It is undoubtedly preferable not to start treatment with one orthodontist and then to move on to another orthodontist in a different location. If you know you are about to move it is better to wait until you have arrived at your new location.
Every orthodontist has a preferred type of brace and treatment method, and cases from one practice may not fit in well with the routine of another practice. Most orthodontists would strongly prefer to treat a case all the way through and not have to step in part way through. Research shows that treatment takes an average of six months longer in transfer cases.
Patients who are moving to another location, should give the orthodontist as much notice as possible and ask him to find an orthodontist at the new location. Ask for a referral to the new orthodontist with a history of the treatment so far. Ask for the study models and x-rays to be sent on or to be given to you to take with you to the new orthodontist.
Under the new NHS contract, since 1st April 2006 there has been no official obstacle to changing orthodontists. Orthodontists with NHS contracts can accept an NHS patient who has moved from another part of the country (or from overseas) and who is already under orthodontic treatment, as long as the patient is over 10 years and under 18 years of age when first seen by the new orthodontist. Local protocols and referral pathways may also be in place with provision and guidance for transferring patients. The local NHS Commissioning Team, Managed Clinical Network for Orthodontics or Local Orthodontic/Dental Committee can be consulted for further guidance.
If you started NHS orthodontic treatment under 18 years of age but have become over 18 by the time you moved, you may still be permitted to continue with NHS treatment but your new orthodontist will need to get permission from the local NHS Commissioning Team. You may also need to pay an NHS charge.
Further information for your orthodontist on how to transfer a patient is supplied in the member’s area of this website.