Dental License Defense California

Dentists and dental hygienists spend years in school and make substantial financial investments to develop their skills and obtain their licenses. When the Dental Board of California and the Dental Hygiene Committee of California investigate allegations of negligence, substance abuse or other acts of misconduct, many dentists and dental hygienists are at risk of losing the licenses they spent years working to obtain.

From our Los Angeles area office, S J Harris Law represents dentists and dental hygienists throughout California during licensure disputes with the Dental Board of California and the Dental Hygiene Committee of California. Together, we will help you protect your license, your livelihood and your future.

Dentist License Defense Attorney Serving California

S J Harris Law represents clients during every stage of the license defense process. We help clients protect their interests during investigations, Accusations and Statement of Issues processes, at administrative hearings and appeals, and during appeals in front of the superior court.

Common reasons for disciplinary action by the Dental Board of California include, but are not limited to:


When a registered dentist or dental assistant is accused of misconduct, then the Dental Board of California can investigate the allegations. The Board can initiate disciplinary proceedings to determine if the accusation is proven against a dental license holder. During this hearing, a licensee can present evidence in their defense and can have an attorney represent them.

A very similar process happens when a dental hygienist receives misconduct accusations, except these allegations are handled by the Dental Hygiene Board of California. In this case, the licensee can also have an attorney represent them and offer evidence to support their defense.

In both cases, if a licensee is found responsible for misconduct, then the Boards have various options in determining sanctions. The licensee can present evidence of rehabilitation, letters of support, and other information for the Boards to consider when determining sanction. The Boards also maintain sentencing guidelines, which set the minimum and maximum penalties for misconduct. The Boards can privately admonish a licensee, publicly admonish a licensee, suspend a licensee, and revoke a license for any misconduct findings against the Dental Board or the Dental Hygiene Board’s rules.


The Dental and Dental Hygiene Boards operate their own Enforcement Programs to investigate any reported criminal and administrative violations by dental professionals. Once it is determined that criminal prosecution or professional licensing sanctions are warranted, then cases will be referred to the proper authorities. The Boards’ Enforcement Program is comprised of five sections, with each filling a different role in the investigation process. The Enforcement Program’s sections are:

  • Complaint Intake – This is the first step in the process. Both Boards have their staff review complaints to refer them to the appropriate destinations.
  • Complaint Analysis – In this step, the Complaint Analysis Section analysts work in groups to analyze and gather necessary information related to the complaint.
  • Inspection Section – If there are allegations of unsafe or unsanitary conditions, then the Boards can send inspectors to inspect the dental professional’s office environment.
  • Investigation Section – Highly-trained, sworn peace officers are used to investigate any complaints or claims of misconduct.
  • Probation Section – This section monitors Dental probationers to ensure compliance.


Both the Dental and Dental Hygiene Boards of California can deny an application for a dental license for numerous reasons. Once an applicant first applies for a license, they must include their fingerprints with their application. The applicant’s fingerprints are then used to run a criminal history check to determine if there is any prior criminal history. If the applicant has a prior criminal history, then the Boards may deny a dental license if they determine that the criminal act is substantially related to the functions or duties of the profession, occupation, or business of dentistry.

If you are denied a license by the Dental or Dental Hygiene Boards, then you have 60 days to submit an appeal in writing to the Boards. Once 60 days have passed, then you have waived your right to an appeal and your application denial will be final. You can reapply for a license once a year has passed from the date of your application denial.

An Experienced License Defense Attorney Protecting Your Dental License

When dental licenses are at risk, many feel as if their very identities are at stake. At S J Harris Law, we can help.

Scott J. Harris is a former Deputy Attorney General. In this position, he represented licensing boards during license revocations and disciplinary hearings. He understands how licensing agencies work and the steps they take while investigating professionals’ alleged acts of misconduct.

This experience makes it easier for Mr. Harris to be proactive when defending his clients’ licenses. Because he understands how the Board’s investigator is building the case, he knows how to develop effective defense strategies that protect his clients’ licenses.

Contact dental license defense lawyer Scott J. Harris at 323-370-6139 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.