The ADA Health Policy Institute poll found that prices for PPE have tripled or more since the onset of the pandemic, with surgical masks and gloves seeing the highest price spike. 

The latest American Dental Association (ADA) Health Policy Institute (HPI) poll tracking the economic impact of COVID-19 on the dental sector finds that prices for personal protective equipment (PPE) have surged since the onset of the pandemic. On average, across all PPE categories, almost a third of respondents reported that prices have tripled or more. Surgical masks and gloves have seen the largest price increases. 

As a result, dental professionals polled said they are relying on a greater variety of PPE distributors, including turning to Amazon and smaller distributors, compared to before the pandemic. 

While the poll found that PPE availability has remained stable, gowns and N95 masks remain an issue. 

Patient Volume

Additionally, the poll found that 99% of practices reported being open, with about one-third reporting “business as usual” with regard to patient volume. Private practice respondents further reported that patient volume was at 76% of pre-COVID-19 levels as of the week of November 30 when the tracking poll was conducted. 

However, this volume varies depending on geography, DSO affiliation, practice size, and specialty. Rural and suburban dentists, group practices, and oral surgeons, endodontists, and orthodontists reported the highest patient volumes for the reporting period. 

Expanding Poll Participation

The HPI launched the COVID-19 economic impact tracking poll on March 23, 2020. The latest poll includes a national representative sample of over 2,500 respondents. 

The ADA Health Policy Institute is actively seeking to expand its panel of participants. Dental professionals working in all practice settings and of all specialties and backgrounds are invited to sign up to participate through December 31, 2020 via the HPI