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There are many requirements before one can become a professional dentist in the state of Texas. One needs to pass the exam administered by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiner (TSBDE). Before one can apply for eligibility to take the licensure examination, it is mandatory that the applicant shall submit a petition before the Board.

Once admitted to the profession, the dentist is expected to act with due care in all his dealings with the patient. He is expected to comply with the administrative rules and regulations issued by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiner (TSBDE). Non-compliance to these laws may lead to the revocation or suspension of a dental license.

This is the mistake committed by a professional dentist named Maya who was subjected to an administrative case before the TSBDE. The complaint filed against her include the following recital of facts:

During the time period from September 15, 2003 through September 2, 2004, the dental practitioner fell below the minimum standard of care when he directed patient M.S. to go to a dental lab, in order to have his dentures adjusted.

During the time period from September 15, 2003 to September 2, 2004, the dentist fell below the minimum standard of care by failing to make, maintain and keep adequate dental records on patient M.S.

Specifically, the record does not include: documentation that the patient was informed of periodontal condition via periodontal charting, a written informed consent signed by the patient covering all treatment provided; or treatment plan with recommendation and treatment options signed by the patient.

Texas Administrative Code violation of:

RULE §108.7 Minimum Standard of Care, General
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Each dentist shall:
(1) conduct his/her practice in a manner consistent with that of a reasonable and prudent dentist under the same or similar circumstances;
(2) maintain patient records that meet the requirements set forth in §108.8 of this title (relating to Records of the Dentist);
(3) maintain and review an initial medical history and perform a limited physical evaluation for all dental patients;
(A) The medical history shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, known allergies to drugs, serious illness, current medications, previous hospitalizations and significant surgery, and a review of the physiologic systems obtained by patient history. A “check list,” for consistency, may be utilized in obtaining initial information. The dentist shall review the medical history with the patient at any time a reasonable and prudent dentist would do so under the same or similar circumstances.
(B) The limited physical examination shall include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, measurement of blood pressure and pulse/heart rate. Blood pressure and pulse/heart rate measurements are not required to be taken on any patient twelve (12) years of age or younger, unless the patient’s medical condition or history indicate such a need.
(4) obtain and review an updated medical history and limited physical evaluation when a reasonable and prudent dentist would do so under the same or similar circumstances. At a minimum, a medical history and limited physical evaluation should be obtained and reviewed at the initial appointment and updated annually;
(5) for office emergencies:
(A) maintain a positive pressure breathing apparatus including oxygen which shall be in working order;
(B) maintain other emergency equipment and/or currently dated drugs as a reasonable and prudent dentist with the same or similar training and experience under the same or similar circumstances would maintain;
(C) provide training to dental office personnel in emergency procedures which shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, basic cardiac life support, inspection and utilization of emergency equipment in the dental office, and office procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency as determined by a reasonable and prudent dentist under the same or similar circumstances; and
(D) shall adhere to generally accepted protocols and/or standards of care for management of complications and emergencies;
(6) successfully complete a current course in basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation given or approved by either the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross;
(7) maintain a written informed consent signed by the patient, or a parent or legal guardian of the patient, if the patient is a minor, or the patient has been adjudicated incompetent to manage the patient’s personal affairs. A signed, written informed consent is required for all treatment plans and procedures where a reasonable possibility of complications from the treatment planned or a procedure exists, or the treatment plans and procedures involve risks or hazards that could influence a reasonable person in making a decision to give or withhold consent. Such consents must disclose any and all complications, risks and hazards;
(8) safeguard patients against avoidable infections as required by this chapter;
(9) not be negligent in the provision of dental services;
(10) use proper diligence in the dentist’s practice;
(11) maintain a centralized inventory of drugs;
(12) report patient death or hospitalization as required by this chapter;
(13) abide by sanitation requirements as required by this chapter;
(14) abide by patient abandonment requirements as required by this chapter; and
(15) abide by requirements concerning notification of discontinuance of practice as required by this chapter.

Unfortunately for Maya, she was not able to get the right lawyer to help him defend his case.

Do you have questions about the Texas State Board of Dental Examiner (TSBDE) disciplinary process? Contact The Law Office of Yong J. An for a confidential consultation by calling or texting 24/7 at (832) 428-5679 and ask for attorney Yong.