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COVID-19

The impact of COVID-19 on dental professionals

Date: 17 December, 2020
The impact of COVID-19 on dental professionals

This report provides the findings from the research we commissioned Ecorys UK to undertake in September and October 2020 to explore the impact of COVID-19 on dental professionals and draw out implications for the future.

This work forms part of a wider research and engagement programme to understand the impact and implications of COVID-19 for dental regulation, patients, the public and dental professionals, and to inform our business planning as we continue to live and deal with COVID-19.

Key findings

  • The financial impact on dental practices and professionals has been severe. The continuing need for infection control measures will continue to constrain capacity and limit the pace of recovery.
  • Most dental professionals felt confident that they could do their job safely but there are concerns about the consistency and timing of guidance issued during the height of the pandemic.
  • Access to dental care has been severely affected and is likely to continue to be for some time. Dental professionals told us of their uncertainty about the demand for services and their ability to meet it.
  • Dental professionals expect some groups of patients to be affected more severely than others, including those particularly vulnerable to infection, older people and people unable to afford dental treatment.
  • Dental service design is quickly evolving in response to the pandemic, and dental professionals see a need for funding models and regulatory approaches to evolve in parallel.

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