Call Attorney Joseph Lento if Your Dentistry License Is in Jeopardy
If you are a dentist in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York, an allegation of misconduct can easily cost you your license to practice. Attorney Joseph D. Lento can help minimize the damage and save your career. Contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today to schedule a consultation.
As a licensed dentist, you have worked hard to achieve your career goals. You have dedicated years of your life to education and training, and you take great pride in providing quality care to your patients. But one false allegation of misconduct can jeopardize everything you have worked so hard for. State boards of dentistry hold their dentists to exceptionally high standards of ethical and professional excellence, and they exercise broad disciplinary powers to make sure the public is protected. This is why a single complaint can result in having your license revoked—and why you need a skilled dental license defense lawyer like Joseph D. Lento on your side if you're accused of wrongdoing.
What types of complaints could endanger your dentistry license?
As a dentist, you may potentially lose your professional license for any behavior that violates the public trust or the rules for the appropriate practice of dentistry in your state. Some of the most common allegations that result in disciplinary action include:
- Violating standards of care. Accusations of incompetent care, misdiagnosis, gross negligence, etc., can all jeopardize a dentist's license.
- Substance abuse/addiction. Excessive alcohol or illegal drug use can call your competency into question and put your license at risk.
- Sexual misconduct. Examples include unwanted sexual advances toward employees or patients, sexual abuse or harassment, inappropriate relationships with patients, etc.
- Inappropriate drug handling. Accusations of writing inappropriate prescriptions, keeping sloppy inventories, or pilfering medication for one's own use can all result in loss of license.
- Fraudulent conduct. Examples include false/misleading advertising, mishandling or altering records, filing fraudulent insurance claims, etc.
- Criminal convictions. In many states, being convicted of certain crimes may disqualify you from holding a dentistry license.
What is the disciplinary process once someone files a complaint with the board?
Once a complaint is filed, the state board of dentistry will review the complaint to see if it falls within their jurisdiction and if it has any merit—and if so, it will open an investigation to look for evidence to support the complaint. The board might ask you to respond to the complaint in writing and to provide evidence supporting your rebuttal. The board may also suspend your license temporarily if the complaint is sufficiently serious.
If the board has sufficient evidence to support a complaint, they might offer to negotiate a consent order with you in which you would admit your misconduct and agree to the punishment imposed by the board in lieu of a formal hearing. If a consent order is not offered or accepted, you will be required to appear in a hearing (with an attorney, if you wish) to show cause why the board should not take disciplinary action against you. The board will then make a decision about whether or not to take action against you, up to and including revoking your license.
Bear in mind that even if the board imposes lesser penalties like fines or probation while allowing you to keep your dentistry license, these penalties still become a matter of public record and can do damage to your professional reputation. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is experienced in dentistry license defense and understands how licensing boards work. He can negotiate with the board to keep your license intact while minimizing the potential damage to your professional record.
Why it's important to hire a dentistry license defense attorney
When someone files a complaint against you, the state board of dentistry will immediately begin looking for evidence to back up the complaint—including anything you say or do during the investigation. You are not considered "innocent until proven guilty," and you should not assume that the board will give you the benefit of the doubt because they have the public's interests at heart--not your interests. If they believe you have violated the rules and pose a danger to the public, they have a low burden of proof to find you at fault and broad authority to take away your license. An experienced dentistry license defense attorney like Joseph D. Lento can help you navigate this complicated situation and ensure that your rights are protected, greatly improving your chances for a positive outcome. When you hire the Lento Law Firm to represent you, we can take all of the following steps to protect your license:
- Assume the role of your legal representative when you correspond with the board.
- Evaluate the complaint against you and prepare a strong defense strategy
- Prepare a persuasive written response to the complaint (which could be sufficient in its own right to get the complaint dismissed)
- Gather evidence and witnesses to support your side of the story
- Negotiate with the licensing board to have your complaint dismissed or for reduced penalties
- If necessary, defend you vigorously at a formal hearing
How soon should you hire an attorney after being notified of a complaint?
Ideally, you should contact an attorney as soon as possible after being notified of a complaint against you. Once the board begins investigating, they will be looking for anything they can use against you to prove their case. If you wait too long to hire an attorney, you might inadvertently say or do something that makes it easier for the board to prove their case against you.
When you're facing the possibility of losing your dentistry license, don't take chances with your future—contact experienced dentistry license defense attorney Joseph D. Lento today at (888) 535-3686 for a case evaluation.