Professional License Defense for Dental Professionals in Kentucky
If you practice dentistry in the Bluegrass State, you need to know that your license — or your precious key to practicing your profession in your state — could be in jeopardy.
It's far easier than many dentists think to attract the attention of the Kentucky Board of Dentistry, and if the Board decides it needs to investigate you for any reason, you could be in for a bumpy ride. Whether you work in an office in Louisville or commute through Lexington on the way to your practice, you could find yourself embroiled in allegations that could impact your entire career.
This could seem like an overstatement. It's not. Allegations, even false ones, can wreck your reputation or even lead to a license revocation. Even if you know perfectly well that you are not responsible for allegations against you, you need to start working immediately to ensure that an error does not get blown out of proportion and you're able to walk away from your disciplinary experience with your ability to practice intact!
That's where we come in. The Lento Law Firm Team has years of experience supporting dental professionals both nationwide and in Kentucky through license-related challenges. If you find yourself with your professional reputation on the line, turn to the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm for unwavering support and timely defense assistance. Call us at 888.535.3686 for more information.
Navigating the Dental Licensing Landscape in Kentucky
In Kentucky, there is one primary governing body that oversees license-related investigations and discipline. The Kentucky Board of Dentistry has the responsibility to ensure that all licensed dental practitioners in the state are upholding the highest possible standards of patient care. This is a good thing: It helps protect everyone who lives in Kentucky from potentially substandard dental services.
In order to achieve that goal, the Kentucky Board of Dentistry — often referred to as the KBD — sets forth myriad rules and regulations that every dentist in Kentucky (from Bowling Green to Owensboro) must follow. The KBD will also check in with dentists to make sure they're following the rules, and if anyone has complaints about a dentist's activities, the KBD will usually be the one to receive and review that complaint.
What Authority Does the Kentucky State Board of Dentistry Actually Have?
Make no mistake — when the KBD decides to investigate you, there's much more than a simple administrative slap on the wrist at stake.
The KBD can initiate many actions against Kentucky dentists if the situation calls for it. For example, the KBD can launch investigations, hold hearings, and both determine and recommend appropriate sanctions that KY dentists must carry out if the KBD believes a violation has occurred.
The most common disciplinary actions recommended include:
- Formal written reprimands
- Fines that dentists must pay before returning to practice
- License-related actions, such as suspensions or revocations.
While formal warnings and even fines may seem like tenable solutions, it's very important to avoid license-related challenges at all costs. If you lose your license, even for a short time, you won't be able to work at all. Your patients could experience disruptions in their care and decide to leave your practice. And you'll be without income, very suddenly, for an indeterminate amount of time — as, even if you're certain that you'll be able to get your license reinstated, that can take time.
It's tempting to believe that if you're not responsible for the allegations against you, the truth will be on your side, and that will magically shield you from any repercussions. That's not the case. The KBD gets things wrong sometimes. Even if you don't suffer specific disciplinary actions, just being involved with a disciplinary case can result in long-term damage to your reputation (which can lead to diminished patient trust and can force you to move your practice elsewhere).
What Actions Could Trigger an Investigation by the KBD?
In Kentucky, the basic framework of standards all dentists must follow is established in the Kentucky Dental Practice Act, as well as certain other regulations put forth by the KBD.
If you, as a Kentucky dentist, are found in violation of any of these standards, you could face discipline.
Some of the more common grounds for disciplinary action include:
- Professional misconduct or incompetence
- Any kind of drug or alcohol abuse that affects a dentist's ability to practice
- Fraudulent practices
- Misrepresentation of qualifications
- Patient abuse
- Patient neglect
- Any violation of KY health and safety codes
If anyone accuses you of any of these actions, that complaint could make its way to the KBD. There, if the KBD decides that it wants to learn more about what may have happened, you could shortly be the subject of an invasive and frustrating investigation.
What Happens After the KBD Learns About a Potential Violation?
Once the Kentucky Board of Dentistry (KBD) learns about a potential regulation violation and receives a formal complaint, its assessment and investigatory systems will launch into full gear.
If you're involved with a KBD disciplinary process, keep a lookout for the following actions:
- An initial review of the complaint against you. Not every complaint actually merits a full-blown investigation. After the KBD receives the complaint, the Board will review the complaint to see whether the alleged violation falls under its jurisdiction and seems like a violation of the KBD's regulations.
- If the KBD decides that it needs to learn more, the Board will trigger a preliminary inquiry. In this inquiry, the Board will collect as much basic information as possible about the alleged violation (e.g., contact information, the relevant regulation, and other light paperwork-related data).
- If the results of the initial inquiry seem to corroborate the initial complaint, the KBD may launch a more intense investigation. This investigation may involve several activities, such as interviewing the person allegedly responsible for the violation, the complainant, any witnesses, and even conducting an examination of the dental offices where a violation may have occurred. (Under KRS Chapter 313, the Board does have the authority to perform an inspection of any licensed dental facility in Kentucky.)
- If the KBD finds that there is substantial evidence supporting the complaint against you, you'll receive a formal notification of the complaint at this time. The notice should include information about the next steps the KBD plans to take. If you were not already aware that someone had made a complaint against you, this notification can be somewhat of a nasty shock. Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that you can take it easy after receiving the notification. If your case has already made it past the investigation stage, you're in a place where you'll need to play catch up to level the playing field. Call the Professional License Defense Team at once, and we'll prepare to support you through the remainder of your case.
- After you receive that all-important notification, you'll receive an invitation to your case's hearing date, too. In this hearing, the KBD will conduct a review of the information it's collected. The Board may also call in witnesses to provide testimony. At this hearing, you'll have a chance to deliver an argument and tell your story, too. This hearing will proceed as described in KRS Chapter 13B, which discusses administrative hearings.
- At the end of your hearing, the KBD will come to a decision regarding your responsibility for the alleged infraction. The KBD will also issue a recommendation for the type of sanction you'll need to undergo before enjoying licensure again if that's a possible outcome.
This decision may feel like it's the end of the road. This isn't quite the case. If you disagree with the KBD's decision, you do have the right to appeal.
Can Kentucky Dentists Appeal an Unfavorable Ruling?
The KBD appeals process isn't exactly intuitive, but yes, as a Kentucky dentist, you absolutely have the right to appeal any KBD decision. And, if your livelihood and reputation are at stake, this may be a vital step for you and your future.
The KBD should send you another formal notification detailing its decision and the sanctions it requires of you. Upon receipt of this notification, read it closely and look it over with the Professional License Defense Team. You'll likely only have a few business days to make your next move, and your next move will need to be a good one. In most cases, you only get one chance to appeal with the KBD directly.
Our attorneys can help you determine the strongest possible basis for your appeal. We can also help you write a persuasive argument to ask the Board to reconsider your case and help you file all of the relevant paperwork. When you have submitted all of the materials required for your appeal, which would ideally include brand-new evidence or otherwise clear support for a lessened sanction in your case, the KBD will take time to review your argument.
If the KBD decides to reconsider its initial decision or lessen your sanction, excellent. Our team can help you negotiate to help you achieve your sought-after outcome.
If the KBD decides to uphold its initial decisions, you still have options to pursue. For example, if your case merits it, you may be able to escalate your appeal to your local Court of Appeals or even the Kentucky Supreme Court in certain circumstances.
This may sound daunting. (That's because it is.) The knowledgeable attorneys of the Professional License Defense Team will be there every step of the way to help you determine your most strategic next steps.
Here's How the Lento Law Firm Team Can Help Kentucky Dentists
Protecting your future will require a significant amount of effort, detailed knowledge of the law, and the ability to know when to negotiate directly with the KBD and when it's time to take formal legal action.
The Lento Law Firm Team has years of experience supporting Kentucky dentists through delicate license-related negotiations and stressful administrative hearings. If you live or practice in the Bowling Green, Owensboro, Louisville, Lexington, Frankfort, Paducah, or Covington areas (or anywhere else in the state), give the Lento Law Firm Team a call when you require support.
Once you retain the Professional License Defense Team, you'll benefit from:
- Our knowledge of Kentucky dental regulations, down to every single subtlety and detail and nuance, and our ability to use that knowledge to help you achieve your goals
- Our strategic defense planning, or our ability to understand your situation and craft a defense strategy for you, uniquely
- Our ability to compile compelling evidence and present it persuasively, which should support every step of your case, from your hearing to any appeals that may be necessary for you
- Our ability to open up lines of negotiation directly with the Kentucky Board of Dentistry, engaging with the decision-makers in your case to help turn the tides in your favor without further stressful actions if at all possible
When you need our help, we're happy to get started. Retain our team at once to take the mental burden of your case off your shoulders at once.
Your Kentucky Dental Practice Deserves a Strong Defense. We Can Help
If you're facing the complexities of licensing-related discipline and professional misconduct allegations in Kentucky, you shouldn't do so alone. Retain the services of the premier Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm. We'll provide seasoned guidance and relentless representation — as well as nuanced negotiation skills — to help you secure the positive outcome you deserve.
Don't let license-related sanctions or discipline make your professional future harder than it has to be. Instead, give us a call at 888.535.3686 or tell us about your case online. A member of the Lento Law Firm Team will be in touch in a timely manner.