New COVID-19 research we have published today, has found that most dental professionals expect to be able to see fewer patients than normal over the next 12 months, while also expecting an increased demand for their services, adding to the pressures on dental service provision.
As a result of the expected reduced capacity, two thirds expect their income to fall over the coming year, and four out of five report income to have already fallen compared to this time last year (by an average of 45%).
The research, which forms part of a wider programme of work to understand the impact of COVID-19 on dentistry, also found that most dental professionals felt confident to do their job safely. However, a lack of consistency and coordination in the guidance that was issued in the first lockdown led to confusion, localised variances in practice and added stress for professionals.
GDC Executive Director, Strategy, Stefan Czerniawski, said:
“COVID-19 has hit dental services hard and dental professionals have made huge efforts to sustain patient care in the face of unprecedented challenges. This report captures the experience of dental professionals in meeting those challenges and their expectations of the year ahead.
“Dental professionals have had to make difficult judgements about how best to support their patients during the pandemic period. At the GDC we recognise that and repeat our commitment to take environmental and human factors relating to COVID-19 into account in approaching any concerns raised with us about those judgements.”