When you’re preparing to move, the to-do list is a mile long. If you or your loved one has braces you may be worried about whether you can switch orthodontists mid-treatment and what that process looks like. Because braces require regular care and adjustment you’ll want to avoid a significant lapse in appointments by mapping out a plan to transfer your care from one orthodontist to another. Because the Memphis area is home to global companies including FedEx and International Paper, as well as a nearby military base, it’s not uncommon for families to be transferring in and out of our practice.
Our Checklist: How to Transfer Orthodontists
Here are some tips that we believe can help make the transfer process as seamless as possible.
1. Notify your current practice of your plans to relocate.
Be sure to notify your current orthodontist of your plans as soon as possible. We have experience assisting patients leaving or joining our practice mid-treatment and can help you think through everything you need to ensure a smooth transition. Letting us know early in the process gives us plenty of time for treatment plans and paperwork to be properly processed. There are many details to be worked out, from scheduling final adjustments to settling your account so the sooner you can initiate this process, the better.
2. Select an orthodontic practice in your new city.
When looking for a new orthodontic practice, people often turn to social media for recommendations, referrals, and reviews. This is a first step, however there are other ways to find a new orthodontist. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) website has information about how to choose an orthodontist and an online search tool to help you locate an AAO orthodontist. You may also inquire with your company’s HR department or go through your insurance. Be sure that the new orthodontist you choose accepts transfer patients and is capable of maintaining your specific type of braces. Other considerations include the convenience of the location, especially if you have many months left in your orthodontic care, as well as the office’s hours, if you’re juggling a busy schedule.
3. Complete an orthodontic transfer form and necessary paperwork so medical records are moved on time.
You need to be sure to have your orthodontic history, including x-rays, compiled and ready for the move to your new practice. Your current orthodontist likely has a process in place for this so that nothing falls through the cracks. If not provided, ask for a copy of the AAO’s orthodontic transfer form to ensure that you have all the information and documentation you need before you leave.
4. Gather supplies to maintain braces while you’re in transit.
We recommend having a braces care kit on hand which includes supplies such as floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, rubber bands, wax, and a small mirror. This may also be a good place for your retainer with your supplies. Use wax to help relieve the discomfort of a poking wire or loose bracket until you can see your new orthodontist. Maintain good hygiene while you’re traveling and stay away from sticky foods that could cause a problem. If you encounter a braces emergency on the road, please give us a call and we’d be happy to help you find a solution.
5. Be prepared for change.
Our patients often become like family to us over the course of their orthodontic treatment. It’s likely that you have developed a wonderful working relationship with your current practice and change may be difficult. Beyond the relational dynamic, there could be a change to your treatment plan. It may not look the same as your current experience, but rest assured that you can find a wonderful new practice.
Let Us Be Your Memphis Orthodontic Office
Changing orthodontists mid-treatment isn’t ideal but sometimes it’s inevitable. Figuring out how to transfer orthodontists doesn’t have to be stressful. If you are our current patient leaving the area, we are sorry to see you go and will help you ensure a smooth transition to your new practice. Dr. Piper can refer you to an orthodontist in your new city and identify a practice that’s similar to ours.
If you find that you’re moving to the area soon and are searching for an orthodontist in Memphis, we’d love to meet you and help you reach your treatment goals. Please give us a call at 901.756.4316 to schedule a consultation.