Why Your Dentist Always Tries to Keep Your Dental Records Current
Posted on 1/10/2018 by Allan Hablutzel
Your dental history data is as important as your medical record. When you transfer to another area and change dentists, your updated records will be sent over to the new clinic.
This will form the basis for your new dentist to determine existing problems, mode of treatment, or follow-through with ongoing dental procedures. You are not expected to remember what the dentist has done to your teeth. Dental records provide an accurate timeline of all the procedures you underwent.
Dental Records and the Law
The law requires dentists to keep a patient chart. Even with the law, the dentists are obligated to keep accurate records to track all the dental procedures of each of their patients. In this way, they avoid repeating previous treatments.
The government strictly regulates the dental records and each practitioner follows the regulation of the state on how long each chart is kept, how it should be stored, and who can gain access to the information.
This is also for your safety. Your dental record will contain history of allergies to treatment, anesthetic and medication. It also includes current procedures you are undergoing, as well as prior injuries and surgeries. That's to make sure your new dentist knows what to look out for.
In fact, you can't just take your dental records with you. You may have it photocopied but the original will stay in the clinic. Also, nobody else can take a peek of your chart-even police authorities-without a court order. That's how serious everybody is about protecting your privacy.
On a practical note, updated dental records ensure accurate identification in case of forensic investigations. Your teeth are as unique as your fingerprints, and courts all over recognize its importance in identifying unknown bodies or pinning suspects to a crime (bite marks, etc.).
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at (360) 373-3515 today.