Congratulations, graduate! You’ve done great things and now you’re on your way! Off into the big, wide world. Part of being a newly minted adult with responsibilities is dealing with your dental records and keeping up your regular dental routine. Have you given any thought to getting your dental records and finding a new dentist wherever you land? Here are some helpful tips to help you with this part of the transition.
Your Dental Records: How to Get Them and What to Do With Them
As you transition from college to the “real” world, make sure that maintaining your healthy habits remains a priority. You’ll need to establish new relationships with dentists and specialists, and that starts with research. If you’re moving to a brand new city, be sure to take your time and ask people you trust who they see for their dental needs. Read reviews and check out a few places before settling down with one particular office. After you’ve chosen the dental practice that’s right for you, get in touch with your old dental office and have them send your dental records over.
Thanks to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, your dental records can be sent to your new practice quickly and securely. A simple phone call or email requesting your records is all it takes to get started. Do be sure to provide all the correct information of where your records should be sent to. In many cases, the records are requested to be emailed directly to the new practice. It’s rare to have a physical copy sent over. Remember: your dental records belong to you as a patient and you have the right to request a copy of your records at any time from your health provider. Some practices may charge a small fee for the transfer. Check when you call.
Staying Covered: Dealing with Insurance
This is a great time to check in with your dental insurance provider to find out how long your coverage lasts after graduation. If you have a job lined up and that job offers dental insurance, you may want to make sure that your coverage overlaps to insure you don’t briefly lose coverage. If you don’t have anything lined up yet, or if the job you have doesn’t offer dental insurance, giving your provider a call to see if they offer any discounted options may be a good idea.
Maintaining Through the Gap: What to Do if Your Insurance Ends Here
If you are about to graduate and you’re coming to the end of your dental insurance, there is plenty you can do to keep your teeth and gums healthy until you’re able to see a professional again. First, if you haven’t seen your dentist for the past six months to a year, make an appointment for a cleaning and exam before you graduate. This is a crucial time to make sure you don’t have any cavities, and also to screen for oral cancer. If you’ve maintained regular visits with a dental professional during your years of college, your dentist has probably notified you of any important treatments or concerns they have.
If you have a clean bill of health, with no need for important treatments or no looming emergencies, then the best you can do after your insurance lapses is to maintain a regular, consistent oral hygiene regimen that includes frequent flossing and effective brushing technique. This will not replace regular professional cleanings and examination, but it should help keep your mouth healthy until you’re able to see a dental professional again.
Finishing up your studies and heading off to chase your dreams is wonderful! Congratulations on graduating! Don’t forget that maintaining healthy habits will help you stay on the right track and not be sidelined by preventable emergencies. Take the time to get things in order before you start your next great adventure. Getting a hold of your records, establishing a relationship with a new dental practice, and knowing your insurance coverage will do you a lot of good in these next few months.
Are you a Boston-area college student looking for a dental specialist? Graduating soon, but need specialty treatment before you head off to your next great adventure? Give us a call. We’re here to talk about your needs, your treatment plans, and what how to get you on track for excellent oral health for graduation and beyond.