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This article originally was posted in the Albany Business Journal
Dr. Sergey Berenshteyn prepared himself for a difficult conversation.
It was mid-March and the curve of the coronavirus pandemic was starting to arc upward. He knew there would be consequences for his orthodontics practice — it’s a business in which people are literally face to face every day. You can’t have people working so closely without risking spread of the virus.
Berenshteyn gathered his staff. They talked through options before reaching a consensus: three-quarters of them would need to be furloughed.
“Even though everything was based on facts, personally, it was just the hardest day of my life to have to break such news to 20 people,” Berenshteyn said.
Before the crisis, Adirondack Orthodontics had seen about 60 patients per day at its four locations around the Albany region, including one that had just opened. The practice typically works with upwards of 2,000 patients in various stages of treatment. A lot of them are teenagers who require regular instructions and reminders.
Berenshteyn and the remaining staff have found ways to adapt. They’re conducting virtual office visits, mailing out new rubber bands. For urgent cases, he schedules a time to meet in the office.
The furloughed staff have kept in touch with questions about when they can come back and what they can do in the meantime. During a video call, some of them volunteered to help figure out how to run the practice in the Covid-19 world. Berenshteyn paid them for their time.
“These people want to help me; these people want to be back to work. They care about the patients; they care about the practice,” he said. “Amid all this, this really was a feel-good moment.
Berenshteyn is anxious to get them all back to work. Adirondack Orthodontics wasn’t able to secure a PPP loan during the first round. Without the loan, he’d be limited to a skeleton crew upon reopening.
He was worried about getting shut out in round two, but found success applying through T Bank.
“I reread the letter because I wasn’t sure I read it correctly,” Berenshteyn said, recalling the moment when the email arrived about the approval.
With the loan in hand, he could bring back his full staff. And he felt better about being able to work through the backlog of postponed patient visits.
Then there was the longer-term future. New patient inquires had evaporated completely during the first weeks of the crisis.
“When economic times are uncertain, you just don’t know when orthodontic treatments will be a concern for new patients,” Berenshteyn said.
But beginning in mid-April, he started getting a couple of new calls each day.
“I feel like people started seeing the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “I look at it as a positive sign because at this time, while everything is still closed, for people to be calling us is already great.”
Berenshteyn and his staff have put together a plan to prevent spread of the virus after the offices reopen. They will encourage social distancing in the office and space out appointments to make sure waiting rooms aren’t busy. Virtual visits and consultations will continue.
He’s just waiting on the go-ahead from the New York State Dental Association.
And the phone keeps ringing as the number of new patient inquiries continues to rise during May.
“These are the types of signs that make me really optimistic that things will start heading toward normalcy for everyone.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many people to pursue longstanding desires, from home improvement and landscaping projects to health and fitness goals. We are seeing that firsthand at Adirondack Orthodontics, with an increasing number of people contacting us to inquire about straightening their teeth with Invisalign or traditional braces. Now is a great time to get started – here are five reasons why.
Health and Safety is Our Top Priority. We have established extensive protocols to ensure the well-being of our patients and staff. Once our doors fully reopen, we are spacing out appointments to minimize contact with others; checking the temperatures of staff and patients daily prior to treatments; installing partitions to enable social distancing during treatments; and enhancing deep cleaning and thorough disinfection so each patient has a safe and enjoyable experience.
Virtual Screenings Get Treatment Started Safely and Comfortably. Our complimentary virtual consultation program has been a huge hit! It gives patients access to our orthodontic services from the comfort and safety of their homes. See our Virtual Consultation page to find out more; you can call us, email us, or fill out the form on that page, and we will get started on putting together the information needed to schedule your virtual appointment.
Patients Starting Now Move to the Front of the Line. As we start to ramp back up, your path to achieving a beautiful and healthy smile is wide open. With your virtual screening completed, you’ll be ready to have your braces put on immediately. That means your treatment will be completed faster and it won’t be long before you’re showing off your gorgeous new smile!
The Cost Savings Have Never Been Better. No matter your financial situation, Adirondack Orthodontics wants to ensure you have access to all the best orthodontic care. In addition to our customized payment plans, low down payment options, and discounts for teachers and first responders, we’ve put together a special offer: start your treatment by June 30 and we’ll match your down payment up to $650. (This applies to comprehensive treatment only)
We Offer the Flexibility You Need and Convenience You Want. With four offices conveniently located in Albany, Latham, Clifton Park, and East Greenbush, we’re right in your neighborhood. And, with evening and weekend hours, we can work around your busy work schedule, school and sports activities, and other commitments to make treatment a seamless process.
Now is the perfect time to start planning for the future. We invite you to visit our webpage to see the latest updates on our practice and policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. And, if you would like to schedule a complimentary virtual consultation, visit our Virtual Consultation page to make an appointment at your convenience. We look forward to helping you achieve the perfect, healthy smile of your dreams!
Forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many people are turning to do-it-yourself solutions for everything from haircuts to home improvement projects. But while styling your own hair might not yield the ideal results, and trying to sponge-paint your own living room might lead to some regret, hair can grow back, and you can always repaint later. Orthodontics, on the other hand, is definitely not a DIY activity.
The Dangers of DIY
Online companies might boast of at-home teeth straightening solutions, but in truth, the results can be both expensive and painful. The initial price of at-home treatments may be lower, but the long-term costs of fixing your teeth will be far more. Worse, at-home DIY solutions can cause long-term bite problems and dangerous infections, and a trip to the hospital is the last thing anyone needs right now.
With professional orthodontics, patients benefit from the presence of a trained expert who can provide a personalized solution and monitor ongoing treatment. A licensed orthodontist will conduct a comprehensive exam and take X-rays to develop a treatment plan, and he or she will be there to identify and address any issues along the way.
Further, keeping your teeth in place once treatment is over – what is called retention – is just as important as the actual treatment. An experienced orthodontist will help you come up with a plan for keeping your beautiful smile once you achieve it. DIY kits might skip this vital step, and your teeth are likely to revert to their former positions, leaving you right where you started.
Clearly, DIY braces come with a price tag and risk that are significant. Instead, turn to the caring and committed professionals at Adirondack Orthodontics to work one-on-one with you to achieve the smile you’ve always wanted in a safe, effective manner. Dr. Sergey Berenshteyn and his experienced team are standing by to help provide the services you need in Albany, Clifton Park, Latham, East Greenbush, and across the Capital Region.
Don’t Want to Wait? Try a Virtual Screening!
At Adirondack Orthodontics, the health and safety of our patients is always our number one concern. While we are scheduling appointments to address urgent cases and following CDC guidelines, we encourage new patients to schedule a complimentary virtual appointment. This can be done in the comfort of your own home, at no cost to you.
We invite you to visit our Virtual Consultation page to find out more. You can call us, email us or fill out the form, and we will begin putting together the information needed to schedule your appointment. The initial consultation is an essential first step toward developing a treatment plan to meet your oral health care needs. We look forward to seeing you!
Adirondack Orthodontics Temporarily Closes Offices to Support Community Effort to Stop the Spread of Coronavirus
As a caring, compassionate, and community-minded health care provider, Adirondack Orthodontics is supporting the effort to stop the spread of coronavirus.
For the health and safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, we are closing all offices effective Tuesday, March 17. We will continue to monitor developments related to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and New York State Department of Health, in hopes of re-opening on Monday, March 30. A final decision will be made closer to that date, and we will keep you posted.
Until we are able to resume in-office treatments, please know that we will continue to be available via telephone, email, and social media. If you encounter an emergency situation that is causing pain, contact us at (518) 512-3001 or firstname.lastname@example.org (email is best during non-office hours). We will do everything we can to provide assistance as we are able.
We strongly encourage you to follow the best practices recommended by CDC to help prevent the spread of coronavirus, including:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth;
- Stay home when you are sick;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash;
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing; and
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
For additional information that is trusted and reliable, visit the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
Thank you for your cooperation, and please be safe as we face this challenge together.
Yours in Good Health,
Dr. Sergey Berenshteyn
Adirondack Orthodontics Reinforces its Commitment to Health and Wellness Amid Coronavirus Spread
At Adirondack Orthodontics, the health and safety of our patients, their families, and our staff is our highest priority. Our commitment to providing personalized, compassionate, and caring treatment is part of our DNA. We take this responsibility seriously; it is at the heart of every decision we make.
As the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to expand nationwide and globally – including here in the Capital Region – we want to reassure our patients and families that we are being proactive to enable all treatments to proceed safely and securely. We are also asking for your support and assistance.
Here’s what we are doing:
- We have always observed the most stringent protocols possible to ensure the tools, equipment, and furniture in our treatment areas remain free of germs and bacteria. Even so, we have stepped up our cleaning and disinfection process in each office to provide an extra layer of protection for both patients and staff.
- We have extensive cleaning and disinfection procedures in all common areas, such as our waiting rooms, receptionist desk, and restrooms. We are taking additional steps to reinforce cleaning in those areas, as well.
- We have reviewed with staff our policies and procedures relating to health and safety in the office environment, including the need for thorough and frequent handwashing and wiping down of each treatment area in between patients.
- We have directed office staff to refrain from coming to work if they are sick.
- We are staying abreast of all developments through trusted and reliable sources, notably the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York State Department of Health, and reputable media outlets.
Here’s what you can do:
- If the patient is sick, please call the office to reschedule their appointment.
- If you are sick, please refrain from bringing your patient to their appointment. Seek assistance from another family member or friend, or call the office to reschedule.
- If you or a family member have recently traveled to a high-risk country, or come in contact with someone who has, please call the office to let us know
- If you or a family member have come in contact with someone who is directly impacted, either through quarantine or positive diagnosis, please call the office to let us know
- Both patients and families should wash their hands thoroughly prior to coming into the office.
- If you have questions or concerns, please call the office and we will be happy to speak with you.
We are proud of our reputation as a caring, compassionate and community-minded health care provider, and committed to being proactive to provide a safe and healthy environment for treatment. Thank you for your confidence and support, and we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment.
Yours in Good Health,
Dr. Sergey Berenshteyn
Help Us Win Best of 2020!
Each year, people throughout the Capital Region nominate businesses to participate in the Times Union’s Best of the Capital Region contest, and readers vote for their favorites in each category. Adirondack Orthodontics is proud to have been nominated for the Best of 2020 in the “best dentist/orthodontist” category!
Please help us win by casting your vote and showing your support for our team. Voting begins on February 24th at 6:00 am Eastern and ends on Thursday, March 5th. Every person can vote once per day throughout the voting period, and even better, each voter is automatically entered to win $500!
Don’t forget to click “share” on the voting page to encourage others to vote. Thank you for all of your support, which has allowed us to stand out in the Capital Region.
How to Vote
- Visit the voting page: https://www.timesunion.com/bestof2020
- Click the Goods and Services category
- Find the section for Best Dentist/Orthodontist
- Choose Adirondack Orthodontics
Fourth Location Opening Mid-January
Every year, we aim to make our services even more convenient for patients throughout the Capital District. To help with that, Adirondack Orthodontics is proud to announce a new office coming to a convenient location in East Greenbush, which will be open in mid-January of 2020! Hours at our new location will be from 9:30 am to 6 pm Monday through Friday, with spots on Saturday by appointment only.
Creating a fourth location will allow us to continue to provide full orthodontic treatments and services for patients of all ages. In addition to the central placement of our new location, patients will benefit from flexible payment options, services provided by experienced professionals, and the latest orthodontic solutions. When you’re searching for affordable orthodontic solutions, you don’t have to compromise to get what you want. Adirondack Orthodontics works with most major insurance companies and can provide payment options that work for you and your family.
As we open more locations, we will be better able to serve a wide range of patients in East Greenbush, Clifton Park, Albany, Latham, and beyond! If you would like to become a patient at the new office of Adirondack Orthodontics, call us to schedule an appointment. We look forward to serving you at 4 Middle Mannix Road, Suite 100, in Rensselaer, NY.
Make Invisalign Treatment Your 2020 Resolution
The most common New Year’s resolutions involve changing your lifestyle to improve your physical and mental well-being. As you create your goals for the upcoming year, put your smile on the top of the list! Orthodontic treatment is an investment that will pay off not just this year but for the rest of your life, and Invisalign may be the right treatment for you.
The Advantages of Invisalign
Invisalign has become more popular over the years and remains one of the most requested orthodontic treatments, and with good reason! This treatment is nearly invisible (hence the name) and far more comfortable than alternatives. Invisalign involves the use of custom, discreet aligners. Read on to find out more about the benefits of Invisalign over other teeth-straightening methods.
Invisalign vs. Traditional Braces
Invisalign has gained popularity over traditional braces due to comfort and convenience. This treatment won’t leave your mouth full of brackets and metal that make it difficult to eat and speak. Instead, you will be given a series of customized clear aligners that can barely be seen and can be taken out at any time. Reasons to choose Invisalign instead of traditional braces include:
- Invisalign requires fewer office visits in general, as you won’t need to come in for wire changes.
- Invisalign treatment takes the same amount or less time than traditional braces.
- Invisalign aligners are removable, making it easy to eat, drink, brush, and floss.
- Invisalign maintenance is easy: simply rinse and soak your aligners to keep them clean.
Invisalign vs. DIY Teeth Straightening Kits
While all the dangers of do-it-yourself teeth straightening kits are still unknown, some of the consequences have already come to light: gum recession, enamel erosion, tooth loss, and more. When your treatment isn’t created just for you by an experienced orthodontist who has examined your teeth, the results can be immediate and long-term damage to your teeth, roots, and jaw. Other reasons to choose Invisalign rather than a DIY teeth straightening kit include:
- Invisalign will involve the help of an experienced orthodontist to monitor the process.
- Invisalign is customized to address specific issues that have been found by an exam and X-rays.
- Invisalign won’t cause long-term issues like infections.
- Invisalign will save time and money by ensuring your teeth are properly aligned the first time.
- Invisalign ensures long-term retention, as it involves a plan for care and future office visits.
- Invisalign won’t harm or damage your teeth and jaw.
Paying for Invisalign
While the overall price of Invisalign may seem high, the results far outweigh the cost; the adage “you get what you pay for” certainly applies to orthodontia. Invisalign is an investment in the health of your teeth and the appearance of your smile, and Adirondack Orthodontics can guide you through the process of budgeting and paying for the treatment.
First, we recommend checking to make sure we’re a participating provider with your insurance. Next, we can come up with a payment plan that spreads over the duration of the treatment, with low down payment options and our in-house 0% interest payment plan. Finally, we can help you take advantage of our regular and special discounts, including discounts for teachers, first responders, police officers, multiple siblings, and more.
No matter your budget, we will work with you to find a solution so you can get the orthodontic treatment you need and deserve. Just discuss your budget and needs during your initial appointment at our office.
Find Out If You’re a Candidates
Most people who could use the help of braces are good candidates for Invisalign. The best way to find out if Invisalign is right for you is to call the team at Adirondack Orthodontics!
Call us today to schedule a free consultation so we can discuss this effective, affordable, and fast orthodontic treatment with you in greater detail. Our team would love to help you put your best smile forward in 2020. Get in touch with us now to get started.
How to Make Orthodontics More Affordable
A healthy, beautiful smile is a long-term investment, yet many people assume they can’t afford it. Fortunately, Adirondack Orthodontics makes it as easy as possible for patients to pay for the treatments they need. From guiding you through the process of insurance and medical spending accounts to offering discounts and various payment methods, the team at Adirondack Orthodontics is here to help you save on your most important investment: your health.
FSAs & HSAs: What You Need to Know
Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) are related, but each offers distinct ways to save money on health care. While both allow patients to use pre-tax dollars for certain health expenses, there are some important differences between the two.
FSAs enable you to set aside pre-tax dollars to use towards specific health care, including orthodontic treatment. Not only can FSAs be used for your own deductibles and office visits, but they can also be used for your dependents as well. Employers set up the FSA and have control over them; they get to decide the rollover rules, and contributions can only be changed during open enrollment.
An HSA is a bit more restrictive in some ways and less restrictive in others. While an HSA enables you to use pre-tax income towards medical costs just like an FSA does, an HSA can be utilized only if you have a high-deductible health plan. As the owner of an HSA, you have control over changing contributions and can bring your account with you if your employment changes. You also have the ability to contribute more to your account, meaning you will have a greater amount set aside to help with orthodontia and other medical bills.
By using an FSA or HSA for necessary medical expenses, you can save money in the long run. Generally, using one of these accounts won’t give you a straightforward discount on the treatment you need. What it does is help you to save money on your taxes. At a minimum, you’ll save the money that would have been taxed on the income you set aside; at maximum, you might be able to put yourself in a lower tax bracket altogether.
Keep in mind that the next deadline for making your FSA contribution is December 31, 2019, while the deadline for HSA contributions is April 15, 2020. If you have any questions about how to utilize your plan, call the knowledgeable staff members at Adirondack Orthodontics.
Choosing a Participating Provider
If you have insurance, selecting an in-network (participating) provider will allow you to make the most of it. When you choose a participating provider, you ensure that your provider will accept the fees set by the insurance company. Plus, many participating providers can offer extra assistance, maximizing your benefits. They understand the insurance company’s rules and procedures – they’re in the network – and will often handle paperwork and claims for you.
At Adirondack Orthodontics, we participate with almost every insurer in the area, but we recommend you check with yours to be sure. That way, you won’t be blindsided by a bill that you thought would be covered by your insurance.
Other Ways to Save
Adirondack Orthodontics is always searching for ways to help our patients save on their orthodontic treatments, both immediately and over long periods of time. Some of the ways we help you save include:
- Spread Out Payments: Extended payment plans and low down-payment options allow you to pay a little upfront and spread payments out over time.
- Pay Now or Later: Whether you want to take advantage of our paid in full discount by paying upfront or paying over time with an interest-free payment plan, we are here to help.
- Sibling Discount: If you have more than one child who needs treatment, we offer a multiple sibling discount.
- Other Discounts: We offer discounts for military personnel, teachers, and first responders.
- Referral Program: Pass on your love of Adirondack Orthodontics and enjoy a referral discount.
Schedule an Appointment
Adirondack Orthodontics can inform you about all the different options available to you. No matter your budget or how you want to structure your payments, we can guide you through the decision-making process and make sure you’re fully informed before you get started. Call us today to schedule an appointment and let us help you start your journey or your child’s journey to a strong, stunning smile.
The Best & Worst Halloween Candy for Braces
Everyone should be able to enjoy the candy they get when trick or treating, including those with braces! Yet certain kinds of candy can jeopardize the health of your teeth and the state of your orthodontia. Taking care of your teeth is essential, especially when you’re investing in braces and the long-term beauty of your smile. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you bring home your candy haul this Halloween.
Halloween candy that tends to do the most damage to braces is anything sticky, like caramel or taffy. Hard candy like lollipops also becomes problematic, as the candy can break and bend your braces. Avoid brands like Laffy Taffy, Airheads, and Sour Patch Kids.
On the other hand, chocolate candy is one of the best sweet treats you can choose when you have braces. While taffy sticks to your teeth and has the potential to damage your braces, chocolate and candy bars like Kit Kat bars and Snickers bars won’t cover your teeth or hurt your hardware.
No matter what kind of candy you consume during Halloween, be sure to take the rights steps to care for your teeth! A toothbrush that reaches around your braces should always be in your arsenal, along with plenty of floss. Each time you consume candy, brush your teeth and rinse thoroughly with water to keep food particles from lingering on your teeth and creating cavities.
Follow these tips this Halloween – and any time you eat something sweet – and you’ll be equipped to take care of your braces. If you have any questions about how to brush, floss, or generally care for your teeth and braces, call on Adirondack Orthodontics. We would be happy to help.