ADA policy—Resolution 35H-2007—calls for third-party payers to return radiographs. "When a dentist determines that it is appropriate to comply with a third-party payer's request for images, it is recommended that a duplicate set be submitted and the originals retained by the dentist. All images, including duplicates, except those submitted in digital or other electronic form, and whether or not they have been requested should be returned to the dentist."
The policy includes a provision on electronic images, specifically recommending that third-party payers delete images after the claims process is completed. For dentists who do not have digital radiography, National Electronic Attachment (www.nea-fast.com), provides a service that will digitize the image to support electronic claims.