Distribution of Elective and Non-Elective Dental Procedures


P&R Dental Strategies Eye on the Industry Market Analysis – March 24, 2020



Given the current COVID-19 crisis, P&R Dental Strategies is leveraging the company resources to support dental stakeholders’ understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on the dental market, including specific questions we’ve been asked by our colleagues. We hope to produce and share more insightful information and metrics/observations over the next few days.

Question: What is the distribution of elective and non-elective dental procedures?

Based on the insights from the ADA and other professional organizations, our Chief Dental Officer, Dr. Michael Fiorenza, in collaboration with the P&R clinical team, has identified the specific procedures that would generally be non-elective. Our Chief Analytics Officer, Tim Downey, has reviewed the DentaBase® national procedures year-over-year and we have identified that 17.7% of the procedures in 2019 were highly likely/probably non-elective. These procedures accounted for 9.8% of the dental treatment billings/fees for all dental services.

The majority (87%) of the non-elective procedures are performed by GPs and PDs. Overall, the non-elective procedures delivered through other specialties represent 13% of the total.

All procedures have been classified as Highly Likely to be Non-Elective, Probably Non-Elective, Possibly Non-Elective, and Unlikely to be Non-Elective based on clinical insights. Public programs are not included in this review and may have higher percentages of non-elective procedures.

Below is a quick look at the national distribution of the 2019 non-elective procedures by state:

Following the ADA guidance recommending temporarily limiting procedures to non-elective, multiple states have issued additional directives. We will be monitoring and reporting visible changes in procedure patterns/distribution and will provide updates as insight becomes available.

Do you have questions about this analysis or anything else? Submit a question for discussion: ASK A QUESTION


Question: Which CDT codes did you use to categorize procedures as Non-Elective?
— Posted by Data Scientist at large payer organization

Answer: In our Eye on the Industry™ market analysis “Distribution of Elective and Non-Elective Dental Procedures,” Urgent/Emergency (Non-Elective/Essential) services consist primarily of exams & office visits, palliative, restorative and oral surgery procedure categories. Certain imaging, periodontics and fixed prosthodontics procedure categories also have a high probability of inclusion as Urgent/Emergency services. While we don’t publish the exact CDT codes used in the study, you can contact us to discuss them.