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What happens if a dentist is reported to the Board of Dentistry?

Health care providers can spend years in school, going through internships and additional training, only to start practicing their craft and have it taken from them in a blink of an eye. Not all health care providers should be practicing, but there are plenty of good people who chance losing their licenses and livelihoods if a patient files a complaint with the state board. What happens if a dentist is reported to the Oregon Board of Dentistry?

Complaints can be filed in writing by anyone who believes they have been the victim of medical malpractice or know someone who has. Complaints can also be filed for alleged misconduct or violation of Oregon law — among other things. These complaints are kept confidential, or at least they are supposed to be. Keeping this information private protects the complainants and those whom they accuse of unacceptable patient care or misconduct.

After a complaint is filed, an investigator is assigned to the case. The examiner will send notice to the individual who filed the complaint as well as the dentist being investigated, stating the issue and what is to be expected during the course of the investigation. The investigator will then start gathering dental records, interviewing those involved in the matter and any witnesses. The findings will then go to the Board, and board members will then decide if any disciplinary action is warranted.

The review process may not start right away, but it is generally wrapped up within a year of when the complaint was filed. That means one will have nearly a year of worrying about one’s reputation and future. The good news is dentists in Oregon who have been reported to the Board of Dentistry, for whatever reason, do have the right to defend themselves and fight to keep their licenses. Legal counsel can be at their side, helping them do all that is necessary to seek the best possible outcomes.

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