The practice of the dental profession can become challenging for a dentist. There is a need to follow several rules and regulations in order to prevent revocation of the licenses. In the past, several cases were filed against different dentists for misconduct and gross negligence.
Brenda, a Texas professional dentist, was one of those professionals who were charged before the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE). She obtained a license to engage in dentistry right after she graduated from college. Her license allowed her to conduct dental health care services in the state of Texas.
She received a notice from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE). The said notice indicated the fact that a complaint was filed against her for the violation of the Dental Practice Act as well as other state laws and regulations. The complaint indicated the following:
On or about November 2002, the dentist fell below the minimum standard of care in that he failed to maintain his dental office in a manner of a reasonable and prudent dentist.
Specifically, his dental office lacked a positive breathing apparatus including oxygen and other emergency equipment and/or currently dated drugs for use in the event of an emergency.
The Texas Administrative Code, specifically Chapter 108 provides for the violations:
(1) Criminal conduct–including but not limited to conviction of a misdemeanor involving fraud or a felony under federal law or the law of any state as outlined in Chapter 101 of this title.
(2) Deception or misrepresentation–engages in deception or misrepresentation:
(A) in soliciting or obtaining patronage; or
(B) in obtaining a fee.
(3) Fraud in obtaining a license–obtains a license by fraud or misrepresentation or participates in a conspiracy to procure a license, registration, or certification for an unqualified person.
(4) Misconduct involving drugs or alcohol–actions or conduct that include, but are not limited to:
(A) providing dental services to a patient while the licensee is impaired through the use of drugs, narcotics, or alcohol;
(B) addicted to or habitually intemperate in the use of alcoholic beverages or drugs;
(C) improperly obtained, possessed, or used habit-forming drugs or narcotics including self-prescription of drugs;
(D) grossly over prescribes, dispenses, or administers narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances;
(E) prescribes, dispenses, or administers narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances to or for a person who is not his or her dental patient; or
(F) prescribes, dispenses, or administers narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances to a person for a non-dental purpose, whether or not the person is a dental patient.
(5) Assisting another in engaging in the unauthorized practice of dentistry or dental hygiene–holds a dental license and employs, permits, or has employed or permitted a person not licensed to practice dentistry to practice dentistry in an office of the dentist that is under the dentist’s control or management.
(6) Failure to comply with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and orders or remedial plans–violates or refuses to comply with a law relating to the regulation of dentists, dental hygienists, or dental assistants; fails to cooperate with a Board investigation; or fails to comply with the terms of a Board Order or remedial plan.
(7) Inability to practice safely–is physically or mentally incapable of practicing in a manner that is safe for the person’s dental patients.
(8) Discipline of a licensee by another state board–holds a license or certificate to practice dentistry or dental hygiene in another state and the examining board of that state:
(A) reprimands the person;
(B) suspends or revokes the person’s license or certificate or places the person on probation; or
(C) imposes another restriction on the person’s practice.
(9) Failure to comply with Medicaid, insurance, or other regulatory laws–knowingly provides or agrees to provide dental care in a manner that violates a federal or state law that:
(A) regulates a plan to provide, arrange for, pay for, or reimburse any part of the cost of dental care services; or
(B) regulates the business of insurance.
(10) Improper delegation–improperly delegates any task to any individual who is not permitted to perform the task by law, this chapter, or practice restrictions imposed by Board Order.
(11) Unprofessional conduct–engages in conduct that has become established through professional experience as likely to disgrace, degrade, or bring discredit upon the licensee or the dental profession.
With her involvement in the case, Brenda lost her license to practice dentistry in the country. She failed to hire the services of a good lawyer who could defend her before the court. She did not file the necessary pleadings to exculpate her from the liability. Her failure to file an effective attorney led to her loss in the suits.
If you have received a letter from the Texas BON 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.