The Lento Law Firm Defends Mississippi Dentists
Mississippi is a fine place to practice dentistry. The state's substantial population centers in Jackson, Gulfport, Southaven, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Olive Branch, Tupelo, and other locations support significant dental practices. The state's attractive Gulf Coast natural environment, friendly culture, and relaxed lifestyle add to the value of a Mississippi dental practice. You made a good choice when you chose Mississippi as a home base for your dental career.
Mississippi, though, closely regulates dental practice, just like other states. The Mississippi State Dental Board of Examiners has standards just as high as dental standards in other states. And the Board has enforcement mechanisms to discipline dentists who fail to meet those standards. If you have received the Board's notice of disciplinary investigation, you doubtless have many questions about professional disciplinary charges. You need skilled and experienced defense representation for your best outcome to disciplinary charges. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team now for disciplinary defense whether you are in Jackson, Gulfport, Southaven, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Olive Branch, Tupelo, or any other Mississippi location. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for Mississippi dentist disciplinary defense.
Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners Licensure
The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners licenses and regulates dentists who practice in the state. Section 73-9-13 of Mississippi's Dental Practice Act establishes the Board with the power and duty for licensure and regulation. You must have the Board's license to practice dentistry in the state. The very first section of the Dental Practice Act, Section 73-9-1, states, “Every person who desires to practice dentistry or dental hygiene in this state must obtain a license to do so as hereinafter provided….” The Act's Section 73–9-23 expressly requires that you pass the Board's approved dental examination and demonstrate that you are of good moral character to earn and maintain your Mississippi dentist's license.
You won't get to practice dentistry in Mississippi if you lose your license. Section 73-9-41 of the Dental Practice Act expressly prohibits dental practice without a license, imposing graduated penalties of up to $5,000 for violations and authorizing injunctions against continued practice. If you lose your license to discipline, Section 73-9-41 expressly prohibits you from offering dental services as long as your license is revoked or suspended. The unauthorized practice of dentistry may also extend your license's suspension or revocation, making it more difficult or impossible to regain your license. Section 73-9-57 further defines unauthorized practice without a valid license to be a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine. Get our defense help rather than expecting to avoid licensure requirements.
Nationwide Stakes to Mississippi Disciplinary Charges
Section 73-9-24 of Mississippi's Dental Practice Act authorizes you to obtain a Mississippi dental license by endorsement if you already have a dental license in another state offering similar procedures. Endorsement allows you to avoid retaking the dental exam and proving other necessary qualifications. You may also take your Mississippi dental license to another reciprocating state for a license in that other state, if you wish to move there or practice in multiple states. But you lose those reciprocal license benefits if you lose your Mississippi license to discipline. You would have to disclose your Mississippi discipline to licensing officials in those other states. Those officials would also search for your Mississippi discipline if you did not disclose it. Your stakes when facing Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners charges are thus nationwide stakes. Defend the charges now rather than deal with their consequences later.
Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners Authority
The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners has full state authority to discipline you for misconduct in the course of your dental practice or for events and conditions indicating your unfitness for practice. Section 73-9-61 of the Dental Practice Act authorizes the Board to discipline you right up to suspending or revoking your license if you commit any one or more of the statute's listed grounds. Section 73-9-63 authorizes the Board to accept complaints against your license, to investigate those complaints, and to hold formal hearings on the allegations to make disciplinary findings against you. Don't doubt the Board's ability, resources, and willingness to pursue disciplinary charges. Instead, get our Defense Team's help.
Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners Discipline
The Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners doesn't hesitate to exercise its disciplinary authority. The Board regularly publishes disciplinary actions online for patients, their family members, and members of the public to research, review, and read. Employers and licensing officials in other states can also research and read the disciplinary decisions. And those decisions include not only the dentist's name and license number but also the grounds for discipline, such as incompetent practice, failure to complete continuing education, advertising violations, and criminal convictions. Don't expect to hide discipline. Others will find out, and inquiries may require you to disclose. Instead, let our Defense Team help.
Mississippi Dental Board Discipline Forms
The Mississippi Board of Dental Examiners has the discretion to impose various forms of discipline. Section 73-9-61 of the Dental Practice Act states that the Board “may deny the issuance or renewal of a license or may revoke or suspend the license of any licensed dentist or dental hygienist practicing in the State of Mississippi, or take any other action in relation to the license as the board may deem proper under the circumstances.” License suspension or revocation means stopping your dental practice. Those are the forms of discipline you most need to avoid. Any interruption in your dental practice due to discipline can seriously affect your ability to continue to build and maintain a strong practice.
Mississippi Board of Dental Examiners Informal Resolutions
The Board's authority to take other actions less than license suspension or revocation can work to your advantage. Our Defense Team may be able to negotiate an early voluntary dismissal of the charges in exchange for a consent agreement or informal resolution. Disciplinary officials may be willing to accept remedial education or training. They may accept your referral for a physical or mental examination proving your fitness. They may accept apologies and assurances, or impose only a private or oral reprimand. You may also find that you could accept a limitation on your license, such as for supervision or authorizing only certain procedures and practices. Let our Defense Team help you fashion, propose, and negotiate acceptable win-win outcomes that meet the Board's duties while preserving or even enhancing your own personal and professional interests.
Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners Disciplinary Grounds
As indicated briefly above, Section 73-9-61 of the Dental Practice Act authorizes the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners to discipline based on a variety of listed grounds. Consider the following examples of those disciplinary grounds together with how our Defense Team may be able to help you defend against those allegations.
Credentials Fraud as Grounds for Mississippi Dentist Discipline
Section 73-9-61 prohibits “misrepresentation in obtaining a license, or attempting to obtain, obtaining, attempting to renew or renewing a license or professional credential by making any material misrepresentation….” Credentials fraud may include cheating on the licensing exam, misrepresenting your dental school grades or degree, or omitting license discipline in another state or a criminal conviction from your license application or renewal request. Defenses may involve proving that your statements were true and that any errors or omissions were innocent rather than deliberately deceptive.
Impaired Practice as Grounds for Mississippi Dentist Discipline
Section 73-9-61 prohibits “being impaired in the ability to practice dentistry or dental hygiene with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness or use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material or as a result of any mental or physical condition.” Defenses may involve proving that you were not impaired, that your conduct was due to innocent causes like sleeplessness or a prescription drug reaction, or that your impairment was temporary and did not affect your ability to practice.
Drug Violations as Grounds for Mississippi Dentist Discipline
Section 73-9-61 prohibits “administering, dispensing, or prescribing any prescription medication or drug outside the course of legitimate professional dental practice” or “being convicted or found guilty of or entering a plea of nolo contendere to … a violation of any federal or state law regulating the possession, distribution or use of any narcotic drug or any drug considered a controlled substance….” Defenses may involve proving that you did not commit the alleged drug misconduct, that witnesses misidentified you, or that any crime was not a disqualifying crime. The statute provides that proof of the conviction establishes the grounds, so that you may not relitigate the conviction in the disciplinary proceeding. But other defenses may be available.
Incompetence as Grounds for Mississippi Dentist Discipline
Section 73-9-61 prohibits “practicing incompetently or negligently, regardless of whether there is actual harm to the patient.” Examples include procedures on the wrong teeth or patient, unnecessary procedures, or procedures performed using non-standard techniques that create a risk of injury or cause injury. Malpractice lawsuits and judgments may trigger disciplinary charges. Defenses may involve retaining a consulting expert to prove that your conduct was within the bounds of professional judgment.
Criminal Conviction as Grounds for Mississippi Dentist Discipline
Section 73-9-61 prohibits “being convicted or found guilty of or entering a plea of nolo contendere to … a crime in any jurisdiction that relates to the practice of dentistry or dental hygiene” or “being convicted or found guilty of or entering a plea of nolo contendere to … a felony in any jurisdiction.” Assault, battery, threats, intimidation, disorderly conduct, stalking, indecent exposure, theft, and billing or insurance fraud are examples of potentially disqualifying crimes, depending on their circumstances. The defense may involve showing that you were not convicted of the crime or that the crime was not disqualifying.
Unprofessional Conduct as Grounds for Mississippi Dentist Discipline
Section 73-9-61 prohibits “unprofessional conduct” as a catch-all provision. The statute lists as examples deceptive advertising, crimes of moral turpitude, or using a fictitious name for a dental practice. The defense may involve showing that you did not commit the alleged misconduct and that complaining witnesses lacked credibility.
Sexual Misconduct as Grounds for Mississippi Dentist Discipline
Section 73-9-61 prohibits “sexual misconduct,” defined to include using the professional relationship to attempt to induce sexual activity or intimidating, coercing, influencing, or tricking a patient into sexual activity or activity for the accused dentist's sexual gratification. Defenses may involve proving the complaining witness to be mistaken, deluded, or otherwise lacking in credibility.
Mississippi Board of Dental Examiners Disciplinary Procedures
As a public regulatory body, the Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners must provide you with due process of law before depriving you of your property and liberty interest in your dental license. Due process typically requires fair notice and a fair hearing before an impartial decision maker. Section 73-9-63 of the Dental Practice Act provides for certain protective procedures meeting due process. We can help you invoke those protective procedures, which are not necessarily self-executing. The Board may default you if you do not timely respond to the charges. The protective procedures include informal conferences and formal hearings at which we can help you cross-examine adverse witnesses while presenting your own defense witnesses. Appeal from an adverse decision is also possible.
Premier Mississippi Dentist Disciplinary Defense
Don't go it alone. Your skills are in dentistry, not likely in administrative law and procedures. And make no mistake: your dental practice is on the line when facing Mississippi State Board of Dental Examiners disciplinary charges. The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team can help you with your most effective defense. Our team is available now for your defense whether you are in Jackson, Gulfport, Southaven, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Olive Branch, Tupelo, or any other Mississippi location. Hundreds of professionals nationwide have trusted us to help defend and defeat disciplinary charges. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for skilled Mississippi dentist disciplinary defense.