Posted by Dr. William Yoo
Most people find it easier to maintain a record of dental visits with a single dental practice, where they’re familiar with the quality of dental services, and have built a rapport with the dentist. But you may need to switch dentists, oftentimes because you have moved, or you may need a different dentist to perform a specialized procedure.
Rather than start over at the new dental office, trying to recall the type and time of a certain procedure you underwent, or when your next deep cleaning should be, you can simply get your personal records transferred in an organized way. Here are a few steps to take to make the transition smooth.
Step 1: Schedule an appointment at the new dental practice.
Depending on the situation requiring you to switch dentists, it may take you a bit of time to find a practice that offers what you want, unless you are going to a practice that has been recommended by your long-time dentist.
Dental offices can only have a limited number of patients per day to avoid overwhelming the dental professionals. Unless it is an emergency, you need to register as a new patient, and then wait until there’s an opening to see the dentist, so do this at your earliest convenience.
Step 2: Check reviews and testimonials from previous clients.
If you have dental coverage, make sure that you pick a practice within your insurance network. You will need to investigate several practices that catch your eye. Check out their official website and social media pages to see what people are saying about each practice.
This is also a great chance to see the range of services they offer. This is particularly important if you want a family practice where you and your kids can get your dental needs attended to under one roof.
Step 3: Get a copy of your dental records.
Although your new dentist will perform a thorough checkup of your mouth and oral cavity at the first appointment, including X-rays, being able to view a detailed record will help to provide a timeline for better continuity of your oral care plan. If your current dentist keeps electronic dental records, simply ask that they send the files to your new dentist. Alternatively, you can obtain a copy yourself and then give it to your new dentist.
Step 4: Share vital health information.
It is important that you inform your new dentist about any pre-existing conditions you have, as well as any treatments you are currently undergoing. Some medications affect the health of your mouth, while others may disqualify you for certain procedures, especially the invasive ones like dental implants.
Switching dentists need not be a stressful event. Simply find a practice that offers dental treatments that are of interest to you, and follow the steps above for a flawless transition.