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California law requires all medical professionals adhere to specific guidelines regarding their profession, including dental professionals. Before the State of California issues any dental professional license to practice dentistry in Los Angeles, they are required to make an oath to treat their patients with a standard of care in accordance with medical law. They’re required to spend years in school learning the art of dentistry, working in offices, learning, and taking exams to show they can care for their patients in that manner. If a dentist’s credentials, moral code, ethics, or work is called into question, the dentist could become the subject of a state medical board investigation. These investigations are opened anytime a complaint is filed against a dentist suggesting they are violating laws. Depending on the outcome of an investigation of this nature, a dentist might lose his or her license.
A California dental license defense attorney is the right solution for anyone in this situation. They work to provide the proper counsel, keep licenses active, and reinstate licenses that have been suspended or improperly revoked. The law is complex in California where it applies to dentistry. Dentists should have the freedom to focus on their patients rather than the law, which is where an experienced attorney is a beneficial asset.
Patients aren’t the only people who are able to file complaints against dentists in California. Anyone who has any contact with a dentist is legally able to report any suspicions they have, and the case is immediately investigated. The most common dental complaints typically fall into several categories.
1. Gross Negligence: Any action by a dentist that puts a patient’s health or life in danger is considered negligent behavior. This is typically investigated right away, sent to the state board, and then to a state court. The people who are injured in a case of negligence usually pursue their own separate lawsuit in addition to an investigation by the state questioning the abilities of the dentist.
2. Fraud: Insurance companies, the government, and patients are able to file a complaint against a dentist if they believe a dentist is overcharging, charging for procedures they didn’t provide, or falsifying records to make a bill larger and more profitable to the dentist.
3. Alcohol or Drug Abuse: Dentists abusing drugs or alcohol on or off the job are at risk for losing their license. They might be placed on probation, required to go through mandatory rehabilitation, and their license might be suspended until they adhere to the terms of their rehab and voluntary testing following the completion of a rehab program.
4. Sexual Misconduct: Any patient who accuses a dentist of sexual misconduct in the office will be taken seriously. The matter is investigated, and it might be handled in a state or federal court depending on the severity of the case.
5. Unprofessional Conduct: This is a broad term, and it encompasses several different categories. Sharing patient information, breaking confidentiality terms, discriminating against patients for any reason, and behaving in any manner considered inappropriate by the law or the state medical board is ground for discipline.
The disciplinary actions taken by the state board vary greatly depending on the severity of a case, how many people come forward to complain, and the number of counts the dentist is guilty of committing. Discipline might include:
– Letter of reprimand
– Jail Time
– License suspension
– License revocation
Anyone who is not in accordance with the law at all times is subject to being disciplined for their actions as a dentist. The complexity of the law makes it nearly impossible for a medical professional to understand precisely what makes them break the law, which actions seem responsible but are not, and having an experienced attorney on their side makes it far easier for dentists to keep their license, prove their case, and continue to practice in the State of California following an investigation into their personal life, practice, or medical history. An investigation is a serious deal, but it’s not a deal-breaker when it comes to keeping your license in the dental profession.