Week in Review: 2 interesting studies on your safety in the dental practice | Insurance and collections

Dear DrBicuspid Member,

One of the biggest factors in dental professionals going back to work after the COVID-19 disruption to our industry was knowing that they could feel safe when they returned to their practices. Two studies we reported on this week investigated that safety -- but one was not about safety in a way that you might have considered.

On the surprising side, in a study published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, dentists reported experiencing physical, verbal, and reputational aggression from their patients during the past year. There's no question that stress caused by the pandemic has influenced all of us, and it perhaps has pushed some of your patients to their breaking point. It's something to keep in mind as we head into the holiday season.

A big piece of news that broke this week from the ADA was about how infection control and prevention protocols during the pandemic are keeping dentists protected from COVID-19. In fact, the prevalence of COVID-19 among U.S. dentists is estimated to be approximately 1%. The report was released earlier this week and contained some key findings that could lead to more dental professionals feeling safe in their practices as we enter the colder months of the year.

Keeping your patients safe is also important, and it's apparent that they are feeling that way, based on the results of a study released earlier this week from Delta Dental Institute. Nearly three-fourths of patients in the U.S. believe that routine dental appointments remain important during the pandemic and that the benefits of going to the dentist outweigh the potential risks of delaying preventive care -- good news for your business and our industry.

With that, let's transition to the business side of your practice. One thing dental consultant Ashley Bond likes to say when it comes to insurance breakdowns and collections is that, for the most part, patients do not mind paying their dental bills. What they do mind is paying surprise dental bills. How can you avoid these types of situations? She offers some tips and advice in her most recent article.

Finally, are you up for a good story this weekend? Author Matthew Algeo has one that involves a U.S. president, oral cancer, a secret surgery at sea, and the steps that were taken to cover it all up. I caught up with Algeo for a podcast earlier this week, and he shared some of the fascinating tales that were included in his book about Grover Cleveland's plan to hide a massive tumor inside his mouth from the public.

As always, thank you for reading DrBicuspid.com. We wish you and your family good health in the days ahead.

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