The 2019 Coronavirus Disease (COVID) has posed widespread blockages in many spheres of life, including dentistry (Satheesh Elangovan, Ahmed Mahrous, and Leonardo Marchini, 2020). The whole dentistry industry has been required to change how patients are cared for over the last two years in order to assure their safety. The Pandemic of COVID-19 has changed the whole perspective of dentists on how to run their practice that can handle any unforeseen calamity without compromising patient’s oral health. It won’t be wrong to say that COVID has given a lot of points for dental practitioners to think about and work on them. Today, we will discuss some critical lessons dental practices have learned from the Pandemic so that you can lead your practice in a better way.
The impact of COVID-19 on dental practices
Although the Pandemic has taught dentists numerous lessons, it is a non-negligible fact that it has imposed severe challenges and concerns on dental practices. The outbreak imposed a significant effect on dentists’ working years as professionals. Their contacts with patients and coworkers and their job and working environment have all been significantly impacted. Before moving toward the lessons, it would be beneficial to look briefly at how it has Covid impacted dentistry.
- Difficulty in sustaining patients’ regular dental checkups
- Obstacles in retaining staff and personnel
- Challenges to financial health and profitability
- Problems in getting dental instruments
- Emerging concerns of ensuring patient safety
- Except for emergencies, the American Dental Association advised delaying all dental operations (Bashier Ahmed Kathree et al., 2020).
8 lessons dental practices have learned from the Pandemic
The importance of PPE
The fact that dentists have already practiced safe practices is one of the most crucial aspects. The Pandemic has let you understand the importance of PPE. Infectious diseases have long been a problem in dental practice. Due to the presence of high-speed hand tools or ultrasonic devices during dental operations, which might produce aerosols that could contaminate the patient and the doctor, dental clinics are at significant risk. Therefore, in dentistry schools, PPE and other essential safety measures have been emphasized from day one. However, you have consistently taken precautions as a dentist to prevent the transmission of pathogens within your office. The protective measures you already employed daily to shield yourself against COVID-19 were quite successful.
PPE must comply with EN/BS standards and be disposed of after use to avoid contamination. The preventive measures include:
- Using disinfectant mats for floor
- Mechanical or manual ventilation
- Safety stickers to maintain distance
- Use of hydroalcoholic hand gel dispensers
- Disposable gloves, face shield, fluid-resistant gowns/aprons, goggles
- Use of masks: Surgical masks; either type II or type IIR
- According to 84.8% of participants, using a dental dam during dental practices can help prevent the transmission of aerosol and aerogenic pathogens (Bruna Sinjari et al., 2020).
Therefore, incidence rates in dental clinics have remained low throughout the epidemic.
Leaning into technology
The Pandemic gave a vital lesson in implementing and utilizing technology. The latest technology and technique, such as Teledentistry, has become a contributing and beneficial factor for dentists in maintaining oral health during COVID (Abdullah Mahdavi et al., 2022). Before the crisis, those who invested in telehealth technologies had a head start because making use of these innovations ensured that their organization was ready to handle the worst-case circumstance and that sufferers may proceed to get care in any situation. Dentists have decided to keep adopting Teledentistry as they have realized the benefit of being knowledgeable about technological advancements.
When there has been a calamity, long-term planning becomes exceedingly challenging, notably when the healing path is uncertain and continually evolving. Being flexible to experiences and thoughts from different fields must be helpful since you never know where encouragement may emerge.
Giving graded rehabilitation and dividing costly therapeutic approaches into installments is vital. Collaborating with insurance companies and offering reasonable costs and accessible payment options is crucial.
Dentistry involves coming up with innovative solutions to new problems to optimize the treatment provided to patients. Although practitioner life will currently be more demanding than usual, ensure to spend some time to come up with innovative options for refining everyday routines.
A unified dental industry is a stronger dental industry
A significant lesson that COVID-19 presented to dentists is that the dental industry gets powerful when it is united. The American Dental Association has previously established an Advisory Task Force on Dental Practice Recovery by April 2020. Immediately afterward, a toolbox was made available to assist dentists in maintaining their clinics during the epidemic while safeguarding clients, personnel, and themselves. The CDA and ADA provided more significant assistance as the outbreak progressed. As a result, dentists were alerted and kept secure. The ongoing updating, campaigning, and engagement made the dentistry business stronger, extra cohesive, and capable of thriving in spite of COVID-related restrictions. So, “unity is strength” was the best lesson
Consistency is the key to overcoming any obstacle and winning the war. The Pandemic taught dentists not to give up but compete. Don’t stop fighting. When there is urgency, everything must be done quickly—from when you awake to when you fall asleep. You have to strive even if it could be difficult and draining.
Prepare for unexpected increases in demand for services
The epidemic told us that anything might occur to anybody at any moment. So, every dental office has to have a comprehensive emergency solution that meets how to develop professionally and in what direction, improve patient services, hire more employees quickly, and handle unforeseen circumstances
Automation can relieve staffing pains
As we have already told earlier, retaining staff was a concern for dental offices. According to recent ADA polls, 43 percent of dentists report that staff shortages prevent their organization from seeing additional patients (American Dental Association). The automation must include the following:
- E-prescribing solutions that are interconnected and automatically update the patient’s record.
- Using voice perio charts
- Online scheduling of appointments
- Automatic online confirmation of appointment
- Automatic appointment reminder
- Collecting online payments and many more.
Outsource your dental practice’s billing with the MedsDental billing company
The Pandemic impacted dental organizations negatively, leading to disturbed revenue for your practice. MedsDental Dental Billing Company understands this concern, and hence we are a trustworthy partner to outsource your billing so that we can perform our dedicated services to improve your reimbursement by up to 30%. Our professionals discover the loopholes that act as an obstacle to your increased profit and then implement skills and strategies to overcome them. We always remain concerned about the privacy of your patient’s information; therefore, we provide HIPAA-compliant services. Moreover, we employ the latest technology and software to perform timely and accurate billing steps. Without any onboarding fee, we have been rendering our genuine services to many clients and improving their practice’s reputation. So, collaborate with us any time to take your practice to the next level. We are available for you anytime and ready to answer your queries. We are sure you won’t regret your decision.