Arizona Dental Board Probation Attorney | Dentistry
Probation from the Arizona Dental Board against the licenses of dentists in Arizona is offered through a Consent Agreement. The Consent Agreement requires the dentist do certain things (drug testing, work supervision, counseling, continuing education). Or alternatively, refrain from doing things (using alcohol, prescribing scheduled drugs, seeing certain patients, etc.). The Arizona Dental Board can place dentists on probation through:
- Stipulated Rehabilitation Agreement
- Interim Practice Restriction
- Decree of Censure with Probation
- Letter of Reprimand with Probation
- Practice Limitation
Dentists who hold a license in Arizona can face disciplinary actions by the Arizona Dental Board for many different reasons. If the Dental Board determines formal licensing action is necessary it will happen after the completion of an investigation. It’s the job of the Board to review any complaint alleging a violation of the Arizona Practice Act and Arizona law. Thus, at an Arizona Dental Board Meeting, the Board will vote to determine the outcome of each investigation, thus, defense attorneys may be needed. The Board can vote on a non-disciplinary outcome or vote to offer the dentist formal discipline.
Complaints against a Dentist
Who can file a complaint against a dentist? Patients, health care facilities, and other professionals, among others. When the Arizona Dental Board receives a complaint, the Board initiates an investigation into the complaint (if the Arizona State Board has jurisdiction and the Complaint isn’t dismissed). After this happens, the dentist receives notice and the board assigns an investigator to the case. Please note, having an attorney during this step can be crucial for dentists as they must submit a response, and interview with the investigator while also possibly appearing at an Arizona Dental Board.
Responding to Practice Complaints and Investigations
After receiving an Arizona Dental Board Complaint or self-report, a dentist receives a notice from the Board requesting additional information as well as a response to allegations found in the complaint. From here, the Dental Board assigns an investigator to the complaint and they begin to collect evidence. The documents and evidence collected include:
- Patient medical records
- Employment files from the dentist’s employer and business
- Criminal records
- Interviews of people associated with the Board Complaint (These interviewees can include the patient, medical director, colleagues, etc.)
Arizona Dental Board Disciplinary Actions
When a dentist is facing a complaint or investigation by their dental board, they may also face Arizona Dental Board Disciplinary Actions. Facing disciplinary action can have vast repercussions on a medical career. This can include license probation, suspension or revocation. It can also jeopardize employment. A dentist under investigation can face termination at their current job after receiving a complaint or after the Board initiates an investigation.
There are certain allegations that can cause a dentist to receive disciplinary action. These include:
- Improper record keeping
- Reporting false information
- Physical abuse of patients
- Sexual abuse of patients
- Criminal convictions
- Substance Abuse
- Disruptive Conduct
Criminal Consequences for a Dentist with the Arizona Dental Board
A.R.S. 32-3208 requires that dental licensees and applicants for a dental license must report misdemeanor criminal charges involving conduct that may affect patient safety or a felony to the Arizona Dental Board within 10 working days after the charge is filed. A working day would be considered Monday through Friday.
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona Practice Act and could result in Arizona Dental Board Probation.
What Current and Past Crimes Must a Dentist Report to the State Board?
A felony must be reported within 10 days of being charged. The following types of a misdemeanor or other criminal histories are crimes that have been determined by the Board to be reportable pursuant to A.RS § 32-3208:
- Assault and Related Offenses
- Theft and Related Offenses
- Fraud, Deceit, and Related Offenses
- Abuse, Neglect, Exploitation of a Child or Vulnerable Adult, and Related Offenses
- Sexual and Related Offenses
- Drug and/or Alcohol Related Offenses
- Arson and Related Offenses
- Animal Abuse, Cruelty, and Related Offenses
Failure to report a reportable criminal charge within 10 business days is a violation of the Arizona Practice Act and could result in disciplinary action which could result in Arizona Dental Board Probation.
DUI Effects on a License
Dentists, who contact our office frequently ask our attorneys if state law allows a dental professional with a DUI crime or conviction to get a license with the Arizona State Dental Board? The short answer is yes. An Arizona Dentist DUI will not necessarily prevent a dentist from obtaining a license or a career in the health field. However, the Board (which handles all complaints) has a public policy (updated as of September 2020) on their website which covers the details of what circumstances dental professionals with a case that resulted in a felony DUI criminal conviction can get a license.
Disclosing a Record for an Applicant
If a dentist license applicant is not required to disclose a legal misdemeanor DUI, the AZ Board can still initiate an investigation based upon the results of a health care fingerprint background check. The Board will then contact the dental professional and initiate an investigation in their practice utilizing the law of the Arizona Practice Act (current as of October 2020). This license investigation determines whether the dentist is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems, and whether the dentist has been rehabilitated in the time since the criminal misdemeanor DUI or DUI charges occurred. Simply, the Board wants to know whether the applicant can provide safe medical care with a past criminal case involving alcohol or substance abuse.
Dental Record and Convictions
One question our attorneys are frequently asked is whether state law allows a dental professional with a felony criminal background or an arrest to get a license with the Arizona Dental Board? The short answer is, yes. An Arizona Felony for dentists will not necessarily prevent a dentist from obtaining a license or a career in the medical field. However, the Board has a public policy on its website which covers the details of under what circumstances a dentist with a case that resulted in criminal records can get a license.
Criminal Charges and Behavior Analyst Rules with the Arizona Board
When a professional applies to Arizona’s Dental Board, they must disclose a felony criminal court sentence (and other similar offenses) on their application. A dentist must self-report a felony no matter how much time or how many years have passed since the conviction. After self-reporting occurs, the Board contacts the dentist and initiates an investigation utilizing the law of the AZ Practice Act. The investigation helps to determine whether the dental professional is a danger to the public, has any medical or mental health problems, and whether the dentist has rehabilitated in the time since the criminal incident occurred. Simply put, Dental Boards want to know whether the dental applicant can provide safe medical care.
Consultation with Chelle Law Professional License Board Attorneys
If you’re interested in learning more about our Arizona Dental Board Attorney services and how to protect your license, set up a consultation with Chelle Law today.