COVID-19 has changed every aspect of our lives. This includes routine orthodontist appointments. Here, we'll discuss rules and regulations regarding seeing your orthodontist during these uncertain times.
Staying Safe While Preserving Oral Health
Some patients wonder if it is safe to visit their orthodontist while COVID-19 is still with us. In 2020, restrictions were lifted across Canada and patients could see their orthodontist again. You may notice that their office looks different and there are new protocols in place.
Attending orthodontic appointment is key to your oral health and you undergo orthodontic treatment, there are health concerns which may arise by even attending an appointment. Since the pandemic is ongoing, extra precautions are needed to ensure everyone's safety.
New Rules & Regulations Under COVID-19
For your orthodontist's office to remain open during the pandemic, new rules must be met. Orthodontists must follow this guidance, along with information from their province's Chief Medical Officer of Health when providing care to patients. These include:
- Scheduling appointments to allow patients to physically distance. There must be time for disinfecting treatment areas between appointments.
- Potentially waiting outside. Depending on the office, you may have to wait outside and call when you arrive. They will inform you when you may enter.
- Socially distanced waiting rooms. Chairs are distanced 2 metres apart. There won't be toys, magazines or other non-essential items to reduce touchable surfaces.
- Answering screening questions. Before your appointment, you will be asked screening questions to learn if you have symptoms of COVID-19 and have your temperature taken.
- Using hand sanitizer. When arriving or leaving the office, you'll be asked to use hand sanitizer, soap and water.
- Rescheduling appointments for sick patients. If you're exhibiting flu-like symptoms, or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay home.
- Wearing a face mask. Except for while being treated, you will wear a face mask or covering in the office.
- Protective gear for office staff and orthodontists. Your orthodontist and staff will wear masks and correct personal protective equipment at appointments.
- Attending your appointment alone. Attend your appointment alone, if possible. Exceptions are made for children or people who need assistance.
- Paying via touchless payment. Plan to use your debit card or credit card to pay any balance owing on your appointment.
Are you experiencing an orthodontic emergency and don't know what to do? Call your orthodontist and tell them. They will be able to advise you on appropriate steps. If you need to visit their office, they will let you know how or redirect you to a suitable place to get help.
What is an orthodontic emergency?
Orthodontic emergencies can involve:
- Broken orthodontic appliances, or wires poking into your cheek that you can’t fix yourself.
- Experiencing an intense pain that can’t be resolved with over-the-counter pain medication or rinsing with salt water.
Do you have questions about safety measures orthodontists are taking during COVID-19?
An orthodontist will be able to answer any questions you might have. Find an orthodontist to explain their COVID-19 safety protocols today.