the ADA News story noted.