The dental hygienist license defense attorneys at The Jeffcoat Law Firm are experienced in representing South Carolina dental professionals in situations where complaints and disciplinary matters have made it to the South Carolina Board of Dentistry. We can help you with any situation related to professional misconduct and/or criminal charges. Call us today for a free consultation.
- What Is the Role of the South Carolina Board of Dentistry?
- How Does the Board of Dentistry Complaint Process Work?
- Board of Dentistry Discipline in South Carolina
- Referral to Recovering Professional Program
- Our Experienced Dental Hygienist License Defense Lawyers Will Protect You
What Is the Role of the South Carolina Board of Dentistry?
The South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation (LLR) oversees the licensing, training, regulation, education, and enforcement of over forty professions in the state, including dentistry.
The South Carolina Board of Dentistry is the governing body with which complaints against anyone with a dental license — including dentists, dental hygienists, and dental techs — are filed. These professionals can then be subject to disciplinary measures if the complaint is validated.
How Does the Board of Dentistry Complaint Process Work?
The authority of the dental board is far-reaching and can negatively impact your career; if you’re facing an LLR complaint that could affect your license, the dental board will be the decision-maker about any disciplinary action. All it takes is one complaint about an investigation to be launched, putting your personal and professional reputation and well-being in jeopardy.
Once a complaint has been filed against a dental professional — be it by a colleague, an employee, or a patient — an investigation will be conducted by the board of dentistry and an investigator from the LLR will contact you. Because anything that you say to an investigator may be held against you, do not discuss the complaint with the investigator without first speaking to a South Carolina dental hygienist license defense attorney.
Some of the most common complaints filed with the South Carolina Dental Board are listed below:
- Allowing professional duties to be performed by unauthorized staff
- Criminal conduct
- Dependence on or abuse of alcohol, drugs, or prescription drugs (including practicing under the influence)
- Filing false claims for reimbursement
- Improper documentation or failing to maintain proper records
- Patient abuse
- Performing duties beyond the scope of practice
Keep in mind that a complaint does not automatically indicate guilt (furthermore, prior charges or conduct do not automatically preclude you from obtaining a dental hygienist license). You should not be afraid that you’ll lose your license without a fair investigation, and you have the right to defend your innocence.
However, even if untrue, these allegations can be very serious and have the potential to ruin your reputation, career, and ability to make a living. Do not be tempted to ignore the charge(s); this is your livelihood at stake, and there are serious legal, financial, and psychological consequences to consider.
You must protect yourself, your rights, and your professional livelihood by contacting a South Carolina dental hygienist license defense attorney right away. You can get a free consultation with The Jeffcoat Firm to ensure that you are on the right path moving forward.
Board of Dentistry Discipline in South Carolina
There are different forms of disciplinary action that may be applied if you are found guilty of committing professional misconduct. Common disciplinary actions from the South Carolina Board of Dentistry include the following:
- Heavy fines
- License denial
- License revocation
- License suspension
- Private or public reprimand
Referral to Recovering Professional Program
In situations where you are found guilty of a complaint related to drug or alcohol misuse, you may be referred to the South Carolina Recovering Professional Program (RPP). This program will evaluate your need for treatment and/or monitoring and may supervise you for up to five years. The goal is to ensure that you are able to safely and legally return to practicing dental hygiene.
Our Experienced Dental Hygienist License Defense Lawyers Will Protect You
It takes a lot of hard work to obtain a South Carolina dental hygienist license, and receiving notification that an LLR investigator is looking into a complaint against you can be devastating.
If you have been notified that an LLR investigation is underway, you are immediately entitled to legal representation. It’s very important that you take allegations of misconduct seriously; just because you think the claims are weak does not mean that an investigator will think so.
You don’t have to face the SC Board of Dentistry or any official alone; your best course of action is to contact our Columbia dental hygienist license defense attorneys. Our years of experience handling professional and dental hygienist license defense cases in South Carolina mean that we are powerful allies to have during the entire LLR investigative process. Working together, you and your lawyer will develop a strategy that can protect your rights and minimize or even eliminate any disciplinary action that might be taken.
Our attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm are always available, meaning you won’t waste any time waiting for a reply. Your initial consultation is free, so you have nothing to lose by contacting us.