There is no denying the UK dental industry has experienced its ups and downs over the last twelve months.
Practices closed during the first lockdown and didn’t resume again until late summer. Once they could reopen, dentists faced a brand-new set of strict rules and regulations to follow.
Yet, the future is looking brighter in the UK due to the vaccine rollout and end to the national lockdown.
However, according to the British Dental Association, many practices will feel the pandemic’s impact for many years.
Continue reading to find out how Covid-19 has affected the dental industry and the solutions available.
A Backlog of Patients
All dental practices across the UK closed their doors during the first national lockdown.
While dentists have since resumed routine appointments and dental emergencies, many are struggling with a backlog of patients.
Dentists are not only caring for patients as normal, but they are treating people whose appointments were cancelled during lockdown or have experienced serious oral health issues as a consequence.
When patients do call up for an appointment, they may have to wait a few days or weeks for a check-up or treatment.
If managing appointments is becoming a problem, a dental practice could benefit from scheduling software to arrange patient appointments with ease.
Various factors might have contributed to many dental practices’ financial issues, such as:
- Forced closure during the first lockdown
- A reduced reopening capacity
- Public reluctance to attend appointments due to the pandemic
Therefore, many dental practices have experienced a substantial drop in revenue. What’s more, they have had the added financial pressure of paying for PPE and infection control.
For this reason, practices must look for ways to lower their outgoings to increase profitability.
For example, they could turn to Kent Express dental supplies to reduce prices on professional products, such as impression materials, preventative and cosmetic supplies, instruments and handpieces, plus much more.
The Development of Serious Oral Health Issues
Due to the closure of dental practices during the first lockdown, many patients were forced to endure pain for many months or ignore minor dental problems. Some even chose to self-treat a dental issue at home. Unfortunately, these issues will have increased the likelihood of serious oral health issues, which many dental practices will now need to resolve.
For example, a treatable cavity may have developed into a dental abscess or gum disease, or even the need for a tooth extraction.
If a practice wants to bounce back as soon as possible from the pandemic, it may need to embrace various technologies.
In addition to investing in appointment scheduling software, they could introduce remote consultations to discuss a potential oral health issue with a patient.
For instance, if a patient develops an abscess, a dentist could video call them to discuss their symptoms and look for signs of swelling before prescribing antibiotics. If necessary, they can then request a patient attend the practice.
While the Covid-19 pandemic will be felt for many years to come, the introduction of new technologies and more affordable supplies could