As the nation takes steps to address COVID-19, NADP remains committed to supporting and informing dental carriers, dentists, consumers and various stakeholders, including federal and state policymakers.
NADP members are open and operating. We remain committed to assisting providers in the delivery of essential services and ensuring continuity of care in a safe manner for all dental consumers.
Americans need regular oral health care to maintain and improve their oral and overall health, and dental coverage is an important gateway to oral health care.
Carriers are implementing various processes and relief and recovery efforts to continue supporting consumers and providers in accessing affordable dental benefits and care during this time. Learn more about these efforts online here.
FAQs for dental benefits consumers
Q1: Should I reschedule a dental appointment that I missed?
A1: Yes. Preventive care is important in maintaining your oral and overall health. However, please review the below information to help you navigate the process and considerations as each state and dental practice may vary.
In April, many dentists postponed elective procedures such as cleanings and routine dental care and concentrated on emergency dental care as advised by the American Dental Association (ADA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This helped to stop the spread of the virus and preserve personal protective equipment (PPE).
As of June 1, the majority of states have announced that dental offices can open for elective (non-emergency) procedures. The ADA has published a map showing state recommendations for dental practices online here.
Although a state may allow elective procedures, individual dental offices may reopen with different schedules and procedures. It is best to contact your dentist to learn about office hours and appointment availability. You can discuss your situation and what the best next steps are to maintain good oral health.
Q2: What should I do if I have a dental emergency?
A2: Contact your dentist.
If your dentist’s office is closed, check to see if patients are referred to a different location. In addition, contact your plan to find out more about additional participating office locations available in your area. Check with the new locations regarding office hours and availability for treatment of dental emergencies. Avoid going to hospital emergency rooms to preserve capacity for COVID-19 and other emergencies.
In addition, review the American Dental Association publication, “ADA Patient Guide: What is an Emergency?” that helps individuals identify conditions considered dental emergencies. Depending on your oral health needs and concerns, you may be able to receive a consult via teledentistry. Check with your dentist to see if that option is available.
Q3: When will dental offices reopen?
A3: As of June 1, the majority of states have announced that dental offices can open for elective (non-emergency) procedures. The ADA has published a map showing state recommendations for dental practices online here.
Although a state may allow dentists to perform elective procedures, individual dental offices may reopen with different schedules and procedures. It is best to contact your dentist to learn about office hours and appointment availability.
Q4: Is it safe to go to the dentist?
A4: Dental offices employ various infection control procedures to prevent the spread of disease. To safeguard patients, dentists, hygienists and staff, dental offices may implement new or different procedures and PPE to protect against the spread of COVID-19 before, during, and after your appointment.
The American Dental Association explains online here “What to Expect When Your Dentist’s Office Reopens.”
Q5: How can I protect my oral health?
A5: The American Dental Association offers the following tips for maintaining good oral health:
- Brush and clean between your teeth daily
- Practice healthy nutrition habits and reduce sugar
- Drink water from the tap
In addition, the Mayo Clinic suggests:
- Replacing your toothbrush every three months or sooner if bristles are splayed or worn.
- Avoiding tobacco use