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Dentists are entering phase 2 of the COVID-19 pandemic

April 9, 2020
Dr. Chris Salierno believes the COVID-19 pandemic can be divided into three phases for dentists. He explains the phases here, and he hopes that phase 3 arrives soon.
Chris Salierno, DDS, Chief Editor, Dental Economics

I believe we can map the coronavirus pandemic into three phases.

Phase 1 was rife with initial panic. We faced the emotional decision of closing our practices and temporarily laying off our team members. We scrambled to cut and defer expenses and to apply for relief loans.

Phase 2, which I believe we’re entering now, is the dormant period. We’ve stabilized our practices as best we can, and now we’re just waiting for the news about when we can get back to work. We’re stuck at home, handling emergencies however we can, and probably getting caught up in online continuing education.

Phase 3 will be when we practice again. It will begin a couple of weeks before our doors open; we’ll scramble to reappoint the highest priority patients and get the word out to our patients. We may be working in a reduced capacity and with new technology that reduces the chances of spreading infection. Our hygienists may be hand scaling for the next several months. Whatever this version of practice looks like, we’ll at least be able to rehire our teams and help serve our patients’ needs.

The Dental Economics team has been hard at work to collect the resources you will need during these three phases. Under the direction of Dr. Pamela Maragliano-Muniz, DentistryIQ.com has built a comprehensive COVID-19 information site featuring informative video interviews and articles.

Dental Economics has created a COVID-19 resource center that features links to the best available information about a variety of practice management topics.

If Dental Economics is being sent to your practice while you’re stuck at home, you can arrange to have digital editions delivered to you by visiting digital.dentaleconomics.com/dentaleconomics/Store.action. The June cover of DE will feature articles about phase 3—getting back to work. Hopefully we’ll already be well into phase 3 by then.

Finally, we made the difficult decision to reschedule the Principles of Practice Management Conference, The Profit Summit. Originally scheduled for June 25­–26, we will now be hosting the event on October 1–­­2. We will still meet at the Park MGM in Las Vegas. Attendees who purchased registration but who can no longer attend will be issued full refunds.

Remember, we’ll get through all of this together.

Stay safe,


For more information about COVID-19 and how it's affecting dental professionals, visit the DentistryIQ COVID-19 Resource Center.

About the Author

Chris Salierno, DDS | Chief Editor, Dental Economics

Chris Salierno, DDS, is the chief editor of Dental Economics and the editorial director of the Principles of Practice Management and Group Practice and DSO Digest e-newsletters. He is also a contributing author for DentistryIQ and Perio-Implant Advisory. He lectures and writes about practice management and clinical dentistry. He maintains a blog to answer patient questions at ToothQuest. Dr. Salierno maintains a private general practice in Melville, New York. You may contact him at [email protected].

Updated Dec. 4, 2020