State Board of Dentistry Report – November 20, 2020

Chairperson Dr. Lugo welcomed attendees. The minutes were approved with minor typographical corrections.

Prosecutorial Report

All but one prosecutorial report were decided via consent agreement in executive committee and were discussed in confidentiality. The one that was discussed publicly involved a dentist licensed since 1985 with no previous disciplinary history. The consent agreement involved approximately eight patients that were found to receive substandard care through expert review. Specifically, the dentist did not provide immediate treatment when applicable which resulted in several post-and-core failures. The resulting civil penalty was $7,500, $2,500 in court costs, and three years’ probation. The licensee was also required to fulfill six hours of continuing education on caries management, six hours on restorative, and six hours on endodontics.

A board member inquired into the possibility of a public reprimand. The prosecutorial report detailed the progressive steps of discipline, including monetary civil penalty, then public reprimand, then suspension. He also noted that notification of the probationary period is publicly available.

Report of Board Counsel

Ms. Wucinski briefed the board on the status of regulations. Regulatory counsel has drafted an annex and preamble for general revisions which will soon appear as draft proposed regulations.

A board member inquired whether the requirement for CPR renewal, which is waived until December 31, 2020, will be renewed in time for licensure. While it has not been waived yet, it is under the purview of the Governor’s office and is currently under consideration. The Board Administrator advised participants to continue to monitor the SBOD web site for notifications about waivers.

The regulation regarding the expansion of PHDHP independent practice sites will be heard publicly before the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) on December 3. If it is approved by IRRC, it will be delivered as final proposed regulation. Other regulatory measures still outstanding were provided for the Board’s information.

Report of the Chair

Dr. Lugo recommended reclassifying language for licensure by credential from passing a board approved exam I and II to successfully completing the integrated national examination. Passage of this examination, combined with equivalent educational standards and a substantial equivalency for a clinical component should create a smoother process for licensure by credential.

Dr. Lugo shuffled the committees and assignments. Each committee will now include two co-chairs:

  • Accreditation and Licensing will by chaired by Ms. Groody and Dr. Mountain. Drs. Jaspan and Casey, Ms. Murray, and Ms. Sizemore will also serve.
  • Probably Cause and Disciplinary will be chaired by Ms. Hart-Hughes and Dr. Sullivan. Dr. Andrew Matta and Ms. Murray were also assigned, but there was discussion that the committee should be kept at three to decide contentious votes.
  • Scope of Practice will be co-chaired by Dr Matta and Ms. Murray. Dr. Lugo recommended this committee clarify the standards for remote dentistry as one of its first assignments.
  • Communications will be chaired by Ms. April Hutcheson and Ms. Sizemore. Dr. Casey will also serve on this committee.
  • Legislative and Regulatory will be chaired by Dr. Lugo and Ms. Hart-Hughes. Drs. Arndt and Funari, and Ms. Fowler will serve on this committee.

Report of Committees

Ms. Hart-Hughes reported that the Probable Cause Screening Committee met and considered two items. Dr. Jaspan noted that the Scope of Practice Committee had not met but had discussed the application of nitrous oxide by hygienists under a dentist’s supervision. Dr. Jaspan noted that this is not allowed but is not sure that the dental community is aware of that.

Act 53

Commissioner Johnson requested the board’s input regarding Act 53. The intention of Act 53 is to provide transparency regarding criminal convictions and licensure. Act 53 lists the potential violations of criminal statutes that could affect the judgement of a licensee and requires the board to consider whether it should factor into their licensure status. These violations include violent crimes, sexual abuse statutes, and other crimes, such as fraud, that are directly related to the profession of dentistry. If the licensee violates one of these statutes, the burden of proof falls upon that licensee to prove that they should still be granted a license. If the licensee violates a statute that is not listed, the burden falls on the prosecutorial division to provide evidence to the board showing the licensee should not receive or renew their license.

The board moved to add the criminal statutes regarding ethnic intimidation and cybercrime. The motion passed, with Ms. Hughes, Fowler, and Sizemore voting nay. Board Counsel recommended removing theft by unlawful taking, as it is a common crime often levied at a young age and would dissuade many providers from seeking licensure or entering the profession. That motion passed, with Dr. Funari, Ms. Hart-Hughes, and Ms. Sizemore voting nay.