ClearChoice Dental Implant Centers, a national network of dental implant practices, today announced that the company has joined the public-private effort spearheaded by the UCLA School of Dentistry to address the nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE). This follows the network’s actions taken in March to realign services in all 63 centers to focus on urgent and emergent dental needs, reducing the number of unnecessary emergency room visits as hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 cases.
“We saw how many healthcare providers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic were in dire need of PPE, and we immediately began looking for solutions to help address this shortage,” said Mark Adams, DDS, MS, Prosthodontist and VP Clinical Affairs for ClearChoice Management Services. “We’re very excited to support UCLA’s effort and have enlisted our network of 150 providers to donate through the program.”
UCLA is acting as a distribution center to hospitals servicing COVID-19 patients around the country and is repurposing digital printers for the production of PPE. ClearChoice has already coordinated a donation of surplus PPE from its network, and has likewise repurposed its digital printers, which are currently prototyping 3D printed PPE for immediate use.
“Eliminating the unnecessary use of scarce PPE in our practices is extremely important to us,” added Jenna Benko, DMD, ClearChoice affiliated Prosthodontist in Torrance, CA. “As practitioners, we each live and work in the affected markets across the country and are encouraging dental professionals in our local communities to join ClearChoice in its reduction and donation efforts.”
Last month, ClearChoice centers refocused on providing emergency care to help ease the current burden on the healthcare system created by COVID-19.
“ClearChoice practitioners were quick to align with the Centers for Disease Control, American Dental Association, and government guidelines as they were issued, to eliminate non-essential services, and focus on keeping patients—the majority of whom do not have a dentist—out of emergency rooms,” said Dr. Mark Adams.
With many dentist offices across the country closed due to COVID-19, the ClearChoice network remains committed to continuing operations to ensure that patients with essential medical conditions that require immediate attention have access to safe, expert care.
“A recent study on the dental profession’s response to the COVID-19 crisis shows that 20 percent of US dental practices are closed completely—even to emergencies,” added Kevin Mosher, CEO for ClearChoice Management Services. “In this environment, we feel it is in keeping with the ClearChoice mission to step up to the responsibility of addressing the coverage gap as state and local guidelines permit, diverting people from ERs, and being there for patients who badly need care.”