If you're a licensed dentist in Oklahoma who is facing disciplinary action by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, you're probably worried that the dental license and career you worked so hard to achieve may be at risk. Disciplinary proceedings can have serious consequences for any licensed professional, but dentists, in particular, have a lot to lose.
That's why you need an experienced legal team who is familiar with the ins and outs of the Oklahoma dentist disciplinary process. The Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team has years of experience successfully representing dentists in disciplinary proceedings throughout Oklahoma — from large cities such as Tulsa, Oklahoma City (OKC), Norman, and Broken Arrow to smaller towns such as Guthrie and Broken Bow. We're extremely knowledgeable about the complexities of the Oklahoma dentist disciplinary process and can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Overview of the Role of Oklahoma's Board of Dentistry in Dentist License Disciplinary Matters
The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry oversees the licensing, regulation, and discipline of dentists who are licensed to practice in the state. The board regulates the practice of dentistry and protects the public by ensuring the safe and legal practice of dentistry throughout the state.
The board oversees the entire complaint, investigatory, and disciplinary process of all dentists in the state and establishes the rules and procedures for filing complaints, how complaints are investigated and resolved, and what discipline is appropriate in each case. Punishments can be serious and include license suspension and revocation, which can mean the end of your career.
Being involved in a state disciplinary proceeding can seriously damage your professional reputation. The board maintains a list that members of the public can use to verify the status of a dentist's license. Anyone can obtain information about disciplinary action taken against a dentist by filling out an open records request form.
The experienced attorneys on the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team can help you understand and successfully navigate the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry disciplinary proceedings. We can help you formulate a vigorous defense against the allegations against you and help you protect all that you've worked so hard to achieve.
Why You Need to Know the Oklahoma State Dental Act and Board of Dentistry's Rules
It's crucial for Oklahoma dentists to be familiar with the laws and rules that govern their licenses. Specifically, the Oklahoma State Dental Act and the Board of Dentistry's rules govern your license and practice of dentistry in the state.
Knowing the rules, what your rights are, what the disciplinary process involves, and the potential consequences you face is critical to crafting an effective strategy that yields the best possible outcome for you.
You also need to know what your options are so you can make informed decisions every step of the way and avoid mistakes that can cost you time, money, and, potentially, your license to practice dentistry.
Being knowledgeable about the Oklahoma dentist's disciplinary rules and procedures goes a long way toward giving you the confidence you need to endure the stressful process. That's why it's critical for you to retain a legal team that is knowledgeable about the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry's rules and procedures as well as the State Dental Act.
The experienced attorneys on the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm have years of experience representing Oklahoma dentists before the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. We can explain the state laws and the board's rules and disciplinary process so you can make informed decisions that are in your best interest.
We can also help you avoid costly pitfalls that less knowledgeable or less experienced attorneys who don't handle Oklahoma dentist license defense cases on a regular basis are vulnerable to making. Don't trust your career and livelihood to anyone but the Lento Law Firm – the best Professional License Defense Team in Oklahoma.
What Oklahoma Dentist License Disciplinary Charges Mean – and What They Don't Mean
Although it's stressful to find out that you are facing disciplinary charges in Oklahoma, it's important to keep in mind that disciplinary charges are just that – charges. Charges are allegations of misconduct. The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry won't implement any punishment based on charges alone, and you won't automatically lose your license or face any discipline merely because you're facing charges.
This isn't to say, however, that this isn't an extremely serious matter that requires your immediate attention. The best thing you can do upon learning that you're facing disciplinary charges is to reach out to the Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm – the best dentist license defense team in Oklahoma. We can help you assess your situation and determine the best path forward.
It's also important to understand that Oklahoma Board of Dentistry disciplinary charges are not criminal charges. They're administrative matters that follow specific rules established by the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry and the Oklahoma legislature.
Dentists who appear before the board don't risk going to jail but do face severe penalties and consequences that can drastically affect their licenses, their ability to practice dentistry, and their ability to earn a living. That's why it's crucial to work with an experienced Oklahoma dentist license defense team like the Lento Law Firm.
Allegations That Can Put an Oklahoma Dentist's License at Risk
There are many allegations that can put an Oklahoma dentist's license at risk, including:
- Falling below the basic standard of care of Oklahoma licensed dentists
- Practicing dentistry in an unsanitary or unsafe manner
- Endangering the health of patients by practicing with a communicable disease without implementing appropriate safeguards
- Having mental health or substance abuse issues that prevent the safe practice of dentistry
- Using false or misleading advertising
- Committing gross negligence or frequent negligent acts
- Writing false, excessive, or unnecessary prescriptions
- Making non-consensual contact with patients
- Failing to keep patient records
The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry's job is to protect the public. It, therefore, has broad authority to determine what allegations it will investigate and what sanctions it will impose.
Overview of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry's License Disciplinary Process
In Oklahoma, the dentist disciplinary process starts when the Board of Dentistry receives a complaint from someone – such as a patient, a dentist, a hygienist, or patient family member – about a dentist.
The board then reviews the complaint and forms a panel to investigate the allegations to determine whether a violation of the Oklahoma State Dental Act or Board of Dentistry rules has occurred and whether the dentist named in the complaint committed the violation. The investigative panel has the authority to:
- Dismiss the complaint
- Refer the matter to mediation in accordance with the Oklahoma Dental Mediation Act
- Issue a private settlement agreement that doesn't impose any restriction on the dentist's license
- Impose a fine no greater than $1,500 per violation
- Convene a special emergency hearing to summarily take action on a dentist's license
- Issue a formal complaint for a hearing to be conducted into the allegations against the dentist
Depending on the course of action the board pursues, the accused dentist will be given notice of the complaint and of any hearings that will be held and an opportunity to respond to the allegations and present evidence. There are deadlines throughout the process that can't be missed, and you must satisfy all of the board's requirements and requests in order to mount a successful defense.
An experienced attorney can advise you throughout the process and help you avoid costly mistakes. It's in your best interest to contact the Lento Law Firm's Professional License Defense Team to guide you every step of the way.
Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Complaints
Anyone can file a complaint against a dentist in Oklahoma. This is done by filling out a Complaint Form and submitting it to the board. Complaints may be filed anonymously, but the board may subpoena the author of the complaint to testify during the hearing process.
The board will assess whether the complaint falls within its jurisdiction by determining whether it pertains to an Oklahoma-licensed dentist, whether it alleges a violation of the State Dental Act or Board of Dentistry rules, and whether the dentist named in the complaint committed the violation.
Depending on what the board decides to do with the complaint, the dentist may be notified of the allegations against them. The Lento Law Firm Team can provide valuable assistance at this stage of the process.
Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Statement of Complaint and Pre-Hearing Conference
If the Board of Dentistry determines that there's evidence that a violation of the Oklahoma State Dental Act or Board of Dentistry rules has occurred and that the matter warrants further investigation, the board will issue a formal Statement of Complaint that will set forth the allegations and proposed sanctions against the accused dentist. The board will serve the complaint, and the dentist has 20 days to respond.
The board will set a hearing date at least 30 days after serving the Statement of Complaint on the dentist. The board must also serve a Notice of Hearing that specifies the time, place, and nature of the hearing. A scheduling order will set deadlines for exchanging witness lists, discovery cutoff dates, motion deadlines, and a pre-hearing conference date.
The purpose of the pre-hearing conference is to make sure that all pre-hearing matters have been addressed, all discovery is completed, the issues that will be addressed at the hearing have been identified, and all other matters necessary for an orderly hearing have been addressed.
Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Dentist Disciplinary Hearings, Final Order, and Appeals
The President of the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry conducts the dentist disciplinary hearing in accordance with the Oklahoma Administrative Procedures Act. During the hearing, the burden is on the board to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the dentist committed a violation of the State Dental Act or Board of Dentistry rules.
After all parties have presented their statements, witnesses, and evidence, the board makes its findings and conclusions. If the board determines a violation occurred, it will then determine what, if any, sanctions to impose and will prepare a final order.
The final order will include Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and any sanctions the board imposes. A dentist can seek judicial review of the findings pursuant to Article II of the Administrative Procedures Act and can also appeal the board's final order.
This is a critical point in the disciplinary process that can have long-lasting effects on your career and livelihood. To ensure that you present the most compelling defense possible during the hearing, you need a strong legal team at your side. Your best chance of obtaining the best possible outcome is to have the experienced Lento Law Firm Team advising you every step of the way.
Legal Actions the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry Can Take Against Licensed Dentists
The Oklahoma Board of Dentistry can discipline and punish dentists who engage in acts of professional misconduct. Specifically, the board can:
- Suspend a dentist's license
- Revoke a dentist's license
- Impose a fine on a dentist (not more than $1,500 per violation)
- Censure a dentist
- Place a dentist on probation
- Restrict the services the dentist can provide
- Summarily suspend a dentist's license
The knowledgeable Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm can help you understand the implications of the potential consequences you face during the Oklahoma dentist disciplinary process.
Why You Need a Dentist License Defense Attorney in Oklahoma
Facing dentist license disciplinary charges in Oklahoma is a stressful and overwhelming experience that can be daunting to even the most seasoned dentist. Your livelihood and professional reputation are on the line. The stakes couldn't be higher.
It can be extremely difficult to successfully manage your dental practice while also giving the appropriate amount of time and attention needed to vigorously defend yourself against misconduct allegations. Also, the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry has access to resources that a single dentist simply can't match.
You're also probably unfamiliar with the rules and nuances of the Oklahoma dentist disciplinary process and, therefore, risk making mistakes that can cost you your license.
You worked long and hard for many years and very likely spent many thousands of dollars to acquire your license to practice dentistry in Oklahoma. You studied for and passed the National Board Dental Exam, spent years building your professional and reputation, and a livelihood that supports a standard of living that you've earned and have grown accustomed to.
The potential of losing your license can wreak havoc on all that you've worked for and accomplished and leave you facing an uncertain future.
It's important to invest the time, effort, resources, and energy required to vigorously defend your license and protect everything you've worked so hard to achieve. This involves selecting the very best legal representation for this crucial matter, a team that has a lot of experience handling Oklahoma dentist license defense cases.
The Lento Law Firm has years of experience successfully representing dentists throughout Oklahoma before the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. We have the skills, knowledge, and experience to effectively represent you at this critical time.
How a Dentist License Defense Attorney Can Help You in Oklahoma
A knowledgeable, experienced legal team can give you much-needed peace of mind during this stressful time. The Lento Law Firm Team has years of experience representing dentists throughout Oklahoma before the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry. Here are some of the ways we can help you during this difficult time.
We can explain the process and complexities of the dentist's disciplinary proceedings to you and help you make good decisions. We can help you prepare for hearings, craft effective responses, and advise you about the consequences of the decisions you make at every stage of the process. We can take the burden of managing the day-to-day tasks of the disciplinary proceedings off your plate so you can focus on keeping your practice going.
We'll use the knowledge and experience we've acquired through years of successfully representing Oklahoma dentists in disciplinary matters throughout the state to formulate and pursue the most vigorous defense possible.
Areas the Lento Law Firm Serves in Oklahoma
The Lento Law Firm welcomes dentist clients throughout the state of Oklahoma. We can help you whether you live in OKC, Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Stillwater, Bixby, Enid, Jenks, Shawnee, or anywhere in between.
We can help protect your license to practice dentistry in Oklahoma whether you own your own practice in Moore, are part of a team in a dental clinic in Ardmore, work in a boutique practice in Mustang, or serve Oklahoma's Native American communities in the Indian Health Services or a tribal health system in Durant.
The Lento Law Firm is the Best License Defense Team for Oklahoma Dentists Facing Disciplinary Charges
The Professional License Defense Team at the Lento Law Firm has the knowledge and experience to help dentists throughout Oklahoma vigorously defend themselves and protect their licenses to practice dentistry.
From the initial complaint through the investigation and up to the Board of Dentistry's final order, the experienced Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team will be there for you.
Whether you're a pediatric dentist, a periodontist, an orthodontist, an oral surgeon, an endodontist, or a family dentist facing disciplinary charges from the Oklahoma Board of Dentistry, you need — and deserve — the best legal team at your side.
Call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686 or submit a confidential online consultation form to connect with the best Professional License Defense Team in Oklahoma.