UPDATED Thursday, April 30th!
NOTE: Please see below for handling orthodontic emergencies/problems until you can be seen for your appointment (which we hope to see you as soon as we can!)
Dear Patients, Friends, and Families of Scioto Orthodontics,
We hope the end of April finds you doing well, healthy, and optimistic about resuming little bits of normalcy where we can.
We are pleased to be contacting you with good news today. Governor DeWine has announced that dental offices will reopen beginning on May 1! While being allowed to literally open our doors, this also opens the door to many questions, so we decided to create a “Q & A” format email like the last one we sent in hopes that you can find your answers quickly!
When can I schedule an appointment?
While this announcement enables us to continue treating patients, there are several stipulations that we must meet in order to resume your treatment safely. The most significant of these is the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep you and our staff members safe and healthy. As you know, PPE is directed first to hospitals and first responders. We even had the privilege of donating some of our previous inventory to this worthy cause. As such, we are now faced with the task of sourcing new supplies. Once we are certain that we are able to meet our needs safely, we will begin reaching out to schedule appointments. We anticipate that we will begin seeing some patients as early as May 5.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
We will be contacting each of you personally in the order in which your appointments were canceled. Please be patient, as this process will take some time. There are many of you to reach, and we want to give each of you the personalized answers that you would like, so we anticipate that these phone calls to may take some extra time. We will also ask for your patience in selecting a date for your next appointment. We have six weeks of treatment to reschedule which means that there is a great deal of demand to meet. In addition, the new recommendations for safe treatment include spacing our appointments out to allow more time in between for disinfection and to give doctors adequate time to address your needs. This means that we won’t be able to see patients at the same rate as we normally do. Rest assured, we are doing our best to help make appointments more readily available by lengthening our normal hours of business. Please know there will be changes to our office hours to meet demand.
If you experience a problem/concern while waiting to be seen, please see below on handling emergencies and/or contact the doctors. We will continue to leave this hopefully helpful guidance on this page.
What are you doing to ensure that it’s safe to visit the office?
It is of the utmost importance to us that when we resume treatment, we do it in the safest way possible for everyone involved. We will continue the CDC and OSHA recommended infection control practices that we have always used, like those listed below:
- Proper hand hygiene
- PPE for staff members
- Disinfection of all surfaces with hospital grade disinfectants
- Sterilization and individual packaging of instruments
In addition, we will be adding new measures to reduce the likelihood of viral spread. We will be following the guidelines recommended by the CDC and Ohio State Dental Board. There are many new guidelines intended to keep everyone safe, and below are some of the most noteworthy:
- Maintain social distancing within the office (6 feet)
- Minimize the number of people present in the office
- Pre-screening patients for potential infection
- Taking patient temperatures at each appointment
- Reduce the number of in-person visits necessary by increasing digital availability
- Staff members will log temperatures daily
- Eliminate magazines, coffee machines, toys, etc. from the reception area.
- Routinely disinfecting surfaces in common areas.
- Eliminating the brushing station.
- Increasing the PPE requirements for some procedure types.
What should I expect at my next appointment?
You will likely notice some changes at your next appointment, beginning at arrival. We will request that you please remain in your car and call the office upon arrival. If your chair is ready for you, we will ask the patient to come inside. If not, we will ask you to remain in your car and will text you as soon as your chair is ready. When it is time to come inside, we will request that adults and children who are old enough to be unaccompanied please come on their own. For majorimportant appointments such as the new patient exam, and for other circumstances where a responsible party/parentparent is required, we will request that the patient be accompanied by only one person and that siblings remain at home.
When we contact you to schedule your appointment, we will ask you to answer several screening questions regarding COVID-19, and we will repeat these questions upon your arrival. We will also take and record your temperature and ask you to use hand sanitizer. Elevated temperatures and/or at-risk responses will require us (per the Ohio State Dental Board) to reschedule your appointment unless it is of a very emergent nature.
We will do our best to keep your appointment efficient and also to move your treatment forward after the lost time. We will try to schedule a future appointment on the spot. After your appointment, we will be happy to provide a summary of any important information via text message for parents who were not able to be present!
Finally, you will notice that your doctors and staff members will have their usual shiny smiles hidden behind a mask from beginning to end – but rest assured, we are grinning under there because we are happy to see you again!!
How long will these changes be in place?
No one has asked us this yet, but we included this question because it’s one of the unknownsones on our my mind. It’s the questionone that we have the hardest time trying to answer! We don’t know how long these changes will be in effect, but we suspect that this experience will have a lasting impact on the way we provide dentistry. We believe there will be many positive changes – increased awareness of infection control to prevent the spread of all diseases, our increased understanding of the need for digital communication, and finally we will be striving to increase conveniences by improving our ability to manage your orthodontic treatment with fewer in-person appointments. We’ll see what the future holds – we look forward to navigating that path with you, and we are so grateful to have each and every one of you along with us for the journey.
Thank you so very much for your patience. We are so lucky to have the best patients in the world. We look forward to seeing each of you very soon!
Dr. Bethany, Dr. Liz and Staff
BELOW ARE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS REGARDING ORTHODONTIC PROBLEMS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PATIENTS IN ACTIVE TREATMENT AND RETAINERS
If you have an orthodontic problem or emergency:
- Please know that you can always call our office to speak with someone about your issue. The doctors are on-call 24-7 and will do their best to help you!
- The American Association of Orthodontists has some excellent tips on their blog as to how to handle various issues at home. Please check out this link:
- You are welcome to and it is appreciated to take a cell phone picture of the issue if you end up needing to contact one of the doctors. This is very helpful for them to advise you in the appropriate way.
Specific appliance recommendations/issues for patients in active treatment and retention:
- For patients wearing ELASTICS: patients should continue to wear their current elastic patterns as prescribed at their most recent check-up. If you are out of elastics, please call us and we will mail you some. Please do not use any other size of elastics or in any pattern that was not prescribed.
- MARA OR FORSUS PROBLEMS: please CALL our office for instructions.
- If you have a palate expander, STOP TURNING after you have completed your recommended number of turns. DO NOT DO MORE THAN WHAT WAS PRESCRIBED.
- If you have a lower expander (Arnold expander), please CALL our office for instructions.
- For patients with a CARRIERE APPLIANCE, please continue your elastics in your prescribed pattern (and elastic strength). Please call us if you need more elastics. If your appliance is LOOSE, please call us.
- For patients in ALIGNERS: please continue to progress through your aligners as you would normally do (and call us if you need more elastics). If you run out of aligners, please wear the aligner you are currently on full time until your next appointment. If you lose or break an aligner, please wear the previous one until your next appointment.
- For patients in REMOVABLE RETAINERS: if you lose or break a retainer, please CALL us for specific instructions. Some patients may have a back-up retainer that they can wear as long as it is fitting reasonably well.
- If you have a BONDED WIRE RETAINER and experience a breakage, loosened glue, or other issue, please CALL us for instructions. Do your best to wear your removable retainer (if available) to minimize tooth movement and cover any areas of discomfort.
Scioto Orthodontics: 614-363-2525