After the announcement of 23rd March 2020 by the President of South Africa, and in line with the recommendations of the HPCSA and other professional bodies, I am writing to inform you that it is necessary to postpone all non-urgent orthodontic appointments, due to pandemic spread of the COVID-19 virus, until 16th of April. Closer to that time we will need to re-evaluate the situation further.
The Dental profession is regulated when it comes to cross-infection and we take this aspect very seriously in the best interests of all patients, as well as staff. Dental professionals and their staff are extremely vulnerable to this particular virus, as we are exposed to a high quantity of aerosol and saliva particles especially with certain procedures. Due to the infectiousness of the virus and the absolute need to slow down the spread, it is imperative to limit the possible exposure to everyone. Moreover, delaying orthodontic visits for a few weeks is unlikely to cause any significant harm, as long as you are brushing your teeth regularly and following the instructions which are summarized below.
These instructions are for those under treatment using fixed braces, removable braces, aligners or retainers:
· Excellent oral hygiene is essential.
· Avoid consuming sweetened beverages or foods.
· Minimize consuming hard or sticky foods.
· Follow the instructions provided at your last visit, such as the wear of elastics, brushing your teeth, using aligners, etc.
· For those who have finished their treatment and are wearing retainers, follow the instructions provided in your last visit regarding the wear times of your retainers.
· Thankfully true emergencies are rare in an orthodontic office. Loses brackets while a nuisance, are not an emergency.
· If you have an emergency that requires my intervention, then you can contact us on
083 223 5669. WhatsApp can also be used with this number. It might be beneficial to send a photograph of the problem.
· For some emergencies, I might arrange a video call to identify the problem(s) and advise you accordingly.
· In the meantime, my advice is to avoid or minimize emergency visits until the virus spread slows down.
· Any missed appointments will be rescheduled and arrangement of rescheduling will be given closer to the time.
It is thus imperative that to adhering to the above instructions now more than ever before. These are unusual times which are difficult for all of us and we need to work together for the benefit for all. We apologize for the inconvenience, but it is not of our making and we will endeavor as always to provide you with the best service that we can.
If you have any questions or if you have an emergency, please do let me know.
Best wishes and stay safe
Dr Wally Nel