Most dental offices’ patient volume nearing normal, data suggests

A San Francisco-based oral surgeon is seeing patient volume return to near normal after pandemic-related closures shuttered three of four locations and placed the majority of staff on leave.

Dr. Eric Scharf, DDS, told Fox News in an interview that patients began returning last fall, estimating the practice is now in the 90-95th percentile range of pre-pandemic patient volume across offices, with all staff rehired, plus some.

The U.S. dental landscape appears to be tracking similar trends, with the latest polling from the American Dental Association’s Health Policy Institute indicating a greater proportion of dental practices reporting as open and business as usual. As of May 17, 60.9% of 1,712 respondents said that the office was open with business as usual, and 38.4% reported open offices but lower-than-normal patient volume.


In a statement to Fox News, the ADA said in part, “96% of adults are comfortable visiting the dentist right now or have already done so, and patient volume in private practices was at 86% of pre-COVID-19 levels, nationally. Patient volume has remained at high levels for the last two months.”

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