So, you’re in the middle of your braces or Invisalign treatment when suddenly you’re relocating and need to switch orthodontist offices. What now? How do you completely switch from one office to another in the middle of treatment for braces or Invisalign? Don’t freak out, you’ve got this!
Let Your Current Orthodontist Know You’re Moving
The very first thing you should do if you’re in need of an office swap is to talk to your current orthodontist. Discuss your options with him or her, and listen to what they have to say. This happens all the time, so they will be able to advise you on what steps you should take next. You will have to schedule a final appointment with your current ortho to get things lined up for the transfer. Make sure to ask questions about the transfer process. For example, for Invisalign users, will Invisalign be notified about the doctor change? And are the funds for the treatment you have left going to be transferred to your new doctor?
Finding a New Orthodontist
The next thing you should take care of is lining up a new office to switch to in your new location, but how do you do that? Start by asking your current orthodontist for recommendations. Depending on where you’re relocating, they might have some good suggestions on where to go. Whatever you do, do not be shy about asking your orthodontist questions! They are there to help you, and if you need to relocate, they are going to do their best to make sure the transition is as smooth and as possible. If they don’t have any recommendations for a new office, there are a few more things you can try.
Ask around! New coworkers, classmates, and neighbors are all excellent people to chat up in regards to getting a good recommendation for a new orthodontist. Again, don’t be shy! For some tips on what to look for to ensure a good fit, read our suggestions here. Be sure to ask about their transfer policies, insurance options, additional costs, and available discounts.
Transferring Records and Treatment History
Once you have a new office lined up, consult with your current doctor about getting your documents sent to your new doctor. The American Association of Orthodontics has forms your orthodontist can fill out and send to your new doctor to provide maximum clarity regarding what’s going on with your treatment. You should also discuss having your initial records, treatment plan, and reason for your treatment sent to the new office.
Payment plans are another factor to consider. There is a chance there will be additional costs incurred as a result of switching offices. Typically, there are up-front costs due when you are a new patient at any doctor’s office (including orthodontic offices). You will also need to ask your new office plenty of questions regarding financing. Do they accept your insurance? Do they charge interest for payments? Also, don’t forget to tell your insurance carrier you are relocating to avoid any complications with their payments to your new orthodontist. Discuss the payment plans available at your new office to find something that works for you.
Remember, moving in the middle of your orthodontic treatment isn’t impossible, but there are a lot of moving parts. Make sure to ask your orthodontists (new and old) any and all questions you might have, and don’t switch to someone unless you feel completely comfortable with them. You might be moving, but your shining, healthy smile is still just around the corner!