AAO Offers Guidance for Orthodontic Care During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Dentistry Today


The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) concurs with the White House Coronavirus Task Force recommendations to postpone elective dentistry and offers its own guidance pertaining specifically to orthodontics. Non-elective procedures such as those considered to be orthodontic emergencies address:

  • Significant oral pain, though the AAO cautions that many such cases could be managed by wax or by sectioning an arch wire with cuticle cutters or nail clippers 
  • Infection
  • Limited function
  • Physically traumatic events that yield any of these results.

Without these conditions, loose brackets and bands as well as lost or broken retainers and aligners should be considered elective, the AAO says. However, the group adds, discretion should be used should a long period of time pass.

Further, the AAO offers clinicians resources related to office closures, staffing and human resources, educational materials, information about reopening practices, financial resources, and cyber security. It invites members and others to direct questions related to COVID-19 to coronavirus@aaortho.org.

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