The American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) has prepared a statement orthodontic treatment in response to national and institutional calls for cessation of nonessential orthodontics in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance is intended to complement, rather than replace, existing advice and should be considered “expert opinion.” ACPA will update this statement as the situation evolves. View the statement.
Because COVID-19 transmission is primarily through droplet spread and aerosol, teams that perform head and neck procedures are at high risk for infection. Although many procedures performed by teams are important and somewhat time sensitive, this national health care crisis will cause delays. The health and safety of patients, members, trainees and hospital teams are the top priority.
All providers should first consider individual circumstances and the best interests of their unique patients, as well as the resources and PPE of their institutions. Hospital, local and regional regulatory bodies will determine the actual practice in each hospital or facility, and any additional restrictions that are applied by such bodies should supersede these guidelines.
ACPA recommends continued collaboration between team members and families, while respecting the directives of social distancing and utilizing telehealth options as resources allow. Telehealth or phone conversations with parents may be sufficient. It is also imperative that care teams proactively establish a reentry plan and prioritize patients for future evaluation and treatment.
View a complete list of ACPA’s COVID-19 resources on the website.
ACPA Members can visit ACPA’s Online Community to join the discussion on handling care during the COVID-19 pandemic.