If you are planning a move far from where you're located right now and are in the middle of dental work, there are some things that you need to know. Since dental implants take such a long time to complete, it's not uncommon for patients to start with one dentist and have to complete the process with another.
If this is the case for you, you will need to get copies of your dental records. What do you need and how to do you about getting it? You'll learn that in the article below.
What information will you need to request?
You will need full copies of your dental records to this point, as well as any x-rays that have been taken.
How do you get your dental records?
Exactly how to go about getting your dental records varies from dental practice to dental practice. Some practices may complete a dental record request following a simple phone call and others will require you to come into the office and complete a set of record release documents.
Your best option is to contact the dentist that has your records at least a couple of weeks before your move. Sometimes, it can take several days to get all of the information that you need to be copied.
Are there fees associated with receiving copies of your dental records?
Again, the answer varies from one practice to another. The practice can legally request a fee for duplicating the records. The dental practice may charge the fee to cover the cost of materials as well as the time that it takes an employee to gather the information and put together a new file for you to take.
Call your dentist in advance to learn if they charge a fee for copies of your records and how much that fee would be.
Can your x-rays be duplicated?
Dental x-rays can be duplicated, but these days, it's much easier to do so. Many dental practices have made the change to digital x-ray technology. This means that the x-rays are stored on the computers and can be transferred to disk, thumb drive or digitally sent through email. Take an empty disk or thumb drive with you when you request the records to potentially save a little cash.
Can your dentist refuse to release the records?
Technically, yes – the dentist has the legal right to refuse the release of your dental records. It is uncommon for a dental practice to refuse, but they are well within their legal rights to do so as they are the property of the dental practice.
If you owe fees for services rendered or fail to pay the requested record copying fees, the dentist could very well decline your request for your records.
Talk with your new cosmetic dentist as well as your existing dentist to learn more about the records that are needed to complete your dental work properly.