There has been an understandable concern that a specialist orthodontic practice in Galway advised patients last week that they were closing indefinitely. The practitioner is not in a position to practise for the foreseeable future and recommended that patients seek continuing care with another Specialist orthodontist. The Orthodontic Society of Ireland were not made aware of this situation prior to this information becoming public. We are communicating with our members and the appropriate bodies to see what we can do to support affected patients to complete their care. Orthodontists fully appreciate that any absence we have from work negatively impacts on our patients and their parents and our staff and colleagues.
Orthodontic patients usually see their orthodontist every 4-10 weeks to check treatment progress and adjust the appliances. Some archwires and appliances will continue to work longer than this. It is never ideal to have extended periods of unsupervised treatment, and we accept the concerns parents have raised about the uncertainty and delay in accessing continuing care. Delays in visits usually extends the duration of treatment, the length of time the treatment takes, but it doesn’t always cause problems. Routine orthodontic treatment was stopped during the first Covid 19 lockdown and thousands of patients nationally had extended periods of not seeing their orthodontist for routine adjustments. As a profession, this was a unique situation and concerning for all involved, however we did not see serious problems associated with this in patients who looked after their teeth and appliances well. Our advice to patients in this situation is to maintain good brushing and good dietary habits to protect their teeth whilst they wait for their next appointment.
We appreciate that no one wants to wear braces for any longer than necessary. Many patients delayed starting orthodontic treatment during the pandemic and as a result many practitioners are very busy at the moment, but we have asked our members to do their best to accommodate patients affected by this situation. We would ask for your forbearance and patience as we try to coordinate with our members and the appropriate bodies to seek ways to resolve this very unfortunate and unusual situation to ensure that ongoing care is restored as soon as possible. We would suggest that this may involve patients having to travel in some instances, as the local orthodontists have indicated that they will not be able to facilitate all patients in the coming weeks. We have asked practices that may be able to facilitate patients in the near future to indicate this to us. All our members practices are listed on our website.
The Orthodontic Society of Ireland