Dentists urge Congress to allow Paycheck Protection Program loans to cover PPE purchases

The nation's leading dental associations are calling on Congress to expand the non-payroll costs allowable for the Paycheck Protection Program to include personal protective equipment costs as dental offices reopen nationwide amid the pandemic.

The Organized Dentistry Coalition, which includes 16 separate associations, outlined its request in an April 30 letter to Congress. The ODC also requested that borrowers who use the federal funding for PPE be eligible for full loan forgiveness as long as the purchases remain within the threshold for non-payroll costs.

The coalition acknowledged that PPP loans were meant to encourage health providers to rehire staff quickly, but argued that dentists cannot do that without guaranteeing the safety of their staff and patients first.

"Given the nature of oral healthcare treatments and procedures, the exposure to this virus through aerosol-generating procedures and droplets in the air is especially concerning for dental offices," the ODC wrote in their letter.

The groups expressed hope that their request could be included in future guidelines from the Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration. If this action is not possible, they asked that it be included in the next COVID-19 relief package.

Read the full letter here.

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