In our last post, we began discussing just how alarming it can be for dentists to receive a formal letter from the Ohio State Dental Board leveling accusations and threatening formal disciplinary measures.

Specifically, we started examining the types of matters investigated by the Board and what happens when it receives a complaint. We’ll continue this discussion in today’s post, examining more about how the decision to pursue formal charges is made.

What happens if it’s determined that there is sufficient evidence to move forward with a complaint?

If an OSDB investigator determines there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that a violation of the Dental Practice Act has occurred, preparations will be made for a Board hearing.

More significantly, a state Assistant Attorney General will begin drafting formal charges, known as the citation letter.

Once the citation letter is finished, is it simply sent to the affected dentist?

No. Once the citation letter is completed, it will be subjected to a final review by both the Assistant Attorney General and the current Board Secretary.

From there, it will be read aloud at the next meeting of the full Board, which will then vote to determine whether the letter should be sent or, in other words, formal charges issued.

Is confidentiality maintained when the Board votes?  

When the Board holds a vote as to whether a particular citation letter should be sent, the affected dentist’s name and addressed are not revealed. Indeed, a name and address will only ever be added to the letter if formal charges are issued.

What happens if the Board decides to proceed?

Should the Board decide to move forward, the affected dentist will be mailed the citation letter. In addition to providing a written description of the formal charges, it will also discuss how the licensee has the opportunity to pursue an administrative hearing.

We’ll continue this discussion in a future post, taking a closer look at the structure of the administrative hearing.

In the meantime, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible if you are a licensed health professional facing disciplinary action affecting your license.