Our Experience-Dentists and Dental Hygienists – Dental License Defense in Kentucky and Ohio

As stated on our Firm Overview page, Chad Elder and Brian Good have combined their experiences and skills as a former Medical Board litigation lawyer and a seasoned board defense attorney to provide the highest quality legal representation to dentists and dental hygienists. We have successfully defended dental professionals before the Board of Dentistry. If you are a dentist or dental hygienist in Kentucky or Ohio, Elder & Good, PLLC is prepared to defend your license during Board investigations, formal disciplinary actions, appeals to courts of law and criminal prosecutions.

Elder & Good, PLLC is well equipped to provide effective dental license defense in Kentucky and Ohio for any disciplinary issue or complaint. The most common disciplinary issues and complaints our attorneys encounter and defend against include:

  • Drug or alcohol addiction, dependency or abuse
  • Working while impaired due to drugs or alcohol
  • Forging prescriptions for controlled substances
  • Inappropriate prescribing of controlled medications
  • Standard of care violations
  • Acting outside of the scope of practice
  • Documentation errors or deficiencies
  • Sexual misconduct or boundary violations
  • Criminal convictions

In addition, we are available to assist dentists with licensing and application issues. Some examples of licensing and application issues include:

  • Assisting dentists and dental hygienists obtain or renew a dental license despite a criminal conviction, alcohol abuse or addiction issue, drug abuse or addiction issue or prior board disciplinary action
  • Assisting dentists and dental hygienists obtain reinstatement of a dental license after suspension or revocation by the Board of Dentistry or after allowing a license to lapse for a prolonged period of time
  • Assisting dental professionals obtain modifications of restrictions or limitations placed on their licenses or registrations by the Board as a result of disciplinary action
  • Assisting dentists in having agreed orders and consent decrees modified or terminated

Why Hire an Attorney?

If you are under criminal investigation or charged with a crime, would you represent yourself? If you were the subject of a civil lawsuit, such as a malpractice action, would you represent yourself?A prudent dentist would retain an attorney with experience and expertise in those areas of law.

If your dental license and livelihood were in jeopardy due to a Board of Dentistry investigation or formal Board of Dentistry disciplinary action, would you represent yourself?

  • Do you have experience in dealing effectively with Board investigators and Board attorneys?
  • Have you ever negotiated with a Board attorney regarding an appropriate outcome of a grievance filed against you?
  • Do you have experience in knowing a great resolution of a Board investigation or action from a poor resolution?
  • Are you familiar with the collateral consequences of certain Board agreements, such the impact an agreement could have on your employment or an out of state license, a DEA certificate or other state license?
  • Do you know the concrete and proactive steps you can take during a Dental Board investigation to avoid formal disciplinary action even if the Board attorney can prove a violation?
  • Do you have legal experience?
  • Do you know what evidence and documents you are entitled to review relating to a Board investigation or action?
  • Do you know how to conduct a formal disciplinary hearing, what evidence is admissible in a hearing, or how to preserve certain errors for appeal to a court of law?

In short, a Board of Dentistry investigation or formal Board of Dentistry disciplinary proceeding can be every bit as complex and adversarial as a criminal action or a civil lawsuit.

If you are a dentist or dental hygienist under investigation by your Board in Kentucky or Ohio, it is imperative that you consult with a license defense attorney immediately upon being contacted by a Board representative. Of course, the same holds true if you are contacted by law enforcement pertaining to a criminal investigation or by government authorities, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).

You should never make any statements to a Board investigator, law enforcement officer or other government agent without an attorney. We strongly advise you to respectfully decline a meeting, interview, or telephonic conversation or to provide a written response to an inquiry without retaining a lawyer. When you retain a dentist defense attorney, the Board, law enforcement and government agents investigating you will be advised of your representation and prohibited from contacting and questioning you directly. Should you retain Elder & Good, PLLC to represent you, any questioning or exchange of information will go through us.

While it is tempting for a dentist to believe that he or she can engage Board of Dentistry members in a friendly and professional dialogue to work out any concerns about his or her practice or conduct, Dental Boards simply do not operate in that manner. If a dentist attempts to contact a Board member directly about a pending investigation, the inquiry will be diverted to the legal and investigative departments. Moreover, the Kentucky Board of Dentistry will often invite a dentist to meet with its Board Law Enforcement Committee and Board attorney during an investigation to discuss the allegations against the dentist.We do not recommend that a dentist or dental hygienist under Board investigation attend such a meeting, or have any contact with the Dental Board, without the presence of a dental license defense attorney in Kentucky or Ohio.

First, it is important to note that the dentist is subject to questioning by every Board investigator present about any subject, as well as to questioning by the Board attorney. Second, sometimes a dentist will candidly admit an error and steps he or she has taken or will take to avoid the same error, or alternatively, the dentist may innocently or unintentionally characterize the allegation as less serious than the Law Enforcement Committee members view it. Unfortunately, some of these well-intentioned dentists who believed they were providing candid responses to relatively minor infractions complicated their cases.  In short, we strongly urge a dentist to retain experienced Dental Board defense attorneys at the onset of a Board investigation to work and speak on their behalf.

When you contact Elder & Good, PLLC at the onset of a Board investigation, we are able to guide and defend you through the entire disciplinary process. We assist dentists and dental hygienists during board investigations in several ways. We deal directly with board attorneys and investigators, handling all correspondence and communication with them. We also obtain and evaluate the evidence against our clients, assess the strength and weakness of the evidence, collect important documents that may be vital to mounting a defense and, most importantly, attempt to ward off a formal board complaint by negotiating favorable resolutions during the investigative stage. Often, retaining an appropriate expert to review patient charts, advising dentists to undergo certain evaluations or to take certain board approved classes and courses during the investigatory state will prove critical in warding off a formal board complaint.

A case will be resolved during the investigative stage, or at any other stage, only if the dentist believes it is in his or her best interest after a thorough vetting of the case, during which we weigh the evidence and explore every possible defense.

There are several advantages to resolving a case during the investigative stage before a formal board complaint is filed. First, demonstrated flaws in the allegations, certain defenses or mitigating circumstances can sometimes result in the complete dismissal of a grievance or informal Board action that is not reported to third parties or published in the Board of Dentistry Newsletter. Second, dentists will expend less money on legal fees and expert witnesses. Third, dentists can avoid the common costs of reimbursing a state board for its costs of successfully prosecuting a case. Fourth, a speedy resolution can facilitate employment opportunities for dentists and dental hygienists who cannot obtain employment while under investigation or formal board complaint.

Of course, there are cases that simply cannot be resolved during the investigative stage. Moreover, in some instances, a dentist who is the subject of a board investigation fails to retain an attorney until after a formal board complaint and/or emergency restriction or suspension already had been filed against his or her dental license. Elder & Good, PLLC is experienced at joining a case in midstream.

However, in order to maximize the benefits of legal representation, you should contact a lawyer immediately upon learning that you are under investigation and especially before you make any statements — verbal or written — to board investigators or law enforcement.

Chemical Dependency

Elder & Good dental license defense attorneys are well equipped to defend the license of a dentist under scrutiny by the Kentucky or Ohio Board of Dentistry for drug or alcohol abuse, dependency or addiction. Whether you self-report or someone else reports you to the Dental Board you need strong and effective attorneys to defend your license immediately. The bottom line is simple: if you are suspected of alcohol or drug abuse, dependency or addiction your dental license is at risk.

Chad Elder and Brian Good have worked with dentists experiencing chemical dependency issues. We connect dentists with the treatment providers recognized by the Dental Board’s Well Being Committee. The process involves an evaluation of the dentist’s chemical dependency issue to determine the appropriate level of treatment. Whether the dentist is referred for residential or out-patient treatment, a period of follow-up treatment and monitoring by the Well Being Committee and the Kentucky Professionals Recovery Network will be important for the dental professional.

It is important to have legal representation when reporting an impairment and seeking treatment. Often, the dentist’s conduct has involved illegal prescriptions, self-prescribing or acquisition of illegal street drugs. This conduct can lead to criminal investigation by law enforcement agencies, prosecution and incarceration which will significantly impact the dentist’s professional license, privileges and personal liberties. It is important that you consult with an attorney with experience in criminal matters to mitigate the professional and personal impact of a criminal investigation. By making immediate contact with law enforcement, Elder & Good has warded off criminal convictions, negotiated lesser charges and mitigated the impact of criminal convictions on dental licenses.

Additionally, a dentist suffering from a chemical dependency issue may have negatively impacted his or her patients. While the Dental Board takes all allegations of drug or alcohol abuse seriously, it is especially concerned when a dentist attends work or treats patients while under the influence. If a dentist has engaged in such conduct as a result of his or her chemical dependency issue, that conduct will be subject to scrutiny and discipline separate and apart from the underlying chemical dependency issue.

Elder & Good dental license defense attorneys are prepared to defend your dental license in Kentucky or Ohio. Contact us to learn more.