A new approach for a new normal: better treatment, fewer office visits

As orthodontic offices open with new normal operating policies, innovative technologies become essential.

Dr. Regina Blevins

Overcoming COVID-19 and getting back to work is a challenge that we all face together. As communities, we are missing each other. As doctors and business owners, we are eager to be back in the office doing what we love. Maybe this time has given you a deeper appreciation for your career, or maybe it has given you a deeper appreciation for your master chef husband and house full of children! This pandemic has presented several unexpected obstacles and changing patient priorities. But this is what we, as orthodontists, are made for. We are made for change. We are made for innovation. We are made to adapt. At Minnesota Orthodontics, we are embracing a new way of doing business and are looking toward the future.

So, where to begin? With 13 locations, reviewing logistics and securing proper PPE and in-office protocols are no small tasks. Getting through our backlog of overdue patient appointments initially seemed daunting. The first thing that we tackled was our jump to virtual consultations and check-ins. We had been preparing to move to a more digital format for some time, and COVID-19 gave us the final push. We are grateful for technology that allows patients to send us photo updates, enabling us to execute virtual patient monitoring while maintaining a high standard of care.

Another technology that’s proven to be essential during this time is Propel’s VPro™ high-frequency vibration device. It has been a part of our practice for many years, but now its value during this new normal is only increasing. Our patients use the VPro for 5 minutes a day to increase comfort, to accelerate treatment, and most importantly, during the extended time out of the office, to ensure that aligners are tracking.

Propel’s VPro vibration device offers a solution that fits perfectly into our new virtual landscape. To keep patients and staff safe, as well as to comply with local social-distancing regulations, we prescribe VPro to reduce office visits. To manage the inevitable overflow and backlog of patients that need care, we prescribe VPro to jump-start treatment and deliver on treatment goals. To manage patients who have been less compliant during this understandably frustrating time, we prescribe VPro to ease resulting discomfort and get treatment back on track. From predictability to comfort, VPro is still our go-to, and it’s clear that patients value our support and expertise.

Just as it’s important to find the right mix of team members to create a more perfect synergy, it’s important to find the right mix of tools so that we can deliver our best work. COVID-19 has made all of us proactive in our search for those tools. We’re confident that we will emerge from this hardship stronger, more thoughtful, and more efficient than before, and we have an unlikely cause to thank for it.


Dr. Regina Blevins

Dr. Blevins mentioned VPro as part of her new normal protocol. Read more about the device in Dr. Thomas Shipley’s article here: https://orthopracticeus.com/technology/vpro5-efficient-aligner-seating-high-frequency-vibration/

Regina Blevins, DDS, MS, started her career in dentistry in 1980 as a Dental Hygiene graduate of Charles Stewart Mott Community College. She attended the University of Michigan, where she received her degree in dentistry in 1987. Her appreciation and love for the fine art of the cosmetic side of dentistry led her to pursue her orthodontic graduate training at the University of Minnesota, where she received her Master of Science degree and a certificate in orthodontics in 1991.  Dr. Blevins enjoys staying up-to-date on the latest developments in orthodontics by maintaining a rigorous continuing education schedule.

When she is out of the office, Dr. Blevins enjoys living an active lifestyle and spending time with her husband, Tom, and their four children: Noah, Rachel, Lucy, and Will. As a family, they enjoy doing yoga, Taekwondo (Dr. Blevins is a black belt!), and spending time in their backyard cooking, gardening, and relaxing. Dr. Blevins is an active member in her community and enjoys giving back to those who bring her so much happiness.

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