Moving to a new city can be an exciting adventure, but it can also be daunting, especially if you are in the middle of orthodontic treatment. If you have braces or Invisalign, you will need to find a new orthodontist to continue your treatment. You need to transfer to a new orthodontist. Following is an advise for transferring to a new orthodontist.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how to transfer to a new orthodontic practice when you are moving to a new city:
- Start your search early. It is important to start your search for a new orthodontist as soon as you know that you are moving. This will give you time to find an orthodontist who is a good fit for you and your needs.
- Ask for recommendations. Best starting point is to ask your current orthodontist for a referral. Often, your orthodontist can refer you to a qualified orthodontist with similar orthodontic philosophy and technique. Also, talk to your friends, family, and coworkers to see if they have any recommendations for orthodontists in your new city.
- Do your research. Once you have a few recommendations, do your research to learn more about each orthodontist. Read online reviews, compare prices, and check to see if the orthodontists are in-network with your insurance.
- Schedule consultations. Once you have narrowed down your choices, schedule consultations with each orthodontist. This will give you a chance to meet the orthodontist and their team, learn more about their treatment philosophy, and ask any questions you have.
- Choose an orthodontist. After your consultations, choose the orthodontist that you feel most comfortable with. Be sure to consider the orthodontist’s experience, qualifications, and treatment philosophy.
- Transfer your records. Once you have chosen a new orthodontist, contact your current orthodontist to request a transfer of your records. Your current orthodontist will send your records to your new orthodontist so that they can continue your treatment.
- Schedule your first appointment. Once your records have been transferred, schedule your first appointment with your new orthodontist. At this appointment, your new orthodontist will assess your progress and develop a treatment plan for you.
Here are some additional tips for transferring to a new orthodontic practice:
- Be sure to give your current orthodontist plenty of notice that you are moving. This will give them time to prepare your records and transfer them to your new orthodontist.
- Ask your current orthodontist to prepare American Association of Orthodontists(AAO) transfer form – This is a form which includes your diagnosis, treatment plan, treatment provided to date and other pertinent information. This will give your new orthodontist a good understanding of your progress and what needs to be done to complete your treatment.
- Settle your financial obligation with your current orthodontist. You may need to pay in addition to your current payment plan to fulfill treatment provided to date or you maybe getting a refund because you’ve paid beyond treatment provided to date.
- Understand that when you are transferring to a new orthodontist, you will most likely need to pay more than your initial finical estimate from your current orthodontist. There are many factors in determining cost of orthodontic treatment and when you are transferring to a new practice, there are added time and work that needs to be done to complete your orthodontic treatment. Also, orthodontic treatment fees vary widely throughout the country and the world. It is reasonable to expect that a transfer may increase treatment fees and may involve changes in payment policies. For most people who transfer during their orthodontic treatment, the total treatment cost is likely to increase.
- Be prepared to pay a transfer fee. Some orthodontic practices charge a transfer fee for patients who are transferring from another practice.
- If you have any questions or concerns about transferring to a new orthodontic practice, be sure to talk to your current orthodontist. They can help you through the process and make sure that your transition is as smooth as possible.
- Your current orthodontist may have given you the name of one or more orthodontists in your new area. Your orthodontist may have even contacted the orthodontist(s) to see if they will accept transfer patients. However, this does not constitute a recommendation by your orthodontist, and you are under no obligation to continue treatment with a specific orthodontist. You are welcome to visit one or more orthodontists in your new area before deciding who will continue your treatment.
- Because there are many accepted techniques and philosophies, your new orthodontist may change your treatment plan or appliances. Variation in how your teeth and jaws are responding to your orthodontic treatment may require a change in your treatment plan.
- When you transfer to a new orthodontist, your treatment time is often extended by the process of transfer. It is reasonable to expect that your treatment time will vary from the original prediction.
- When you have identified your new orthodontist, you should contact your former orthodontist to request that your records be transferred. Your new orthodontist will then contact your former orthodontist for any additional information needed.
Moving to a new city can be a stressful experience, but transferring to a new orthodontic practice does not have to be. By following these tips, you can make the transition as easy as possible and ensure that you continue to receive the best possible orthodontic care.