- Innovative Dental organization looks to relieve stressed ERs
- Company hopes initiative will be followed by dentists nationwide
- Dental offices could be key to sparking more widespread COVID-19 testing
PITTSBURGH, April 29, 2020 – North American Dental Group (“NADG”), a leading U.S. Dental Service Organization, announced today that it plans to convert hundreds of currently closed affiliated dental offices to much-needed COVID-19 testing sites to relieve the pressure on overstressed hospital ER rooms and increase availability of the tests to the public.
Tests will initially be provided for symptomatic patients and those that meet at-risk criteria at a NADG-affiliated dental office, according to Dr. Frank Nia, NADG’s Chief Clinical Officer. NADG’s pilot test for this program will be conducted by a supported physician oral surgeon in Scarsdale, NY who is sourcing tests from several testing providers including a large, national lab.
NADG anticipates that in May its COVID-19 testing program will then be rolled out to hundreds of its affiliated dental offices across 15 states and 29 regional markets. The testing program could then be implemented by dental offices from coast-to-coast.
“Once we prove this approach works, we believe NADG will be able to provide testing to thousands of individuals who currently lack timely access to tests that can limit the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” Dr. Nia said. “NADG believes that dentists, whose offices have been closed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, can play a large role in getting a greater number of Americans tested. We are excited to establish a model that allows the dental industry to contribute in a meaningful way during this national health emergency by reducing the burden on the medical community.”
The innovative pilot testing program conceived by NADG is using the swab test and will switch over to the 5-minute COVID-19 test from Abbott Laboratories or alternatives, once that testing system is more widely available, the company said.
“We believe there are tens of thousands of dental offices around the country that can step into the COVID-19 testing role and help relieve the hospital systems from this additional testing burden – not to mention helping slow the spread of this deadly virus by providing Americans a definitive positive or negative test result,” said Dr. Andrew Matta, NADG’s Chief Medical Officer and founding partner.
NADG plans to establish new guidelines for both this interim strategy and the more permanent point of service strategy to support routine dental care. Guidelines will be posted to its COVID-19 dental resources website that is available to the entire dental industry to support providers and promote collaboration. NADG anticipates the in-office quick-testing of patients will become the new normal in a post-COVID world and will publish protocols to guide the dental industry in providing these safety assurances to the public, Matta said.
NADG has been active in supporting medical organizations and municipalities by contributing thousands of N95 respirators to Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh, Kettering Medical Center in Dayton area and the New Castle, PA, Police Department and Fire Department. The company and its affiliated Professional Dentists Association currently have 200 active team members who are fighting COVID-19 head-on daily by providing essential and emergent care in their offices to keep those patients out of overwhelmed emergency rooms.
In addition, on March 15th NADG published a set of guidelines and tools on how to manage patient care during the pandemic. These guidelines and tools have been adopted by dentists and state dental boards across the country to help navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a dental professional.
“Staying adaptable and responsive in this time of great need is the current focus of the organization. We are committed to do our part to fight COVID-19 by contributing our resources and operations to help in every way possible” said Ken Cooper, NADG’s Chief Executive Officer.
About North American Dental Group
North American Dental Group (NADG), based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was cofounded by Ken Cooper and Dr. Andrew Matta in 2008. NADG was created to transform the dental experience for its patients, clinicians, and its support teams and today consists of a network of over 230 dental practices in 15 states and 29 regional markets. The values of maintaining an emotionally intelligent approach, to be thoughtful educators, and to display a healthy bravado fuel our day-to-day patient care and operations. These founding values are alive and well as NADG celebrates its pioneer spirit by solidifying its partnership with Jacobs Holding AG.