Why Does My Child Need Another Examination?
Many parents have commented that they do not understand the need for us to complete an examination when your office has already provided this service. Some parents ask why your office can’t simply forward the results of your examination so that we can provide the necessary care. If it were that easy we know that you would be able to treat the child in your office under local anesthesia.
We like to advise parents that a referral to a pediatric dental specialist is comparable to their family physician referring their child to a medical specialist. For example, a Paediatrician, Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon or Cardiologist would not provide surgery or drug therapy to a child without first examining the child, performing additional investigations or tests not available to you or which you have been unable provide because a child is uncooperative (a good example is taking intraoral radiographs), making a diagnosis and discussing with the parent treatment options available for managing the child’s condition and behaviour. This process is essential to explore parental expectations and avoid misunderstandings.
Returning Your Patients’ Care to You—When and How?
Children with extensive dental disease or uncooperative behaviour or complex medical problems present many problems to a dental team. For us, another issue is deciding when to transfer the care of your patient back to your office? The answer depends on the child, his condition, her family and you. We believe that every child deserves a Dental Home. If a child remains uncooperative or often requires care in hospital or under sedation, does it make sense to transfer that child’s care back to you? Should more care be required in the future for that child, another referral will be necessary with all the associated delays.
Children who have had extensive treatment but are other wise normal are “graduated” immediately and returned to your care.
For those children where the answers are not clear, we would like to work with you to determine where a child’s follow-up care can best be provided. Our primary goal is to return children to your care who are disease-free and happy to see the dentist so that the need to refer this child again is eliminated! We will indicate in our treatment report where we believe the child’s follow-up care should provided. BUT, We would also like to hear from you!
Why Are Some Referrals Returned To You?
You may have noticed some referrals you have sent to us being returned to you. We attempt to contact every single patient you refer to our office. There are some families who are very difficult to reach or are not interested in what we have to offer them. We attempt to contact families of the patients you have referred twice.
If we are unsuccessful in making contact or booking an appointment on the second call, we send the referral and any records back to your office with a note explaining that we have been unable to book an appointment.
Generally, this process occurs over a period of about 4-6 weeks. Your support of each and every referral is important in helping us to develop a successful relationship with your patients.
Helpful Resources for Your Practice
Standard for Minimal and Moderate Sedation Services in Dentistry
American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
Definitions, Oral Health Policies and Clinical Guidelines
BCDA website dedicated to the oral health of preschool children