GLENDALE, Ariz. (June 9, 2020) — As dental offices across the state reopen and scale up their operations to address the state’s oral health needs, many are increasing their infection control protocols to ensure the safety of their staff and their patients. Delta Dental of Arizona, the state’s largest dental insurer, is stepping up to help, allocating $3 million to help Arizona dentists buy personal protective equipment, supplies and technology to safely provide dental services amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We want to help dental offices safely resume offering essential oral health services to patients, many of whom have Delta Dental coverage,” said Allan Allford, president/CEO of Delta Dental of Arizona. “There is considerable need for oral health care that was postponed the last few months. When left untreated, oral health diseases can quickly escalate, leading to more painful and expensive treatment that in most cases was 100% preventable. We know how important it is for dentists—our partners in protecting oral health—to provide timely, attentive care to patients.”
At the recommendation of the American Dental Association (ADA), U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and in alignment with an executive order by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey temporarily halting medical and dental surgeries, most dental offices across the state closed or limited services to emergency care to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 in March and April. Some dentists even donated their PPE supply to hospitals and frontline workers. When Arizona dentists began reopening their offices in May, many found that the price of masks, face shields, gowns, air purifiers and other equipment needed to guard against COVID-19 had risen dramatically. Dentists are also seeing fewer patients than before the pandemic, either because some patients aren’t ready to leave quarantine or because of the need to space out appointments to keep waiting rooms uncrowded.
By launching the Interim PPE Support Program, Delta Dental of Arizona hopes to ease the burden dentists are experiencing as they return to their practices and safely provide preventive, restorative and emergency dental services.
This isn’t the dental insurer’s only gesture to assist clients, dentists and community partners during the pandemic. Since March, Delta Dental of Arizona and its Foundation has committed $9.5 million to assist local communities and further its mission of improving lives by promoting optimal oral health. Key areas of relief include:
In addition to the financial support, Delta Dental of Arizona donated several hundred surgical masks to support Phoenix health care and front-line workers. Through its Foundation, the organization collaborated with the Arizona Department of Administration to donate 30,000 toothbrushes and 30,000 tubes of toothpaste to 90 organizations serving the homeless and vulnerable populations across the state. Since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, 24 Delta Dental of Arizona employees have also volunteered in the community, participating in a local blood drive and assisting the HonorHealth Desert Mission Food Bank.
About Delta Dental of Arizona
Delta Dental of Arizona is the leading dental benefits provider in Arizona, serving more than 1.2 million enrollees and more than 3,500 contracted dentists across the state. Passionate about oral health and its importance to generations of families, Delta Dental of Arizona has worked for more than 45 years to improve oral health by emphasizing preventive care and making dental coverage accessible to a wide variety of employers, groups and individuals. Since 2010, Delta Dental of Arizona, through its Foundation, gave $7 million to support oral health education and disease prevention programs for underserved and uninsured communities across the state. For more information about Delta Dental of Arizona, visit www.deltadentalaz.com.