The Importance of Communication: How to Talk to Your Dental Patients About COVID-19

Medical professionals around the world are dealing with patient concerns and fears regarding COVID-19, also known as novel coronavirus. Dentists and dental practices are no exception; dental patients are worried about everything from contracting the disease during an office visit to having procedures delayed due to concerns about coronavirus or a lack of supplies. Right now patient communication is vital—the people relying on you for their oral health care have to know your availability along with when, and how, to get in touch with you and under what circumstances to do so. Fortunately, the ADA has a great series of resources for dentists and dental practices at this time, aimed at helping both staff and patients maintain contact and continuity.

Clear and Consistent Communication

The twin keys to good patient communication are consistency and accessibility. Regular updates delivered via multiple channels—mailings, emails, social media, phone calls—can go a long way to allying patient concerns about the state of things at your practice. This is especially important when it comes to emergency care; your patients need to know you’ll be available for emergency procedures and urgent care even if you’re closed to regular/non-emergency procedures. It may help to explain what qualifies as an emergency. Per the ADA, examples of emergency and urgent care situations include:

  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Trauma involving facial bones
  • Swelling that may compromise the airway
  • Severe dental pain
  • Pericoronitis or third-molar pain
  • Post-operative complications
  • Dry socket dressing changes
  • Broken or fractured teeth causing pain or soft tissue trauma

The ADA has prepared a current plain-language guide for patients explaining which procedures and visits can and cannot be rescheduled. Sharing that, along with a letter or email explaining your availability and how to get in touch with you, may go a long way toward reassuring your patients at this time. One should also remember the situation is evolving rapidly, and as such frequent communications are necessary both to keep patients informed and to provide assurances emergency/urgent care will be available to them.

Omnistar Financial is Here to Help

These are unprecedented times, for both dental health professionals and many other industries. At Omnistar Financial, we’re committed to helping you and your practice navigate the challenges ahead. Toward that end, we’ve prepared a free guide to help you stay informed and make critical decisions as the situation unfolds. Available for download here, it contains vital information about managing your cash flow, understanding the various relief package bills in the works, wealth management, and addressing a host of pragmatic issues which are particular to dental practices and dental health professionals at this time. Read it, share it with your colleagues, and please get in touch if you have further questions.

Omnistar Financial is open for business and we are serving our customers as usual. However, in light of the fact that many of you may not be comfortable traveling at this time, we are prepared to meet and consult remotely using TeamViewer or ZOOM, our remote service conference providers. Please contact us for more details.