Dentists need new supplies and technology after COVID-19 closure
Delta Dental of Tennessee (Delta Dental) today announced a commitment of more than $3.3 million for Operation #SmilesMatter, a grant program to help Tennessee dentists acquire much needed supplies, equipment, and technology as they prepare to reopen their practices following COVID-19-related closures. Delta Dental will be funding a $1,000 “allowance” or credit available to all dentists in Tennessee, regardless of whether they participate in Delta Dental’s network, to purchase dental products. Dentists can learn more about participation in Operation #SmilesMatter at https://tennessee.deltadental.com/ppe.
“As dentists work with local health authorities to reopen and scale up their practices in the coming weeks, they face unprecedented challenges, from the loss of income to rehiring staff, and above all, protecting the health and safety of everyone involved – dentists, staff, and patients,” says Phil Wenk, DDS, CEO and president of Delta Dental of Tennessee. “During this difficult time, we hope this support helps ease the burden as dentists return to their practices and safely move beyond providing emergency-only care.”
Since mid-March, at the recommendation of the American Dental Association (ADA) and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most dental offices across Tennessee have been closed for all but emergency care to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, and many dentists donated their PPE supply to hospitals and frontline medical workers.
Routine preventive care such as annual cleanings and exams are critical to maintaining good oral and overall health. Delta Dental hopes this initiative will help allow dental offices to safely resume offering essential care.
“Dental offices provide essential health services and we want to help dentists get back to regular practice and caring for their patients, many of whom are our customers,” adds Wenk. “When left untreated, oral health diseases can quickly escalate, becoming more painful, complicated and expensive to treat down the road, so we know how important it is for dentists to provide timely, attentive care.”
Delta Dental is continuously monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and considering additional opportunities to support the safety and well-being of its employees, clients, families, and communities. For the latest on Delta Dental’s COVID-19 response, please visit DeltaDentalTN.com.