As directed by the Department of Health, during the COVID-19 pandemic, our orthodontic clinic will be operating on an emergency only basis during lockdown.
Due to these unprecedented and rapidly changing circumstances, we know you might have some questions about the COVID-19 pandemic and how it may affect you or your child’s orthodontic care. Our team has put together a range of information to assist you during this time. We are here to support you and will be happy to assist in any way that we can.
These are challenging times for all of us and as always, the health and well being of you, our staff and our community is of utmost importance to us.
How long will our clinic be operating on an emergency only basis?
We will be open on an emergency basis only until the Department of Health deem it safe for us to return to our normal operations. We are frequently assessing the advice of the government and health regulators and will reopen as soon as is permitted. We will provide regular updates on our social media pages as the situation evolves. Our team will still be available to assist patients during the closure period. We ask that you call us on 03 9671 4711 or email our team at email@example.com
Why can the orthodontic clinic only operate on an emergency only basis?
Due to the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and the sweeping recommendations of numerous health and government officials, we must close our doors to all elective procedures for the safety of our community. Elective procedures are defined as any procedure that does not involve treating a medical emergency to preserve life.
How should I proceed if I am wearing braces or an appliance?
Please make sure you keep up with good oral hygiene by brushing three times a day, as well as regular flossing. Also remember, DO NOT eat hard and/or sticky foods, to avoid any breakage. If wearing any elastics continue to do so as directed. Your braces will continue to straighten your teeth all day and night. Proper elastic wear will continue to correct your bite. We will be able to advance your treatment once we reopen.
If you run out of elastics, please call or email the clinic and we will post more out to you.
How should I proceed if I am wearing Invisalign aligners?
Please make sure to keep wearing your active aligners as instructed to continue progressing your treatment.
It is recommended throughout this time, that you do not discard any previously worn aligners. Should you misplace or break an aligner and you have the next aligner, please move forward to the next aligner, otherwise, step back to the previous aligner to hold your teeth in their current alignment. If this happens to you, or you are unsure, please call or email us so that we can seek advice directly from your treating orthodontist and advise you how to proceed.
In some cases, we are able to post some aligners out to you so you can continue to progress through your treatment. If you are on your last aligners and it starts to break or get dirty, please also contact us and we can re-order that aligner at no cost and post it out to you.
Always remember to wash your hands before placing and removing your aligners or elastics.
What should I do if I was scheduled to start treatment soon?
We are excited for all our patients to take this big step and look forward to seeing you again as soon as possible to get things going. We are hopeful that this delay will be short. Luckily a delay of a few weeks or months will have no impact on your treatment. When this situation has stabilised and we are permitted to re-open we are going be ready for you!
What about getting my braces off?
Although orthodontic procedures are very safe for patients and clinic workers with hospital level sterilization and infection control protocols, cleaning teeth and the removal of orthodontic bonding materials produces aerosols that can possibly contain biological material, including viruses. Therefore, these types of dental procedures cannot be carried out at this time. Always brush and floss thoroughly to maintain your dental health as we await the passing of this situation. We will resume removal of braces when we are advised that it is safe to do so.
We are told to wash our hands frequently; how should we handle wearing aligners, retainers, etc?
It is important to continue wearing your aligners and your rubber bands to maintain your treatment progress, or your retainers to maintain treatment result. Follow recommendations by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after removing or placing your aligners, retainers, or elastics. These items can also be washed or cleaned in a diluted soap and cold water solution. An old toothbrush is ideal for this purpose. After cleaning the appliance, rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove any soap or cleaning liquid.
Most minor orthodontic irritations from braces can be managed at home.
If you are unsure what to do, please email us clear photographs of the problem so we can then contact you to provide good advice on what short term measures are needed to get you out of trouble.
When a bracket debonds from your tooth, please do not panic. If this does happen we will be here to assist you. We ask that you call or email us so that we can seek advice directly from your treating orthodontist. Remember that we will be available to provide an emergency service should we need to.
Elastic modules and power chains keep the wire in place and hold your teeth in position.
If your elastic modules or power chain come off and you have metal braces, it is ok to leave this until your next visit when the clinic opens. Metal braces have a clip that holds the wire in place.
If your elastic modules or power chain come off and you have clear braces, we ask that you contact us by phone or email so that we can assess case by case and seek advice from your treating orthodontist.
Attachments assist your aligners in moving teeth however this is not considered an emergency. If an attachment comes off you can continue moving on with your aligners and we can replace it at your next appointment, upon re-opening.
If the elastic button has come off, please stop wearing elastics for now. If you are wearing elastics on both sides then stop wearing them completely. We can address this at your next visit, upon re-opening.
Make sure to use your chewies to seat the aligners in areas where you may see visible space between your tooth and the aligner. For best use, bite into your chewie for 10 seconds and work it around your teeth lightly biting holding for a 10-minute session. If you are in need of more chewies please contact us by phone or email.
If you no longer have aligners to continue with, it is perfectly fine to reduce wear of your last aligner to a retainer phase of 10-12 hours per day to ensure that your teeth stay in position and make your aligner last longer. You may also lengthen the wear of each aligner in order to get you through this period. Keep your aligners clean and avoid all drinks other than water while wearing them. When our clinic reopens, we will assess your alignment as soon as we can.
It is always important to wear your retainers after your treatment is complete. In the event that replacement retainers are required, please advise us by phone or email.
You can always reach out to us via phone or email and we will connect you to your orthodontist to help you get the answers to your questions. Our contact number is (03) 9671 4711.
Should you experience any of the above problems, or have any questions regarding your treatment, we kindly ask that you provide us with some photographs to assist us.
Below is a guide to assist you in taking these photographs. Providing these photographs will allow a more efficient and streamlined response to your questions.
Please email this information to firstname.lastname@example.org
To stay updated on how our clinic is responding please follow us on Facebook and Instagram which we will update regularly.
With your trust and continued loyalty, we will endeavour to reopen our clinic and continue your orthodontic treatment as fast as we can.
We wish you all good health, keep safe and we can’t wait to see you in person again very soon!
Specialist Orthodontists Dr Andrea Phatouros, Dr David Austin, Dr Martin Poon, Dr Joshua Ch’ng and the team at Collins Street Orthodontics.