Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 1:00pm
To: The Highly Valued Current and Prospective Patients of Uptown Orthodontics
From: The Doctors at Uptown Orthodontics (Dr. B. Yaremko and Dr. D. Anholt)
Re: Provincially-Mandated Closure of All Dental Offices Until Further Notice
Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, normal operation of our orthodontic practice has been suspended for an indefinite period of time. (Please read below to see how, during this unprecedented time, we can still help you out to the best of our ability.)
For everyone’s safety, on March 16, we decided to voluntarily close our clinic for the remainder of the month of March. Premier Scott Moe later announced on March 20 that, as part of the state of emergency declaration in Saskatchewan as a result of the pandemic, effective March 23 there must be “closure of dental, optometrist, chiropractic, registered massage therapy and podiatry clinics except for non-elective procedures.” Orthodontics is considered almost exclusively elective as a rule; resultantly, we are unable to operate our clinic and have closed our doors temporarily. At this point, there is no foreseeable date in which this provincial order will be lifted. Nonetheless, we anticipate that this situation will evolve further and we will certainly adapt to and abide by all requests and mandates by government agencies moving forward. As orthodontists, we really love what we do and are eager to get back to meeting with and helping out our patients as soon as possible — but we’ll do so only when it’s clearly safe.
Our paramount concern at this time is the well-being of our community, specifically those who may be extra susceptible to the effects of this virus. Protecting our neighbours is something that we as healthcare practitioners take especially seriously, but really, it is a shared responsibility among us all as human beings; accordingly, we encourage you, like us, to practice strict physical distancing and hand hygiene measures in an effort to “flatten the curve” over the coming weeks and months. We all must do our best to control the pandemic spread of COVID-19.
AFFECTED IN-PERSON APPOINTMENTS:
At this time, if you have an appointment within our office scheduled during the month of April, it should be considered cancelled. Please do not plan to attend these appointments unless otherwise informed by our team.
Despite our inability to see our patients for routine orthodontic care during this time, please rest assured that emergency care will remain available as needed at our (i.e. your doctor’s) discretion and as per clearly established guidelines. Please note the following emergency treatment protocol as per our regulatory body, the College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CDSS): “A dental emergency exists if professional judgement indicates that a person needs immediate attention to address oral trauma, pain, infection, bleeding or other associated medical complications.” Should you have an emergent issue that you feel requires the immediate assistance of your doctor, please call our office and follow the voicemail instructions provided.
KEEPING CONNECTED (DOING THE BEST WE CAN):
Over the duration of this clinic closure, we are hoping to visit with the vast majority of the patients we would normally be seeing for appointments in a manner where we’re not meeting face-to-face. In fact, it is our desire and our goal to check-in on the general wellbeing of our patients during this incredibly stressful time, independent of their specific ongoing orthodontic treatment. In many ways, we feel that it is our responsibility as healthcare professionals and leaders in the community to, at a minimum, provide reassurance, comfort, and factual information about this outbreak to our patients and their families. This will be a difficult and perhaps impossible task considering our average daily patient volumes, but we will give it our best shot! Should we be able to connect, we certainly look forward to hearing how your family is coping with this (hopefully temporary) new way of living.
Beyond a courtesy check-in, for our mutual benefit, we intend to execute some specific appointments to the greatest extent we are able in a virtual/remote manner. We have worked incredibly hard in recent days to implement a simple, safe, and robust interface for efficient and effective remote assessments as needed/requested. These virtual/remote appointments will be available to both new patients and existing patients of our office if specific parameters are met. If you have been identified by our team as an in-treatment patient requiring a time-sensitive virtual assessment, you may be contacted by us to set up such an appointment. Alternatively, you can proactively request such an assessment should you desire one and should capacity be available. If you are a patient of our office and wish to arrange a virtual visit with your doctor for whatever reason, please fill out the digital form in the link below and we’ll do our best to get in touch with you at an agreeable time.
Lastly, if you have yet to visit our office in person, but would like to chat about the orthodontic needs of yourself or a family member, please visit the link below to get your virtual new patient consultation initiated. We would be eager to get the conversation started from the comfort and safety of your own home during this downtime!
Of course, during this time of clinic closure, we will also be working hard to determine how and when to reschedule patients with affected appointments that require timely in-person management. Indeed, at some point in the future, when we resume normal patient care, please understand that our office will face significant challenges accommodating the needs and requests of all of our patients who will likely want to be seen “as soon as possible”. Accordingly, we must ask that you be courteous and patient in allowing us, your doctors, the necessary time to thoroughly and uniquely assess your needs in the context of the needs of the hundreds of other patients in active treatment at our office. Once our existing patients’ needs are prioritized and once we know of a date in which we can return to normal operation, it is at that point that our scheduling team will reach out to you with a date and time to reassess your orthodontic status and continue your smile transformation.
CONTACT INFORMATION DURING THIS TIME OF CLOSURE:
As always, please feel free to contact our team with any questions or concerns you may have. Our standard email addresses will be monitored regularly during this time of closure despite a necessary decrease in staffing. All general email should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. It is our goal to be able to answer your phone calls as well at 306.974.5111, but please understand that capacity in this regard will be significantly limited. Instead of phoning, we would ask that you communicate with us by email if at all possible.
We are incredibly thankful for your patience, understanding, and support during these exceedingly hard times for us; we certainly would have never imagined a situation quite like this.
Note that any further major announcements will be communicated via our social media platforms - specifically Facebook and Instagram - in addition to email. We encourage you to stay up-to-date with our office and our team using social media avenues. We’ve always prided ourselves on our use of social media as an extension of the personality of our office and we’re blessed to have a following on these channels that allow us to continue to demonstrate our personality (and our efforts to stay united) despite the situation at hand.
Like stated in our mission statement, we’ll continue to work hard every day to try to inspire the world around us; we’d ask you to use the confidence you have within you to inspire the world around you as well. Your world needs it; the world needs it! Let’s help each other through this unexpected and unprecedented event.
Stay well, stay connected, and we look forward to seeing you again in person as soon as we are safely able to do so!
Dr. Devon Anholt     |     Dr. Brent Yaremko
Our Mission Statement:
Aligning our goals with yours to create the confidence you need to inspire the world around you.
Brace yourself for the possibilities.