How can I get a copy of my dental records?

To get a copy of your records request them from your dentist. There may be a fee for record duplication and duplication of radiographs.

If you want records from a previous dentist forwarded to your new dentist, it is necessary to sign an authorization to release records which will be sent to your former dentist. Again, there may be a processing fee for record duplication. Your previous dentist is usually required to comply within a set period of time.

Talk with your dentist about getting a copy of your dental records. Dentists covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) privacy rule are required to provide patients with a copy of their records and state law may also apply.

The American Dental Association (ADA) Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct states:

"A dentist has the ethical obligation on request of either the patient or the patient's new dentist to furnish, either gratuitously or for nominal cost, such dental records or copies or summaries of them, including dental X-rays or copies of them, as will be beneficial for the future treatment of that patient. This obligation exists whether or not the patient's account is paid in full."

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.