FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions During COVID-19
Why is my appointment being cancelled?
The AL State Dental Board has issued a mandate that all non-emergency procedures be postponed until after Friday, April 10th. Turner and Wood must comply with this mandate or their dental licenses will be put in jeopardy.
Why am I not being given a future appointment right now?
The COVID-19 coronavirus situation is changing every day. The last thing we want to do is reschedule your appointment and then inconvenience you by having to reschedule again after things change…which they likely will. We are keeping a comprehensive list of all patients that need to be seen and will schedule those patients once we know we will be given the green light to resume normal treatment from the AL Dental Board.
What if my child has an emergency?
Our office is open and staff is in place to handle any orthodontic emergencies that are causing the patient pain and discomfort. We are asking that patients carefully consider if the issue is really causing pain b/c we are trying to minimize the numbers of patients that come into our office. The whole reason for this shutdown is to minimize contact with people and prevent this virus from spreading, and our office is attempting to do its part.
Will this delay my child’s treatment?
Appliances are still holding the teeth straight, the power-chain is still closing spaces, and rubber bands and springs are still correcting the bite. Treatment is continuing and it isn’t likely that our office being closed for 3-4 weeks will delay the completion of your child’s treatment. The two things you need to concern yourself with during this time is tooth brushing and rubber band wear. Keep the appliances clean and continue with rubber band instructions that you were given at the last appointment. These two things are the best you can do to make sure you or your child finishes treatment on time. When we are given the green light to resume normal treatment by the AL Dental Board, we will likely be working expanded hours to make sure all patients are seen as soon possible.
Will I still be making payments while the office is closed?
Our office isn’t officially closed, we are just mandated by the AL Dental Board that we can only provide emergency care at this time. We are also available for phone consultations and you are welcome to email us photos of your teeth if you feel that something is wrong. HIPAA regulations have been relaxed during this time of national emergency so we can send and receive photos and help patients out without repercussions. So we are making ourselves available in all ways possible.
As far as payments, they will still be drafted as usual. Our payment arrangements operate in a way that separates the financial payments from the visits. This is due to the fact that office visits vary widely from 4 week intervals all the way up to 8-10 week intervals. Payments are made monthly to allow the patient to pay the fee for treatment over the life of the case and not have to pay for the full treatment up front. It is financed as a courtesy to our patients and it is done so without interest. We are the only industry that does interest free financing. When payments are established, we offer a low down payment that doesn’t even cover the cost of the braces or the records that were taken and all that cost is rolled into the future payments. Just because your child isn’t being seen due to the closure, wires are still holding the teeth straight, power chain is still closing spaces and treatment is continuing. Also, a 3 or 4 week hiatus from treatment isn’t likely to delay the completion date when talking about an 18-30 month case. We will be likely working expanded hours to accommodate the lost time after the AL Dental Board allows us to resume normal treatment.
A similar example would be a car payment…if its sitting in the yard and you aren’t driving it, you still have to make the payments on it. Be assured that treatment is still in progress if you/your child has appliance in their mouth.
“Well, huh, I ain’t payin’ ya’ll nuttin’ since ya’ll ain’t seein’ my child!!!”
I understand your concern and you are more than welcome to speak to the doctor concerning your treatment. I can take your name and number and Dr. Turner/Wood can call you back to discuss. However, Orthobanc will still be drafting payments at the agreed upon date on the contract. If the payment isn’t made, your case will go into our Accounts Receivable Collections Process. If you would like the appliances removed early, our Financial Coordinator would be more than happy to complete an Early Removal Balance Calculation Sheet for you and could inform you how much of the total treatment fee you owe at this time. The parameters of this early removal calculation are set forth in our Contract.
I have lost my job and can’t make payments.
You will need to speak to our financial coordinator about the options. If payments are not made, you will be given a time to have the appliances removed and the balance owed to our office will be sent to collections.