Oral Health Providers of Color Face Hardship From COVID-19

Published 12/22/2020

Oral health providers of color have been hit hard by COVID-19, however, they are ready to embrace a new normal in oral health. A new report from the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health reveals how COVID-19 has impacted patient volumes, financial stability, infection control procedures and more for this group.

Some key findings from the report:

  • 71% of oral health providers of color report significant reductions in patient volumes since the COVID-19 pandemic began, compared to 57% of white providers.
  • Roughly 60% of oral health providers of color think it’s extremely important to reduce the spread of aerosols through the air and to reduce the use of aerosol-generating procedures, compared to slightly less than half of white providers.
  • 30% of oral health providers of color anticipate increased use of noncontact dentistry (telehealth, telephone calls, etc.), compared to 18% of white providers.

Since oral health providers of color understand that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected patients of color, they understand the impact of this disease and the need to care for their patients. This means these providers are also are more willing to consider minimally invasive procedures and alternative payment models as well as virtual patient encounters such as teledentistry, all in effort to work within dental care’s new normal.

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