How to Move in the Middle of Braces or Invisalign
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? Moving with braces can be overwhelming but don’t freak out, you’ve got this! Regardless of your orthodontic treatment, with a few key things in mind, you can make your move as seamless as possible without interrupting your journey to a healthier, straighter smile.
What Happens if I Move with Braces?
Moving on its own can be stressful and come with plenty of things to think about. With moving, it’s a good idea to make a checklist of all the things you need to accomplish before your move date. Make sure you either add to this move-out list or make your own orthodontics-related list to make sure you have everything you need.
Keep everything you need to care for your braces, including orthodontic wax, extra elastics if you use them, your toothbrush, toothpaste and floss. Keep these items in a small bag like an overnight bag to always have handy while you’re traveling to your new location and so you aren’t searching for them when you arrive.
If you are using Invisalign, have all your old and new aligners with you, in addition to your current aligners and case, so they don’t get lost or damaged in the move and they are readily accessible when you need them.
If you plan ahead of time, the move itself shouldn’t interfere too much with your orthodontic treatment.
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 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 if you paid in advance?
Can I Switch Orthodontists if I Move?
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 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.
Going Away to College with Braces
For most teens/young adults, moving away to college can be the first big change in their life. On top of the stress of moving, living in a new environment, and keeping on top of academic work, keeping track of your orthodontic treatment can be a bit overwhelming.
Schedule your office visits in line with your academic breaks if you can. All colleges release their break calendars well before school actually starts, so look up your college’s calendar and pre-plan your appointments for when you’ll know you’ll be back home.
Depending on your treatment plan, you may have to return back to the office more than once or twice a semester if you have braces. You may want to consider Invisalign treatment as a discrete, less obtrusive way to enjoy your college years. With Invisalign, you also need fewer appointments so you can avoid missing classes. If you’re about to start college and weighing your various treatment options, consider Invisalign since it’s a more subtle treatment option that also tends to take less time than traditional braces. Additionally, Milnor Orthodontics offers digital dental monitoring in place of numerous office visits.
Moving with Braces
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!
At Milnor Orthodontics, our experts are here to help you achieve a priceless smile. Call our office at (970) 230-3187 or visit milnororthodontics.com to learn more. We're located at 1103 S. Shields St. in Fort Collins, Colorado.