The Lento Law Firm Defends New Mexico Dentists
New Mexico is indeed an enchanted state with a beautiful natural environment, many outdoor activities to enjoy, and a vibrant culture and arts scene. Those attributes make New Mexico an especially good place to practice dentistry. The state's good-sized cities, including Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, and Farmington, are sufficiently populous to sustain rewarding dental practices while not being so populous as to make traffic and other congestion a burdensome issue. You know the benefits of a New Mexico dental practice.
New Mexico is consistent with other states, though, when it comes to regulating dental practice. The New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care licenses, regulates, and disciplines New Mexico dentists, just as similar dental boards do in other states. You likely have serious questions about professional disciplinary charges if you have received the Board of Dental Health Care's notice of investigation. Retain the Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team for the skilled and experienced representation you need for your best outcome to New Mexico disciplinary charges. We are available whether you are in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, or any other New Mexico location. Call 888.535.3686 or chat with us now for New Mexico dentist disciplinary defense.
New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care Licensure
The New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care works with the state's Regulation & Licensing Department to ensure that every dentist practicing in the state has a valid dental license. The Board's webpage states plainly that the board “sets professional and educational standards to obtain and maintain licenses for dentists,” “investigates complaints from the public about unprofessional or unethical conduct, and takes disciplinary action when required.” Section 61-5A-5 of the state's Dental Health Care Act prohibits anyone from practicing dentistry in the state without a license. Section 61-5A-10 authorizes the Board to license dentists who meet the Board's qualifications for licensure, including education, examination, and good character. You cannot practice dentistry in New Mexico without satisfying the Board of Dental Health Care that you remain qualified to do so.
Nationwide Stakes to New Mexico Disciplinary Charges
New Mexico's Board of Dental Health Care recognizes reciprocal licensure by credentials endorsement. You may have obtained your New Mexico dentist's license by endorsement after you were licensed as a dentist in another state. Or you may have followed New Mexico's requirements for dental education and examination to obtain your first dental license. In either case, if you wish to move your practice from New Mexico to another state or to practice in multiple states, then you can use your New Mexico dental license for license by credentials endorsement in another reciprocating state. Reciprocity is a huge time and expense saver for a dentist who wishes to practice in another state.
But the benefit of reciprocity becomes a drawback for a dentist who suffers discipline within the licensure state. If you suffer New Mexico dental license discipline, then you will generally lose your licensure opportunities in other states until regaining New Mexico licensure or otherwise satisfying the state's disciplinary conditions. Other state dental boards to which you apply for a license will require that you disclose your New Mexico discipline. If you do not do so, license officials in those other states will investigate and likely discover your discipline in any case, and your failure to disclose will constitute another rule violation. Your best move is to fight your New Mexico disciplinary charges now rather than suffer the nationwide consequences of discipline later. Let us help.
New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care Authority
The New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care has the authority not only to license you as a dentist but also to regulate your dental practice, including to discipline you for failure to meet its licensing standards. Section 61-5A-21 of the Dental Health Care Act authorizes the Board to discipline your license right up to its suspension or revocation if you commit any one or more of the listed grounds for discipline. The same section authorizes the Board to pursue disciplinary action based on anyone's complaint, including when the Board itself discovers disqualifying events like a criminal conviction or discipline by another state. You must deal with the Board of Dental Health Care. Let us help.
New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care Discipline
The New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care doesn't hesitate to use its statutory and regulatory authority to discipline dentists who violate its standards. The New Mexico Regulation & Licensing Department publishes the Board's disciplinary actions online for anyone to see. Those public entries disclose not only the accused dentist's name, license number, and discipline but also the grounds for discipline, whether due to criminal conviction, substance abuse, other impairment, sexual misconduct, unauthorized practice, or other embarrassing and alarming conditions and events. You don't want to suffer discipline of any kind, especially suspension or revocation, considering not only the adverse effect on your dental practice but also the harm to your reputation.
New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care Discipline Forms
The New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care may generally impose discipline as it sees fit. It must have grounds, and its discipline should fit the wrong. But within those broad parameters, Section 61-5A-21 of the Dental Health Care Act states that the Board “may fine” any licensee and “may deny, revoke, suspend, stipulate, or otherwise limit any license or certificate” to practice dentistry in the state. You could lose your dental license. Even a short suspension generally requires notice to your dental patients of the discipline with all the attendant embarrassment and reputational harm. You know how hard you worked to build and maintain your dental practice. Don't lose it to discipline. Let us help.
New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care Informal Resolutions
While the Board of Dental Health Care's broad discretion to discipline may appear alarming, it may also work to your advantage. Our Defense Team is skilled at communicating and negotiating with disciplinary officials to propose win-win informal resolutions. The Board must protect patients, the public, and the profession. But the Board's authority to stipulate to any limitation on your dental license may enable our Defense Team to show that with remedial training or education, you pose no patient or public risk. The Board may alternatively agree to allow you to submit to a medical or mental examination, counseling, treatment, and care. Or the Board may agree that a modest limit on your license, one with which you can readily comply, will satisfy the Board's obligations. An oral reprimand, along with your apology and assurances, may also suffice. Let our Defense Team explore early voluntary resolution on your behalf.
New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care Disciplinary Grounds
As indicated briefly above, Section 61-5A-21 of the Dental Health Care Act authorizes the New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care to discipline only on certain grounds. Those grounds, though, are quite broad. Consider the following summary and examples, along with how our Defense Team may be able to defend the charges.
Credentials Fraud as Grounds for New Mexico Dentist Discipline
Section 61-5A-21 prohibits “fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license or certificate” to practice dentistry. Credentials fraud concerns license officials because it may permit an unqualified individual to practice to the harm of patients. Credentials fraud may include cheating on the licensing exam, such as using a substitute to take the exam or using unauthorized materials. Credentials fraud may also involve misrepresenting your dental education, licensure, or experience on your license application or concealing a malpractice judgment or criminal conviction on your renewal application. The defense may involve showing that your representations were accurate or that any inaccuracy was inadvertent error rather than deliberate deception.
Criminal Conviction as Grounds for New Mexico Dentist Discipline
Section 61-5A-21 authorizes discipline when the dentist “has been convicted of a crime punishable by incarceration in a federal prison or state penitentiary….” The statute provides that the record of conviction establishes the disciplinary grounds. You cannot relitigate the conviction in the disciplinary proceeding. But defense may involve showing that you were not convicted, the court overturned the conviction, or the conviction was not a disqualifying one. Disqualifying convictions ordinarily involve crimes relating to the practice of dentistry, felony crimes, and crimes of moral turpitude, such as theft, embezzlement, insurance fraud, and sexual misconduct.
Incompetence as Grounds for New Mexico Dentist Discipline
Section 61-5A-21 authorizes discipline when the dentist “is guilty of gross incompetence or gross negligence,” as the Board defines it. The statute also authorizes discipline for patient abandonment. Examples may include performing on the wrong patient or wrong tooth, providing unnecessary services, providing substandard services that injure the patient, or refusing to provide services to a patient for a known critical condition under emergency circumstances. The defense may involve expert testimony that your services were within the bounds of professional judgment or that the patient was not under your care.
Substance Abuse as Grounds for New Mexico Dentist Discipline
Section 61-5A-21 authorizes discipline when the dentist “is habitually intemperate or is addicted to the use of habit-forming drugs or is addicted to any vice to such degree as to render the licensee unfit to practice.” The statute also authorizes discipline for violating the state's Controlled Substances Act. The defense may involve showing that the complaining witness mistook innocent circumstances, like your sleeplessness or prescription drug reaction, for substance abuse, or that you were not intemperate or addicted and have corrected any practice. You may also be able to negotiate a referral to the Impaired Practitioner Program for substance abuse education and treatment in lieu of discipline. Beware of entering into any such consent agreement without our review in case you cannot comply with the agreement's terms and must relinquish your license.
Unprofessional Conduct as Grounds for New Mexico Dentist Discipline
Section 61-5A-21 authorizes discipline for “unprofessional conduct,” leaving it to the Board to define that term. The Board adopted an administrative rule, New Mexico Admin. Code 220.127.116.11, giving thirty-six definitions for unprofessional conduct, including most of the other statutory grounds and many more grounds too numerous to summarize here. The grounds include any deceptive practice or violation of any dental code of ethics or standard the Board of Dental Health Care recognizes.
New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care Disciplinary Procedures
The New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care must provide you with protective procedures before it permanently revokes or suspends long term your dental license. Section 61-5A-21 of the Dental Health Care Act requires the Board to follow the protective procedures in the state's Uniform Licensing Act, New Mexico Statute Sections 61-1-1 to 61-1-31. Those procedures include investigation, during the course of which you should have some opportunity to share your evidence. An informal resolution conference may follow. Our Defense Team can help you gather and share your exonerating and mitigating evidence and negotiate for voluntary dismissal at the resolution conference. If formal charges and a hearing follow, we can help you present your defense witnesses and cross-examine adverse witnesses. If you have already lost your disciplinary case, we can help you appeal as the state's administrative procedures permit.
Premier New Mexico Dentist Disciplinary Defense
The Lento Law Firm's premier Professional License Defense Team is available to help you with your most effective defense of New Mexico Board of Dental Health Care disciplinary charges. Our team is available for your defense whether you are in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Roswell, Farmington, or any other New Mexico location. You have every good reason to rely on our services. 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 New Mexico dentist disciplinary defense.