Tag Archive for: Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Explains Missouri Dental Board Complaint Process

Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger Explains Missouri Dental Board Complaint Process

Dentists enjoy tremendous respect from their patients and community because they are professionals providing a valuable service. The vast majority of dentists go through their career without any disciplinary issues, so they are often entirely unfamiliar with the complaint and discipline process here in Missouri. There are many reasons why these otherwise rule following dentists receive notices of complaints, which I will detail below. I will also describe the two different complaint resolution processes and what you should do if the Missouri Dental Board contacts you about a complaint.

If you are a dentist in Missouri facing an investigation, call attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. Do not agree to any resolution process, speak to an investigator, or agree to any temporary suspension without the assistance of a licensing attorney. Your career, reputation, and livelihood are at risk, and the challenge facing you is one you cannot navigate alone.

Why Good Dentists Get Accused of Misconduct

As I said earlier, most dentists here in Missouri are law-abiding, rule-following pillars of their communities.  While some commit severe lapses in judgment that result in discipline, such as sexually abusing a patient or self-prescribing, others are accused of misconduct when they have done nothing wrong. I see an increase in cases linked to the nation’s opioid crisis. People are addicted to these drugs that may have been legitimately prescribed to them at some point. Others go to the dentist with phantom symptoms to convince the dentist that opioids should be prescribed. Either way, when the dentist stops filling out prescriptions for opioids, the patient often uses the Missouri Dental Board Complaint process as a tool to leverage more drugs. If the dentist refuses to prescribe more opioids, a complaint ensues.

The Missouri Complaint Process

In Missouri, a complaint to the Missouri Dental Board can be handled two different ways, either through the Peer Review Program or the Missouri Dental Board complaint process.

Peer Review provides an alternative dispute resolution mechanism, at no cost to either party. Peer Review is a where other dentists review and attempt to resolve dental treatment problems and misunderstandings through mediation. The process may involve merely talking through a complaint or may require a clinical review of the accused dentist’s practice. One important point to note is that you may not be represented by counsel in the Peer Review process.

The Missouri Dental Board process is more formal and operates more like a court. The dental board will notify the dentist of the complaint, investigate the complaint, and offer a hearing. The Dental Board will have legal counsel, and the accused dentist is well-advised to have counsel as well.  A licensing attorney is an asset before the Board, as few dentists know how to cross-examine witnesses, challenge evidence’s credibility and relevance, and understand how to proceed strategically through the administrative process.

What You Should Do if You are Contacted About Misconduct

Because most attorneys are law-abiding and rule-following members of their communities, they all-to-often believe that “coming clean” and admitting misconduct is the right thing to do when they are accused of misconduct. While that is an admirable worldview, it rarely results in the favorable outcome that the dentist intends. Let me be clear, I want my clients to tell the truth and to be forthcoming, but I want them to do those things strategically.  If you just admit to misconduct without accompanying legal advice, you are more likely than not hurting your case, not helping it. I advise clients to exercise their rights to remain silent and simply say that they will be happy to speak with an investigator once they have an opportunity to consult with an attorney. Having worked for boards myself, I know that this statement is never taken as nefarious by investigators; they also know that this is the best course to take.

Contact an Experienced Kansas and Missouri Licensing Attorney Now

You have worked too hard to attain your dental license to lose it because you failed to attain competent legal advice when you needed it.  If you are a Missouri dentist and you have received a notice of complaint from the Missouri Dental Board, you need to know that this is a dire situation and that the process could result in a loss of licensure.

An inquiry from a licensing board means that your livelihood is in jeopardy. Contacting an experienced licensing attorney to help you through this process and can mean the difference between getting back to helping your patients or clients and losing your career forever.

Kansas and Missouri professional licensing attorney Danielle Sanger is prepared to advocate for your best interests and defend you. Call Attorney Sanger at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney experienced dealing with licensing issues.