You are here:

Orthodontics/chillli5@yahoo.com

Advertisement


Question
Hi Dr. Supan.

I was curious to know how long orthodontists generally keep patient records (including facial photos and photos of the teeth).

Thank you.

Answer

Dear Chila,

This is an interesting question and the answer is " it depends".

Ugh...

I say this because in the United states each state, as well as the District of Columbia, has unique jurisdiction over the laws and regulations governing dentistry. Also, in the case of treatment of a minor ( <18 years old) many states require that the charts and records be kept until age of majority (18 years old).

In 2016, many records are now electronic, so unlike in the past, storage is not so much a challenge. radiographs are digital, as are many photographs and even model records. Some offices are all paperless, and the only paper item kept is the original informed consent document that the patient or parent has signed.

I have had patients whom I have treated for relapse, and the original treating doctors still had records from >10 years ago. Likewise, I have had some doctors who have discarded patient orthodontic records after just three years, or for one year after the most recent appointment and they were dismissed.

Realize also, Chila, that Orthodontists may have different patient treatment patterns, populations, and record retention needs, compared to perhaps General Dentists. All are generally subject to uniform state laws governing dentistry, but actual practice patterns may vary widely.

Finally, you are in Canada. What a fabulous country, great hockey, great people, but alas, I cannot comment at all on your dental laws or records practice patterns.

Thank you for your many letters and questions. I think people enjoy reading questions like yours. Happy holidays and all the best in 2016.

I am told Chila that the website here encourages readers like you to rate the answers and to resubmit with follow up questions. Good luck with your upcoming Doctor visits, and thank you for writing. Do write again soon

Paul Supan, DDS, MA, MPH
Board Certified Orthodontist in Leesburg VA

Specialist in Orthodontics
Specialist in Dental Public Health
http://www.braces.com
http://www.leesburgbraces.com

To all readers, please allow a week for a reply. I am in full time Private Practice, lecture on occasion, and am involved in many volunteer activities. I am therefore not always able to respond to questions straight away. I also will sometimes consult with other doctors on complex questions. This of course takes time.  Also, there are occasional holidays when the account is temporarily set on inactive. Your understanding is appreciated.  

Orthodontics

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Paul Supan, DDS, MA, MPH

Expertise

First may I say please set your questions to Public so other readers can benefit from the response. Also, if you look at my comprehensive answers, they are not short 1 or 2 paragraph quickie replies that anyone can type out in < 5 minutes. Instead I often will ask other colleagues in other specialties for their advice in order to provide you the questioner with a more interdisciplinary perspective. This all takes time. I ask for readers to therefore allow 5-7 days. You will be rewarded with a very detailed response.

Because of the nature of Orthodontic questions, any pictures of the teeth and X-ray images would be very helpful. If you write to me and explain that you have crooked overlapping front teeth can be interpreted in many many ways, and my goal is to provide a specific response that meets your needs.

I hold double specialty credentials. I am Board Certified in Orthodontics and Board Eligible in Dental Public Health. I welcome questions regarding Braces, Invisible Braces, & Invisalign, as well as issues involving combination Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontic treatment. Orthodontics alone sometimes is not enough to achieve that perfect smile. Gingival (gum) re-contouring, tooth reshaping, bonding and other services are sometimes needed. I also have substantial experience in the areas of Infection Control and Sterilization in the Dental Environment. My personal websites braces.com and Leesburgbraces.com are non-commercial for information purposes only and may provide you with some background to more precisely frame your question for allexperts.com.

Please allow a week for a reply. I am in full time Private Practice, lecture on occasion, and am involved in many volunteer activities. I am therefore not always able to respond to questions straight away. Your understanding is appreciated.

Experience

Board Certified Orthodontist (ABO Diplomate) with over 25 years of Private Practice experience. Second Specialty Certificate in Dental Public Health with research experience at NIH, and Epidemiology Training & Research at Harvard, NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. Postgraduate Masters degree from the Harvard School of Public Health, as well as a Master of Arts Degree in Education.

Organizations
American Dental Association, American Association of Orthodontists, Academy of General Dentistry, College of Diplomates of the ABO, OSAP - Office Sterilization & Asepsis Procedures Organization, Others

Publications
Available upon Request.

Education/Credentials
BS College of William & Mary, DDS Medical College of Virginia, Masters of Public Health (MPH) Degree Harvard School of Public Health. Dental Public Health Specialty Certificate from NIH. Orthodontic Specialty Certificate from University of Rochester Eastman Dental Center. USPHS clinical research experience at NIH, and Epidemiology Training & Research at Harvard, NIH, and the Centers for Disease Control. Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD), and Fully Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Orthodontics. Board Eligible in Dental Public Health. Visiting Adjunct Associate Professor at the Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry, Nashville, Tennessee.

Awards and Honors
Available upon Request Please see my personal websites braces.com and Leesburgbraces.com for further personal background.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon Request

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.