Orthodontics clinic closes suddenly in N.B. town, patients left without answers

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N.B. orthodontics office closes, leaving patients in the dark
An orthodontics office in southern New Brunswick closed suddenly this week, leaving patients without care. As Nathalie Sturgeon reports, many are now left hanging with unanswered questions – Apr 4, 2024

An orthodontic clinic in Quispamsis, N.B. closed “temporarily” until April 2. But two days later, Dr. John Sherrard’s office closed permanently and it remains unclear why.

Jennifer McInnis was a patient at the clinic. She won a contest for Invisalign treatment, paid for by the clinic.

Braces were something she always wanted, but they were not financially feasible. McInnis heard about the closure through messages people sent her.

“(They said) he’s closing, like permanently closing, and … I haven’t heard anything about it all,” she said in an interview Thursday. “I wasn’t contacted by them at all, there was no phone call, no email, no announcement directly from them.”

She reached out to MacKenzie Orthodontics, who is accepting Sherrard’s patients, but said the financial aspect of her treatment remains unclear.

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“They’ll talk about financial stuff when I’m there, so right now I have no idea what I’m looking at for that,” McInnis said. “So, it’s stressful.”

Her sister is also a patient, who paid out-of-pocket, she explained, and upfront. McInnis said she feels especially bad for those patients, given how expensive orthodontics is.

“So, lots of questions but so far no answers from anybody,” she said. “If he is not talking to us directly, who will?”

Sherrard Orthodontics was an orthodontic clinic that was an Invisalign Diamond+ Provider, according to its Facebook page which has not been updated since the closure.

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The website read: “Sadly, after much heartfelt consideration, we intend to wind up our practice in an orderly manner and would like to sincerely thank the local community and our patients for their support in coming to this difficult decision.”

“Once the decision was made that we would not be able to reopen the office, we reached out immediately to the NB Dental Society to work through the logistics of ensuring our patients are transitioned to an orthodontist of their choosing,” the statement on its website goes on to say.

“While those plans are being developed, please know that we are monitoring voicemails for emergencies and will be reaching out to each of our patients to discuss transferring their patient records as soon as we are in a position to do so.”

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Dr. Sherrard did not respond to telephone or in-person attempts to contact him on Thursday.

However, an update posted in April said “after receiving direction from the NB Dental Society, we wish to assure all patients that your records are being safely maintained and can be transferred to an orthodontist of your choosing as set out below.”

It left instructions on how to contact two different orthodontists in the region who are accepting patients.

“We understand and appreciate that your ongoing care cannot be delayed but unfortunately, staffing remains an issue in the industry and no one local office can accommodate all patients,” the update reads.

It also said it had requested “the cessation of all scheduled payments and have not triggered any payments since our initial temporary closure at the end of March, but we would encourage you to contact your banking institution to ensure that such payments are not inadvertently made.”

It directed patients to two other orthodontic clinics who would be accepting records and people needing care.

The New Brunswick Dental Society said in an email statement it does not know much about why the clinic closed, other than what has been posted on its website, and is “now waiting for (Sherrard’s) plan regarding transfer of patient records to other health providers.”

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Paul Blanchard, the society’s executive director, said it has had some written contact with Dr. Sherrard.

“We expect that Dr Sherrard will provide a plan for the continuing care of his patents, which will need to be worked out with other dentists in the region,” he said in the statement. “Under our regulations, there is a duty to transfer patient dental records within a timely manner.”

The NBDS does not have any authority over financial matters between patients and dentists.

Two orthodontics, All Smiles Orthodontics and MacKenzie Orthodontics, have posted to social media that they are taking Sherrard’s patients.

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