You absolutely have the right to your dental records. I can't understand why a dentist would refuse to hand them over. Some might charge a fee, which shouldn't be more than say, $50, but they must hand it over. In fact, I'd have to double check, but I'm pretty sure there's something in the HIPAA laws that states you may have your records.
I don't know if your regular doctor can compel your dentist to transfer the records, but it would not hurt to ask your dr. if he/she can make the request (for which you'd need to sign the release).
I'm just curious- has your dentist actually refused to give you your records? When I wanted a copy of mine, just for myself, because I hadn't even made an appointment yet for a second opinion, I just called the office and asked. They faxed me a form to sign, and promptly mailed the records to my house.
you have the right to your dental records just the same as you have the right to your medical records, right?
what if the dentist refuses to hand them over, then how do you get them? can you sign a release form from your medical doctor and let them demand the copies of your records?
Those records are yours and no one can refuse to hand them over (legally). You should expect to pay $25-50 for the time and paper it costs to have someone copy them, but thats it.
Some doctors have thought that they can hold medical records if the patient has a negative balance, but this is not legal either.
My suggestion, go to your state dental board online, get their number on your cell phone. Go to your dentist's office and ask for the records in person (they are not required to mail/fax them, but cannot refuse in person). If they do refuse, pick up your phone, tell them you are calling the state board, and more than likely they will change their tune. If not, the state board will handle it and you will get your records soon, and they will be fined.
I wasn't refused, I just haven't heard anything about it. They wasn't mailed to my doctor & I requested that it be done so prior to my appt or mailed to me. They haven't tried contacting me to let me know if it would cost anything. I offered in my request to pay any charges & no I don't have a negative balance due. I did send in the release/request form by mail to receive these though. They know that I know my dentist was going to pull my teeth out without good reason. I also know he did the same thing with the others (but he doesn't know I know that). So I guess I am just afraid he's purposely not going to give them to me. I'm also concerned about my records being tampered with. But I guess he can't change x-ray results even if he did that.
I thought by law they have to supply a copy of your records within 15 days + any time it takes to mail them & receive your request but I haven't heard anything and I have caller ID incase they call and I'm not at home.
"2. Do patients have a right to obtain a copy of their dental record and can a dentist charge for copying the records?
Answer: Yes, and yes. SBDE Rule 108.8 requires a dentist to provide a patient a copy of the patient's dental record within (30) days of the patient's request for a dental record copy. SBDE Rule 108.8 also sets out the maximum amount a dentist may charge for the records. SBDE Rule 108.8 can be found on the Board's website located at www.tsbde.state.tx.us.
3. Can a dentist withhold a patient's dental records because of an unpaid balance?
Answer: No, a dentist cannot withhold a patient's records on the basis that the patient has an unpaid balance for dental services. The dentist may pursue all legal methods to collect an unpaid balance including collections and civil court actions. The dentist can also charge the patient copying costs for patient records as outlined in SBDE Rule 108.8 and may withhold patient records until all copying costs are paid by the patient. "
Each state has their own rules, but are fairly balanced for most states. Most say 30 days from the date the request was recieved. The easiest way is to go in person. Try calling the office and see where they are.
If I call, they will want to know why I want the records, same thing happened when I picked up my last visits records/x-rays and it was because my other dentist told me he had no good reason to be pulling my teeth. I really don't want to be in the position to have to explain all of this to them.
Rules of the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners state “A dentist shall, upon request by the patient of record, provide original or copies of radiographs and a summary of the treatment record to the patient or to a licensed dentist identified by the patient. A fee may be charged for duplication of radiographs and diagnostic materials. The treatment summary and radiographs shall be provided within 30 days of the request and shall not be contingent upon current, past or future dental treatment or payment of services.” [21 NCAC 16T.0102]
Would you want to go back when the only thing that's been wrong is that you have TMJ and bruxism and the dentist is just pulling your teeth as his way of making money. OMG I'm so mad at him. This is the only procedure he could do on me, my insurance would pay for. So I have to assume that's why he's been such a careless a-hole!
Why do dentists tell you that you need a root canal anyways? I assumed I had the absesses they claimed I had, and what I thought was deep decay, otherwise why would he say I needed a root canal or either would have to get my teeth pulled.
And don't think he didn't know I didn't have a $1000 a wack to spend on a tooth. He knew.
My last visit, they said I had previously had an absess on those teeth with deep decay and that a filling would not necessarily work because of. And my
other dentist tells me I've never had a tooth with any deep decay on my past x-rays, that all my cavities were on the surface of my teeth. Thank god I found that out before I let him take 2 more teeth from me.
Are root canals a way of treating chronic mouth pain? Do you take all of someone's teeth out when you know they have TMJ? Shouldn't a dentist know why he's pulling that tooth before doing so w/out just judging on the fact of whether it hurts or not. And if a root canal was needed, shouldn't he have done a cold sensitivity test?
Last edited by neveragain444; 06-01-2009 at 08:05 AM.
My first thought would be to request them again. If they do not give you your records, even if you offer to pay for them, tell them that you will seek an attorney to get them for you. They don't want the negative publicity. Mine wanted to charge me $70.00 for a copy for my attorney but gave them to me for free to take to the oral surgeon. Most of the time they do not give them to you is because they won't be doing the work and are losing the money you would have given them to some one else.