Common Dental License Violations and How to Defend Against Them

When your dental license is under threat, a strong and effective dental license defense strategy is crucial to your ability to continue practicing your profession. While it is best to avoid having a disciplinary complaint filed against you, even the most careful of dentists can find themselves having to defend against an accusation of misconduct.

If you are facing disciplinary action for alleged misconduct as a dentist in California, the actions you took prior to the alleged negligence or malfeasance matter greatly. It is vital for California dentists to know common license violations and how to effectively defend against them.

Common Misconduct Allegations Against Dentists

Dentists can face allegations of negligent or defective care for a variety of actions and omissions. Take a closer look at common license violations and how you can defend yourself against them:

Performing Unnecessary Procedures

Patients trust their dentists to tell them when cavities need to be filled, teeth need to be removed, and other procedures need to be informed. Some dentists take advantage of this by coercing their patients into consenting to treatments they do not truly need, all so the dentist can bill their insurance companies and receive more money. 

Unfortunately, good and careful dentists can be accused of this underhanded practice. The best defense for this license violation is prevention. 

Build a reputation for trustworthiness and honest discussion about treatment with your patients. Take necessary medical images and notes so that if your judgment about a procedure’s necessity is questioned, you have records of what you observed or found that suggested the procedure was needed.

Physically Assaulting or Molesting a Patient

Dentists must work in close proximity to their patients, which may cause unintentional contact between themselves and patients. Some patients may misconstrue such accidental contact as intentional and accuse the dentist of touching them for a malicious purpose.

Communicating with your client before and during any procedure can prevent such accusations from gaining traction. Advise them on what they can expect and what movements or actions they need to take. 

Whenever possible, have a hygienist or assistant in the exam room with you who can witness your interactions with your patients.

Committing Insurance or Billing Fraud

If you are accused of submitting false claims to insurance companies, you can also face disciplinary action and civil and criminal legal proceedings. Practices such as submitting claims for procedures you did not perform, incorrectly coding procedures to be reimbursed at higher rates, and billing for unnecessary procedures are all prohibited.

Adopting reasonable and careful billing procedures and practices is generally the best defense against allegations of fraud. While billing errors can happen, these procedures indicate that any mistake is unintentional and not part of a scheme. Good recordkeeping practices can also prevent this error from occurring in the first place.

Consulting a Dental License Defense Lawyer Is Critical

If you face legal or disciplinary action because of alleged misconduct in California, turn to the seasoned dental license defense team at S J Harris Law. We can fight license suspensions and revocations aggressively on your behalf, seeking to preserve your future and your livelihood. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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When dealing with these complex issues, you need legal representation that has a long track record of success in these types of cases. Scott Harris and the rest of our team at S J Harris Law will be ready to help you pursue any option available that allows you to keep your license and continue working, no matter what industry you are in.


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