Dental Board CA

Dentist or dental professional showing patient teeth x-ray

What is the Dental Board of California?

The Dental Board of California (DBC) is a branch of the California Department of Consumer Affairs responsible for licensing and regulating various dental professionals, including dentists, registered dental assistants, and registered dental assistants in extended functions. 

The DBC is also responsible for regulating unlicensed dental assistants. Its sole mission is to protect the public. As such, it has the tools to thoroughly investigate any complaints against dental practitioners, including reports of alleged criminality. 

If the DBC uncovers misconduct, it has the ability to do any of the following:

  • Place licensees on probation
  • Suspend a license
  • Revoke a license
  • Issue applicable disciplinary measures

When deciding how to proceed with disciplinary measures, the DBC evaluates whether the licensee ran afoul of the Dental Practice Act and other regulations.

What Is the Dental Practice Act?

The Dental Practice Act can be found in the California Business and Professions Code. It contains various protocols that all dental professionals operating in the state of California must adhere to. You can find it in Section 1600 of the California Business and Professions Code.

What Does the Dental Practice Act Govern?

The Dental Practice Act governs all activities encompassed by the dentistry profession, including applicable laboratory standards and rules governing the general standards of care. It contains protocols regarding license revocation, suspension, and interim probation.

The main goal of the Dental Practice Act is to standardize best practices across the field of dentistry, including how disciplinary measures are enforced and what constitutes a violation of established protocol.

What Licenses Does the DBC Issue?

The DBC is responsible for licensing all of the following professions:

  • Dentists
  • Registered dental assistants
  • Registered dental assistants in extended functions
  • Orthodontic assistants
  • Dental sedation assistants

Specific information regarding licensure for each profession can be found on the licensee section of the DBC’s website.

How Can a Dental License Attorney Help with the DBC?

If you are facing allegations or worse, it helps to have the advice of a qualified dental license attorney. 

An attorney will be able to evaluate any documentation you receive from the DBC, provide advice concerning how to proceed with a hearing, and help prepare specific reports to give the board a better idea of who you are as a person and how you operate in the field as a dental professional.

S J Harris Law has experience helping dental professionals with all of the following tasks:

  • License applications
  • Licensure denials
  • Investigations
  • Defense against disciplinary actions
  • Reinstatement petitions
  • License suspensions
  • License revocations
  • Probation

If you need assistance understanding applicable laws or dispelling the language on a DBC form you received, S J Harris Law is ready to get to work.

Can Your License Really Be Suspended?

The DBC has been granted the authority to regulate the dental profession in the state of California. As such, they have the complete authority to suspend or revoke your dental license, directly impacting your ability to practice dentistry in the state.

What Actions Can Result in a Suspension?

Your license can be suspended for any number of violations, including all of the following:

  • Subpar standards of care
  • Neglect
  • Substance abuse
  • Poor personal conduct
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Questionable business practices
  • Poor laboratory standards

If there is an ulterior issue that leads to one of the violations listed above, such as a mental health or substance abuse crisis, a dental license defense attorney will be able to convey this information to the disciplinary board and potentially advocate for a diversion program in lieu of license suspension or revocation. 

Additionally, depending on the severity of the infraction, the board could decide to place you on probation.

What Is Probation?

Probation is a recommendation handed down by the DBC in lieu of revoking or suspending your license. During probation, your activities will be closely monitored, and you must maintain consistency concerning your standard of care and personal behavior.

If you commit an additional infraction while on probation, you could face even more severe consequences, including revoking your license. However, if you are able to complete probation successfully, you will have your license reinstated.

Can a Dental License Attorney Help with Obtaining a New License?

Yes, a dental license attorney can help you obtain a new license. If your attorney has a working knowledge of the field, they can provide invaluable advice and help you steer clear of common mistakes. This will result in a much simpler process that is much more forgiving on your mental health.

How Often Do Licenses Expire? 

Licenses expire every two years on the last day of the licensee’s birth month. If the dentist is in active practice, they are not granted a grace period. However, they will not be assessed a delinquency fee unless the renewal application is over 30 days late. 

If this sounds similar to your situation, proceed with caution. If an applicant practices dentistry while their license is expired, it is still considered technically practicing dentistry without a license, which carries heavy penalties.

How Long Does Renewal Take?

Renewals are typically submitted online and are updated within 48 hours of submission. From there, it can take anywhere from two to three weeks to receive your pocket license.

Facing Allegations? S J Harris Law Can Help

If you are facing an investigation, disciplinary action, or criminal charges as a result of a decision made by the DBC, you need the services of an attorney who can help you navigate these complex issues with compassion and understanding.

S J Harris Law believes in a thorough and compassionate approach to dental license defense. We take our time to evaluate every detail of your case before deciding on a comprehensive defense strategy. 

Our decades of experience advocating for professionals like yourself have taught us precisely how to interface with the DBC in a manner that conveys your strengths as a dental professional in equal measure with your strengths as a human being. Contact us today for an evaluation, and let us know how we can help.

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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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