The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) has jurisdiction over licensed dentists, dental hygienist, registered dental assistants and dental laboratories in the State of Texas. The TSBDE investigates complaints alleging quality of care allegations, sanitation violations, professional conduct issues, and allegations for violations of the Dental Practice Act or failure to comply with TSBDE rules and regulations.

The Dental Practice Act prohibits the practice of dentistry or dental hygiene in a manner that “constitutes dishonorable conduct[.]” Tex Occ. Code § 263.002(a)(3). Behavior that constitutes dishonorable conduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • 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.
  • Deception or misrepresentation in soliciting or obtaining patronage or in obtaining a fee.
  • Fraud in obtaining a license from the TSBDE.
  • Misconduct involving drugs or alcohol–actions or conduct that include, but are not limited to:
    • Providing dental services to a patient while the licensee is impaired through the use of drugs, narcotics, or alcohol;
    • Addicted to or habitually intemperate in the use of alcoholic beverages or drugs;
    • Improperly obtained, possessed, or used habit-forming drugs or narcotics including self-prescription of drugs;
    • Grossly over prescribes, dispenses, or administers narcotic drugs, dangerous drugs, or controlled substances;
    • 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
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Inability to practice safely–is physically or mentally incapable of practicing in a manner that is safe for the person’s dental patients.
  • 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.
  • See Admin. Code § 108.9.

Actual injury to a patient is not necessary to be in violation of the dishonorable conduct section of the Dental Practice Act.
Under the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners – Disciplinary Matrix a First Tier Violation is “isolated dishonorable conduct resulting in no adverse patient effects.” The sanction may include a Remedial Plan mandating continuing education and/or restitution to the patient, or a warning or reprimand with stipulations.

A Second Tier Violation includes repeated acts of dishonorable conduct, dishonorable conduct that places a patient or the public at risk of harm, dishonorable conduct that impairs a person’s ability to treat a patient according to the standard of care, among other conduct. Possible sanctions that may be imposed for a Second Tier Violation are more severe and can include license suspension, revocation, a request for voluntary surrender, or in less serious cases a warning, reprimand, or probated suspension with stipulations.

Lastly, a Third Tier Violation includes failure to comply with a substantive board rule regarding dishonorable conduct resulting in serious patient harm, sexual conduct with a patient, financial exploitation or dishonorable conduct resulting in a material or financial loss to a patient that exceeds $4,999, as well as repeated acts of dishonorable conduct or dishonorable conduct which results in harm to a patient or the public. The sanctions for a Third Tier Violation include “denial, suspension of license, revocation of license or request for voluntary surrender. Emergency suspension of license to practice dentistry or dental hygiene.”

Put the power of a Dental license defense lawyer in Texas to work for you.
If you are under investigation by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, we urge you to seek the advice of an experienced Dental license defense attorney.
Talk to an experienced attorney who understands all aspects of a Dental and Dental Hygienist license complaint case. The lawyers at BERTOLINO LLP know how to carefully research every potential complaint. We know where to look for evidence and how to use that information to build a successful legal strategy.

If you are facing disciplinary action from the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.
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