The Lento Law Firm Defends New Hampshire Dentists
If you practice dentistry in New Hampshire, then you know the charms of living and working as a professional in the Granite State. Although it doesn't have the enormous metropolitan center of some other Northeast states, New Hampshire still has significant population centers in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Derry, Dover, Rochester, and Salem, among other locations. Those populations can certainly sustain rewarding dental practices without the challenges and burdens of crime, traffic, and congestion when working in a larger metropolitan area.
But New Hampshire's Board of Dental Examiners won't give you or any other dentist a free pass when practicing below the board's rigorous standards. If you face Board of Dental Examiners disciplinary charges, then you must address those charges head-on. Get the answers to your questions about professional disciplinary charges. Get the skilled and experienced defense representation you need for your best outcome to disciplinary charges. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team now for effective Board of Dental Examiners disciplinary defense whether you are in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Derry, Dover, Rochester, Salem, or any other New Hampshire location. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for New Hampshire dentist disciplinary defense.
New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners Licensure
New Hampshire's Board of Dental Examiners has the state's authority to license dentists and otherwise regulate dental practice in the state. Its webpage declares, “The Board of Dental Examiners is responsible for the protection of the public by governing and regulating the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene in New Hampshire. The board examines, licenses, and registers applicants whom it finds qualified to practice dentistry and dental hygiene.” You won't get to practice dentistry in New Hampshire without Board approval.
Section 317-A:1 of New Hampshire's Dental Practice Act expressly prohibits practice without a license, stating, “For the protection of the public health, safety, and welfare, any person practicing or offering to practice dentistry in New Hampshire must submit evidence that such person is qualified to so practice and shall be licensed as provided in this chapter. No person shall practice or offer to practice dentistry in New Hampshire or use any title, sign, card, device, or the abbreviation D.M.D. or D.D.S., or any other designation indicating that such person is practicing dentistry unless such person has been licensed under the provisions of this chapter.”
Nationwide Stakes to New Hampshire Disciplinary Charges
New Hampshire is among the many states offering reciprocity for licensure in other reciprocating states. If you were licensed for dentistry in another state, then you likely gained your New Hampshire license by endorsement rather than by repeating your American Board of Dental Examiners (ADEX) examination and other licensure requirements. Reciprocity also allows you to take your New Hampshire license to other reciprocating states where you may wish to practice in the future. But you lose those nationwide reciprocal benefits if you lose your New Hampshire dental license to disciplinary charges. Stand up and fight those charges now rather than expect to flee to another state for a dental practice. Licensing officials in those other states will require you to disclose your prior discipline and will search New Hampshire records to discover it.
New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners Authority
The New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners has statutory authority to discipline dentists whom its officials find have committed misconduct. Section 317-A:4 of the Dental Practice Act expressly authorizes the board to “undertake, when appropriate, disciplinary proceedings and disciplinary action against licensees” violating its standards. Section 317-A:17 lists the grounds on which the board may take disciplinary action and the forms of discipline the board may impose right up to license suspension and revocation. Section 317-A:18 authorizes Board investigations of complaints against dentists. Section 317-A:18-a authorizes the board to conduct formal hearings on disciplinary charges, make appropriate disciplinary decisions and findings, and hear appeals of those findings. That authority should convince you to respond timely and effectively to the board's disciplinary charges. Get our help to ensure your best outcome.
New Hampshire Dental Board Disciplinary Actions
The New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners regularly exercises its disciplinary authority. Don't underestimate the board's commitment and resources. It has the personnel and procedures in place to issue and act on charges, on its own investigation, or when responding to patient or public complaints. The board also publishes its disciplinary actions for patients, their family members, the public, and disciplinary officials in other states to see. The board includes not just the dentist's name and license number and the discipline imposed but also the grounds for discipline. Don't suffer embarrassing discipline that ruins your reputation and dental practice. Get our help defending your disciplinary charges.
New Hampshire Dental Board Discipline Forms
The New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners has several options to pursue when considering discipline. Section 317-A:17 of the Dental Practice Act authorizes the following forms of discipline:
- license revocation or suspension;
- limitation or restriction of a license;
- requiring the licensee to submit to the care, counseling, or treatment of a physician, counseling service, health care facility, professional assistance program, or any comparable person or facility approved by the board;
- requiring the licensee to participate in educational programs relevant to the practice of dentistry in substantive areas in which the licensee has been found professionally deficient;
- requiring the licensee to practice under the direction of a dentist in a public institution, public or private health care program, or private practice for a period of time specified by the board;
- assessing administrative fines in amounts established by the board not exceeding $2,000 per offense or $250 for each day the violation continues, and
New Hampshire Dental Board Consent Resolutions
The above several forms of discipline, especially license suspension or revocation, should concern any dentist facing disciplinary charges. But the board's authority to impose education, counseling, care, treatment, training, supervision, or other alternatives to 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 one or more of those alternatives when fully acceptable and beneficial to you. When preserving your license and avoiding discipline is the goal, the board has the authority to fashion remedial relief. We can help you achieve that consent resolution.
New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners Discipline Grounds
The New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners cannot punish on a whim. The board must instead articulate the statutory grounds on which it has issued its disciplinary charges. Those grounds, though, are many and broad. Section 317-A:17 of the Dental Practice Act lists the following grounds. Consider the following examples of each ground, along with how our Defense Team may be able to defend the charges.
Impaired Practice as Grounds for New Hampshire Dentist Discipline
Section 317-A:17 prohibits “addiction to mind-altering drugs or intoxicants” and “affliction with a physical or mental impairment or disease which is dangerous to the public health or which precludes the practice of dentistry or dental hygiene at ordinary levels of proficiency.” Impaired practice may involve allegations that patients or colleagues smelled alcohol, heard slurred words, observed glassy eyes and balance problems, or observed other signs of the influence of drugs or alcohol, or of mental or physical impairment due to other causes. Disciplinary officials take the charges seriously because of patient risks of injury. Defense may involve proving no impairment, proving a temporary impairment due to innocent causes such as a prescription drug reaction, or proving that any impairment has abated. Referral for substance abuse education, evaluation, and treatment may be appropriate but don't consent without our review lest you inadvertently relinquish your license.
Criminal Conviction as Grounds for New Hampshire Dentist Discipline
Section 317-A:17 prohibits the “commission of any felony or misdemeanor involving dishonesty, untrustworthiness, or unprofessional conduct” or “any administrative or criminal conviction involving moral turpitude.” Examples include assault, sexual assault, stalking, harassment, theft, drug crimes, disorderly conduct, indecent exposure, and insurance or billing fraud. Defense may involve showing that you did not suffer the conviction or that the conviction did not relate to dentistry.
Credentials Fraud as Grounds for New Hampshire Dentist Discipline
Section 317-A:17 prohibits “fraud or untruthfulness in obtaining educational credentials, examination scores, or professional licensure in this or any other jurisdiction.” Credentials fraud is serious because of the risk of unqualified practice. Examples include cheating on a licensing exam, misrepresenting your dental education and experience, or concealing criminal convictions, discipline, or other disqualifying events when applying for your license or on license renewal. Defense may involve proving that you did not cheat on a licensing exam, that you have the credentials you claim, or that any error or omission was innocent rather than purposely deceptive.
Incompetence as Grounds for New Hampshire Dentist Discipline
Section 317-A:17 prohibits “ignorance, incompetence, or a pattern of behavior inconsistent with the basic knowledge and skills expected of persons licensed to practice dentistry,” “gross or repeated negligence in practicing dentistry,” “intentionally injuring a patient or engaging in any other unprofessional or dishonest conduct in practicing dentistry,” and “failure to follow the current guidelines of[ t]he American Dental Association.” Examples include performing procedures on the wrong teeth, performing unnecessary procedures, and performing below standards in ways that injure the patient or overlook an obvious condition needing prompt attention. Defense may involve retaining a consult expert to testify to the standard of care.
Deceptive Advertising as Grounds for New Hampshire Dentist Discipline
Section 317-A:17 prohibits advertising that “deceives or is intended to deceive the public concerning dental services, techniques, the qualifications of a licensee, or the prices to be charged,” “claims or suggests that the licensee enjoys professional superiority or performs services in a manner superior to other persons licensed by this chapter or that the licensee performs services or any particular service in a painless manner,” and “announces the use of any drug or medicine of an unknown formula or any system or anesthetic that is unnamed, misnamed, misrepresented, or not in reality used.” Defense may involve disproving the alleged advertising or showing that the advertising is accurate.
Inappropriate Sedation as Grounds for New Hampshire Dentist Discipline
Section 317-A:17 prohibits several grounds of inappropriate sedation, including failing to monitor a patient under sedation, having more than one patient under sedation without one-to-one monitoring, failing to monitor recovery from sedation, or failing to use a pulse oximeter or similar protective device. Defense may involve proving the complaining witness to lack credibility, proving that appropriate monitoring took place, or proving that others were responsible for the patient and failure to monitor.
New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners Disciplinary Procedures
The New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners owes you constitutional due process in a proceeding threatening to suspend or revoke your dental license. Section 317-A:18 and Section 317-A:18-a of the Dental Practice Act together define those protective procedures. Our Defense Team can help you invoke those procedures at the investigation stage, informal conference stage, or the formal hearing. We can help you present your evidence and cross-examine adverse witnesses. If you have already lost your disciplinary case, we may be able to help you take an administrative appeal of the adverse findings or even seek a limited court review.
Premier New Hampshire Dentist Disciplinary Defense
Your dental practice and career may be on the line when facing New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners disciplinary charges. Let the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team help you pursue your most effective and strategic defense. We are available now for your defense whether you are in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Derry, Dover, Rochester, Salem, or any other New Hampshire location. Hundreds of professionals nationwide have trusted our Defense Team to defend and defeat disciplinary charges. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for skilled New Hampshire dentist disciplinary defense.