Due to the COVID-19 pandemic all healthcare providers (including dentists and dental specialists) have been asked by the CDC and multiple other organizations to do their part to help the effort to save lives by providing only non-elective treatment at this time.
Many people are infected but show no or delayed symptoms of an infection. Carriers of the infection may unknowingly infect others during their asymptomatic periods. By reducing the number of elective appointments we can reduce new infections. The number of person-to-person contacts and patient-to-doctor contacts is reduced and helps to prevent additional infections and possible hospitalizations that may overly burden our hospitals and healthcare workers. In addition, it reduces the amount of personal protective equipment (gloves, masks, gowns, sterile wipes, etc….) used for elective procedures. Many of these items are being rationed and are needed at hospitals to save lives. It has gotten so desperate that some hospitals in the USA are currently recommending their doctors wear home-fashioned bandanas to protect themselves due to the lack of disposable facemasks.
Reducing the number of new cases of infection is critical. In Northern Italy, hospitals have been overwhelmed with new cases of infected patients and are having to make difficult choices. Incredibly, healthcare workers there have been told by the government that respirators are not to be used for patients over 60 years old. We are trying to do our part to help prevent this from happening in the USA. This is a terrifying prospect and avoiding this same outcome in the USA is not a certainty.
As you may know we have been postponing appointments through Monday, April 6th. We plan to reopen on April 6th if possible but we are not certain what the CDC and federal, state and local governments will allow us to do at that time. This decision is out of our hands and is having the same impact on the schedule of all other St. Louis dentists.
We do not take your trust in us lightly and we are concerned about the implications these mandates have on our patient’s care. We understand that you may be very concerned that delaying your appointment may have a negative impact on your outcome. This certainly wasn’t part of our plans for your treatment. The good news is that many orthodontic offices routinely see their patients on a 10-week appointment schedules and they do so routinely without creating dental health problems.
In the meantime, if you have any concerns with your treatment please contact us at (314) 872-3218 or www.levensortho.com. We have limited staffing covering our phones and emergency access to our software. We can help you with almost any issue remotely. We can mail you wax and other supplies as needed. In case of a true orthodontic emergency we are also able to help you if it is a non-elective procedure. If you are having an issue with your braces many of the answers to your questions can be found on our website at: http://levensortho.com/orthodontics/emergency-care/
If everyone does their part now it is very possible that we can return to normal procedures in just a few weeks. When that time should come we will be in touch quickly to help you schedule an appointment. We plan to alter our schedule to help you schedule your next appointment as soon as possible.
Thanks so much for your understanding and patience. We look forward to seeing you again. We hope you and your family are healthy and safe.Your Orthodontic Team at Levens Orthodontics