Dental License Defense Lawyer in North Carolina

Application for a Dental License with the NC Board of Dentistry

Applicants for licensure need to apply to the North Carolina Board of Dentistry along with applicable fees. Applicants can be fresh graduates or experienced dentists from other states. But every applicant undergoes a thorough process before they can get their license. That is why it is important to abide by the standards set about by the North Carolina Board of Dentistry so that you do anything that would result in suspension or revocation of your dental license. If you are facing any problems with the Board, you should talk to a dental license defense lawyer as soon as possible.

Some of the common requirements for dentists to get a license in North Carolina include

  1. Applicants must have completed their course of study from a school accredited by the American Dental Association (ADA).
  2. Depending on the type of license sought, fresh experienced dentists, applicants must have completed either the National Board Exams or State/Regional Clinical Board Exams accepted by the ADA and clinical dental licensure exams.
  3. Applicants are required to write the North Carolina Jurisprudence exams.
  4. Applicants may not have their licenses revoked or suspended in other states. Additional processing will be done for such applicants.
  5. Applicants should bear a good moral character. Others may be required to have a clean criminal record with no convictions of felony.
  6. The Board may request disclosure from the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) or substance abuse testing.
  7. The Board may request additional proof that applicants have no other physical or psychological impairment that can hinder their ability to provide services.
  8. Applicants must strive to commence active practice within two years or risk automatic revocation of their dental license.

Once licensed, all dentists must adhere to the highest professional and ethical standards in providing health care to their patients. If not, the board may initiate a disciplinary action upon receipt of a complaint. If this has happened to you, you need to speak to a dental license defense attorney immediately.


Grounds for Disciplinary Action against Dentists

Disciplinary action can go against any person engaged in the practice of dentistry who has deviated from the standard guidelines.

  1. Injuries caused by the negligence of a dentist.
  2. Failure to diagnose a condition and/or delay diagnosis or provide adequate monitoring of the condition
  3. Failure to provide appropriate treatment for serious conditions and to adhere to guidelines for prevention of communicable diseases
  4. Delegating jobs to unqualified staff, such as asking a dental hygienist, to do dental exams or performing surgical procedures on hard and soft tissues.
  5. Performing procedures that are not covered by the license and for which the dentist does not have the requisite specialized training.
  6. Physically or sexually abusing a patient.
  7. Failure to adhere to recordkeeping guidelines for each patient. For example, North Carolina code of law dictates that all dentists must keep patients’ records for a minimum of five years from the date of last treatment provided.
  8. Practicing with an invalid license or failing to renew a license or letting someone else use your license or helping someone in acquiring a license through fraudulent means.
  9. Failure to provide competent dental care when under the influence of alcohol or other drugs resulting in a patient sustaining injuries.
  10. Failure to report another colleague guilty of any of the above.

However, a misdiagnosis does not necessarily constitute malpractice. Sometimes things can go wrong even in the hands of an experienced and conscientious dentist or other healthcare professional. So while the above are some common examples, they do not necessarily constitute a legal case for malpractice. Someone can file a complaint because the person who filed the complaint believes that there has been some wrongdoing. Talk to a dental license defense lawyer about what you should do next if you receive notification of a complaint.


Possible Sanctions and Penalties

The severity of penalties and disciplinary actions against a dentist will also depend on the severity of the offense. In some cases, the board may issue a warning, and in serious cases, the Board can take serious action against the dentist and the dentist may also face criminal charges. As with any complaints, the board tries to ascertain if a violation has, in fact, occurred before proceeding with the process. As soon as someone filed a complaint, you should consult with a dental license defense attorney to defend your rights.


The Complaint Process

Anyone can complain about a licensed dentist using an online complaint form. The person or people making the complaint is the “complainant”. The person or business that you are making a complaint against is the “respondent.”

Complainants are responsible for furnishing all information and paperwork to substantiate their complaint. The process of filing a complaint is fairly simple. All that the complainant needs to do is state their case and include the contact information of the dentist.

The Board will review the complaint and determine if a violation has occurred. The board dismisses the complaint if there is no violation. In case of a violation, the respondent is notified of the complaint and given an opportunity to explain. Depending upon the case, the board may offer a consent agreement or a hearing before a Board. If you have received notification that the Board, you should speak to a dental license defense lawyer soon.


What to do if a complaint is filed against you?

As a licensed dentist, you have worked hard for your dental license, and you have every right to defend yourself. As such, you are entitled to due process. Although not a common occurrence, make sure that you received a notification on time and gather evidence in your defense. Talk to our dental license defense attorney as it is important you respond in time.  It is a good idea to make sure that you know your timelines for submitting responses.


Why do I need a dental license defense lawyer?

It is a good practice to be diligent in your record keeping and make sure that you maintain records. Ensure that you have done everything required of you as a professional dentist. That will make your case stronger, and your dental license defense attorney can use this information to establish your professionalism.

In any case, you have the right to use legal counsel throughout the complaint proceeding. Experts suggest that seeking legal help early on in the complaint process can help respondents avoid unnecessary delays and frustration. Sometimes respondents may get themselves in trouble by providing little or too much information. Our dental license defense lawyer can help you avoid this and can also help you save time, money and energy.