We have been closed since March 14. There is no revenue being generated, but I continue to pay my staff. The utility companies, liability insurance companies and the county tax board and/or landlord still want their full payments. Patients fall into 2 categories: WTF do you mean I can't get my teeth cleaned? It's been 6.5 months! Or, ya, I'm in horrible pain, but I can wait until September.jhogue wrote: ↑Sat May 02, 2020 9:35 am
Just got a surprise notice that my dentist has decided to retire. He gave no specific reason, but coming amid the pandemic, it naturally reminded me of your musings about giving up your own possible retirement.
Please enlighten us more about your current situation. I wonder whether dental practices, with their expensive human capital, exposure to the virus, and high investment in physical infrastrucuture are at particular risk of going under.
We are at high risk bc most everything we do creates an aerosol which could* spread the virus. There are ways to reduce the risk: H2O2 pre-rinse, rubber dam during drilling, and external suction https://youtu.be/Vd0vTerJyC8 . We will also likely need to wear more PPE, which of course the insurance companies will not want to pay for so it will just increase my overhead into an already reduced revenue stream. N95 masks may become the new standard, or not. Face shields will certainly be required (no change for me, I have been using one for 20 years). Etc, etc.
I have been thru many major changes. When I started in the mid 80s, we did not wear gloves and sterilization was way less complicated. Then came AIDS and everything was more time consuming and more expensive. Then came PPOs and HMOs which reduced revenue and increased paperwork. Then more and more government regulations, compliance, restrictions, etc, which all reduced efficiency and increased overhead. The move away from amalgam ('silver') fillings to tooth colored, which was more time consuming and more technique sensitive but less profitable. And now COVID. You have to adapt to changes or get left behind, but at some point you just say f*ck it, it's not worth it anymore. I don't need the income and I have my son to take over the practice, so I'm not sure if or when I will ever return. Sad.
*Like everything COVID, they don't actually know.