Less busy practice schedules and lower patient demand are among the key findings in the latest wave of the ADA Health Policy Institute’s Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry poll.
Most of the roughly 1,200 practicing dentists who responded to the poll Oct. 18-23 reported their practice’s schedule was 83% full, a drop of 3 percentage points from the previous month and a level comparable to February 2022 polling. Nearly 82% reported that patient no-shows and cancellations with less than 24 hours’ notice were the largest factor preventing their practices’ appointment schedule from reaching 100%. Patient volume was the second most common reason for unfilled practice schedules, with 46% reporting “not enough patients making appointments”.
Results of the latest poll also indicated a slight drop in confidence in economic recovery of their dental practice, the dental sector as a whole and the U.S. economy after several months of modest gains.