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.
To support the delivery of essential dental treatment during the pandemic, NADP plan members have business continuity plans in place and are taking steps to minimize interruption of normal business processes while expanding work-from-home.
Carriers are able to respond to inquiries, process and pay claims in addition to assisting members and dentists with questions. For dentists, carriers are also distributing information (e.g. FAQs) via online dentist portals and other electronic communication channels.
Telehealth is one modality of care that can support access to care for dental consumers. Dental carriers typically pay for covered services that are provided on a telehealth basis, which will be important to many people in the current environment.
FAQs for dental benefits consumers
Q: Should I keep my dental appointment? A: Contact your dentist for help determining how and whether to reschedule your dental appointment. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS),
the Centers for Disease Control
and American Dental Association (ADA)
have advised dentists nationwide to postpone elective procedures such as cleanings and routine dental care and concentrate on emergency dental care. A handful of states have also recommended rescheduling dental appointments and have asked dental offices to share surplus personal protective equipment with local hospitals and clinics. Washington State has required a limit on all dental procedures if the delay is not anticipated to cause harm to the patient within the next three months. Contact your dentist to discuss your situation and what the best next steps are to maintain good oral health.Q: What should I do if I have a dental emergency?
A: Contact your dentist. In addition, review the American Dental Association publication, “ADA Patient Guide: What is an Emergency?” that helps individuals identify conditions considered dental emergencies.
Q: What should I do if I have a dental emergency and my dentist's office is closed?
A: See Q2 regarding a dental emergency. 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 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.
Q: How can I protect my oral health?
A: 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
Q: When will dental offices reopen?
A: The American Dental Association offers the following information on this topic.