There’s no denying that life looks a bit different than it did a month or two ago. Guidelines change quickly, and many of us are trying to successfully navigate working, learning, and shopping from home. If you’re a current orthodontic patient, you may be worried about how all of these unforeseen changes are going to affect your treatment plan. Or perhaps you were just about to take the leap into orthodontic treatment when things began shutting down. Either way, Nirenblatt Orthodontics is still here for you!
With so many mandated closures and “safer at home” orders issued across the country recently, healthcare providers have had to look for new and innovative ways to connect with their patients. Embracing virtual technology has allowed us to continue addressing the orthodontic needs of our community while still maintaining a safe social distance! We’re able to conduct check-in “visits” with established patients, and do new patient consultations, too. This means that we can do our part to flatten the curve while meeting patients wherever they are on their orthodontic journey.
Telemedicine is still a relatively new option in many areas. Those who have never used it before aren’t always sure what to expect from virtual visits, but the process is actually very simple and user-friendly. Your first step is the homepage of our official website, which you can find here: https://www.drnirenblatt.com/. From there, you’ll want to click the blue button that says “Online Smile Exam.” On the page that opens, you’ll see a short video that explains how to take the photographs we need.
These images are necessary for both check-up visits and new patient consultations, so be sure to watch for tips on how to get the best shots! These photos will typically include:
- a shot of you facing forward, not smiling
- a shot of you facing forward, smiling
- a profile shot
- front bite
- right bite
- left bite
- upper teeth
- lower teeth
Our video explains each one of these in more detail, and you will also see them demonstrated. If you’re a current patient who is wearing elastics, remember that they’re an essential part of your treatment plan. When you take the photos of your right and left bite, we ask that you have your elastics on the braces so we can check that you’re wearing them properly. This lets us provide you with any feedback if needed.
Once you have clear photographs from all the necessary angles, you should text them to 843-769-9999. Include your name and any personal notes. Once these have been reviewed by Dr. Nirenblatt, we’ll reach out to you to set up a virtual visit. During your appointment, you’ll be able to discuss any concerns you have, what our recommendations are, and any additional input Dr. Nirenblatt has.
Why our practice is proud to offer virtual technology
The health and safety of our patients and staff have always been a top priority for us, and that hasn’t changed. Switching over to virtual “visits” means we can keep your treatment plan on track while our office is closed, while virtual consultations let you take the first steps towards a new smile without ever having to leave home!
Meeting virtually can also be helpful for patients who have been worried about experiencing an orthodontic emergency while our offices are closed. If you’re not clear on what qualifies as a true orthodontic emergency, a virtual appointment with us can take the guesswork right out of it! You’ll be able to describe your concerns and share photos of any problems you’re having with your teeth or appliance. Dr. Nireblatt will then be able to provide expert guidance on how you should proceed.
Many times, we’ll be able to assess any damage and make suggestions with nothing more than a virtual visit. Fortunately, several non-emergencies can be treated from home, and we’re happy to walk you through these available remedies. And there’s no need to worry—if you do have a genuine emergency, we’ll schedule a visit for you to see Dr. Nirenblatt in the office.
Maintaining your oral health during this time
While we’re on the subject of orthodontic emergencies, many are accidental and unavoidable. The good news is, there are still plenty of things you can do to minimize your general risk factors. For current orthodontic patients, that means following all of our recommendations! Even though we aren’t seeing you in the office for regular appointments at the moment, you can take good care of your smile and your appliance by:
- avoiding all sticky and crunchy foods if you’re in braces, since they can easily damage the brackets and wires
- brushing at least twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste
- flossing thoroughly every night before bed
- using tools like ortho picks, interdental brushes, and water flossers if you need extra help cleaning hard to reach areas
- wearing a mouthguard if you’re still practicing any sports at home
- informing our office of any loose or broken wires or brackets so we can advise you on what to do next
- keeping all Invisalign aligners clean and safe by brushing them gently and putting them in a case when they’re not in your mouth
Nirenblatt Orthodontics is still here for you
This is definitely a time of adjustment for all of us, but virtual visits and consultations allow us to remain accessible to patients in our community from a safe distance. For more information on our virtual services, get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer all your questions. Whether you’re a current patient or looking to take the first step in your orthodontic journey, social distancing doesn’t have to stop your smile in its tracks!