In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and official guidelines, it became necessary for us to implement a number of more time-consuming protocols including additional health questionnaires, temperature screening, increased sanitation of the facilities, social distancing, and a limit to the number of people in the office, just to name a few. This necessitated that we evaluate our previous practice of inviting parents into the clinic for every orthodontic appointment. We thoroughly enjoy building relationships with the entire family and are happy to be at a point where we are able to loosen some of our restrictions. We will be adding additional seating in our waiting areas (the coffee and games will remain out of service) and implementing the following guidelines for when parents will be invited into the clinic. For the safety of you and our team and the efficiency of our clinic, we ask that you please respect these requests and recommendations on when and how your presence can provide the best quality outcome, the most efficient utilization of time, and for us to keep sanitation protocols in place.
Appointment Type “A”
20 to 30 minute appointments
No parent will need to join the patient in the clinic; a clinic tech will come to the parking lot or reception area or call you to communicate pertinent information at the end of the appointment. For our adult patients, we ask that you leave other family members at home or under supervision in the reception area or parking lot.
Appointment Type “B”
30 to 80 minute appointments
Depending upon the type of appointment, for parents, you will be invited to join your child in the clinic at either the start or at the end of the appointment to receive instructions and details of upcoming appointments. For the bulk of the appointment, you can remain in your car or the reception area to relax.
With only the patient in the clinic during types A and B, it will accelerate the clinical process and doctor and technician efficiency. It will help us to maintain an on-time schedule and shorten appointment times. As a parent, it will shorten your time in the office and in some cases; you will be able to run other errands while your child is in the office.
Appointment Type “C”
Procedures involving local anesthetic (i.e. extractions of primary teeth, lasers, temporary anchorage device placements, etc.)
For parents, your presence chairside during these appointments should be dictated by individual patient needs, considering all levels of anxiety, patient age and maturity. We have found that some highly anxious patients do best in the absence of parents. We have also noticed that some feel grounded and secure when a parent is present. We will guide you on what we feel is best.
Many type C appointments dovetail with a type A or B appointment. Instructions will be given at the completion of the C portion. It is encouraged that after instructions are given, the parent return to the car or to the reception area to wait for the completion of the type A or B portion of the appointment.
Based on the recommended protocol for our practice, it is best for the entire family, other patients and our team that the number of persons in the clinic is minimized. If at all possible, siblings and children of adult patients should not be present during any part of an appointment.
The front desk and/or clinic techs will inform you of the appointment type and your recommended involvement at each visit. We will never deny you the right and obligation as a parent to be present during any portion of the orthodontic process. However, we do ask again that you respect our recommendations on when and how your presence can provide the best quality outcome, the most efficient utilization of time, and the safety precautions to keep everyone healthy. These measures are tailored to current circumstances and could be modified as health risk and state regulations continue to change.
Thank You, Dr. Aron Dellinger and the OSS Team