How dental practice schedules fared in September

Dental practice schedules were 86 percent full in September, down slightly from 86.2 in August, according to data from the American Dental Association. 

The poll was taken as part of the ADA's monthly "Economic Outlook and Emerging Issues in Dentistry" report. The dental association asked 12,553 owner dentists how full their practice schedules were in September.

Here is how practice schedules compare each month in 2022:

January: 76.7 percent 

February: 83.4 percent 

March: 87.7 percent 

April: 86.9 percent

May: 86.2 percent

June: 86 percent

July: 84.9 percent

August: 86.2 percent 

September: 86 percent 


Factors preventing dental practice schedules from reaching 100 percent in September: 

Trouble filling vacant staff positions: 33.2 percent 

Not enough patients making appointments: 43 percent 

COVID-19 safety protocols: 10.1 percent

Patient no shows/cancellations less than 24 hours in advance: 81.7 percent  

Patient cancellations 24+ hours prior: 42.5 percent 

Other: 6.8 percent 


Dentists who responded "other" cited the following reasons:

Beginning of school year: 35 percent

Staff out on vacation/leave: 18.3 percent

Bad economic conditions: 10 percent

Staff shortages: 8.3 percent

Staff out with COVID-19/quarantine/other illness: 8.3 percent

Dropped dental plan/low reimbursement/insurance issues: 5.0 percent

Patient fear/hesitancy to visit dentist: 3.3 percent

Losing existing patients: 1.7 percent

Miscellaneous: 13.3 percent

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