FAQ guide for patients during COVID-19

By March 27, 2020 April 22nd, 2020 Orthodontics

Dear Hawley Orthodontics Family,

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 world-class orthodontic care.

How long will our office be closed?

The Board of Trustees of the Nebraska Dental Association has asked us to close our office until April 6th, 2020. There is a possibility this closure may be extended if the Board deems it necessary, but we will keep you updated! Our team will be available to assist patients by phone and email from 8 am-3 pm Monday – Friday. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions or concerns you may have! Additionally, Dr. Hawley will have digital appointments that will be up and running soon!

Why does the orthodontic office need to close?

Due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sweeping recommendations of numerous health and government officials, we must close our doors to all elective procedures for the safety of our community. Elective procedures in dentistry are defined as any procedure that if not completed in 24-48 hours can have negative health consequences. Most orthodontic procedures are considered elective (however, if you are experiencing pain, bleeding or discomfort please call the office and we will get it taken care of).

How should I proceed if I am wearing braces or an appliance?

Please maintain great oral hygiene by brushing and flossing! Also remember, avoid hard, sticky foods that may break your braces. 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.

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 are running low on active aligners, and we haven’t contacted you already, please reach out to the office and we will get you more aligners to use so you can continue to progress through your treatment.

If you are in your last aligner, please wear it full time for 2 weeks and then wear it 12 hours/day until we can see you in the office again.

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 stabilized, we are going to be ready for you!

What about getting my braces off?

Orthodontic care in our office is very safe for all of our patients and our staff because of the standard universal precautions and hospital-level sterilization protocols we follow, but 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 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. After cleaning the appliance, rinse thoroughly in cold water to minimize the soapy taste, just like when doing the dishes.

I lost or broke my retainer. What should I do?

It is always important to wear your retainers after your treatment is complete. Please call the office so we can discuss how to get you new retainers.

Will patients be allowed in the office at all? Is there anyone there?

We are available to take care of orthodontic emergencies, which are defined by the Nebraska Board of Dentistry as pain, bleeding or discomfort from your braces or removable appliance. Please let us know if you are having any problems and we’ll set a time to make sure you are comfortable!

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, this could involve a quick VIP trip to the office for a fix in a private setting where you would be the only patient in the office.

Please check for updates on our Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as on our blog to stay updated on the current situation.

Thank you for your understanding! We are truly grateful to all of you awesome patients and look forward to seeing you again soon!

The Hawley Orthodontics Team

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