Update: Our Response to the Flu & COVID-19 Pandemic

March 31, 2020

A Word for our Ortho Patients:

Due to COVID-19 and the recommendation of many governmental and professional organizations, our office has made the difficult, but important, decision to postpone any non-essential appointments.  You can be assured that this decision was not made lightly but was made to protect patients, staff and families.   We hope that you and your family are well, and we are looking forward to seeing you again as soon as we determine that it is safe to resume normal scheduling.

Given the closure, you may have a few questions. 

Will this delay my treatment?

We know part of successful orthodontic treatment is showing up for your appointments. While that’s not an option under these unusual circumstances, it’s okay. Don’t panic. Though your appointments are scheduled out to achieve maximum success, this hiccup shouldn’t have much of an impact on your overall treatment plan. Given the situation, we will work hard to get your treatment plan back on track when we resume our normal schedule.

 You can help keep treatment on track by following any directions our office may give you, avoiding hard and sticky foods, and keeping your teeth clean.  With limitations on our ability to see you, now is not the time to be breaking brackets, and keeping your teeth clean will ensure the best possible result.

 What now?

A timeline as to when we reopen may be up-in-the-air, but you can rest assured we are making decisions with your best interest in mind.  

 What is “essential dental care”?

The American Association of Orthodontists has defined emergency orthodontic treatment as care that “is critically necessary to prevent harm to the patient.”  Please know that we are available to help you in situations that meet these criteria.  If such a case occurs, please contact our office so we can see you.

 Fortunately, most orthodontic problems are more inconvenient that critically harmful and can be temporarily managed at home to alleviate discomfort and prevent additional damage.  In these situations, we will correct the issue once we return to our normal schedule.  If you are unable to manage the problem at home, please contact us so that we can assist you.  Below are some guidelines to help you manage your orthodontic appliances until we are able to see you again in our office:

 Clean your teeth and orthodontic appliances multiple times a day.

A little water, your toothbrush, some floss and toothpaste go a long way. Rinse your mouth with water after drinking a sugary or acidic beverage. Brush your teeth and gums after every meal or snack. Floss once a day.  And don’t forget to look in the mirror to make sure you’ve cleaned thoroughly each time.

 Wear you elastics and retainers as prescribed.

Keep your orthodontic treatment on track by following the recommendations of your orthodontist.  If we need to reschedule your appointment due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you may be given new instructions regarding elastic wear and appliances.

 Avoid problematic foods and drinks.

Due to the potential uncertainty of when we will be able to see you, it is especially important to handle your appliances with care. Avoid hard, sticky foods that could potentially break brackets. Skip or limit sugary beverages like sports drinks and soda. Water is best!

 Lost O-ring

An O-ring is the tiny rubber band, that holds the orthodontic wire in the bracket/brace.  They are the colored part of your braces.  If a rubber O-ring should come off, you may be able to put it back in place using disinfected tweezers.

 Tooth Discomfort

It’s normal to have some discomfort during orthodontic treatment as your teeth move.  Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may alleviate some discomfort.  If the discomfort lasts longer than a few days, be sure to contact us to discuss the situation.

Mouth Sores

Some patients are susceptible to episodes of mouth sores. While braces do not cause them, they may get worse due to irritation from braces. One or several areas of ulceration of the cheeks, lips or tongue may appear. This is not an emergency but may be very uncomfortable. Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water and over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, may alleviate some discomfort.  Prompt relief may be achieved by applying a small amount of topical anesthetic (such as Orabase or Ora-Gel) directly to the ulcerated surface using a cotton swab – reapply as needed.  If after a couple days the discomfort does not improve, contact us to discuss the situation.

 Irritation in the Mouth

Sometimes braces or wires can be irritating to the mouth, especially when eating. A small amount of orthodontic relief wax makes an excellent buffer between metal and mouth. Simply pinch off a small piece and roll it into a ball the size of a small pea. Flatten the ball and place it completely over the area of the braces causing irritation.  Wax can be purchased at any drug store if you run out.

 Protruding/Poking Wire

Occasionally the end of a wire will work itself out of place and can irritate the mouth. Use a Q-tip or clean tweezer and try to push the wire so that it is flat against the tooth. If the wire cannot be moved into a comfortable position, cover it with relief wax.

If a wire ligature (small wire tied around the braces in place of an O-ring) is sticking out into the lip but is not loose, it may be bent back down with a Q-tip or pencil eraser to eliminate the irritation.

 Loose Braces or Bands

If a bracket or band is loose but not causing injury or pain, we can repair the problem when we are able to see you for your next adjustment appointment.  If you are experiencing pain, please contact us to discuss your situation.

 March 19, 2020

To Our Patients,
 
The American Dental Association, North Carolina Dental Society, American Association of Pediatric Dentistry and the Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have issued correspondence that it is in the best interest of all staff and patients to postpone routine and non-emergent dental care for a period. Today, we have made the very difficult decision to comply with their guidance and close our doors until March 31, 2020 to all non-urgent and preventative care appointments.  We will still see emergency cases and perform emergency treatment. Thank you for understanding as we, like all other businesses, navigate through uncharted territory.
 
While we know that this reduction in access will create many challenges for our patients, team members and our business, we feel a social obligation to do our part to stop the spread of COVID 19.   Dental office professionals are at a greater risk for the transmission of COVID-19 because of the nature of the virus and how it is transmitted.

We have more than appropriate PPE (Person Protective Equipment) for our staff and patients, but also realize there is a shortage of items due to the current circumstance we are facing. We feel obligated to save our supplies for patients who need it the most for emergency treatments. Note that we have also been very diligent with additional patient screening, and additional terminal cleanings within our offices.
 
Our staff will reach out to you shortly if you have an upcoming scheduled visit that is routine or non-emergent to reschedule. If you do have a dental emergency, please feel free to call us to be seen. Office numbers and text lines are listed below. We will continue to take the highest precautions for those who need to be seen for emergency visits during this time.
 
Thank you for understanding our proactive decision to keep our team members and community healthy and safe.

Phone and Text Options by Location:

Village Family Dental – Fayetteville phone (910) 485-8884 or text (910) 600-6649
Village Family Dental – Eastover phone (910) 437-0232 or text (910) 600-0830
Village Family Dental – Hope Mills phone (910) 424-3623 or text (910) 501-2768
Village Family Dental – St Pauls phone (910)446-1130 or text (910) 600-6604
Village Family Dental – Raeford phone (910) 875-4008 or text (910) 418-1655
Village Family Dental – Laurinburg phone (910) 276-6640 or text (910) 600-6566
Dental Health Associates – phone (910) 486-4180 or text (910) 600-0514

March 14, 2020

At Village Family Dental, we have the utmost concern for our patients and employees at all times. Your health and safety are of highest priority now, just as they always have been. We continually monitor the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OSHA websites for guidelines on how to best protect our patients and team members.

As a dental practice, we already have strict guidelines in place for cleaning and sanitizing procedures. We will continue to go above and beyond these guidelines in order to make sure your family is as safe as we would like our family members to be during this current pandemic.

Here are Guidelines to help your family stay healthy:

Handwashing Guidelines

Steps to Prevent Illness

In Preparation for Your Appointment

According to the American Dental Association, “Respiratory hygiene/cough etiquette infection control measures along with contact precautions are currently recommended for preventing transmission of COVID-19 and all flu-like illnesses in a dental healthcare setting.” Please help us to provide the safest environment by following these guidelines:

  • If you currently have the flu or have had direct contact with anyone diagnosed with the Flu or the Coronavirus, or if you have recently traveled to an area where the Coronavirus is prevalent, please inform one of our team members by calling our office before your visit.
  • Please limit the number of people you bring to an appointment at our office.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please reach out to us by contacting our offices directly.