Posted on January 12th, 2021
Update: we are no longer requiring COVID-19 tests prior to follow-up appointments as all of our clinical staff has been fully vaccinated.
Who needs to take a COVID-19 test? Any patient visiting a Uniform Teeth clinic and receiving treatment that creates aerosols. At Uniform Teeth, most visits, with the exception of your free initial consultation, create aerosols, so unless it is your first time in our clinic, you are required by San Francisco law to take a test. Thankfully, because our treatment requires fewer visits than traditional orthodontic practices (3-5 visits vs. 15 or more), we will be minimizing this as much as possible.
What type of COVID-19 test do I need to take, antibody or antigen? Please take a test that shows an active infection. As of now, the city is allowing both antibody and antigen tests to meet the requirement for testing. However, this may change in the future. We will update you if requirements change.
When do I need to take a COVID-19 test? We recommend going to get tested 4-7 days before your appointment. The directive requires you to test 0-7 days before your appointment and you will need to show a negative result in order for us to proceed with treatment. Results typically take 48-72 hours to receive after you have taken a test, so you will need to allow time to receive your result.
I just got tested for COVID-19 recently. Do I need to take another test? According to the City of San Francisco health order, all patients need to have a test taken within the 7 days preceding their appointment. As results take 48 - 72 hours to receive, we recommend scheduling your second test 4-7 days before your appointment.
Why do I need to take a COVID-19 test? You need to take the test because it is required by the City of San Francisco. You can find the latest SF Health Orders and Directives from the Public Health Officer online link here.
Do I need to take the test if I am receiving treatment in Chicago? No, it is only required for patients visiting clinics in San Francisco.
Can I take a COVID-19 test at a Uniform Teeth Clinic? Yes, our clinics offer a rapid antigen test which requires a swab. This test costs $30 per test.
How much does the test cost? This depends on the medical provider you choose. Many providers, including our partner Carbon Health, offer this test for free. We recommend you contact the location you choose to verify.
I see a $195 charge on Carbon Health's website? Do I have to pay it? There is no charge.
If you have insurance, for example Kaiser HMO or Medi-Cal, there is no fee or cost to you as a patient. You will need to supply Carbon Health with your insurance details, preferably when you book your appointment online, or via the Carbon Health app.
If you are not insured, there is no fee or cost to you as the patient. As part of the Families First and CARES Act, you will have to fill out a short form at the clinic at the time of your COVID-19 Clearance Exam appointment. The new FFCRA and CARES Acts have made funding available to allow Coronavirus (COVID-19 ) related care accessible to all Americans including those uninsured. We still will need to file the testing visit to the government.
My test results show that I have antibodies because I had the virus months ago. Can I still come in for an appointment? Yes, you are able to come in for an appointment! If you have a test result that shows you are positive for IgG antibodies for COVID-19 (long term immunity), please just bring those test results into your visit, and no additional test for active infection with COVID-19 is needed at the moment.
If you do not have a test result showing that you have IgG antibodies for COVID-19, then you do need to take another test within 7 days of your appointment to demonstrate that you are negative for an active infection, as required by the City of San Francisco. You can find the latest SF Health Orders and Directives from the Public Health Officer online link here.
What if I don’t want to take a test? Can I still receive treatment? Unfortunately, we are not able to see you in our clinics to perform orthodontic procedures until you have either taken a test or the City of San Francisco has updated their directive with this requirement. We are following local and state health directives.
If you elect to not take a test, please cancel your appointment or send us a message via the Uniform Teeth app so we can update our appointment schedule.
You will need to continue wearing your latest stage of aligners until you come in for your next appointment. You may transition to nighttime wear only if you have previously worn your latest stage of aligners for two weeks for the required minimum of 22 hours. If you stop wearing your trays altogether, your teeth will shift and it may require a new treatment plan at an additional cost.
If I choose not to take a test and I am on a monthly payment plan, will I still be charged my monthly payment? Yes you will still be charged your monthly payment. We are unable to pause monthly billing for patients who voluntarily pause treatment. We are suggesting testing centers that offer complimentary COVID-19 testing in the SF Bay Area.
Is it clinically an issue if I pause treatment? If you pause treatment, you will need to continue wearing your last stage of aligners until you resume treatment again. While it is not a concern for your health, your treatment will take longer if you pause it. You may transition to nighttime wear only if you have previously worn your aligners for two weeks for the required minimum of 22 hours.
If you stop wearing your trays altogether, your teeth will shift and it may require a new treatment plan at an additional cost.