Dear Parents and Patients,

We hope this message finds you and your family in good health.  Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to our “new normal” of habits and routines as we begin our re-opening these next few weeks.  The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is now encouraging us to slowly reopen our orthodontic office to patients (unaccompanied without a parent as much as possible to maintain physical distancing).

The first major announcement is that we have moved from Suite 218 to Suite 202 (into the suite of Smiling Sea Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in Sherman Oaks) to better serve your orthodontic and dental needs together.  Remember to remind your child to go to Room 202.

Please wait for our office to contact you to reschedule your appointment.  We will be contacting you within the next two weeks (before our initial goal of June 1, 2020) for an appointment likely set after June 2, 2020.  Please be patient, otherwise, our office staff will be overwhelmed with the volume of calls and messages.  The staff's first day back is on May 18, 2020, after this unexpected two-month closure. 

Our seating capacity has been reduced to 50% per day in order to increase physical distancing.  We have a comprehensive list of all unexpected cancellations due to the unexpected closure.  We are rescheduling on a first-cancelled-first-rescheduled basis to be fair to all.  Patients without an appointment will not be seen if they just walk-in without an appointment.

 If you already have an appointment on May 18, 2020, or after, then please keep that appointment.

While many things have changed due to the pandemic, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your health and safety. Our office follows the infection control recommendations from the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We are committed to ensuring that our infection control procedures are current and effective.

You may see some new processes when it is time for your next appointment. Please be assured that we have made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example: 

•           You are required to FILL-OUT AN ONLINE FORM with screening questions prior to your appointment, and on the day of your appointment.  Please use your own device (BEFORE requesting any appointment) to answer these questions located here, or at www.oaksortho.com/Forms/

https://www.orthoii-forms.com/SupplementalHealthQuestionnaire.aspx?culture=en-US&custid=3055 

https://www.orthoii-forms.com/COVID19InformedConsent.aspx?culture=en-US&custid=3055

•           Patients (and parents) are asked to wear a mask while in the office (except while seated in the dental chair for treatment).  Please, bring you own mask (face covering).

•           Patients are asked to not bring others into the dental practice.  Only the patient that is being treated will be allowed to enter the office. The only exception will be for very young patients (i.e. age 8 or younger).  If someone accompanies a patient, they will be asked to wait in their vehicle or outside the office.   Please do not bring other siblings if they are not being treated.

•           Before you enter our office your temperature will be measured and screening of symptoms will be assessed.   High temperatures will be denied entry.

•           You may notice that our waiting room will no longer offer coffee, magazines, video games, shared children’s toys and other items that are difficult to clean.  Many waiting room chairs have been removed to increase physical distancing.

•           You may be offered fewer (in-office) scheduling options for your appointment in order to allow for physical distancing between patients.

•           Instead, you will have more options with Photo Virtual Visits or Video Virtual Visits in order to limit a patient’s need to physically be in the office.  All of our office phone numbers are able to receive photos and text messages.

•           Hand sanitizer (and hand washing) will be available for your use before and after touching items in the office.

•           HEPA Air Filtration (with an internal UVC cleaning system) located in the reception area.

•           A dedicated staff member whose main responsibility is to clean and disinfect.

•           Staff are checked daily for temperature and symptoms.  Staff (if sick) are asked to stay at home. 

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have. To make an appointment (either in-office or virtual), please text our office at (818)783-4565, email us at info@oaksortho.com , or email though our website at www.oaksortho.com

Most of all, thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming you back to our office.

Sincerely,

Roger S. Lim, DDS, MS

Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics

Update to our COVID-19 Response

Dear Parents and Patients,

As mandated by the CDC and government authorities*, ALL in-person orthodontic appointments will be after May 15, 2020 due to COVID-19 physical distancing mandates.

Please disregard any confirmation reminders that you may have received if your original in-person appointment was between now and May 15, 2020.

For the health and safety of our community, Staff are NOT in the office until further notice, but Dr. Lim is checking messages remotely from home 10am-5pm Monday-Friday and providing VIRTUAL VISITS from your submitted photos.

For Invisalign patients: 

If you have only 4 packages (or less) remaining at home, then please wear your CURRENT SET ONLY WHEN SLEEPING starting tonight.  Save your last (and previous) sets as backup sets.  Only change to another set if the previous set has an issue such as tearing in half.  Nighttime wear will make the aligners last longer and prolong the life of the last aligners until further notice.

If you are a new patient awaiting your delivery of your first Invisalign aligners, then we may be able to arrange for you to pickup your aligners with written and video instructions.

Video of Invisalign wear Instructions:  https://youtu.be/of5GI9lWcVU

For Braces patients: 

Please be reassured that your braces are still working as long as they are in your mouth.  Your original treatment time estimate will remain the same for the majority of our patients.

If you have a loose brace that is not hurting (but is annoying), then place wax on the area to make a soft cushion on top of the brace to reduce the annoyance. Or, you may leave the brace alone.

If you are an existing braces patient with an orthodontic "emergency" (something hurting), then do WHATEVER is necessary at home to relieve the pain including use of a clean nailclipper (or straight cutter) to clip the wire or use of a pencil (eraser end) to push in a poking wire.

Example videos include:
Use of a clean straight cutter   https://youtu.be/eByBsZrusmI

Use of a clean nailclipper   https://youtu.be/6n5RCO4ymDk

Use of a tweezer to replace a wire  https://youtu.be/VYFAci6vdIs?t=5

For all other patients with questions:
please email us anytime WITH photos please as seen on page Virtual Visit.

I am available online for Virtual Visits (virtual orthodontic appointments / teledentistry).  Details on how to send photos BEFORE a Virtual Visit (or any other orthodontic requests) are listed on our website oaksortho.com/virtualvisit/   Take photos WITH AND WITHOUT the appliances in their mouth before I can provide you a more accurate response.

Thank you for your flexibility as we move through these unique times together.  Lastly, this will pass.  We will overcome these challenging times.  We wish you the best health.  Stay safe.

Best regards,
Roger Lim, DDS, MS
Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics
oaksortho.com

*From the California Dental Association: "Given the gravity of this health care crisis and national emergency, CDA implores dental practices to suspend all dental care with the exception of emergency cases that present as life-threatening." 

Appointment Changes due to COVID-19 Guidelines

Dear Parents and Patients,

We want to reassure you that your health and safety is of utmost importance to us in wake of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  In accordance with a directive from the CDA (California Dental Association), we will be suspending nonessential or non-urgent dental care for the next two weeks (until March 30, 2020).

Please disregard any confirmation reminders that you may have received if your original appointment was between March 16, 2020 to March 29, 2020. We will periodically be checking texts and emails as we work from home during this two week period. 

If you have an urgent intraoral request, then please send us photos so that we may perform a VIRTUAL VISIT.  Sample photos can be found below.

Our staff will be reviewing all other messages when we plan to return to the office on Monday March 30, 2020 (but dates may change depending on CDA and COVID-19 guidelines).  If you are an existing patient with an orthodontic emergency (something hurting), then do whatever is necessary to relieve the pain including placement of wax on to area or use of a nailclipper to clip the wire or using a pencil (eraser end) to push in a poking wire.

We are currently offering virtual exams and visits by texting (or emailing) us photos of your mouth.  Examples on how to take the photos are attached.  It is easier with two spoons and a webcam.  Or, ask a family member at home to take the photos for you.  You may text us at (818) 783-4565 with photos and questions.  Or, you may email us at info@oaksortho.com.

For example, if you have questions about your child’s Invisalign, then text (or email) your virtual visit (photos) with the aligners in their mouth. If you are on your last 1 or 2 aligners, then please save your last 2 aligners and wear them only when sleeping. If you run out of aligners , then at least keep wearing your current aligner while sleeping until your next physical visit to our office. Nighttime wear will make the aligners last longer and will retain (maintain) the progress of the teeth.

Secondly, in an effort to increase social distancing between patients, we have suspended non-urgent appointments until after March 29, 2020.

Also, we may be rescheduling some of your existing appointments to a less-frequented time (likely between 10am and 3pm).  Please cooperate with our staff because they are looking the schedules to increase social distancing.  For example, in order to avoid clustering of people between 3pm to 5pm, you may be asked to come between 10am and 3pm.

In order to keep you from getting lost in the computer system, we may MOVE your appointment to another SPECIFIC date (instead of deleting your appointment because deletions will undesirably leave your appointment lost in computer limbo).  We don’t mind rescheduling you several times if necessary.  We are accommodating due to the fluid nature of these events. Some appointments involving aerosols (such as removal of braces or removal of glued attachments) may need to be postponed until a later date.

Thirdly, at your next appointment, you may notice a reduced amount of chairs in the waiting room and office to to increase social distancing. If possible, we recommend that patients come to their appointment alone or with only one parent . As a parent, you may want to wait in your car while the patient is in the office. Also, at this time, we have removed shared magazines and ipads. Instead of a handshake, we may offer you an elbow bump or a Thai hand greeting.

We will continue to follow the rigorous infection control protocols we have always had in place for maintaining a clean and safe environment. For example, every dental chair and arm/headrest is thoroughly disinfected after each use. Replacement gloves are used by doctors and staff with each patient treated. All exposed surfaces are sanitized after every patient treatment or exam. And sterile dental tools are used for each patient.  In addition, common areas (front desk, lobby) are disinfected repeatedly throughout the day as a precautionary measure.

Fourthly, whether or not you have symptoms, please reschedule your visit IF:

  • You have traveled outside the United States in the last 2 weeks, or
  • You have been within six feet of contact with anyone who has traveled outside of the United States (or on a cruise ship) in the last 2 weeks, or
  • You currently feel ill (with a fever, cough, sneezing, or shortness of breath).

While the COVID-19 situation continues to change rapidly (as do guidelines and restrictions from federal, state, and local governments and public health agencies), we will keep you informed if any of the schedule changes further.  

Thank you all for your goodwill and flexibility as we move through this fluid time.

Lastly, this will pass.  We will overcome these challenging times together.  We wish you the best health.  Stay safe.

Best Regards,

Roger S. Lim, DDS, MS

Diplomate, American Board of Orthodontics