Financially Speaking—The Impact of COVID-19 on the Dental Care Sector

It goes without saying that the pandemic affected every aspect of life. See what HPI studies reveal.

It goes without saying that the pandemic affected every aspect of life—including dental practices. Recently, Health Policy Institute (HPI) conducted a COVID-19 Economic Impact poll that tracked weekly reports of PPE supplies, patient volume, dental staff payment status and more, through 2021. The last poll, conducted on December 13, 2021, revealed the following: 

  • Patient volume in private practices remained stable for several months, at 90% of pre-COVID-19 levels in December 2021. 
  • Patient volume was highest among dentists under 35 (96%) and 35-44 (94%). 
  • One in four owner dentists raised fees in the last month of 2021 to maintain financial sustainability.
  • This was the most common financial sustainability measure taken throughout all of 2021. 
  • Borrowing money was more common in early 2021, likely due to the timing of the federal relief programs.
  • The COVID-19 Omicron variant may have affected some dentists’ outlook on pandemic recovery. 
  • Confidence level took a dip, dropping from 75% of dentists stating they were “very” or “somewhat” confident in the recovery of their dental practice in the previous month to 71% in December 2021. 
  • A similar drop took place in August 2021 with news of the Delta variant.


A Hit on Expenditures

National dental expenditures for 2020 took a hit with the advent of the pandemic. Overall, 2020 brought a 1.8% contraction in the dental economy. Government relief programs, like PPP and PRF, prevented a much sharper decline.

A Healthy Outlook

As we navigate through, and out of, the COVID era, the outlook looks promising for both patients and dental practices as dentists continue to see patients and find prudent ways to remain viable.


Here’s to a healthy and profitable 2022.

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Vision
Our investment thesis

The dental sector remains ripe for disruption, though has not seen the influx of investment capital that many other industries, including similar healthcare industries, have seen in the recent past. Our research shows that an exceptional investment opportunity exists in the dental sector, particularly in early-stage companies. The dental industry consists of many large corporations, private practices, and start-ups with great ideas, but they are fragmented and disconnected. Revere seeks to bring those disparate pieces together — Connecting like-minded founders or compatible products and services with the investment dollars and industry leaders they require to grow their businesses. We identify and elevate high-growth product and service sectors within dentistry that can ultimately optimize outcomes for both providers and their patients, serving in all roles from lead investor to strategic investor to founder-friendly advisor— and are always looking for an opportunity to follow on in future rounds. 

Financially Speaking—The Impact of COVID-19 on the Dental Care Sector

It goes without saying that the pandemic affected every aspect of life. See what HPI studies reveal.
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It goes without saying that the pandemic affected every aspect of life—including dental practices. Recently, Health Policy Institute (HPI) conducted a COVID-19 Economic Impact poll that tracked weekly reports of PPE supplies, patient volume, dental staff payment status and more, through 2021. The last poll, conducted on December 13, 2021, revealed the following: 

  • Patient volume in private practices remained stable for several months, at 90% of pre-COVID-19 levels in December 2021. 
  • Patient volume was highest among dentists under 35 (96%) and 35-44 (94%). 
  • One in four owner dentists raised fees in the last month of 2021 to maintain financial sustainability.
  • This was the most common financial sustainability measure taken throughout all of 2021. 
  • Borrowing money was more common in early 2021, likely due to the timing of the federal relief programs.
  • The COVID-19 Omicron variant may have affected some dentists’ outlook on pandemic recovery. 
  • Confidence level took a dip, dropping from 75% of dentists stating they were “very” or “somewhat” confident in the recovery of their dental practice in the previous month to 71% in December 2021. 
  • A similar drop took place in August 2021 with news of the Delta variant.


A Hit on Expenditures

National dental expenditures for 2020 took a hit with the advent of the pandemic. Overall, 2020 brought a 1.8% contraction in the dental economy. Government relief programs, like PPP and PRF, prevented a much sharper decline.

A Healthy Outlook

As we navigate through, and out of, the COVID era, the outlook looks promising for both patients and dental practices as dentists continue to see patients and find prudent ways to remain viable.


Here’s to a healthy and profitable 2022.

Leslie Fox
Chief Financial Officer
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