When you find out that you’re moving, the to-do list is a mile long. If you or your loved one are currently wearing braces, make it a priority to map out a plan for transferring your care from one orthodontist to another. Because the Memphis area is home to global companies such as FedEx and International Paper, as well as a nearby military base, it’s not uncommon to have families transferring in and out of our practice. Here are some tips that we believe can help make the 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 helping 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 ok, but 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. Ask Dr. Piper for a referral in another city. He can identify the practice most similar to ours.
3. Complete all necessary paperwork to have medical records transferred on time.
You need to be sure to have your orthodontic history, including x-rays, compiled and ready for transfer 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 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 emergency kit on hand which can include supplies such as floss, toothbrush, toothpaste, rubber bands, wax and a small mirror. This may also be a good place for your retainer to keep everything together in one bag. 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’re transferring into our practice and 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.
When going through orthodontic treatment, our patients often become like family to us. It’s likely that you have developed a wonderful working relationship with your current practice and change will be difficult. Beyond the relational dynamic, there could be a change to your treatment plan. Rest assured, you can find a wonderful new practice, but be prepared that it may not look the same as your current experience.
Changing orthodontists mid-treatment isn’t ideal but sometimes it’s inevitable. If you’re a current patient leaving the area, we are sad to see you go and will help you with the details of transferring your records and treatment plan to your new practice. If you find that you’re moving to the area soon and searching for an orthodontist in Memphis, please give us a call at 901-756-4316 and we can schedule a consultation.