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All professional dental hygienists and dentists in the state of Texas must comply with all the laws promulgated by the government. The professionals engaged in the practice of dentistry are expected to follow the rules and regulations set by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE). One wrong move can lead to the suspension or revocation of the dental license. When there are complaints regarding the misconduct or negligence of the dental practitioners, any aggrieved party may directly file an administrative case before the Board.

When a case is filed against the erring professional dentist, it is highly recommended that he hire a lawyer to defend himself. The assistance of an expert dental licensing defense attorney is such a big help especially if the case involves a possible revocation of the professional license. In one of the cases decided by the Board, the majority of its members ruled for the suspension of the dental license due to the misconduct of the professional involved.

In the complaint filed before the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE), the complaint stated that:

During the time period from July 10, 2013, through October 29, 2013, the dentist failed to make, maintain and keep adequate records for the patient named Alex. The act of the dentist fell below the minimum standard of care required for all dentists in the state of Texas.

Specifically, the records did not include documentation of the complications which occurred during the endodontic therapy of tooth number 3, or an explanation why the complications were not recorded.

Texas Administrative Code on Minimum Standard of Care provides that 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.

Upon the hearing of the case, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) found the dentist guilty of the charges against him. One of the consequences of such finding is the suspension of the dental license. The Board warned the dentist that if he commits another mistake again, his license will be completely revoked.

If you have received a letter from the Texas TSBDE for use of drugs/alcohol or any other offense, it is best to consult an experienced Texas Dental Defense Attorney who can guide you on the steps you need to take to protect your dental license. Contact professional dental attorney Yong J. An directly by calling or texting him at (832) 428-5679 for a discreet consultation.