Dentists are finding that their job outlook seems just as uncertain compared to other business owners in their local areas. This is because recently, the CDC recommends that non-urgent visits and procedures be put on hold to avoid risking the spread of COVID-19 in dental facilities.
However, what constitutes a non-urgent visit? And how can you continue ensuring the health of your dental facility when you can’t accept as many patients as before?
Read on, because we’re going to explain the CDC recommendations and what you can do to make the most of your downtime during this pandemic.
CDC Current Recommendations for Dentists
As of March 20th, the CDC recommends that all dental facilities should postpone:
- Elective procedures
- Non-urgent dental visits
Instead, dental facilities are being urged to instead prioritize urgent and emergency visits and procedures. Of course, decisions need to be made on a case-by-case basis and are determined by clinical judgment.
Emergency Dental Procedures
The ADA describes emergency dental procedures as “potentially life-threatening.” This means that the patient requires a procedure that stops severe tissue pain or bleeding.
They’ve also provided examples of urgent dental care treatments that should be as minimally invasive as possible:
- Severe dental pain from inflammation
- Pericoronitis or third-molar pain
- Localized bacterial infection that causes pain and inflammation
- Pain or trauma from tooth fracture
- Dry socket dressing changes
- Dental trauma with avulsion/luxation
- Dental treatment cementation if the temporary restoration is lost, broken, or causing irritation
Non-Emergency Dental Procedures
The ADA also provided a list of non-emergency dental procedures, although this isn’t a complete list. This includes:
- Routine oral examinations or recall visits, including radiographs
- Routine dental cleaning or other preventive therapies
- Orthodontic treatments that don’t address acute issues like pain, infection, or trauma
- Extraction of asymptomatic teeth
- Restorative dentistry
- Aesthetic dental procedures
Making the Most of a Bad Situation
Now that you’re aware of the urgent and emergency procedures you should prioritize and the non-emergency procedures that will need to be rescheduled, here are a few things you can work on so that your dental practice is stronger than ever.
1. Update Your Branding
By and large, your new patients are going to find you either through word of mouth or organic search results. However, you need to put the work in to ensure that your website comes to the top of search results pages.
Branding includes all of the small design decisions that, combined, help to inform new patients of your facility’s goals, vision, culture, and more. They include:
- Color palette
- Type treatments
- Image styles
- Graphical elements
Although this may seem overwhelming, the good news is that there are Dental Marketing Packages that provide discounted, all-inclusive branding services that can be completed in three to four weeks. The best part is, you can speak with professionals in the safety of your home via remote video calls.
2. Keep Posting on Social Media
It’s more important than ever to stay relevant on social media. Everyone is hunkering down in their homes. Now more than ever before, people are accessing social media in order to help with boredom and, more importantly, to feel more connected with the world.
Aim to post at least once a day or five days a week. Use interesting visual elements such as graphics or stock photos with captions that educate and entertain.
Even better, use your Instagram Story for more laidback content that doesn’t quite fit with your Instagram grid, such as how you’re staying busy during the pandemic, recipe tips, and more.
3. Review Your Business Plan
Now is the time to review your office’s business plan so that you can come out of this pandemic with a clear view of what you’re doing right and what needs improvement. Business plans can be as long or as short as you desire, but they typically include:
- Narrative hook
- Calendar of events
- Philosophy of practice
- Long-term goals
- Personal budget
- Cash-flow projection
- Demographic studies
- Equipment list
- Marketing plan
4. Start Blogging
If you haven’t yet, now is the time to get into blogging and posting content to your website. You can either do this yourself or rely on professional content writers or remote workers in order to create quality content.
By producing quality content that your audience (local dental patients) are interested in, you’ll be able to stay relevant to them while boosting the SEO of your website. Consider topics that educate as well as entertain, such as:
- How to stay on top of a dental routine during the pandemic
- The best brushing techniques
- How to schedule a future non-emergency appointment with your dental facility
Try to schedule your content on a consistent basis, such as once a week or twice a month. By using keywords that include your city and what your audience will normally search for, your website will be far more visible than before.
Focus on What You Can Control
We’re living in uncertain times right now and people are already feeling the economic effects, including dentists.
Although you’re unable to accept the usual volume of patients, by focusing on what you can control–such as generating quality content and honing your branding–you’ll be in a far better position once you’re able to accept non-emergency procedures again.
Ready to learn more ways on how to increase the quality of your digital footprint? Keep reading our blog for more informative tips!