Complaints can put your career and your dental license at risk. As a dentist, a good reputation is very important, and giving standard care to patients should be met in order to avoid future problems. If a dentist makes mistakes, complaints and cases surely await. But a dental attorney can help when such a scenario happens.
On or about March 24, 2017, the Board received a complaint on behalf of a patient. The complaint alleged that a dentist in Midland, Texas had inappropriately prescribed a sleep study and recommended costly temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment when the patient’s pain was not due to TMJ issues but rather trigeminal neuralgia, the Board conducted an investigation of the complaint.
It was on or around February 2016, the patient was suffering from severe right-sided shooting, electrical pain affecting her tongue, cheek, lip, and other parts of her face. The patient presented to an Ear, Nose, and Throat specialist regarding her pain but was referred to the dentist.
On or about May 24, 2016, the patient presented at the dentist’s office. The patient would have a total of five (5) visits with the dentist. During the patient’s initial examination, the dentist made the diagnoses of TMJ, jaw-dislocation, and subluxation of her cervical spine. The patient presented her mouth pain to the dentist but he went on to proposing she had sleep apnea and poor posture, which would require a sleep study.
The dentist provided the patient with a home sleep test device charging her $2,995, on or about June 1, 2016, the dentist’s company, billed the patient’s insurance $19,500 for oral appliances. The dentist’s company operates in two locations. At all times relevant, neither location had obtained a Fictitious Name Permit from the Board. Additionally, neither location possessed an Additional Office Permit from the Board.
On the advice of a medical doctor and on June 24, 2016, the patient received magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The patient received the MRI after approximately 4-6 weeks of treatment with the dentist and after no pain relief. On or about August 2, 2016, the patient underwent a full and complete evaluation by a neurosurgeon who informed her that she did not have TMJ but trigeminal neuralgia. On or about September 16, 2016, the patient underwent Right Retro sigmoid Craniotomy and as a result, all of her pain was entirely resolved.
In an interview on May 8, 2019, the dentist told the Board’s investigator that he needed to obtain fictitious name permits for both of his dental facilities. In response to his expired polysomnography license, the dentist stated that he had a valid polysomnography license from 2011 through 2016 but with two Board licenses, it became a burden to carry three Board licenses.
The dentist was questioned regarding the statement on his website “certified in dental sleep medicine,” and responded that the Board of Craniofacial Dental Sleep Medicine certified him. The dentist also stated that he was the owner of another company; the dentist further stated that the first company would conduct overnight sleep studies utilizing a three-bed sleep lab, prescribed by a medical doctor. The practice would also send some patients home for off-site sleep studies.
Because of the patient’s complaint and enough evidence which proved the dentist’s actions are very wrong, the dentist was disciplined. In that the dentist’s conduct constitutes a repeated departure from the standard of practice in the community by reason of the acts and omissions. In addition, he failed to hire a dental attorney for assistance, causing her to lose her license.
Having a skilled dental attorney can greatly help you in major cases such as this. For assistance regarding your license case, it’s best to contact Dental Attorney Yong J. An by contacting him at (832) 428-5679.