COVID Updates

Welcome Back!

May 21, 2020

The Short Version

We’re back in action! After a few months of managing my patients by text, email, and phone, along with thousands of amateur photos and videos (thank you everyone!), we are welcoming patients back next week. We have many new protocols in place to maintain distance and space, and most importantly, to ensure safety of our patients and my team.

Please have a look at my video to see how things will look at your next appointment.  Thank you!

It would be wonderful if you could please complete our appointment preference survey, and we will arrange for a suitable time for you. Due to the extremely high volume of patients that require new appointments, please utilize our survey instead of phoning us.

The Long Version

Thank you for doing your part to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our community and throughout our province. After spending 10 weeks with strict isolation measures, we have successfully flattened the curve. Dr. Bonnie Henry and Premier Horgan have given us the green light to get back to work! We made it to phase 2 of the government’s Restart BC Plan, which includes expanding the number and range of dental services that can be provided. 

It is prudent to keep in mind that our provincial case count is not zero, and the virus is possibly still circulating in our communities. Please act together in continuing to restrict your social circles and practice physical distancing while outside your home to curb any potential spread of COVID-19.

We have returned to patient care this week. Our first priority will be to see our patients that are in active treatment, with braces, Invisalign, or other types of appliances. I would like to ensure that their treatments are proceeding forwards in a positive direction, towards our objective of creating a spectacular smile for each and every patient.  

Please note that due to the extended COVID-19 closure, we will be welcoming back our patients in separate strategic waves. First priority will be attending to active treatments - those patients in braces, Invisalign, or active appliances. I have seen many of you by text and email, but I have not worked inside your mouth since January or February! In a few weeks’ time, we will restart appointments for putting new braces on, and removing braces for the much-anticipated smile reveal! We will also welcome our patients continuing in our Pre-Orthodontic Guidance Program.

I know that there are also many new patients who have missed their initial consultations with us over the few months. We will be welcoming back our new patients in a few weeks’ time as well, so we can get them on the road to an amazing smile too.

Changes for safety

There will be changes in many elements of the way we practice during this period to minimize our risk and maximize our safety. In addition to our existing rigorous protocols of infection control and prevention, the new measures will further mitigate the risk of transmission of the virus amongst ourselves, with our patients and their families, and with the community-at-large. 

A set of practice guidelines have been published by both the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (our regulating body), along with the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC - Dr. Bonnie Henry). We will not only be adhering to their guidelines, but will be exceeding their recommendations in many areas.

Please have a look at my video to see how things will look at your next appointment. 

Physical distancing

In order to facilitate proper physical distancing as much as possible, we have changed the flow of patients through the office. We will ask that you wait in your car or outside when you arrive for your appointment. We ask that only the patient come inside, and all parents and siblings remain outside. A mask or face covering will be required while in the office, as there may be times when distancing of two metres may not be feasible. The mask will be removed only while having treatment; my clinical team and I will be wearing N95 respirators to provide all treatment to protect you or your child.

Physical space

As recommended by the BC CDC, Plexiglas shields have been installed at our reception desk as a physical barrier during any administrative interactions. In the clinical space, free-standing Plexiglas dividers have been installed between our patient chairs and workstations. Although our dental chairs are already two metres apart, we have taken the additional step of installing the partitions for additional safety. 

We have invested in an industry-leading air purification system to increase our air circulation and exchange rates, as well as to filter and purify the office air of fine particles as small as 0.001 microns, well beyond the size of typical bacteria and virus particles.

Hand hygiene

Hand hygiene will be stressed amongst both staff and patients entering the office. Usage of hand sanitizer will be mandatory upon entering the office, as well as before leaving. To minimize touching of shared surfaces, we have discontinued the operation of our self-check-in screen, as well as the Playstation 4 (sorry boys!), and removed all waiting room toys and magazines.

Screening, exposure, illness

As recommended by the BC CDC, rigorous patient risk assessment and pre-screening will be conducted for all patients, and confirmed upon arrival. We will be asking a series of simple questions relating to COVID-19 symptoms, contact history, and travel history to ensure that risk is minimal to low. In addition, we will measure your temperature and use an antiseptic rinse prior to treatment. If the risk level is deemed to be even slightly elevated, we will ask that your appointment be deferred to a later date.

Furthermore, my team and I will undergo similar pre-screening and temperature checks daily, at the start of each day. Any positive symptoms will require staff to return home to seek medical advice and COVID-19 testing as required prior to returning to work.

There will definitely be some changes to the practice of orthodontics when we return, but together we’ll be able to navigate through it safely. I miss seeing each of you and I am looking forward to safely seeing you all again soon!

It would be wonderful if you could please complete our appointment preference survey, and we will arrange for a suitable time for you. Due to the extremely high volume of patients that require new appointments, please utilize our survey instead of phoning us.

 



 

Staying on Track - a note from Dr. Chow

April 22, 2020

Hi there!

Dr. Will Chow @ Panorama Orthodontics here. I hope you and your family are doing well and staying healthy at home. Thank you for doing your part to control the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our community. Hopefully we are nearing the end of our strict isolation measures!

You’re reading this message because you have a scheduled appointment to see me May 1st - 15th. 

 

It is likely that we will remain closed and away from the office for a few more weeks. As such, I plan to connect with all of my patients during the week of your appointment to ensure that our treatment is progressing well, and to maintain continuity of care. I will be contacting you directly by text message or email to communicate with both my patients and their parents. I would love to see how the teeth and bite are looking either with some photos or a video.  Once I have taken a look, we may arrange a live video chat if required (via FaceTime, WhatsApp video call, or Zoom video meeting). The photos and video will allow me to provide you with the necessary guidance with brushing assistance, elastic wear patterns, or any other issues in the mouth. I am also always happy to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have.

 

Please watch this very short 60 second video that I made to teach you how to get the best photos or videos of your teeth!   https://youtu.be/4dKhBHRS4E8

 

My family and I thought it might be slow and boring at home, but the past five weeks have bee filled with new experiences, including figuring out the intricacies of remote orthodontics, and home schooling! We continue to abide by the stringent restrictions and physical distancing. We want to make sure that our community, province, and country can take control of the COVID-19 situation and reduce its effects as much as possible. I urge you to continue to do your part and stay home as much as possible!

 

I promise that we will return to our normal operations and clinical care once we are given the green light by our regulatory College and the Provincial Health Officer. In the meantime, I will continue to monitor your care remotely. As always, if you have any questions, I am easily accessible by email or text.

 

Thank you.

 

Dr. Will Chow.

Email: dr.chow@panoramaorthodontics.com

 

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Staying on Track - a note from Dr. Chow

April 2, 2020

Hi there!

Dr. Will Chow @ Panorama Orthodontics here. I hope you and your family are doing well and staying healthy at home.

You’re reading this message because you had a scheduled appointment this month to see me. 

 

It is obvious that we will remain closed and away from the office for at least several more weeks. As such, I plan to connect with all of my patients during the week of your appointment to ensure that our treatment is progressing well, and to maintain continuity of care. I will be contacting you directly by text message or email to communicate with both my patients and their parents. I would love to see how the teeth and bite are looking either with some photos or a video.  Once I have taken a look, we may arrange a live video chat if required (via FaceTime, WhatsApp video call, or Zoom video meeting). The photos and video will allow me to provide you with the necessary guidance with brushing assistance, elastic wear patterns, or any other issues in the mouth. I am also always happy to answer any additional questions or concerns you may have.

 

Please watch this very short 60 second video that I made to teach you how to get the best photos or videos of your teeth!   https://youtu.be/4dKhBHRS4E8

 

Although it’s been a fairly slow and tedious few weeks for me and my family at home, we continue to abide by the stringent restrictions and physical distancing. We want to make sure that our community, province, and country can take control of the COVID-19 situation and reduce its effects as much as possible. I urge you to continue to do your part and stay home as much as possible!

 

I promise that we will return to our normal operations and clinical care once we are given the green light by our regulatory College and the Provincial Health Officer. In the meantime, I will continue to monitor your care remotely. As always, if you have any questions, I am easily accessible by email or text.

 

Thank you.

 

Dr. Will Chow.

Email: dr.chow@panoramaorthodontics.com

 

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Stay home, stay healthy, stay safe!

A COVID-19 Update from Dr. Chow.  

March 24, 2020

 

Dear Patients, Parents, and Friends,

 

I hope that everyone is keeping well and staying safe during these difficult times. I continue to follow the guidelines, as directed by the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia and the Provincial Health Officer, to keep our clinic closed in order to keep you, your families, our team and the public safe. At this time, there has been no definitive timeline provided as to when we may be able to return to normal, or even limited, operations.

 

The quickest way to get our lives back is to help flatten the curve over the next 2-3 weeks! We can all help by staying home and practicing generous social and physical distancing, keeping away from everyone outside of your home family unit. It’s that simple!

 

In the meantime, I continue to track each of my patient's treatment plans; I will be in touch if there are elements that need to be addressed. I know that this is a challenging time for most and I would like to reassure you that delaying orthodontic visits for a number of weeks is unlikely to cause any significant harm.  Please continue to brush your teeth effectively and regularly to maintain a high standard of oral hygiene.

 

I want you to know that we are still here for you, especially if you are experiencing discomfort or pain. You can reach out to me directly by email at dr.chow@panoramaorthodontics.com or by text at 604 . 649 . 1205 and I will be happy to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. A photo and description of the problem is always helpful! 

 

I am trying my best to take this opportunity to enjoy the dedicated time at home with my family. There have been lots of family walks, bike rides, and games. And of course, plenty of house cleaning and projects too! 

 

I sincerely thank you for your patience and understanding during this difficult time. Please continue to follow the recommended social distancing guidelines so that you remain safe and healthy. My team and I look forward to seeing you back soon, and providing you once again with our highest level of service and care.

 

Stay home, stay healthy, stay safe.

 

Dr. Will Chow

 
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