Dear Shirck Orthodontics Family,
As you know, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, our orthodontic office is currently closed. We sent out an instruction sheet about how to handle orthodontic emergencies, but there are other questions that we wanted to answer. Please read through these FAQs below to gain some comfort at this time. While our office is temporarily closed to all non-emergency appointments, it’s important that you all know we are still here to support you, answer your questions, and will certainly be here to continue your path to a beautiful smile once dental offices are allowed to open. Be safe, stay inside when possible, and we will all get through this together!
How long will our office be closed?
Our original plan was to reopen the office on April 13th, but we have not heard a definitive date from the Ohio State Dental Board and are continuing to reassess the situation daily. In the meantime, we do have team members available to handle any patient concerns from 9AM-5PM Monday-Friday via phone (614-855-9110) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Our staff volume has significantly decreased, so please leave a message, and we will respond as soon as we can.
Why does the orthodontic office need to close?
We are closed for two main reasons: 1) from a public health perspective, we are closing during the rise in COVID-19 infections to help try to “flatten the curve” so that the rate of infection can be reduced so the hospital systems are not overwhelmed, and 2) to reduce the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as there is an anticipated shortage for our healthcare providers on the frontlines of fighting this pandemic
How should I proceed if I am wearing braces or an appliance?
The nice thing about orthodontic appliances is that generally your orthodontic progress continues because the wires maintain their activation over time. As always, please continue to maintain excellent oral hygiene by brushing, flossing, and utilizing a fluoride rinse. If you are wearing elastics, please continue wearing elastics as directed; this will continue to correct your bite. If you run out of elastics, please contact our office and we can mail you replacement bags.
How should I proceed if I am wearing Invisalign or Clarity Aligners?
Please continue to wear your active aligners on their regular schedule. If you have reached the end of your aligners in progression, please continue to wear your last aligner longer. If necessary, it is fine to wear your last aligner like a retainer for 10-12 hours a day to maintain the current position of your teeth.
What should I do if I am scheduled to start treatment soon?
We are excited for all of our patients to take this big step and look forward seeing your new smile when it is finished. We are hopeful that this schedule alteration will be short. When this situation has stabilized, we are going to 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 sterilization 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 the removal of braces when we are advised that it is safe to do so.
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 (or your results if you are 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 (1 teaspoon dish soap in a gallon of water). An old toothbrush is ideal for this purpose. After cleaning the appliance, rinse it 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 wear your retainer after your treatment is complete. Call the office, and we can advise you on how to proceed.
Will patients be allowed in the office at all?
Yes, our doctors are available to make patients comfortable if their orthodontic appliances are causing pain. WE ARE LIMITING ACCESS TO THE OFFICE TO ONE PERSON AT A TIME. PLEASE CALL US IF YOU FEEL THE NEED TO COME TO THE OFFICE, AND ONE OF OUR DOCTORS WILL REACH OUT TO YOU. WE ARE GLAD TO HEAR FROM YOU, AND WE WILL PROVIDE SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT YOU SHOULD DO.
I have a poking wire or other irritation that is bothering me; what should I do?
Call us! We will instruct you on the best resolution for the problem. We did send out a handout on things you can do to get yourself or your child more comfortable at home. IF IT IS SOMETHING THAT REQUIRES AN IN-OFFICE VISIT, WE ARE CURRENTLY ONLY SEEING EMERGENCY APPOINTMENTS IN OUR POWELL OFFICE.
To stay updated on how our office is responding, please follow our office Facebook page. Thank you for your understanding, and we are truly grateful that you have chosen to support our small business! We wish you all good health, and we can’t wait to see you again in person soon!!