Receiving Orthodontic Treatment During COVID-19
With the spread of COVID-19, families have had to change their daily routines quickly. To help curb the spread of the virus, people have worked hard to protect their communities by adhering to social distancing guidelines and wearing masks. At Dr. Kendra Pratt’s orthodontist office, our team has also modified our daily practices to keep our patients and their families safe.
Our goal is to provide a clinical environment that allows patients to get the care they need safely and confidently, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the post below, we share some of the precautions we are taking in our offices to stop the spread of COVID-19. We also share several actions that orthodontic patients can take to reduce in-office visits over the coming months.
COVID-19 precautions at our orthodontist offices
Since the pandemic took hold in 2020, health professionals have learned a great deal about COVID-19 and how the virus spreads. With this learning, health professionals and public health officials have developed useful guidelines that can help limit the virus’s spread. Guidelines and safety precautions that we adhere to at Dr. Kendra Pratt’s offices include:
- Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). Our administrative and clinical team members wear facemasks at all times. While treating patients, Dr. Pratt will wear a faceshield for an additional barrier for added protection. We also enforce mask-wearing among our patients before and after their orthodontic procedures take place and any other persons inside of the building.
- Limiting the number of people in the office. Rather than having all patients sit in the waiting room, we encourage patients to wait for their appointments in their cars. Patients can come in to sign in, and when we are ready for their procedure, we call the patient by phone to come inside.
- Encouraging hand hygiene. When people keep their hands clean, they can help reduce the spread of the virus. We have handwashing stations throughout our orthodontic office. Patients must use hand sanitizer upon entering the clinic, and our team members wash their hands between treatment sessions and throughout the day.
- Screening patients for symptoms and exposure. We screen each patient before they come in for an appointment. This screening includes a medical form asking for any known Covid-19 symptoms and if they have been exposed to individuals with COVID-19 or traveled in the last two weeks. We also perform temperature checks on anyone entering the office when they arrive, including employees.
- Social distancing. All of our clinic chairs have been moved a minimum of 10 feet away from each other. We also have a private treatment room for elderly and immunocompromised patients and procedures that may require aerosol generation.
We understand that our patients want to take care of their orthodontic needs and exercise caution during this pandemic. With the above protocols, we are confident that we can provide a safe environment for our patients, and we look forward to helping our patients navigate their health care needs during this difficult time.
Steps that patients can take to stay safe
Orthodontic patients know that treatment can take a long time to achieve straight teeth and their desired results. Patients also know that treatment requires many visits to the orthodontist’s office. During the current pandemic, patients can take several steps to limit the number of appointments during their treatment plans. These steps include:
- Taking care of clear aligner trays. Patients who use clear aligners, such as Invisalign trays, can pick up a few extra sets of aligners should viral cases increase again in our area. If an aligner is lost, please call us and we can order it over the phone and deliver it to your car. If at any time, you feel like your teeth are not tracking or aligners are not fitting, Dr. Pratt would like to see you in the clinic.
- Avoiding foods that can damage braces. Patients with traditional metal braces and clear braces should avoid hard and sticky foods that can damage or break their braces and archwires. By avoiding hard and sticky foods, they can avoid additional emergency appointments that they would otherwise need to repair broken brackets.
- When a patient has an orthodontic emergency, the safest action is often to visit our offices. We can help address the patient’s dental needs and help them avoid a trip to the emergency room. Trips to the emergency room are expensive and may put the patient at a high risk of exposure to COVID-19.
While patients have different risk profiles, we are all part of the same community. Each person must do their part to protect themselves and protect others during this pandemic, and the above steps are great ways that one can help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Finding orthodontic care in The Woodlands and Montgomery, Texas
If you or a loved one needs orthodontic care, know that our team at Dr. Kendra Pratt’s orthodontic office is here to help. We provide a safe environment for orthodontic care, and the health of our patients is our top priority. To learn more about our orthodontic treatment options, book an appointment online, or call us at (281) 367-0050. We can schedule a free consultation and develop a treatment plan for your unique needs.