A patient’s dental records and x-rays are the property of the dentist. They are a professional’s working notes used in the planning and performing of treatment.
You may seek access to the information held about you and the dentist will provide this access without undue delay. This access might be by inspection of your dental records at the time of appointment or by special access or copying of information at other times. There will be no charge made for requesting this information but there may be fees levied just to cover the costs associated with the processing of this request or the copying of information. Under some state regulations, the owner of the x-ray equipment is required to provide a copy of an x-ray on receipt of a written request from the patient, but at the expense of the patient.
If you are changing dentists, you could give written or verbal permission for your new dentist to seek a copy of a record of your treatment from your previous dentist, or request your current dentist to forward them on to your new dentist. It is far better for all records to be forwarded directly from dentist to dentist to prevent the loss of these important records during your move. Some dentists provide a summary of relevant treatment which is usually all that is needed by the new dentist.