Who owns the a patients dental xray? The patient or the dentist? Our dentist wants to charge me $50/copy.?

I go to the dentist, they xray me, I pay $150 for panoramic xrays. I want to get my dental records and they want me to pay $50. According to the dentist, they OWN the xrays. But I paid for them ?!
As a practicing dentist I can tell you that the dentist does in fact "own" your x-rays. What you paid for was to have the x-rays taken and processed and for the dentist to "read" the x-rays. We are required by law to keep a patients original dental x-rays on file in our office just as you would the patients dental records even if the patient switches to another dentist. You are allowed to request a copy of your records and x-rays at your own expense to cover all of the duplication charges, but the dentist is required to keep all originals by law.
Sorry, but the dentist sets the policy on this and there is nothing you can do about it.Next time, specify in advance that you want the Xrays and they probably won't give you a hassle. If they do, ask if they can't recommend a good dentist.
It costs a lot of money to copy them. They are huge pieces of film. They own the x-rays but you own the teeth (for now).
What you 'paid for' was the EXAM, and that 'includes the x-ray PROCESS, but the dentist 'owns the x-ray pictures' and MUST KEEP THEM FOREVER ... so yes, you must 'pay' a small price (relatively) for him to be able to 'make you copies' ... you CAN NOT GET the 'originals' even though you 'paid to have them made' since they are part of your 'dental record' that ALL DENTISTS MUST KEEP.
I have always been charged for the original plates.They own the film. In some states there is a limit on how much they can charge and $50.00 is usually the most. You can get a copy of your records for free in some states too. However, in other states the average is $10.00 charge for your records. If they won't give them up you can call an ambulance chaser sort of lawyer who will get a copy of our records at the least. He/She will also study the records to see if there are any liability issues. Doctors and Dentists absolutely hate when you even mention a lawyer though so I wouldn't feel safe going back to the same one after that. As a last resort it can get you your records. Everyone should keep their own copies of records these days.All doctors, labs, and clinics do not charge though. It might be cheaper to get the x-rays done again with a new dentist and negotiate the film into the package. Just explain why you want to keep your own records in the beginning. Some doctors have no problem with while others seem to not really want to give them up, but they are yours. It doesn't sound like you are very happy with this dentist, but it might not be too late to put on a smile and ask very kindly if they can come down on that price a little.
The information contained in your dental patient chart and x-rays belong to you (which is why the information cannot be released without your permission), but the dentist by law is required to keep the originals.You are entitled to receive a copy of your patient chart and x-rays when you request them, but you must pay for the duplication services. In no circumstances may the dentist surrender the originals to anyone except when ordered by a court, if the records are needed for legal proceedings.Hope this helps.
"thd's "answer above is absolutely accurate.