When it comes to transitioning your child from pediatric dental care to adult care, it can be not very clear. New routines, new dentists, and even new plan treatments can be emotionally stressful, especially while transitioning the many responsibilities of care from parents to their now new adults. However, your pediatric team is here to help, and we’re here to help clear up some confusion on the transition process and help better understand their policies when it comes to their care.
Understanding the Child-to-Adult Transition Process
Transitioning from pediatric to adult dental care should not be taken lightly. There are many challenges ahead that come with removing children from your dental insurance and encouraging them to seek out dental care independently. Statistics have shown that less than 50% of all patients nearing this stage were spoken to about the process, meaning that many new-to-be adults are left not knowing how to find dentists to care for their needs and find the insurance coverage they need can afford.
If you have a child reaching the age of 18 and need some tips on knowing what to do, then it’s time to speak with your medical care team about it. When speaking with your team, there are essential questions to ask them to help you prepare for these transitions, including:
- What is their transitioning policy? Your medical team will let you know the time frame for when pediatric patients should transition to adult care. Their information should include how they’ll assist with the procedure and any legal changes that may occur.
- Do they monitor the transitioning patient? Your medical team should have a system in place for tracking patients in their system who are nearing the appropriate age of adulthood. This system ensures that they are preparing for them to transition into their adult medical care. If not in place, most young adult patients may fail to get the assistance they need.
- Do They Help With A Readiness Assessment? Readiness assessments prepare children to manage their care as they get older, and these assessments typically start around age 14. This period helps give them plenty of time to learn about their dental health and what they need to do once they reach 18.
Not all dental practices have this, but if you work with a pediatric dental team, they’ll most likely be able to inform you about how their transition process works and what their insurance policies should contain. Any particular dental concerns they may have would need to be seen by a specialist in the future. Most importantly, your young adult should be able to know about their health, including any cavities filled, previous orthodontic care, and other dental concerns that affect their future treatments.
Speak To Your Dentist To Learn About Their Policies
During these times, it’s essential to reach out to your dentist to find out what systems they have in place. By learning about these systems, your medical team can help your child transition to adult care. There may be a slight change needed for some families with many clinics, especially if they also work to provide adult dental care at their facility. In these cases, family dentists are an excellent example of a significant transition process because, through their care, they won’t require your child to seek additional treatment from a dentist they are unfamiliar with. If you have any more questions or concerns, the best place to learn more about transition processes is by reaching out to your pediatric dentist for a consultation today.