When you’ve had a child receiving care under a pediatric dental clinic, they’ll eventually have to transition to an adult or family clinic. This process involves multiple steps, and it’s important to ensure they’re followed properly to make the transition smooth. Your child needs to be prepared to manage the future of their dental health care. The transitioning process helps to ensure they’re fully equipped to accomplish this goal. However, many parents, caregivers, and new adult patients find the process overwhelming. It can be quite a lot to handle when combined with other major life events, such as transitioning to college or a career.
How To Prepare Your Child For Adult Dental Care
Transitioning from pediatric dental care to adult dental care is a pivotal step in your child’s development. While not all children spend time under a pediatric dentist, those who do often have advanced oral health care concerns. This makes it essential that they understand their oral health, specific needs, and how to ensure they receive the care they need. Despite this, nearly 50% of all dental patients transitioning from pediatric care did not receive the necessary preparation before reaching this age. They may not understand that they’ll no longer be covered under their parent’s insurance. They may also be unable to transition to the same clinic their siblings or parents use.
You can take the necessary steps to ensure your child is ready to move into adult care. Preparing them to make dental health decisions and ensure they’re properly cared for teaches them an important life skill. You can include their dentist, caregivers, and current specialist in this process. To find out what the transition process is for your pediatric dentist, ask them the following questions:
- What Is The Transition Policy At Your Clinic? – Every clinic has its processes and procedures when transitioning patients to adult dental care. They may permit children to remain at their clinic beyond 18, provided they are covered under their parent’s insurance. Some require that the transition process be completed once they reach 18 years of age. Knowing your provider’s policy will ensure they get the information you need to handle the process properly.
- Do You Monitor The Patient? It’s common for pediatric dental clinics to monitor the patient’s age. Doing so allows them to properly prepare the child for transitioning to an adult clinic. Further, it ensures they can notify the child and their family as the date approaches. Those clinics that fail to monitor their patient’s progress risk failing to inform the patient or give them time to prepare properly.
Ask About A Readiness Assessment
Those pediatric offices that maintain a transition program will often perform readiness assessments starting at age 14. They begin the process of educating the child on their oral health and the kind of care they need. They want to ensure the child is fully prepared when they become responsible for managing their dental health care. This is an important part of ensuring their patients can fully protect and maintain their beautiful smiles in the years to come.