The Lento Law Firm Defends Massachusetts Dentists
The dynamic economy, sophisticated culture, world-class academics, long history, and seaboard environment of Massachusetts combine to make it a fine state in which to practice dentistry. You made a wise choice when locating your practice in Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge, Lowell, Brockton, Quincy, Lynn, New Bedford, or a similar urban or suburban locale. The state certainly offers dentists the opportunity to build a thriving, professionally and financially rewarding practice.
As rich as those practice opportunities are, you must still practice competently within the ethical and professional standards the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry establishes. You may be doing very well in every other respect, but if you face professional disciplinary proceedings, you have everything at risk. The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry will investigate, prosecute, and determine those disciplinary charges to protect patients and the public against injury and the profession against mistrust.
If the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry has notified you of its investigation of alleged misconduct or served you with formal disciplinary charges, retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team now. Don't unreasonably delay and compromise your successful defense. Our Defense Team is available whether you are in Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge, Lowell, Brockton, Quincy, Lynn, New Bedford, or any other Massachusetts location. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for Massachusetts dentist disciplinary defense.
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry Licensure
Your Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry license is essential to your continued dental practice in the state. Successfully defend your license against discipline, or lose your Massachusetts practice right along with losing your license to discipline. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, Section 43, creates the Board of Registration in Dentistry to license dentists for practice within the state. You must have a Board of Registration license to practice. Section 52 further provides that practicing dentistry in the state without a license is a crime punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail for a first offense and up to $2,000 and one year in jail for a second offense. Under these provisions, the Board of Registration may go to court for an injunction against any unlicensed dentist who attempts to practice or who advertises for practice in the state. Let us help you defend your disciplinary charge now. Don't ignore it.
Nationwide Stakes to Massachusetts Discipline
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, Section 48, authorizes the Board of Registration in Dentistry to provide a license by endorsement of another state's dentistry license as an alternative to a license by examination. Because Massachusetts extends reciprocity to other state licensing boards, those reciprocating state licensing boards will grant you a license in their states based on your Massachusetts license. Reciprocity enables you to move your practice from state to state without the delay, trouble, and expense of re-examination. It also allows you to practice in multiple states under endorsed licenses.
But what goes around comes around. If you lose your Massachusetts license to discipline, then you lose those reciprocal licensure rights. In effect, your Massachusetts licensing proceeding has nationwide stakes, not just affecting your dental practice in Massachusetts but also your opportunity to practice in other states by endorsement. Reciprocity means you must defend your license now in Massachusetts rather than hope to avoid the consequences of Massachusetts discipline by fleeing to another state.
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry Discipline
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry doesn't just license dentists. It also regulates and disciplines dentists. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, Section 43, provides that the Board of Registration “shall investigate all complaints of violations of” the standards of dentistry. Section 43 also provides that the Board “may make, and shall publish, such rules and regulations as it deems necessary.” The board accordingly adopted regulations for discipline in 234 CMR 9.00, including 234 CMR 9.03, a long list of grounds for discipline. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, Section 43, further provides, “If, as a result of such investigation, the board has reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, it shall forthwith file a written report of the same with the attorney general who shall, within three months following receipt of such report, notify the board in writing of the action taken with respect to such violation. The board may also bring a petition in equity in the superior court to enjoin the continuation of such violation.” The Board of Registration has the authority to carry out its threat of discipline. Let us help you defend that threat.
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry Disciplinary Actions
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry discipline is public. The board's discipline webpage warns, “A disciplinary action constitutes a public record and is reportable by the Board to other licensing entities and to national disciplinary data reporting systems as disciplinary action on any license to practice dentistry … in Massachusetts, or on the right to renew such license.” The board publishes its discipline of dentists online, including the dentist's name, license number, discipline, and effective date. The public record remains online for ten years. Your patients, their family members, your employer and colleagues, and employers and licensing officials across the country can search for your record of discipline and obtain the decision reflecting the specific wrongs. Protect not only your license but your name and reputation. Let us help defend your charges.
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry Disciplinary Discretion
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry has the authority to do more with your license than simply suspend or revoke it. Board of Registration in Dentistry regulation 234 CMR 9.04 authorizes the board to impose any one or more of the following sanctions:
- license revocation;
- license suspension “for a specific period, or until specific conditions have been met, or both”;
- probation, constituting discipline, “subject to temporary conditions set by the Board and specified in the order”;
- reprimand in the form of a public rebuke;
- stayed probation, not constituting discipline, “subject to temporary conditions set by the Board and specified in the order”; and
- “additional actions against a license as a consequence of failing to comply with the terms of the order.”
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry Consent Resolution
While the above sanctions are punitive and daunting, the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry doesn't have to discipline if it determines that relief without sanction will achieve its patient and public protection obligations. We may be able to help you negotiate alternative special relief that avoids discipline and results in early voluntary dismissal of the charges. Board of Registration in Dentistry regulation 234 CMR 9.04 expressly authorizes the board to “enter into a Consent Agreement with a licensee for the purpose of resolving the complaint with the Board.” We may be able to negotiate a consent agreement that preserves your license, practice, and reputation. You may find that additional training or education, physical or mental examination, care, treatment, or counseling are to your benefit in exchange for the dismissal of disciplinary charges. We may alternatively be able to help you show that you have already addressed and resolved any conditions contributing to your disciplinary issue so that the board can accept your assurances in exchange for the dismissal of the charges.
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry Disciplinary Grounds
As briefly indicated above, the Board of Registration in Dentistry regulation 234 CMR 9.03 lists many grounds on which the board may discipline a dentist. The board's notice of investigation and charges should specify the regulatory grounds on which the board is proceeding. The board cannot just make up grounds as it proceeds. You should know the regulatory grounds in advance from the board's notice. Consider the following summary of the listed grounds, examples of each ground, and how we may be able to help you defend those allegations.
Unprofessional Conduct as Grounds for Massachusetts Dentist Discipline
Board of Registration in Dentistry regulation 234 CMR 9.03 authorizes discipline when “the licensee fails to comply with established ethical standards of the profession” as reflected in published ethics codes. Examples include patient neglect or abuse, sexual assault or harassment, inappropriate dress or demeanor, disrespect of colleagues or subordinate staff, and other departures from professional norms and customs. Defense may involve showing that the complaints are without basis, mistook the accused dentist's identity, or were retaliatory or deluded.
Incompetence as Grounds for Massachusetts Dentist Discipline
Board of Registration in Dentistry regulation 234 CMR 9.03 authorizes discipline when “the licensee engages in conduct that violates recognized standards of care.” Standards of care determine the boundaries of customary treatment. Examples of incompetent care may include procedures on the wrong patient or wrong tooth or using the wrong materials or methods. Incompetent care does not have to cause injury to be a violation, but injury may make a charge and sanction more likely. Defenses may involve disproving the alleged incompetence, proving that others were responsible, or showing that the actions were within the standard of care based on expert defense testimony.
Unauthorized Practice as Grounds for Massachusetts Dentist Discipline
Board of Registration in Dentistry regulation 234 CMR 9.03 authorizes discipline when “the licensee knowingly permits, aids or abets an unlicensed person to perform activities that require a license issued by the Board.” Examples include employing a hygienist or assistant to perform a dentist's services. Defenses may involve showing that you did not employ the hygienist or assistant or were unaware of the conduct despite reasonable supervision.
Credentials Fraud as Grounds for Massachusetts Dentist Discipline
Board of Registration in Dentistry regulation 234 CMR 9.03 authorizes discipline when “the licensee fraudulently procures a license or its renewal” through cheating on the licensing examination, misrepresentations on the license or renewal application, or other false statements or misleading omissions. An example of the latter would be to purposefully omit a criminal conviction or prior license discipline from the license or renewal application. Defense may involve proving each material statement to be substantially true, proving that any omission or misstatement was inadvertent rather than deceptive, or proving that misstatements or omissions were immaterial to your good qualifications.
Misconduct as Grounds for Massachusetts Dentist Discipline
Board of Registration in Dentistry regulation 234 CMR 9.03 also authorizes discipline for criminal conviction, impaired practice, sexual relations with patients, and other indications of poor moral character. Defense may involve showing that any conviction did not relate to dental practice, that the dentist did not have sexual relations with a patient, or that the dentist did not practice while impaired, or that any impairment was temporary, already addressed to the point of abatement, innocent in onset, and not endangering.
Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry Disciplinary Procedures
The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry has the constitutional obligation to provide you with due process. Due process ensures fair notice and a fair hearing, giving you a chance to disprove the disciplinary allegations. Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, Section 43, satisfies those due process requirements by requiring the board to refer disciplinary reports to the state's attorney general for prosecution in an administrative tribunal. Board of Registration in Dentistry regulations 234 CMR 9.04 and 9.05 bolster your procedural protections. Under those regulations, the board may impose its sanction preliminarily on an emergency basis to protect patients and the public, but it must provide you with a follow-up hearing. In the attorney general's administrative disciplinary proceeding, you have substantial procedural safeguards, including the right to a formal hearing before an administrative law judge. We can help you cross-examine witnesses, present your own defense witnesses, and take the statutory and regulatory appeals that law and regulation provide.
Premier Massachusetts Dentist Disciplinary Defense
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available to represent you in Massachusetts Board of Registration in Dentistry disciplinary proceedings, whether you are located in Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Cambridge, Lowell, Brockton, Quincy, Lynn, New Bedford, or any other Massachusetts location. We have helped hundreds of professionals nationwide defend and defeat disciplinary charges. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for skilled Massachusetts dentist disciplinary defense.