COVID-19 Update & Information
April 24, 2020
We would like to start off by saying “we miss our entire patient family!” Your safety and health is our top priority. You will see changes when it is time for your next visit. Please understand, these changes are designed to help protect our patients and staff. We have taken serious measures to keep you safe so you can feel confident in returning to our office. Here is what you need to know for your visit: Our office will be conducting phone screening before and upon arrival to your appointment. We are following proper guidelines recommended by CDC/ AAO of social distancing. This means more time will be allocated for every patient, which may result in fewer scheduling options. This will increase waiting times, as well as the number of patients in the office at any time. Please call us once you arrive in the parking lot so the front desk can sign you in, your car will be the new waiting room. You do not need to sign in again when entering the office. We are asking that only patients come in at this time. Parents will be asked to stay in the car. We will call you when the clinician/ doctor is ready to see you. Upon entering, the patient will meet our greeter at the door. Our greeter will again screen the patient and take your temperature to ensure it is below 100.4 degrees. Please make sure you do not drink anything hot/cold 30 minutes beforehand for this may have an effect on the reading. If you show any signs of a fever you will be asked to reschedule your appointment in 2 weeks. Please note it is mandatory to come in wearing a mask. Once cleared, we will ask you to wash your hands at the patient station and the clinician will escort you to your seat. We have closed the brushing station at this time. Please make sure you brush and floss at home before coming in. We’ve added enhanced infection control procedures for the office in general as well as our clinic. We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we are taking to keep you and our practice safe. Please arrive on time to ensure our new schedule runs on time. Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming you back.
Questions about the COVID-19 Pandemic and orthodontic care
How long will your office be closed?
Like many facets of this outbreak, there are many unknowns. At this time, we anticipate being closed until May 18th, 2020; however, given the unknowns surrounding this situation, we will be continually re-assessing the need to alter this schedule.
Why does the orthodontic office need to close?
The recommendations made by public health officials regarding “social distancing” apply to a orthodontic office where many people are coming and going and close contact is a necessary part of all orthodontic care. We need to be socially responsible for your safety.
Will patients be allowed in the office at all? Is there anyone there?
Yes, our normal team members will be in the office, Monday thru Thursday from 8:30 am-5:30 pm and by appointment only. We will, however, LIMIT ACCESS TO THE OFFICE TO 3 PATIENTS AT A TIME. Please call when you arrive. We will call you when we are ready to see you. You must wear a mask to come in. There will be a greeter at the front door. There will be an in-office screening. If you have a fever you will be asked to return to your car and reschedule your appointment. Please do not drink anything cold/ hot 30 min beforehand for this may affect your temperature reading. No tooth brushing in the office will be allowed (our toothbrush station will be closed). Please brush and floss at home. Patients will be instructed to wash hands upon entering. We ask you please bring a sweater; the AC will be turned down very low to accommodate new Protective Personal Equipment that the Clinicians and staff will be wearing.
How should I proceed if I am wearing braces or an appliance?
The good news is that your care in general advances even when we don’t see you in the office; in fact, this is how it works- your teeth get straight all day and night with braces. Continue to wear your elastics as directed. Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly 3 times a day.
How should I proceed if I am wearing Invisalign?
It is very important you continue to wear your active aligners! We do not want to lose the progress you have made. If you are at your last aligner of a sequence, please continue wearing it. If you have recently started or are in the middle of a sequence, please continue advancing at the rate of change we have given you.
What should I do if I am scheduled to start treatment soon?
We are excited for all our patients to take this big step and look forward to seeing your new smile when it is finished. We are hopeful that this schedule alteration will be over soon. When this situation stabilizes, we are going to be ready for you!
What about getting my braces off?
Although our office operates under “Universal Precautions” very much like hospital-level sterilization protocols, cleaning teeth and the removal of orthodontic bonding materials produces aerosols (air and water mist) that can possibly contain viruses and bacteria. A deferral of removing braces is part of what is considered as an elective non-emergency procedure at this point. Always brush and floss thoroughly to maintain your dental health as we await the passing of this situation.
I have a routine monitoring appointment upcoming (retainer check, growth monitoring, recall examination, or new patient consultation).
These appointments are very important, but by their nature become elective at a time like this. We will maintain all appointment records within our computer system and will reschedule them appropriately when the community situation returns to normal.
We are told to wash our hands frequently; how should we handle wearing aligners, retainers, elastics, etc?
It is important to continue wearing your aligners, and your rubber bands to maintain your treatment progress. Follow recommendations by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after removing or placing your aligners, retainers, or elastics. These items can also be washed or cleaned in a dilute soap and water solution (1 teaspoon dish soap in a gallon of water). After cleaning the appliance, rinse thoroughly in cold water to minimize the soapy taste.
I lost or broke my retainer or aligner; what should I do?
It is always important to continue with retainer/ aligner schedules. If you lost or damaged your retainer/aligner call the office.
I have a poking wire or other irritation that is bothering me; what do I do?
Call us! We can guide you on the next steps and schedule an emergency visit to make you comfortable.
Can I enter the office with my child?
Only patients will be allowed in the office. At this moment we prefer you wait in the car, your car is the waiting room. We are asking for everyone’s help in minimizing the number of people in the office while your child is being treated. This is what’s best for everyone.
What if I missed my appointment due to COVID-19?
We will be calling all missed appointments, we will be conducting a phone screening. After passing the screening we will schedule you to come in. Please understand the first appointment will be a wellness check. We will evaluate the progress of your treatment. We may not be able to do everything that was originally scheduled. A second appointment will most likely be needed.
What if I need to reschedule my appointment?
Once you are scheduled, if for some reason you will not be able to keep it, please call us to reschedule or cancel. We have a lot of catching up to do and can offer the appointment to another patient in need to come in. We appreciate your patience during this difficult time.
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