What Are a Dentist’s Responsibilities Under the Prescription Monitoring Program

Like many other medical professionals, dentists in Texas are subject to the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP). Violating the laws that govern the PMP can open a dentist up to disciplinary action before the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (“the Board”). As a result, dental professionals must be aware of these laws and ensure they always remain in full compliance.  

Furthermore, suppose the TSBDE alleges that you have violated one of the laws related to PMP compliance. In that case, you should immediately secure legal representation by an experienced Texas dental license defense lawyer at Bertolino LLP. We can help you determine the best way to approach your case and fight back against the disciplinary charges you are facing. 

Understanding the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program

The Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) is a statewide tool designed to help control the misuse of controlled substances. All pharmacies, pharmacists, and those who prescribe controlled substances, including doctors, some nurses, and dentists, must comply with the rules and laws concerning the PMP. Violations of these rules and laws can be serious and put these professional licenses at risk. Therefore, understanding all PMP rules and regulations is critical.  

The PMP is a repository for prescription data on all Schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances that any Texas pharmacy dispenses or that an out-of-state pharmacy dispenses to a Texas resident. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy oversees and regulates the PMP. 

All pharmacies and prescribers must have a current DEA registration number to prescribe or dispense controlled substances in the state. Prescribers and pharmacies have specific duties under the law before they may prescribe and dispense controlled substances to patients, which they discharge using the PMP’s NarxCare tool. NarxCare aggregates and analyzes real-time data concerning controlled substances and patients to assess risk in prescribing them controlled substances. The system also helps providers identify and eliminate duplicative prescriptions, drug diversion, and misuse of controlled substances. 

Prescription Monitoring by Dentists

Under 22 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 111.3, a dentist must access their patient’s prescription drug history report through the PMP before prescribing or dispensing opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and/or carisoprodol. The dentist may delegate this task to an employee or other agent acting at their direction, so long as they comply with HIPAA and only access information related to the patient. 

This section contains an exception for certain dental patients. Suppose the patient has been diagnosed with cancer or is receiving hospice care, and that status is noted in the patient’s dental record. In that case, the dentist is not required to access the patient’s PMP before prescribing or dispensing these controlled substances. 

Failing to access the PMP as required can result in disciplinary action against the dentist’s license. However, it is not a violation if the dentist tries to access the PMP in good faith but cannot do so due to circumstances beyond their control, and the dentist notes those circumstances in the patient’s record.

Furthermore, using information obtained from the PMP in an unauthorized manner or improperly disclosing the information may constitute grounds for discipline. 

Finally, 22 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 111.2 requires all dentists to perform a minimum of one annual self-query regarding the issuance of controlled substances through the PMP.

The State Board of Dental Examiners and the PMP

22 Tex. Admin. Code Sec. 111.4 provides that the Board shall periodically access a dentist’s information through the PMP to determine whether they are engaging in “potentially harmful prescribing patterns or practices.” The Board bases this determination on the number of times the dentist prescribes opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and/or carisoprodol and patterns of prescribing combinations of those drugs and other dangerous combinations by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy. If the Board determines that a dentist is engaging in potentially harmful prescribing patterns or practices, then the Board must notify the dentist. The Board also may open a disciplinary complaint against the dentist if it finds evidence that the dentist’s action violated any rule or law related to the practice of dentistry. 


Adherence to the laws governing the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) is paramount for dental professionals to maintain their licenses and uphold ethical standards. Violations of PMP regulations can have severe consequences, including disciplinary action before the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE). Dentists must understand their obligations under the PMP and ensure full compliance to mitigate risks to their professional standing. In the event of allegations of PMP-related violations, seeking immediate legal representation from a seasoned Texas dental license defense lawyer is essential. At Bertolino LLP, we provide expert guidance and advocacy to dentists facing disciplinary charges, strategizing to protect their licenses and reputations. By partnering with us, dental professionals can navigate the complexities of disciplinary proceedings and work towards a favorable resolution of their cases. Our dedicated legal team stands ready to support dentists in safeguarding their professional futures and maintaining the highest standards of patient care.

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We Will Protect and Defend Your Dental License 

You can count on a Texas dental license defense attorney at Bertolino LLP to take all steps necessary to protect your license and career. We will investigate the circumstances that led to your disciplinary proceedings and devise the best strategy for your case. If you wait too long, it may be too late for us to make a difference in the outcome of your case. Call us today at (512) 515-9518 or contact us online.

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