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Lowest level you can go before you get sanctioned (if you get caught)
Standard of Care
- “The level of care that a reasonably prudent dentist would
- exercise under the same or similar circumstances”
The board shall consist of
- eight practicing dentists (1 CA dental faculty, 1 nonprofit)
- one registered dental hygienist
- one registered dental assistant, and four public members.
A member of the Board of Dental Examiners who has served ____ shall not be eligible for reappointment to the board.
Dental Board of California (DBC)
- • In the Department of Consumer Affairs.
- • Board members appointed by the Governor for a 4 year term
- • Majority are dentists (8 of 14).
- • 4 public members.
- • 1 RDH and 1 RDA.
- • At least 5 years of practice experience.
- • One from a dental school faculty.
- • One from a non-profit.
Patient of Record
- “has been examined, has had a med and dental history completed and
- evaluated, has had oral conditions diagnosed, and a written plan by a
- licensed dentist.”
- • Stable dental condition.
- • Send them a letter.
- • Current OH status.
- • 30 days emergency care.
- • Referral advice.
National Practitioner Data Bank (1986)
- (Alert qualified entities)
- • Payment made by malpractice company (claim, settlement, verdict).
- • State board actions.
- • Hospital privileges disciplined.
- • Professional societies.
NPDB: Not reportable
- DDS pays out of pocket.
- DDS refunds money to patient.
NPDB: Mitigating statement
You can submit a statement for the record. Record never goes away.
NPDB: Who has access?
- • DDS may self-query.
- • State boards.
- • Hospitals.
- • Other HC entities (licensing, credentialing, peer review).
- • Public does not have access.
The Board can inspect books, records, office of any licensed dentist in response to complaints or suspicion of violations.
- (They can even ask for your urine.)
- • Obey all laws
- • Quarterly
- • Probation
- • Interviews
- • Change of
- from state
- • Random Urinalysis
- • Substance Abuse Tx
- • Technical remedials
- • Psychotherapy
- • Marital counseling
- • Ethics course
- • Restitution
- • Cost Recovery
- diagnosis or treatment, by surgery or other methods, of diseases and lesions and the correction of malpositions of the human teeth, alveolar process, gums, jaws, or associated structures; and such
- diagnosis or treatment may include all necessary related procedures as well as the use of drugs, anesthetic agents, and physical evaluation.
Scope of Practice:
- Two kinds
- “Dentistry” Dentists are licensed to do endo, ortho, implants.
- “Personal” You can only perform these procedures (endo, ortho,
- implants) if you are competent to do them.
- If you don’t have experience with implants, they are not within your personal scope of practice.
Sexual contact or relations with a patient constitutes
All people who have reason to attend a dental office, be they
- patient, staff or visitor, have the right to an environment that is safe and non-threatening.
- Sexual harassment violates this right and is considered professional misconduct.
- any unwelcome sexual attention.
- Both males and females can be victims.
Types of Sexual Harassment
- o Quid pro quo
- “Something for something.”
- o Hostile environment
- when unwelcome sexual conduct unreasonably interferes with an
- individual's job performance and creates a hostile, intimidating, or offensive work environment.
- • sexual advances
- • sexual jokes
- • reward for sexual favors
- • malicious gossip
- • biased evaluations
- • unwelcomed touch
- • denied opportunities
- • graphic comments about a person’s body
- • offensive nicknames (hon, dear)
Promoting a sexual harassment-free environment:
- Refrain from any unwanted physical contact.
- Refrain from sexualizing tasks and procedures.
- Respect each other’s values, cultural differences, sexual orientation
- and individual sensitivities.
- Refrain from making comments about a person's body, clothing, appearance or attractiveness.
- Recognize that a working relationship is distinct from a personal relationship.
- Refuse to participate in a sexually-oriented discussion initiated by a patient.
- Ensure instruments are placed on trays and not on the patient.
AMA Code of Ethics “Physicians generally should not treat
themselves or members of their immediate families.”
- • Medical history?
- • Things go wrong.
- • Exceptions and special treatment.
- • Money and value.
- • Role spill-over.
License Renewal time
(every two years)
Continuing Education reqs
- • general requirement:
- One hour of instruction = 1 unit
- DDS = 50 units
- RDA, RDH = 25 units
- RDHAP = 35 units
License Renewal: • Tape recorded/Internet courses approved by the board are acceptable
for up to half of the total units.
Keep course certificates on file for
4 years in case you are asked to produce them.
no dentist shall advertise or solicit patients in any form of
- communication in a manner that is
- false or misleading in any material respect.
- • Deceive or mislead the public.
- • Professional superiority
- • Guarantee
- • Painless dentistry
- • Solicitors
Specific commercial language
- • “as low as”
- • “and up”
- • “lowest prices”
- • Completion of a specialty program approved by the ADA and Commission on Dental Accreditation.
- • Eligible for exam by national specialty board.
- • Diplomate of recognized national specialty board.
Endorsed Dental Specialties
- • Endodontics
- • Pediatric Dentistry
- • Orthodontics
- • Prosthodontics
- • Oral Surgery
- • Oral Pathology
- • Periodontics
- • Oral-Maxillofacial Radiology
- • Public Health
Not endorsed "specialties"
- • Laser Dentistry
- • Implant Dentistry
- • Cosmetic Dentistry
- • Esthetic Dentistry
- • Forensic Dentistry
- • Spa Dentistry
- • Family Dentistry
You may publicly state:
- • that you are certified by a private or public board or agency.
- • that you limit your practice to certain fields.
- •“…(X -- dentistry) is a discipline not recognized as a dental specialty by the DBC.”
- (Gen and Consc Sedation)
- • dentist must be physically present.
- • valid permit.
- • advanced training.
- • documentation of proper equip + tng.
- • other ongoing requirements.
- “Conscious sedation”
- • Patient can independently maintain airway.
- • Pt can respond to phys stim or verbal command.
There are additional requirements related to anesthesia and conscious oral sedation of minor patients.
Do not admin or supervise anesthesia for reasons other than dental treatment.
Anyone who operates radiographic equipment must either:
- • Take a course.
- • Pass a test.
- • You have a confidential relationship with your patients.
- • Everything you find out about them is confidential.
- • Educate, train your staff.
You may provide confidential information without patient authorization:
- To another healthcare provider for purposes of the patient’s care.
- To an insurer or entity responsible for payment.
- Court order, subpoena, warrant.
- To licensing agencies or peer review.
- • Each patient must be given notice of your privacy practices
- • Patient must have the ability to review the notice before signing
- • Patient must have the right to withdraw or subsequently modify the
- • Each practice appoints a “privacy officer”
- • Tasks
- – Manage and supervise security measures
- to protect data
- – Train personnel in the protection of data
- – Develop and implement privacy policies and procedures
- • Doctor owns the records.
- • The patient holds the privilege.
- • Patients have a right to access to complete information regarding their condition and care.
- Never hold the treatment or the records hostage to the bill.
Patient Rights (include)
- • Ask, see, read, obtain copy of health record (charges may be necessary).
- • Ask that information be corrected.
- • Ask that your records not be shared with certain parties or used for certain purposes (e.g., research).
- • Be informed about who has seen your
You must keep records for at least
- 7 years after the end of treatment.
- (or 7 years after a child turns 18).
- Never give away the original records.
Check with attorney before you send records out.
They can tell you what goes forward with the record and what does not belong.
• Good records enhance
value of your practice when you sell it.
Patient Records: The Doctor’s Choices
- 1. Send a copy to the patient.
- 2. Send a summary to the patient.
- 3. Invite the patient in to review the record.
Any practitioner who has knowledge of or observes (in their professional capacity) a child whom they reasonably suspect has been the victim of child abuse
must report this abuse to a child protection agency immediately by telephone and send a written report within 36 hours.
You are a mandated reporter of
- elder abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, disabled abuse
- “report providing medical services to a patient whom the practitioner
- reasonably suspects is suffering from any wound or other physical injury by firearms or assaultive or abusive conduct.”
- • Ask about abuse
- • Provide validating messages
- • Document signs
- • Refer to specialists
Two parts of Informed Consent
- • A process of interaction, education, and communication.
- (You inform the patient.)
- • Documentation.
Informed Consent Includes:
- • What’s up (nature of the pathology).
- • Proposed treatment; pros and cons.
- • Alternatives, including no treatment.
- • Risks.
- • Potential side effects.
- • Costs.
Minors or DD:
- • Inform the patient in an age appropriate way.
- • Inform the parent or legal guardian and get consent from them.
- (Custodial parent).
- You must inform them in language that they understand.
Exceptions to disclosure:
- (You don’t have to inform when)
- • your patient asks not to be informed.
- • the procedure is simple and any risk is remote (very, very rare).
- • the potential harm is quite minor.
- • disclosure would harm the patient (scare them so much that they would flee or behave irrationally).
Provides basic supportive dental procedures under the supervision of a licensed dentist.
“Basic supportive procedures”
- • Technically elementary.
- • Complete reversibility.
- • Won’t create potentially hazardous conditions for patients.
Three categories of dental assistant:
- 1. Dental Assistant (DA)
- 2. Registered Dental Assistant (RDA)
- 3. Registered Dental Assistant in Extended Functions (RDAEF)
- • 90-hour program approved by the Dental Board.
- • Applicants must then pass a State clinical examination.
“Table of Permitted Duties”
Dentist must post a notice in a common area which describes duties and functions of auxiliaries.
- instructions given by a licensed dentist who is physically present in the treatment facility at the time of performance.
- dentist checks the procedure before discharge.
- instructions given by a licensed dentist, but no requirement that the
- dentist be physically present during the performance of procedures.
RDH in Alternative Practice (1998)
- √ B.S. Degree or 120 units of college.
- √ Licensed as RDH
- √ either
- • Schooling (150 hours), Board approved
- • Original Health Manpower Pilot Project
- √ Residences of the homebound
- √ Schools
- √ Residential facilities
- √ Dental health professional shortage areas (65 in California)
- √ Community clinic or hospital
- √ Prescription from DDS or MD for hygiene services
- √ No more than 18 months ago.
- √ No local anesthesia
- √ No soft tissue curettage
- √ No Nitrous
- √ do the things that hygienists do.
- √ don’t imply dentistry.
- √ can be paid by third parties.
- √ documented relationship with a DDS for referral, consultation, emergencies.
Consideration for referral of patients
- “offer, delivery, or acceptance of any rebate, refund, commission,
- preference, patronage discount, or other consideration (whether in the form of money or otherwise) as compensation or inducement for referring patients is unlawful.”
Termination of Care
- • You can’t terminate them mid-care for not paying their bill.
- • You cannot withhold records until they finish paying their bill.
- Patients have a duty to follow reasonable instructions from their dentist.
Dental Materials Fact Sheet
- • DDS must provide the sheet to all patients prior to restorative work (once each pt.).
- • Patients sign acknowledgement, keep this in their record.
- • Provide a copy upon pt request, as well.
- • If board updates, do it again.
- • DDS responsible for copying it.
- Dental Materials Fact Sheet
- • Materials available to the profession.
- • Relative benefits and detriments.
- • Cost comparison.
- • Encourage discussion.
- • Suggested wording for your patient release form:
- “I have received a copy of the Dental Materials Fact Sheet as required by law.”
- • Or: make a stamp for charts and have patients sign it.
Refund of Overpayment
- • If a patient requests a refund, you have 30 days to send it.
- • If a patient does not (but you become aware - or should have - that there is overpayment):
- • you have 90 days to inform your patient and 30 days after that to send it.
- • The patient can request that you retain a credit
- A prescription may be issued
- • by a licensed practitioner
- • for a legitimate medical purpose
- • in the usual course of professional practice
- • to someone under your treatment
Prescriptions of Convenience
- • self medication is generally prohibited
- • prescribing for someone who is not a patient of record is prohibited.
- • No person shall prescribe controlled substances to him or herself.
- • No person shall antedate or postdate a prescription.
- • Records must show the pathology and purpose for the prescription.
- • alcoholic beverages in a manner that is dangerous to self or public.
- • conviction of more than one misdemeanor--or a single felony--
- involving alcohol or other drugs if substantially related to practice.
Dentists and Substance abuse
- • You are at a higher risk.
- • You understand and trust drugs.
- • You are under stress.
- • Drugs are available.
- • a voluntary alternative approach to traditional disciplinary action.
- • not the subject of a current investigation
State Board Diversion Program
CDA Well Being Committee
- • Dentists may add acupuncture to their treatment repertoire.
- • as part of their practice of dentistry
- • successfully complete an approved course of instruction
- » 50 hours didactic
- » 30 hours clinical training
- • of sufficient length to ensure necessary skills to consistently perform safely and effectively on patients
- • certified by the Acupuncture Examining Committee
_______ shall be practiced in the care of all patients.”
HIV and AIDS
- • You can refer immuno-compromised patients (e.g. various infections
- accompanying illness).
- • HIV + status and information must be protected. (confidential: released only
- with patient permission).
Number of Offices
- • “Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit…
- • Get written permission from the board.
- • Post a sign with Dentist’s name, mailing address, phone, license #.
- • One mobile clinic. Permission req’d.
The name of each person practicing dentistry must be
conspicuously displayed in the office.
If you move your practice, notify the board within
Patient death or hospitalization (>24 hrs)
inform your state board. (w/in 7 days)
Why do patients sue?
- • Not related to amount of harm done.
- • Correlation with (perceived) doctor/patient relationship.
- • Bad outcome + poor communication.
- • Does the doctor seem to care about them?
- • Doctor seems in a hurry.
- • Unsympathetic.
- • Doctor didn’t listen.
- • Billing disputes.
- • Rude staff.
- • Ego.
- • get to know your patients
- • check their perceptions/expectations
- • find out what they want
- • explain and show things to them
- • give them options
- • take your time
- The work of other dentists
Inform patients of their “current oral health status without
- disparaging comments about prior
Waiving the Co-payment
- • This is considered to be fraud by dental plan companies.
- • What is your real fee, doctor?
No person who, in good faith, renders emergency care
- (outside of one’s practice setting--or upon the request of another person so licensed)
- shall be liable…
• You have -- days to let the board know of your address change.
You can charge for missed appointments if you let them
know your policy ahead of time.
You must have frequent and accurate
off-site computer back-up.
Contact your insurance carrier
- When you have doubts or questions.
- When you are served with a legal document.
- When you have an “incident” or error.
- If someone threatens to sue.