Care Delivery

The following resources will help to understand:

  • Immediate impact of closures on the dental delivery system across multiple sectors (private practice, dental service organization (DSO), safety net, community-based)
  • Strategies being used to reopen, and the short-term impact on dental providers, their practices, and patients
  • Longer term impacts on care delivery (eg, widespread use of telehealth, emphasis on minimally invasive dentistry)
  • Differential impacts on safety net services, access, and workforce

(11/21/2020) Prosthodontic Principles in Dental Implantology: Adjustments in a Coronavirus Disease-19 Pandemic-Battered Economy
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on dental care providers and dental offices. This publication discusses adjustments that may need to be met to encourage patients to invest in implant treatment.

(11/17/20) Incidence of COVID-19 Virus Transmission in 3 Dental Offices: A 6-Month Retrospective Study
This publication describes a study conducted over a 6-month period (March 15 to September 15, 2020) in 3 different dental offices in New York, that aimed to determine the incidence of COVID-19 virus transmission in those practices. By utilizing appropriate infection control guidance, the 3 dental offices were able to record no transmission of COVID-19 to healthcare workers or patients during the study period.

(11/12/2020) Who Is Caring for the Oral Health of Dependent Institutionalized Elderly During the COVID‐19 Pandemic?
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated oral health challenges in care homes. This editorial in the British Journal of Gerodontology discusses the urgent need of re-establishing oral health care delivery for the dependent elderly.

(11/01/2020) Responding to a Pandemic: Development of the Carolina Dentistry Virtual Oral Health Care Helpline
This original contribution to the Journal of the American Dental Association describes the Carolina Dentistry Virtual Oral Health Care Helpline, established for consultation and triage for people with oral health questions and concerns, aimed at preventing unnecessary in-person care.

(10/30/2020) HPI Poll: Urban Dentists Reporting Lower Patient Volume Than Rural Dentists
Since March 23, 2020, ADA’s Health Policy Institute has been conducting a biweekly poll on economic conditions during the pandemic. According to data from the poll from October 19, dentists practicing in 20 of the largest US cities reported lower patient volume than those practicing in rural and/or smaller urban areas.

(10/21/2020) Patient Perceptions About Professional Dental Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
This publication describes a study that aimed to identify patient perceptions of risk susceptibility and attitudes toward COVID-19 in a dental setting. As patients’ confidence to return to regular dental visits may be influenced by certain conditions and events, this study sought to identify that information, so consistent public health messaging can be used to target susceptible populations and work to address their fears of contracting the virus.

(10/16/2020) Infographics: National Findings on Health Centers’ Response to COVID-19
To determine health centers’ response to COVID-19, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) has been surveying health centers weekly. In addition to identifying if health centers are meeting testing needs in their communities, there is information on turn-around times for COVID-19 test results, and issues with personal protective equipment (PPE) access are identified.

(10/15/2020) ADA Study Finds COVID-19 Rate Among Dentists Less Than 1%
A survey conducted by the ADA in June 2020 determined that fewer than 1% of dentists nationwide were estimated to be COVID-19 positive. The sample size of 2,195 dentists included dentists from every state and Puerto Rico.

(10/14/2020) Dentists Are Facing Difficulties in Recruiting Dental Team Members During Recovery
A recent poll conducted by the ADA Health Policy Institute identified recruiting dental team members as a challenge. As of October 5, approximately 99% of dental offices in the US were open, however staffing was at approximately 93% of pre-COVID-19 levels.

(10/12/2020) New ADA Toolkit Offers Guidance for Providing COVID-19 Testing in Dental Practices
In response to expressed interests by dentists, the ADA released a toolkit to help dentists apply for federal certification required to offer their patients rapid response, point-of-care COVID-19 testing.

(10/02/2020) Vaccine Allocation Framework Identifies Dentists as Essential
This article describes the recommendation made at the National Academies panel (tasked with drafting the framework to inform decisions about how to allocate the initial supply of the vaccine through its Committee on Equitable Allocation of the Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus), affirming that dentists should have early access to a vaccine.

(09/28/2020) Managing the Oral Health of Cancer Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Perspective of a Dental Clinic in a Cancer Center
Published in a special issue of the Journal of Clinical Medicine titled, ‘Impact of COVID-19 on the Dental Community’, this article describes how a dental clinic in a comprehensive cancer center, was able to continually provide medically necessary and urgent dental care, through the timely adaptation of clinical workflows and guidelines to ensure risk of transmission remained low.

(09/28/2020) Characteristics of US Adults Delaying Dental Care Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic
This resource discusses a study conducted in May/June 2020, which describes the characteristics of US adults who delayed dental care due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The nationally representative survey sample identified that nearly half of the respondents reported delaying going to the dentist or seeking dental care as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(09/14/20) Oral Health Value Based Care: The Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Story
ADA informs about a new value-based model of care for federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). The National Association of Community Health Centers and DentaQuest partner to describe the role of FQHCs as part of the dental safety net in the US. Two critical questions are addressed: 1) Should FQHCs move toward value-based payments and care during a pandemic, and 2) How can FQHCs adapt toward valued oral health care delivery as a result of COVID-19.

(09/03/20) Fact Sheet: Service Use Among Medicaid & CHIP Beneficiaries Age 18 and Under During COVID-19
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services releases data on the impact of COVID-19 on the service utilization for children age 18 and under enrolled in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The data covers many key domains including dental services

(09/01/20) COVID-19 Forces New Approaches to Delivering Oral Health Care
This article published by the National Conference of State Legislatures discusses the importance of new approaches to delivering oral health care with a focus on coverage and access to teledentistry, reaching the underserved, and preventive care for children.

(08/31/20) Clarifying the WHO Guidance on Dental Care During COVID-19: An Interview With Dr. Julie Hawley
An interview with Dr. Julie Hawley, the director of analytics and evaluation at the DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Advancement, clarifies a misreading of the World Health Organization’s recent COVID-19 dental guidance.

(08/26/20) COVID-19 Vaccine Prioritization: Work Group Considerations
A presentation on work group considerations for COVID-19 vaccine prioritization to ensure equity in vaccine allocation and distribution.

(08/25/20) Best Practices for Infection Control in Dental Clinics During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Prepared by the Organization for Safety, Asepsis, and Prevention (OSAP), this best practices resource guide was developed as a compilation of current regulations, guidance, and practice tips aimed at establishing an infection control plan.

(08/15/20) COVID-19 Is an Opportunity for Reform in Dentistry
A correspondence discussing the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity for reform in dentistry, including delineating the role of dental personnel in an integrated model of care and re-orienting dental care towards a less invasive and more preventive approach.

(08/14/20) Is There an Upside to COVID-19 for Dentistry?
This commentary guest editorial, published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, discusses opportunities for furthering dentistry. These include providing added layers of safety for patients and staff, technology-assisted patient interactions, and acknowledging dentistry’s essential role in overall health care.

(08/12/20) From the Factory to the Frontlines – The Operation Warp Speed Strategy for Distributing a COVID-19 Vaccine
This report to Congress discusses the Operation Warp Speed (OWS) strategy for quickly distributing a COVID-19 vaccine.

(08/12/20) American Dental Association Responds to World Health Organization Recommendation: Dentistry Is Essential Health Care
A statement by the American Dental Association disagreeing with the World Health Organization’s recommendation to delay ‘routine’ dental care in certain situations due to COVID-19.

(08/10/20) ADA Board of Trustees: Dentistry Is Essential Health Care
This article describes an interim policy adopted by the American Dental Association Board of Trustees, stating that oral health is an integral component of systemic health, and dentistry is an essential health care service.

(08/07/20) COVID-19 and Dentistry: Challenges and Opportunities for Providing Safe Care
An article published on the Patient Safety Network (of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality), identifies the challenges and opportunities for providing safe care in dentistry.

(08/04/20) Guidance for Dental Settings
Published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this regularly updated “Guidance for Dental Settings” consists of infection prevention and control guidance for dental settings during the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance consists of recommendations for routine care and recommendations for patients with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19.

(08/XX/20) Oral Health Value-Based Care: The Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) Story
DentaQuest’s Partnership for Oral Health Advancement and the National Association of Community Health Centers write a whitepaper to report the introduction of value-based care on Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). The whitepaper highlights the need for this shift with a focus on increasing integrated care to improve health outcomes and reduce costs. It also discusses the financial impact of COVID-19 on FQHCs and financial benefits of the value-based care model.

(07/27/20) Dental and Doctors’ Offices Still Struggling with COVID Job Loss
A California Healthline article discussing dental office employment trends as affected by COVID-19. From February to April, the number of dental office employees in California decreased by approximately 60%, higher than the nation-wide decrease (of dental employment) of 56%.

(05/06/20) Recommendations for the Re-Opening of Dental Services: A Rapid Review of International Sources
Compiled recommendations for the reopening of dental services identified from 17 guidance documents from 16 countries produced March 11-18, 2020.