Ohio Dental License Defense Attorneys
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If you have found yourself under investigation by the Ohio State Board of Dentistry, you can benefit from the services provided by an experienced Ohio dental license defense attorney. At Graff & McGovern, we have over 25 years of experience with Ohio professional licensure defense. We can serve as your trusted advocate to help mitigate, and if possible, eliminate the threat to your license and your career.
Function of the Ohio State Board of Dentistry
The Ohio State Board of Dentistry has the responsibility to oversee licensees who provide dental services within the state. The Dental Board receives complaints against licensed and unlicensed individuals, investigates accusations, and carries out disciplinary actions for violations of the law. The overall objective of the Board is to protect the oral health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Ohio.
In accordance with the Ohio Revised Code (Section 4715.02), members of the Board are appointed by the Governor, along with the advice and consent of the State Senate.
The Board is structured as follows:
- 13 total members
- Nine of the members must be U.S. citizens, graduates of a reputable dental college, and engaged in the active and reputable practice of dentistry in Ohio for a minimum of five years prior to their appointment to the Board
- Three of the members must be U.S. citizens, graduates of a reputable dental hygiene school, and engaged in the active and reputable practice of dental hygiene in Ohio for a minimum of five years prior to their appointment to the Board
- One member shall be a member of the public at large with no particular interest through association, or financially, in the practice of dentistry
The terms of individual Board members are four years. A Board member may serve a maximum of two terms.
Law and Licensing Issues with the Ohio State Dental Board
The Dental Practice Act details laws addressing these professions. The act is codified in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Chapter 4715. This law gives power to the Board to make additional administrative rules regarding dental professionals in Ohio.
Obtaining a license through the Ohio State Dental Board requires completion of several requirements. Professionals must complete an application and pay a fee. They must also pass criminal background checks and provide verification of necessary education. Applications for dental professions can be made online through the eLicense system.
The Ohio State Dental Board regulates licensing for the following professions:
- Dental hygienists
- Dental assistants
- Dental radiographers
- Expanded function dental auxiliary
- Coronal polishers
Receiving and Evaluating a Dentistry Complaint
The Ohio Dental Board receives complaints concerning dentists and other licensees from various sources, including colleagues, patients, insurance companies, and hospitals. It’s important for a dentist to have experienced legal counsel from an Ohio dental license defense lawyer when faced with a complaint.
Upon receiving a complaint, the Board initially sets out to determine if the allegation involves a violation of the Dental Practice Act. If it does not, the Board may refer the complaint to an appropriate agency or law enforcement. If it does, the Board has authorization to investigate the issue(s) which can include the following:
- Failure to fulfill minimum standards of patient care
- Impaired ability to practice dentistry
- Criminal activity
- Improper or unethical prescribing, dispensing, or administering of drugs
- Sexual misconduct
- Violations involving continuing education
The State Dental Board then accumulates information from the dentist, patients, and others in its investigation of the case. As the dentist under investigation and examination, you have the right throughout this entire process to acquire the services of an experienced Ohio dental license lawyer.
Based on the complaint and the accumulated information, the Board decides on whether to take one of several actions:
- Close the case
- Send a warning letter to the dentist
- Send the case to the Quality Intervention Program (QUIP) review panel
- File formal charges against the dentist
Consent Agreement with the Dentistry Board
During the course of the investigation, you, your Ohio license defense attorney, and the Dental Board may be able to negotiate a Consent Agreement. A Consent Agreement details the facts of your situation, agreed violations, and agreed disciplinary actions. Such an agreement must be approved by the Board and will only be accepted when it is deemed to sufficiently protect the public, and when you have exhibited accountability for the alleged violation.
Dental Board Administrative Hearing
If the Dental Board files formal charges against you, it will send you a notice that outlines the facts and allegations of the case, as well as the rules or laws you have allegedly violated. This notice gives you the opportunity to request an Administrative Hearing.
An Administrative Hearing may occur before a Hearing Examiner. However, in some cases the entire Board will be present at the hearing. At the hearing, both the State’s and dentist’s attorneys present documented evidence, call witnesses, and make motions and objections.
If a hearing is conducted before a Hearing Examiner, the Hearing Examiner will create a report and recommendation after the hearing has ended. The dentist and dentist’s Ohio dental license defense attorney have the right to review the report and recommendations. After deliberating the report and recommendation, the Dental Board will accept, modify, or reject what has been provided by the Hearing Examiner. If the hearing is conducted before the entire Board, at the conclusion of the hearing, the Board will deliberate and then issue a decision.
If the Ohio State Board of Dentistry deems there has been a violation committed, the Board is authorized to:
- Issue a reprimand of the license
- Restrict or limit the dentist’s license
- Place the license on probation
- Suspend the license
- Revoke the license permanently
Any formal disciplinary action taken by the Board is reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank. You have the right to appeal the decision of the Dental Board to a Court of Common Pleas.
How a Qualified Ohio Dental License Attorney Can Help
Having an experienced Ohio dental license defense lawyer handling your case before the Board is essential.
Such a legal advocate will be able to:
- Effectively deal and negotiate with investigators and attorneys from the Board
- Understand what a favorable resolution in your case looks like
- Understand how a formal disciplinary hearing is conducted
- Understand the admissibility or inadmissibility of evidence in a hearing
- Know how to record errors in the case for potential appeal to the court
- Understand the various consequences you may face due to a particular type of agreement made with the Board, such as how it may affect your future employment opportunities, licenses you possess in other states, etc.
- Have knowledge of the evidence which you are entitled to review regarding the Board’s actions in your case
- Understand the steps that need to be taken in order to help you avert formal disciplinary action, despite the type of violation approved by Board’s attorney
It is generally advisable to refrain from responding to or speaking with a Board investigator, law enforcement official, or other government agent without the services of an attorney.
How a Qualified Ohio Dental License Attorney Can Help
The assistance of a skilled attorney in the area of dental license defense is essential in order to help you move through all phases of the administrative law process regarding your license. Only this type of advocate will understand the specific regulations and rules of the State Dental Board in Ohio and present your case in a manner that protects your license and your livelihood.
At Graff & McGovern, our attorneys have extensive understanding of license defense issues for dentists in Ohio. We have insight as to how the Ohio State Board of Dentistry works and what strategies are effective to achieve an optimal outcome on your behalf.