How We Transition Pediatric Patients To Adult Treatment


When it comes time to transition your child from pediatric dental care, it can be confusing for all involved. The process involves new routines, new doctors, and possibly even new plans for treatment. It can also be tricky to transition the legal responsibility of care from the parents to the new adult. Caregivers, parents, and newly adult patients alike can all find this process emotionally tasking. This is especially true in light of the numerous other changes that can come along at this time.

Understanding The Transitioning Process

The process of transitioning from pediatric to adult care isn’t one to be taken lightly. There are a number of challenges that may be hard to predict that could interfere with their ability to receive care. Statistics have shown that less than 50% of all patients who are nearing this stage were spoken to about the process. Many were left, not even knowing that such a process was necessary for them. Cases like these can be troublesome when the new adult no longer has insurance coverage. Worse, they may be surprised to learn they need to find a new specialist who can care for their needs.

If you have a child who is reaching the age of 18 and want to know what to do, it’s time to speak to your physicians and dental practitioners. Ask them about the following:

  • What is their transitioning policy? They’ll let you know their time frame for when pediatric patients should transition to adult care. This should include how they’ll help you with the procedure and any legal changes that may occur.
  • Do they monitor the transitioning patient? They should have a system in place for tracking patients in their system who are nearing the appropriate age. This ensures that they begin preparing them for moving on to an adult dentist as the date gets near. Without this, patients may fall between the cracks and not get their assistance.
  • Do They Help With A Readiness Assessment? A readiness assessment is a method of preparing children to manage their care as they get older. Most opt to start this assessment around age 14, giving plenty of time for the child to learn essential information about their dental health.

Some information they should know before they reach the age where they’ll transition to adult care includes any special dental concerns they have. Any orthodontic care they’ve received, any cavities that have been filled, the state of their wisdom teeth, and other dental concerns should all be known by them.

Speak To Your Dentist To Learn About Their Policies

Reach out to your dentist to find out what systems they have in place to aid your child in transitioning to adult care. There may be little change needed with many clinics, especially if they provide adult care at their facility. Family dentists are a great example of a dental facility that won’t require your child to seek additional treatment. Reach out to your dentist for a consultation today.

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Dr. Jeannie Molato, DMD – Top Dentist in Bakersfield, CA

The art and science of dentistry has become my career’s passion. I can utilize my artistic passion and skill to give my patients smiles they have always dreamed of. I am also able to relieve my patients of their pain and discomfort, restore function to better their quality of life and educate the patients how to take care and maintain their oral health.