Dentist-With-PatientIn my last post I discussed how you might go about setting up a plan for transfer of retention from orthodontists within your referral network to yourself.

However, in the absence of an established relationship with the treating orthodontist or GP, transferring retention for patients who were treated outside your referral network typically poses greater challenges.

For example, if the treating dentist is someone to whom you could refer because they are geographically close, but don't because you do not prefer them, that dentist may see you helping one of his/her patients with retention as interference.

While it is ultimately the patient's decision, if you know that the doctor who provided the orthodontic treatment is opposed to having someone else monitor retention, you should approach with caution. In addition, if you or the patient are not happy with the treatment result, you and your patient should be clear regarding your concerns before you get involved. I will discuss retention of less than ideal treatment outcomes in a separate post.

For the purposes of this discussion, let's assume that you have a post-ortho patient with an acceptable treatment result. There are a number of reasons that such a patient may look to you for help with retention, such as, the treating orthodontist is no longer willing to monitor retention, the patient has moved or the patient simply would prefer to have his/her retention monitored by you. I have attached a generic form that can be used as a starting point to structure a discussion about long-term retention with your post-ortho patients.

I suggest you have this discussion with post-ortho patients who are new to your practice and existing patients who are post-ortho with someone outside your referral network.

In my next article, I will go over how pro-actively discussing the issue of retention works in your favor.

Cheryl DeWood is a Spear Contributing Author. [ ]



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