As dental offices across Virginia reopen with new and costly health and safety protocols, Delta Dental of Virginia and the Delta Dental of Virginia Foundation are donating $3 million to help alleviate the financial burden on practices and their patients and to increase patients’ confidence in seeking oral healthcare.
The funds will be distributed directly to the more than 4,500 dentists in the Delta Dental of Virginia network. Dental practices may use these donated funds to cover operating expenses associated with safety guidelines including acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE).
Since May 1, Virginia dentists have been allowed to perform routine dental care, though they are wondering how to manage costs related to new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the ADA, Delta Dental of Virginia said.
“We know dentists need access to funds as soon as possible to meet new safety precautions,” said Frank Lucia, president and CEO of Delta Dental of Virginia. “We’re empathetic to dentists and patients alike who remain concerned about how and when to safely return to the dentist office. Quickly supporting dentists is crucial to ensuring patients receive the oral healthcare they need when they need it.”
ADA and CDC guidance covers infection prevention, the proper use of masks, and how to navigate patients through an office visit and other protocols. It includes limiting the number of patients in the office at one time, requesting patients wear a mask and having their temperature taken, adding protective barriers, and wearing additional PPE. Delta Dental of Virginia offers additional information about appointments online.