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How We Transition Pediatric Patients To Adult Treatment

Woman with Baby

For many pediatric dentists, helping children grow up with good dental care is one of the biggest accomplishments. Through the years of reinforcing good hygiene habits, many dentists watch their patients grow into adults and often share those experiences with their parents. However, all children eventually grow up, and part of being a pediatric dentist means helping parents and their adolescent children transition into adult dental care. For us, it is just as important for them to learn about what their dental health care will look like from now on, and through us, we can ease this transition into adulthood in many ways.

How We Help Prepare Adolescents For Adult Care

Transitioning into adult care is a pivotal moment for them. However, one of the problems in dental care is the lack of communication and preparation they have when they transition. Only about half of patients coming into this stage were properly communicated about their new expectations and changes to their dental care. This change can be startling for adolescents, especially when they eventually learn that their parent’s dental insurance won’t cover them, will have to schedule appointments on their own, and instill the habits they’ve learned over the years into their adult life.

However, pediatric dentists focusing on these transition stages will often have plans and measures in place to work with their patients and their parents about their treatments. For parents, this means considering many questions about what this transition entails. Parents wishing to take advantage of the time they have can work with their pediatric dentist, asking questions about topics such as:

  • Transition Policies: Almost all clinics will have their transition policies, and many of them will differ depending on the practice. Some policies will state that children can stay within their care until their parent’s insurance no longer covers them. Others will require an immediate transition until they reach a certain age. By inquiring about their policy, parents can get the necessary information to prepare their children for adulthood.
  • Patient Monitoring: Many pediatric practices will have their patient’s files on hand and can alert parents about their policies. This means that parents and their adolescents can learn about their medical information and work with their pediatric dentist to transition their records to their new dentist.
  • Readiness Assessments: Lastly, readiness assessments are used to help patients transition from pediatric care into adult care. As the main way to work with their patients, patients as young as fourteen will work with their dentists to learn the basics of dental care to encourage growth and independence and take better control over their dental care by the time they reach adulthood.

Communicate With Your Pediatric Dentist To Learn More

All of these topics are essential for both parents and their children, especially for children reaching the point of adolescence. Understanding their oral health, speaking with your dentist about their treatments, and helping patients achieve independence and autonomy are some of the best ways to accomplish these goals. Speaking with your dentist can help prepare your child for adult treatment and give them the advantage they need for good oral health.

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