Key Considerations for Post-COVID Dentistry
In 2019, oral healthcare was among the highest priorities for adults in the United States. However, after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, the American Dental Association (ADA) projected a decrease in dental care spending of 38% in 2020 and 20% in 2021.
The pandemic has undoubtedly adversely impacted high-contact industries, such as dentistry. Many states imposed health and safety protocols, such as social distancing, to prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). It resulted in the closure or limited operation of medical practices, including dental clinics.
Even when states started to ease lockdowns and travel restrictions and allowed clinics to reopen, patients were still reluctant to see doctors or dentists, resulting in low patient numbers.
By the end of 2020, the trend changed. An ADA survey showed that about 86% of respondents were ready to visit the dentist’s office for treatment. It was an early indication that dental practices would continue to regain strength despite the aggravating effects of the pandemic on an already constrained industry. With the vaccination rollout throughout the United States, it won’t be long before the pandemic is over, and visiting the dentist, as usual, shall resume.
For the dental industry to maintain its practices and perhaps even overcome the current challenges facing it and the entire health industry, dental clinics must consider the following post-COVID-19.
The post-COVID-19 world will be familiar yet changed.
Hopefully, our post-COVID-19 lives will be the same as before the world faced the pandemic. However, with the severity of its impact on our social, cultural, and financial lives, some changes are most likely to become part of the “new normal.” These changes will significantly influence people’s attitude towards their priorities in life and how they spend their remaining available means.
But dentistry must remain a priority for people post-COVID-19 as it is a crucial part of maintaining overall good health.
Dental care will remain among the top health concerns after COVID-19.
Are you already thinking of giving up your profession and devoting yourself to something else? Think again, and consider this: When the world transitions into normalcy and consumer spending restarts, oral healthcare will remain among the prioritized health concerns for adults in the United States.
According to a survey by the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health, a likely surge in oral health concerns await dental professionals resulting from issues related to COVID-19. Based on the study, 11% of respondents or an estimated 28 million American adults have delayed “getting dental care because of one or more concerns, including the cost of care, lack of insurance, or concerns about the risk of exposure to the virus.”
Although only 26% attribute reluctance to seeing a dentist because of COVID-19, it does not change the fact that there will be a need to address a growing demand for dental treatment when everything settles down.
Activities will be a combination of in-person, virtual, and hybrid setup.
The modern lifestyle already uses the virtual world daily. However, the pandemic elevated remote work, services, and virtual activities as a necessity and created options for the future. This pivotal work and life shift will also change spending and demand for healthcare services.
With a large workforce opting to work-from-home or a hybrid setup, more people will be demanding remote services, even after the pandemic. An increasing population will more likely divert consumer spending into on-demand and delivered-at-home services, including health and dental care — when possible.
Virtual dental care with telemedicine will inevitably become more prominent.
Aside from the imminent oral health problems and the changing modes of work and social activities, health safety will still be a concern. It is a consideration even when world health leaders declare that the pandemic is over.
That means patients in the future will continue to patronize or seek out remote healthcare, potentially over in-person visits to avoid multiple people. Telemedicine already offers virtual visits and other forms of remote communication, but expect patients to explore these services more, including virtual dentistry or teledentistry.
Be ready for post-COVID-19 dentistry and start using Curogram today.
Curogram is a leading patient-centric telemedicine platform designed with a modern population’s demands in mind, built to withstand the challenges of remote healthcare. And if the post-COVID-19 future of dentistry requires dentists to offer online services, then Curogram’s telemedicine features are perfect for the job.
Curogram offers a streamlined process of appointment booking and scheduling. It allows patients to match their schedules with the availability of their dentist easily via 2-way text messaging.
The teledentistry software solution also integrates with any known electronic health records (EHRs), making it convenient to provide continued oral healthcare to patients from virtually anywhere.
Curogram also helps reduce the cost of clinic operations to help keep dental services affordable to patients following an economic crisis. Curogram’s 2-way text messaging, streamlined booking, and appointment reminder features reduce the volume of phone calls by up to 50% and patient no-shows by up to 75%.
All the key considerations in post-COVID-19 dentistry above revolve around addressing the predicament and demands of patients when the pandemic is over. They can satisfy patients and help medical practices improve quality and increase revenue while focusing on patient-centeredness.