COVID-19 has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, and that doesn't exclude routine orthodontic appointments with Dr. Vivek Cheba. In this post we will inform you of the new rules and regulations which will be in effect at your next visit with Dr. Cheba during these uncertain times.
Staying Safe While Preserving Oral Health
Many patients are concerned about whether it is safe to visit their orthodontist while COVID-19 is still with us. Starting in the late spring and early summer of 2020, a number of restrictions were lifted across Canada and patient were able to visit their orthodontist again. However, you may notice a number of differences form what you might be used to when visit Dr. Cheba. There are new protocols in effect to keep both the staff and patients at his office safe.
Attending orthodontic appointments is a key step in maintaining your oral health as your move through your orthodontic treatment plan. But there are health and safety concerns which might come up just by coming to your scheduled appointment. Because we are still in the midst of a pandemic, we will need to take extra precautions to keep you safe.
New Rules & Regulations Under COVID-19
Dr. Cheba needs to adhere to all updated safety rules from provincial and federal regulating bodies in order to remain open during the pandemic. All orthodontists need to adhere to this guidance as well as the most recent information from their province's Chief Medical Officer when providing the quality care their patients deserve. This includes:
For your orthodontist’s office to stay open during the pandemic, all updated safety rules from provincial regulating bodies and governments must be met. Orthodontists must adhere to this guidance, along with the most up-to-date information from their province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health when providing care. This includes:
- Potentially waiting outside. Depending on the office, you may be asked to wait outside and call when you arrive. You’ll be notified when it’s appropriate to enter.
- Socially distanced waiting rooms. You’ll find chairs are spaced 2 meters apart. There will be no magazines, toys or other non-essential items as we try to reduce the number of touchable surfaces.
- Scheduling appointments to allow patients to physically distance. There must also be time for treatment areas to be disinfected between each appointment. Keep in mind that everyone is now on a time crunch, and that may mean you need to book an appointment further ahead or that there will be less flexibility in Dr. Vivek Cheba's daily schedule.
- Answering screening questions. Before your appointment, your orthodontist or their staff will ask you pre-screening questions to learn whether you have any symptoms of COVID-19. You’ll need to answer these questions again when you arrive on the day of your appointment, in addition to having your temperature taken with a touchless thermometer.
- Protective gear for office staff and orthodontists. In addition to surgical face masks, your orthodontist and their staff will wear correct personal protective equipment (PPE) during in-person appointments.
- Attending your appointment alone. Plan to attend your appointment alone, as fewer people in the office is always better. Exceptions are made for children and people who require assistance. If the patient needs a parent or caregiver, that person will also be subject to all screening questions/measures.
- Paying via touchless payment. Plan to use your debit card or credit card to pay any balance owing on your appointment.
- Rescheduling appointments for sick patients. If you have any flu-like symptoms (difficulty breathing, cough, fever), or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please stay home. If you have an upcoming orthodontic appointment, please call your orthodontic office to report symptoms, reschedule or inquire about other care options.
- Wearing a face mask. Except for while you are being treated, you will be asked to wear a face mask or covering while in your orthodontist’s office.
- Using hand sanitizer. When you arrive, you’ll be asked to use a 70 to 90 percent alcohol-based solution, or soap and water, upon entering or leaving the office.
Are you experiencing and orthodontic emergency and don't know what to do? Call Dr. Cheba and inform him of your situation. He will be able to provide you with advice on what steps you should take. If you need to visit his office, he will let you know if and how he can help you or will direct you to another orthodontist or emergency clinic.
What is an orthodontic emergency?
Orthodontic emergencies can involve:
- Orthodontic appliances becoming broken or their wires poking into your cheek without a temporary fix.
- You are experiencing an amount of pain that cannot remedied by taking over-the-counter pain medication or by rinsing your mouth with salt water.
In the event of these4 kinds of cases, call Dr. Vivek Cheba as soon as possible and he will try his best to attend to your needs. In the meantime, make sure you ice the affected are. If part of your orthodontic appliance has broken, try to find it, and bring it along to your appointment.