You've worked hard to obtain your dental license in Texas and to build a solid reputation in your community. If you are facing a formal complaint filed against you with the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE), your license is in jeopardy. The consequences of even a single complaint can be disastrous for your professional career. Even if you believe the complaint to be unfounded, no complaint should be taken lightly.
Texas State Board of Dental Examiners Investigates Complaints
The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) regulates 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 violations of the Dental Practice Act and TSBDE rules and regulations. The Board also assists local law enforcement agencies with investigations into allegations of practicing without a license.
In 2016, 13% of complaints filed with the TSBDE resulted in Disciplinary Action, and 8% of complaints filed resulted in Remedial Action.
The Grounds for Disciplinary Action Against Dentists in Texas
The TSBDE may take disciplinary action against a licensee, if the person:
- Is convicted of a misdemeanor involving fraud or a felony under federal law or the law of any state;
- Fails to treat a patient according to the standard of care in the practice of dentistry or dental hygiene;
- Is negligent in performing dental services and that negligence causes injury or damage to a dental patient;
- Fails to use proper diligence in the person's practice or fails to safeguard the person's patients against avoidable infections;
- Practices dentistry or dental hygiene in a manner that constitutes dishonorable conduct;
- Obtains a license by fraud or misrepresentation;
- Engages in deception or misrepresentation in soliciting or obtaining patronage;
- Holds a license in another state and that state has suspended, revoked, or otherwise reprimanded the licensee.
- The unauthorized practice of dentistry: holds a dental license and employs or otherwise permits a person not licensed to practice dentistry―in an office of the dentist that is under the dentist's control or management;
- Is addicted to alcohol or drugs or has improperly obtained, possessed, used, or distributed habit-forming drugs or narcotics;
- Violates or refuses to comply with a law relating to the regulation of dentists or dental hygienists;
- Is physically or mentally incapable of practicing in a manner that is safe for the person's dental patients; or
- Is adjudged under the law to be insane.
Tex. Occ. Code § 263.002. Though the above list is not exhaustive. The TSBDE is empowered to take disciplinary action against dentists and dental hygienists based on a number of enumerated grounds, and for any action that would constitute a violation of the Texas Dental Practice Act or the TSBDE Rules.
The Disciplinary Actions the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners Can Impose
If after a notice and hearing, the Board finds that you violated the TSBDE Rules and Regulations, the Board has the power to impose the following disciplinary actions: revoke or suspend your license, place your license on probation with conditions, issue a warning letter, impose a fine, and/or impose an administrative penalty. Tex. Occ. Code § 263.002(a).
Generally speaking, more "minor" non-patient care related violations may be resolved by the issuance of an Administrative Penalty. More serious violations of the TSBDE Rules and Regulations are likely to carry serious penalties.
Dental License Defense Attorneys in Texas
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. If you fail to take aggressive action to get the complaint dismissed, your dental license might be revoked and your career could be in jeopardy.
We invite you to meet with us to 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) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.
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