The AAO is committed to arming orthodontists with the tools they need to thrive. Make your post-COVID-19 comeback strong and set yourself and your team up for success as your practice re-opens – while keeping yourself, your team and your patients safe.

The AAO COVID-19 Resource Center is pivoting its focus to provide comprehensive resources to re-open. We begin below with operational planning for recovery and continue with infection control, PPE sourcing and virtual consultation how-to information.

Additional resources will be added in coming days and weeks. Coming soon: The AAO COVID-19 Task Force is preparing evidence-based recommendations for orthodontic practices and procedures, including distinguishing procedures that generate aerosols vs. those that do not and the PPE necessary to ensure safety.

  1. Operational Guidance
  2. Find Answers to Many of Your Infection Control Questions
  3. Purchasing PPE: Get an Inside Track on Sources
  4. The Virtual Consultation Option: Is It Right for Your Practice
  5. Helpful Information from Our Consumer Blog
  6. More Helpful Links from the AAO COVID-19 Resource Center

Planning for Recovery: Operational Guidance from Mary Beth Kirkpatrick

Among the experts who have offered in-depth recommendations for AAO members is Mary Beth Kirkpatrick, managing partner of Impact360 Consulting and founder and president of Gaidge, a cloud-based business analytics dashboard for orthodontists.

Ms. Kirkpatrick’s webinar from 4/23, “Doctors, Start Your Engine: A Roadmap for Re-Opening,” has been archived and is available at no cost to AAO members. Click on the title to access the webinar (exclusive to members, so log-in is required). Please note CE is not available.

Taking the perspective that the current situation, while extremely challenging for orthodontic practices, also will bring opportunities, the webinar takes a deep dive into every aspect of re-opening planning. Topics addressed include:

● Overall re-opening planning
View the handout, “Prepare Final Plans for a Strong Recovery
● Physical planning for the COVID-19 office: Reception area furniture arrangements to reduce risk, removal of as many sources of infection as possible, reception desk sneeze guards, and social distancing floor decals may all be helpful;
● Clinic area changes: Separate locations for aerosol-generating procedures, partitions between treatment chairs;
● Staff preparation: Training, assigning roles, scripting and rehearsing;
● Infection control basics;
● Planning patient entry and triage processes;
● Communicating with returning patients about what to expect.
View Ms. Kirkpatrick’s Responses to Questions from Live Webinar Participants

Frontload Your Practice’s Recovery with Proactive Recall Management 

Ms. Kirkpatrick also addresses marketing the re-opened office. To build new revenue from starts, she recommends that orthodontists initially focus on those who have been in monitoring/recall status, so as to quickly ramp up new starts following re-opening.

Handouts include Proactive Recall Management guides covering five of the major orthodontic software companies. These guides outline each step for identifying a practice’s monitoring/recall patients in the respective systems. Click below to access this information for:

Dolphin Management Systems
Ortho2 Edge

Find Answers to Many of Your Infection Control Questions 

Click on the title to access the free webinar from 4/21, “Coronavirus: Getting Back to Work after Closure ,” by Jackie Dorst, RDH, BS. In this free webinar Ms. Dorst, an infection control and OSHA expert, provided a comprehensive COVID-19 Infection Control plan for patient and orthodontic team safety for reopening orthodontic practices. (Non-CE webinar)
Access Handouts from This Webinar

Purchasing PPE: Get an Inside Track on Sources

The AAO has been communicating with our industry suppliers in order to identify those best-positioned and willing to fulfill large orders from AAO members in a cost-efficient and time-efficient manner. PPE availability includes masks, face shields, gowns and gloves. Some suppliers also offer office supplies such as thermometers and sneeze guards.
View Information from PPE Suppliers
(Exclusive to members; log-in is required.)

The Virtual Consultation Option: Is It Right for Your Practice 

Prior to re-opening and even after your office has re-opened, virtual consultations may offer an efficient opportunity for initial interaction with prospective patients. A Trapezio webinar included in our article on this topic provides a comprehensive how-to guide.
View “Onboarding New Patients with Virtual Consultations”

Helpful Information from Our Consumer Blog 

We will soon provide templates for patient communications announcing re-opening. In the meantime, to help patients understand the changes they may find upon returning to your office, you may want to share the following on your social media:
My Orthodontist’s Office Has Re-Opened: Is it Safe to Go?

More Helpful Links from the AAO COVID-19 Resource Center

Financial resources
Along with your regular financial advisors, these sources may be helpful for addressing financial issues related to re-opening:
90-day cash flow planning tool from Cain Watters
Updates from the most recent funding of PPP loans

HR resources
Bringing your team back to work will require some basic steps. See the following resources for recommendations.
CEDR HR rehiring checklist
Form letter for offers of reemployment for your employees.