Covid-19 Update

COVID-19 Update 6/04/2021

Girdwood Orthodontics is excited that the fight against Covid-19 is turning the corner. We do recommend that you continue to wear a facemask when in our office however, if you are fully vaccinated or have developed immunity, you may choose to not wear a facemask. We are continuing to limit entry to the patient and one family member. Disinfecting of all surfaces between patient visits remains a priority as it always has been in our practice as well as strict sterilization methods for all instruments.  

COVID-19 Update 6/15/2020

We are very excited to be open again and have slowly begun seeing our patients this week. We are actively calling patients daily from 8:00am – 6:00pm to schedule them for their appointments. We are so grateful for your patience with us as we work through the rescheduling process. We have created the below protocols in our office to protect you and our staff. Prior to your appointment…
  • You will need to go the the Forms tab on the home page of our website,, and fill out the health questionnaire and the informed consent before coming for your appointment.
  • Please brush and floss your teeth before coming to the office as our brushing stations will be closed.
When you arrive at the office…
  • Please park in a numbered spot and text us at the number on the sign to let us know you have arrived. We will check to see that health forms have been completed and will notify you when the patient should come in.
  • Patients are asked to wear a face covering or mask when coming into the office.
  • We will have hand sanitizer in the entryway to sanitize upon entering the office and leaving the office.
  • The patient’s temperature will be taken prior to being seated. If above 100 you will be asked to reschedule.
  • Our waiting room is closed. Parents should remain in the car if at all possible.
  • Details of the appointment will be sent out with the patient following the appointment.
  • Our scheduler will call you in your car to schedule your next appointment before you leave the parking lot.
New protocols at our office...
  • All team members will go through the same protocol testing as our patients, with temperatures checked daily.
  • For the month of May 2020, we will be open Monday-Friday from 8:00am-6:00pm on a reduced patient schedule.
  • We are drastically reducing the number of patients seen in the office to allow for the strictest infection control protocols and to comply with the American Association of Orthodontics standards.
  • Several appointment types will be moved to be completed virtually. We will contact you if your appt is applicable for a virtual consult.
Thank you and stay safe!!  

COVID-19 Update 4/30/2020

Dear Patient Families of Girdwood Orthodontics, First of all, I hope and pray that none of you have been impacted physically by Covid-19. But these are strange times aren’t they? No school, no hanging out with friends, no spring activities, no going to your favorite restaurant, no going to the movies …. And no going to the orthodontist to have your teeth worked on. I know that a few of you have expressed frustration with regards to the halt in your treatment. If a few have expressed then I assume that others may have questions as well. This email is intended to address some of the most commonly asked questions related to orthodontic treatment right now. Question #1: When is Girdwood Orthodontics going to reopen? As you may already know, Gov. DeWine stated that dental practices may begin seeing patients effective May 1st. We are very happy with this and will begin to schedule patients starting on May 4th. One of the stipulations that Gov. DeWine did not elaborate on is the availability of the newly required Personal Protective Equipment that is needed to perform some procedures (more on this in Question #3). This is and will be a continuing challenge due to the priority given to hospitals treating Covid-19 patients, over dental professionals. Question #2: What are you doing at Girdwood Orthodontics to decrease my risk of contracting Covid-19? At Girdwood Orthodontics, we have always upheld the highest standards of sterilization and disinfection and we will continue to do so. In the interim, you will see the following additional changes:
    • Due to the fact that the patient treatment chairs in the Lebanon office are 7.5 feet apart, for now all adjustment appointments will take place in the Lebanon office (600 Columbus Ave, Lebanon, OH). I know that some will say “Why do I have to travel over there?” Simply put, the Middletown treatment chairs are only 5.5 feet apart and skipping every other chair means that a minimal number of patients can be treated in Middletown. Therefore, it is wholly based on social distancing guidelines, the physical layout of the offices and patient safety that we have made this temporary
    • Please brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash before you arrive for your appointment. There will be no toothbrushing within our office.
    • When a patient arrives for their appointment, we ask that you text the patient’s name and parking spot number to the phone number listed on the sign. We will either come out and get the patient or return the text for the patient to come into the office.
    • If the patient is able to come in for their appointment alone, then we request that only the patient come in for their appointment. If the patient must have an adult with them, then we request that only one adult and no one else come in with the patient.
    • All patients/accompanying adults MUST wear a mask to cover their mouth and nose upon entering the door of our office. It should be worn at all times except when removal is requested by a member of our team.
    • Upon entering the office, we will take your temperature. If you have temperature over 100.7F, we will refer you to your physician for Covid-19 testing.
    • While moving within the office, please follow the movement patterns depicted by the tape on the floor.
    • After the patient has been seen for their appointment, a team member will walk the patient out to the car and give a summary of their appointment or we will return a call to the number that the text was received from.
  • To schedule the patient’s next appointment, we ask that you call the office phone number and one of our team members will assist you.
Question #3: I haven’t been in for a while so when you open will I be the first one in for an appointment? That’s a great question but it requires a complicated answer because many factors will influence when we will be able to see what patients. Everyone would like to be first, but not everyone can be. For perspective, approximately 950 of our patients had to cancel their appointments due to Covid-19. We would like to see all of you tomorrow, but we cannot.  However, our pledge is that we will do the very best that we can and re-schedule patients based on their stage of treatment, the laws/guidelines stipulated by our governing bodies and the safety of all involved with their treatment. In an effort to expedite patient treatment evaluations, we are very excited to have implemented a Virtual Consult Portal, where patients can submit photographs and receive a Virtual Evaluation. This will facilitate the progress of a patient’s treatment by allowing us to ‘see’ appointments such as:
  • patients wearing elastics to evaluate whether they need to keep wearing them or not;
  • patients with retainers to see how their retainers are fitting;
  • patients wearing aligners (Invisalign) to see if they need to move to their next aligners;
  • Growth & Development patients to see how their teeth are developing and if they are ready for any treatment yet;
  • New Patient Exams to have a preliminary evaluation on readiness for treatment.
If you feel like your treatment fits within one of these categories, please go to the Girdwood Orthodontics website and click on the blue Virtual Consult button in the lower left hand corner of the home page. This is HIPPA compliant and secure. Follow the instructions and I will get back to you within 1-2 business days. Question #4: I’m supposed to have my braces removed {soon/already}. When am I going to get them off? We are as bummed about this as you are that you can’t get your braces off because we want you out there showing off your beautiful/handsome smile to the world. Unfortunately, the main factor here is Personal Protective Equipment. The current guidelines from the American Dental Association require the use of N95 or KN95 masks, face shields and gowns for procedures that are aerosol generating.  When removing braces, a handpiece is used to remove the adhesive on the teeth after braces are removed. This procedure is aerosol generating and therefore this PPE is required. Unfortunately, due to medical practice having higher priority than dental practice for obtaining these critical supplies, all suppliers have indicated to my team that N95/KN95 masks will not be available for dental usage until August/September.   My team, the American Association of Orthodontists, the American Dental Association and the Ohio Dental Association are all actively looking for sources to obtain the needed personal protective equipment so that everyone is safe during these procedures. We are doing everything we possible can to obtain this safety equipment. I know that August/September is not what I nor any of the 77 patients that are currently scheduled for removal of their braces like to hear, but these are uncommon times. Question #5: If I have missed a regularly scheduled appointment, won’t my treatment fall behind? Yes, your treatment will be behind, but unfortunately, every orthodontic patient's treatment will be behind. As I stated earlier, we have ~950 patients to reschedule. Under normal circumstances, we see ~75 patients per day. With new requirements on social distancing, we will not be able to see that many patients in a day. So, it will take several weeks before we can see all of those patients. We do plan to have extended hours and days of operation however some of the other recommendations by the Ohio Department of Health place limitations on the number of employees and customers that can be present in a facility based on social distancing guidelines. Question #6: When will everything be back to ‘normal’? I think that one of the difficult things to grab hold of during this pandemic is that some things will never go back to the ‘old’ way of doing things. One thing that will immediately return to normal is that the smiling, helpful, and caring team at Girdwood Orthodontics will be here to serve you. Will we be perfect? No. However, as I stated earlier, our pledge is that we will do the very best that we can. We want to see everyone, we want to treat everyone, but we are human and there are limitations as to what we can do. Unpopular and difficult decisions will be made regarding who will be seen and in what order. As your orthodontist, I have always had every patient’s best interest in mind and my primary focus is achieving the best outcome possible for each individual patient. I will continue to do that during these challenging times. We only ask that all our patient families have patience with us and with your fellow Girdwood Orthodontic patient families. We are all in this together and it will take the cooperation and understanding of us all to get everyone through it. If you have any questions, please feel free to call us at (513)932-7675. Sincerely, Dr. Bart Girdwood, DDS, Cert Ortho