Orthodontists participating in the latest ADA Health Policy Institute poll report their patient appointment schedule was 75% full. 

The American Dental Association Health Policy Institute (HPI) released data from its January poll of the dental industry. Respondents reported that their dental practice appointment schedule was 76.7% full—this is across all specialties in private practice. When broken out by specialty, orthodontists reported that their practice appointment schedule was 75% full. 

The majority of respondents across all specialties reported that the main factor preventing them from reaching a full schedule was patient cancelation (90.3%). Not enough patients making appoints (37.5%) and trouble filling vacant staff positions (33.1%) were additional factors. 

Orthodontists participating in the poll also reported that patient cancelations (88.1%) were the top reason preventing them from filling their appointment schedule, while not enough patients making appointments came in second at 54.5%. But where trouble filling vacant staff positions was the third ranking factor across all specialties for why they couldn’t fill their appointment schedule, orthodontic respondents reported that COVID safety protocols were a larger factor (30.3%) than trouble filling vacant staff positions (27.3%). 

The survey had 1871 respondents across all dental specialties, with 38 orthodontic specialists taking part. 

HPI announced that it has broadened the scope of its monthly poll of dental professionals to look at issues beyond the pandemic’s impact. The poll will also look at other emerging issues in dentistry and the economic and operational conditions in dental practices and public health clinics over time. 

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