March 15, 2022

Board Complaints: What Dentists Need to Know – Part III

By Derek Funk

Our last post looked responding to a Dental Board complaint. This post will further examine how the Board’s investigation process works.

What Happens During Dental Board Investigations?

After a complaint is filed, the Board will assign an investigator to the case.  The investigator will determine which records are needed.  The investigator may also interview both the patient and the dentist to obtain additional information. This may be through written questions, but the investigator may also want to conduct a telephone call or in-person interview. Anything the dentist says to the investigator can be considered in evaluating the case.  If you don’t have an attorney already, you may want to have one to assist you with this part of the process.

Additionally, the investigator often involves a dental consultant in the process. The consultant is a licensed dentist who will review the file from a dentist’s perspective. This can be critical because, in reviewing a complaint, the consultant does not just look at the patient’s complaints. Instead, the consultant will review all of the records and determine whether any violation exists, regardless of whether the violation is related to the patient’s complaint.

How Is The Board Involved In The Investigation?

After the investigator and the consultant have reviewed the file and gathered the facts, they will create a report for the Board.  The report summarizes the facts, outlines potential violations, and identifies potential disciplinary action.  The report is then sent to the Investigative Review Committee, which will make a recommendation to the Board as to potential discipline.  The matter will then be scheduled for a future Board meeting. At the meeting, the Board will consider that report and then determine what the appropriate next steps will be.

Our last post will look at what actions the Board can take after an investigation.


This post is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for consultation with a licensed attorney. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law, but does not provide specific legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created by the posting of this information.  If you have specific legal questions after reading this post, you should contact a licensed attorney.