We would like to thank our good friend Dr Dan Bills at Innovative Orthodontics in New Jersey, USA for allowing us to share this great content from his blog – https://www.iortho.com/featured/covid-19-and-orthodontics/
COVID-19 SUCKS! WE SAID IT, AND WE DON’T CARE WHO HEARD IT!
Let us start by thanking everyone who sent well wishes to us and the team these last few days during this uncertain time.It is much appreciated to know you care about us as much as we care about you!
Due to these unprecedented and rapidly changing circumstances, we know you might have some questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it may affect your orthodontic care. Our team has put together this FAQ to help you gain some amount of clarity in this part of your life. We are here to support you and will continue to find new ways to provide you with the highest quality orthodontic care.
IS iSMILE ORTHODONTICS CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC?
Due to nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sweeping recommendations of numerous health and government officials including the Australian Dental Association, we have closed our physical offices for the time being to all non-essential procedures for the safety of our community. Our physical offices may be closed, but our practice is still very much open! We are available by phone, text, virtual appointments, and FaceTime if necessary to keep your Orthodontic treatment moving!
HOW LONG WILL OUR PHYSICAL OFFICES BE CLOSED?
At this stage, our physical offices are currently scheduled to reopen on April 15th. We are frequently assessing the situation and will be very transparent with next steps if that changes. Our team will be available to assist patients by phone, email, text, virtual checkups, and even FaceTime if needed . To help keep our outgoing lines open for our team to handle patient concerns, we ask that you send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for the fastest response.
HOW WILL THIS INCONVENIENT DELAY AFFECT MY ORTHODONTIC TREATMENT?
We are happy to report that your orthodontic treatment is still active and your tooth movement is progressing during this time.Because of the technology in the braces, wires, and aligners we use, we routinely extend intervals between appointments 10-12 weeks (and in rare instances 16 weeks) normally, so this “forced” postponement is just doing what we would do anyway.In fact, many times we schedule interim checks and adjustments with you for our own peace of mind, to relieve any wire discomfort you may be having, or just to have a chance to talk with you 🙂
HOW SHOULD I PROCEED IF I AM WEARING BRACES OR AN APPLIANCE?
Please make sure you keep good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing three times a day. Also remember, DO NOT eat forbidden foods to avoid any breakage. If wearing any elastic, continue to do so as directed. Your braces will continue to straighten your teeth all day and night. Proper elastic wear will continue to correct your bite. We will be able to advance your treatment once we reopen.
HOW SHOULD I PROCEED IF I AM WEARING INVISALIGN ALIGNERS?
Please make sure to keep wearing your active aligners as instructed to continue progressing your treatment. Make sure to use your chewies and bite and hold to seat the aligners in areas where you may see visible space between your tooth and the aligner. For best use, bite into your chewie for 10 seconds and work it around your teeth lightly biting holding for a 10-minute session.
If you no longer have aligners to continue to your next week, it is perfectly fine to reduce your last aligner wear to nighttime only wear to ensure that your teeth stay in position and make your aligner last longer. Keep your aligners clean and avoid all drinks other than water while wearing them. When our office reopens, we will make a new digital scan for new aligners.
If you are currently in “passive” aligners between phases and are awaiting your new trays, please switch to wearing your passive aligners only at night and switch only if one breaks or starts to get gross!
Always remember to wash your hands before placing and removing your aligners or elastics.
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 short. When this situation has stabilised, we are going be ready for you!
WHAT ABOUT GETTING MY BRACES OFF?
Although dental care is very safe for patients and providers with standard universal precautions and hospital level sterilisation protocols, cleaning teeth and the removal of orthodontic bonding materials produces aerosols that can possibly contain biological material. A deferral of removing braces is a good practice at a time like this. Always brush and floss thoroughly to maintain your dental health as we await the passing of this situation. We will resume removal of braces when we are advised that it is safe to do so.We realize that this is a major inconvenience for those of you who are excited to get your braces off and see your new smile, and we thank you in advance for understanding that this is simply out of our control — like many things in our lives at this time.
I HAVE A NEW PATIENT EXAM OR AN OBSERVATION APPOINTMENT COMING UP. WHAT SHOULD I DO ABOUT THAT?
If you are a candidate to have these types of appointments done virtually, one of our team members will discuss this with you. For those of you who would still prefer do have these done in person, we will maintain all appointment records within our computer system, and will reschedule these appointments 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, or your treatment result if currently wearing retainers. 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 diluted soap and water solution. An old toothbrush is ideal for this purpose. After cleaning the appliance, rinse thoroughly in cold water to minimise the soapy taste, just like when doing the dishes.
I LOST OR BROKE MY RETAINER OR ALIGNER. WHAT SHOULD I DO?
It is always important to wear your retainers after your treatment is complete. Call the office and leave us a voice mail or write us a email, someone will be contact you to see how we can proceed.
WILL PATIENTS BE ALLOWED IN THE OFFICE AT ALL? IS THERE ANYONE THERE?
Not at this time. Our physical offices will open on April 15th; however, until then our office is very much open virtually. We are always here to help keep your treatment moving and to help in any way we can!
I HAVE A POKING WIRE OR OTHER IRRITATION THAT IS BOTHERING ME. WHAT DO I DO?
Call us! We will instruct you on the best resolution to the problem. We will try to help you with an easy fix at home. In the event of a true emergency situation involving severe pain or discomfort, this could involve a quick trip to the office for a fix in a private setting where you would be the only patient in the office.
Again, a big thank you to Dr Dan Bills at Innovative Orthodontics in New Jersey, USA for allowing us to share this great content from his blog – https://www.iortho.com/featured/covid-19-and-orthodontics/
Be Kind, Stay Safe.
With thanks and love from,
Dr Ramya Thiyagarajan & the iSmile Orthodontics Team