The Roanoke Valley Orthodontics team is thrilled to announce that we will resume seeing patients for non-emergency appointments on May 1, 2020. Governor Northam and public health officials made the announcement last week allowing dental offices to resume treatment for all patients beginning May 1.
We are SO excited to welcome our patients back to our offices. We’ve missed seeing you, hearing about your lives, and working with you to create healthy, beautiful smiles! We hope you’re just as excited to get your orthodontic treatment back on track.
Given that the number of COVID-19 cases is still a concern in Virginia, you may be wondering whether it’s safe to come back to our offices. That’s why we’re sharing with you the precautions we will be taking to ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and community, as well as some answers to the questions we’ve gotten most frequently during our time out of the office.
First, you should know that the RVO team has always followed a strict OSHA protocol to prevent the spread of disease. This includes using masks, glasses, gloves, sterilization of instruments and devices, and frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces around the offices.
Going forward, we will add the following measures:
- The brushing station will be temporarily closed to reduce aerosols. Please brush thoroughly before your appointments.
- High-touch surfaces such as door handles, light switches, tables, countertops, desks, chairs, phones, computers, sinks, and bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times per day.
- Surfaces in the clinic area will be wiped down and disinfected at the start of the day, after each patient, and at the end of the day.
- Social distancing guidelines will still be in effect, so our waiting room will be closed. Please send your child in or return to your car after walking your child in. Your child is welcome to make their next appointment or a team member will call you after their appointment to update you and schedule a follow-up visit. If your child is younger than 10, one parent/guardian may accompany them into the building, but that person will not be allowed into the clinic area.
- All team members will be wearing masks and gloves in the office. We promise we are still smiling behind this protective gear!
- If you have traveled anywhere on an airplane in the past 14 days, please call our office to reschedule your appointment.
- If you or a family member has been sick or in close proximity to someone who is sick or running a fever in the past 48 hours, please call our office to reschedule your appointment.
While we have not been seeing patients for regular appointments, we have heard from many of you with questions and concerns. Here are some answers to the most common questions:
Will the temporary closure of your office delay my treatment?
Maintaining appointments is a critical part of successful orthodontic treatment, but don’t worry. If you were on track with your appointments before we closed and have been practicing good dental hygiene, and wearing rubberbands as instructed (if prescribed) this interruption will not have much, if any, effect on your overall treatment.
My appointment is still a couple of weeks away. What should I do until then?
If you wear braces, be extra diligent about your dental hygiene routine, and continue to avoid foods that are sticky, hard, crunchy, or tough. Your braces are still doing their job, and we will be able to advance your treatment when we see you again.
If you wear Invisalign aligners, keep wearing them as instructed. If you don’t have your next aligner, continue to wear your last aligner, but reduce your wearing time to 10 to 12 hours per day until we can see you for a new digital scan.
If you have an emergency, first check out our post on orthodontic emergencies you can handle at home. Call us immediately if you experience a blow to the teeth, face, or mouth; have sudden, severe pain or discomfort; or you encounter any other problem you can’t handle on your own.
What if I was scheduled to start treatment while the office was closed?
We are so excited to help you start treatment towards your new smile and will do our best to get you scheduled as soon as possible! A team member will reach out to you so we can help you schedule your start appointment.
I was supposed to get my braces off. When will I be able to do that?
If the only appointment you’ve missed was the braces removal appointment, then we’ll schedule you for another time to get your braces off as soon as possible. We can’t wait to see your new smile! If you missed other appointments during our closure, we’ll need to see you at least one more time before you get your braces off.
Is there anything else I can do to reduce the spread of COVID-19?
You already know you should be washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer. We recommend you wash your hands BEFORE AND AFTER you handle any orthodontic appliance, including aligners, retainers and elastic bands. You can also use a toothbrush to cleanse your device with soap and water, then rinse thoroughly with cold water before placing it back in your mouth.
In addition, our office is mask-friendly, so if you feel more comfortable wearing a mask into the building, we encourage you to do that. Remember, wearing your mask helps protect yourself and others.
As always, the safety of our patients, staff, and community is our top priority! If you have questions or concerns about our protocols, please feel free to contact us before your appointment.
We are diligently working to get all missed appointments rescheduled. A member of our team will reach out to you as quickly as we can. If you have been eager to book a free consultation, we want to talk to you, too! Be sure to check out the New Patients section on our website for information about your first visit, to download and complete your new patient forms, and more. We are in the process of implementing a virtual consult platform, where we can analyze your teeth and your bite remotely to give you a preliminary treatment plan and fee before coming to our office.
Finally, we appreciate all the calls, texts, and social media messages we’ve gotten over the past few weeks. Thank you all for your understanding and patience. Please continue to take care of yourselves and one another, and check our social media pages for more updates.
— Dr. Jones and the Roanoke Valley Orthodontics Team