Many of us have been seeing the same dental provider for many years! That’s why switching dentist offices can seem a little complicated. Many people have a lot of questions when it comes to making a change. How do I switch my dental office? Will there be a lot of paperwork? Will it be expensive to change to a new dentist? Should I be going to a senior dental center? These are all great questions.
When it comes to switching dentist offices, there are just a few things you should know before you make the change. It does not need to be a difficult process at all. You should not feel pressured to stay with a dentist that doesn’t suit your needs, nor should you go without a dentist if your provider has moved away or retired. Even if you find yourself in a new area and you are not sure who your next dentist will be, you can be prepared for the switch by following some simple tips.
Guidelines for Switching Dentist Offices
You should feel confident about your decision to pursue the best possible care for your oral health. Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines that will help make switching your dental office easy.
If you have been seeing the same dentist for many years, the office will most likely have an extensive record of your visits and a chart with all of your x-rays and exam information. These medical records are important for you to obtain when switching dentist offices.
If you know what office you will be switching to, you can simply request that your current dentist office release all of your records to your new dentist’s office. They will have you sign a consent form stating that you give your permission for your records to be released. Once the release form is signed, your current dental office will submit all of the paperwork in your files to the new dental office.
Typically all this is done by the dental office as a courtesy, but there are a small number of dental practices that charge a fee. Dentists are allowed to charge patients for copying, printing, and mailing dental records. However, most offices will be happy to send your paperwork electronically or by fax with no charge to you. Be sure to ask when switching dentist offices so you don’t get a surprise charge.
If you are someone who is moving away from an area and have not located a new dentist office yet, you can either wait until you have located one and call your previous office for the records or you can request your records and have them released directly to you on your last visit with your dentist. Many dentist offices will gladly contact your previous dentist to request charts on your behalf, but it is always wise to have your records released to you when you are switching dentist offices.
Finding the Right Senior Dental Center
Many people seeking dental care will benefit from finding a senior dental center in their area. A senior dental center is equipped to handle the needs of aging teeth. Switching dentist offices to a senior dental center makes the transition even easier. Staff at the senior dental center can advise you on retrieving your previous dental records before you have your first visit. They can help ensure that you have your charts in a timely manner and that your new dentist is able to review your dental history before meeting with you for the first time.
Now that you know how to access your dental records in order to switch to a new office, you may be wondering what to expect at your new dentist. Whether you are switching to a dental office that has come highly recommended by friends and family, or you heard of your new dentist in an advertisement, online or elsewhere, it is important to you take a moment to ask a few questions when you make the call or schedule your first appointment online.
When calling a new dentist office you should ask them what types of insurance they take, what are their policies for missed appointments and cancellations, how do they conduct their billing (for example, will your payment be due at your appointment or will they bill you). It is also important to ask them what you should expect on your first visit.
First visits to a new dentist’s office are generally very standardized. The office will review your paperwork, the dentist will look over your chart and ask you some questions about your medical and dental history, and usually, a new set of x-rays will be taken. If you have had x-rays taken recently, you may be exempt from taking new ones. Be sure to ask if you are required to or not. Often, dental offices will want to have their own x-rays from the onset to ensure your best care, however, this is not always necessary.
Switching dentist offices does not need to be difficult, so don’t let your dental care get interrupted for any length of time. Look for a senior dental center near you, like your local Cano Health location, for the best possible care.