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Why You Need to Worry If Your Dental Records Aren't Current
Posted on 1/10/2018 by Sundberg Office
Believe it or not, your dental records are as important as your birth certificate, social security or any credential that can establish your identity. And just like the documents stated above, nobody has the right to get access them without your express consent or short of a court order.
We as dentists are only considered as guardians of this information under the law. You can read or review them anytime you like, but the dental records stay with us or will be forwarded to another office, for a small fee, if you decide to change dentists.
Forensic Identification You must always insist that your dental records are up to date, mainly for two reasons-dental forensics and in case of legal action. Dental forensics is not exactly new science, but it remains invaluable in recognizing unidentified victims. Fingerprints and DNA are still the most common methods of identification, but if those fail, your dental records can be very useful.
Countless crash victims have been identified through their dental records. That's because your sinuses, the roots of your teeth or the jaw structure are unique to each individual.
Legal Ramifications In some cases, dental records were ordered by the court in a litigation case. For instance, the judge can ask for original copies when there's a case that needs to establish the age of the victim, or if the complainant has become a victim of violence. There's a term for this actually and it's called forensic Odontology. In some cases, the dental records can also be useful if you have a malpractice lawsuit against your own dentist. Those are quite rare, but it does happen from time to time.
Call us now for more information regarding the importance of updating your dental records and how we can help protect you later on.