Moving to a distant town or completely different state can be awfully stressful. You will have many things to get done before moving day, but if you are in the middle of the dental implant procedure, you will have a few additional things to do before you move.
Since the dental implant procedure takes so long, it is not uncommon for a patient to need to find a new dentist to complete the process. One thing that you will need to get the process completed is your dental records from the surgeon that has completed the work thus far.
How do you get copies of your dental records?
The process for receiving copies of your dental records varies from practice to practice. Some will require you to come to the office and sign release papers, while others will complete the process by mail or through email.
Your best option is to contact the dentist and ask how the practice handles the release of dental records.
Does it cost anything to obtain your dental records?
Sometimes, yes, it does. The dental practice can require you to pay for the work that goes into printing your dental records. You will be charged a reasonable fee for duplicating the records because it costs the dental practice money to do so. These fees will vary depending on the records that have been maintained and the general fee that the dentist charges for duplication. Call in advance to find out how much it will cost so that you can avoid any unpleasant surprises at the office when you go to pick them up.
Can X-rays be duplicated?
Absolutely. Many dental offices these days use digital imagery for X-rays, so these files may need to be copied onto a disk or thumb-drive, so there may be a nominal fee or you may be asked to bring a disk of your own.
Can a dentist refuse to release your dental records?
Legally, yes, but it is not common for a dentist to do so. These records are legally the property of the dentist, but there are very few instances in which a dentist will deny duplication for the patient. Now, if you refuse to pay the fees that are associated with the record duplication, the dentist can, and probably will, deny the duplication.
If your dental implant procedure must be completed by another dentist because you are moving, copies of your records can help make the process a little easier. Then, you simply have to find your new dentist and take your records with you to work on completing the implant process.