How Well Are Dentists Doing Since Reopening?

A lot of people are paying attention to how well dentists are doing since reopening.  The New York Times even published an article on June 10, 2020, about how the success of dentistry is an important indicator of economic recovery.  According to the article written by Sarah Kliff, entitled How’s the Economy Doing?  Watch the Dentists, we would expect to see a strong recovery in dentistry since it is such a stable business.  Most patients are expected to return after practices reopen.  If the recovery in dentistry is not as good as expected, it could signal bigger issues with the economy.

How well are practices doing compared to pre-COVID times?  Fluence recently conducted a survey of 96 practices.  Over 24% of all practices surveyed (includes general and specialty practices) reported production is at 100% of pre-COVID levels.  Almost 74% reported that they are at 80% or more of pre-COVID levels, which is encouraging.

What follows is a breakdown of the survey by general dentists and specialists (we did not have enough responses to provide statistics on endodontists or prosthodontists):

                                     How many are at          How many are at              How many have been

                                    100% Pre-COVID         80% or > Pre-COVID           open > 8 weeks

General Dentists                                                         22%                               74%                                      52%

Oral Surgeons                                                              20%                             100%                                     60%

Orthodontists                                                               27%                               82%                                     82%

Pediatric Dentists                                                        45%                               73%                                     82%

Periodontists                                                                 0%                                67%                                      33%

Periodontists in our survey trail their colleagues in practice performance, but that is largely due to being open less time—only 33% of periodontists reported being open eight weeks or more.  In general, practices that have been open the longest are reporting the best results.  Anecdotal evidence from client conversations also supports the findings of practice performance improving over time.

Another measure of how well things are going for dentists comes from the ADA.  According to data from a recent survey of practices from across the country, as of the week of July 13th, 90% of dental practices have returned their staff to full pay.  This is a strong rebound from the week of April 6th when just over 10% of staff members were receiving full pay.

While we know some practices are not yet as busy as they want to be, we are optimistic that production and collections are trending in the right direction.  If you have questions or concerns about how your practice is performing, please contact us.

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