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What can be done about dysfunctional state dental boards?

Discussion in 'Dental' started by str8ner, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. str8ner

    str8ner 7+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    I've been calling the New Mexico State Dental Board for 3 days. No answer. I left a voicemail and sent an email. Neither have been returned. I called the NM Governor's office. They won't do anything.

    I just received my Texas dental license. It took 4 months. While waiting I called the TX Governor's office. They refused to do anything. They said they have no authority over the Texas STATE Board of Dental Examiners. What?!

    FYI, I have a spotless record and no criminal history. I have taken and passed a clinical exam too.

    Dentists like me have lost collectively millions of dollars to application fees, background checks, and lost wages. Personally, I'm out over $100,000 do these incompetent turf protecting dental boards. I've resolved to maintain 5 dental licenses so that I never go unemployed again.

    What can be done?
    Calling/Writing the governor doesn't work.
    Calling/writing US Senators and Congressmen doesn't work.
    Calling/writing state legislators doesn't work.

    There must be a better way. What can be done? It's absurd that I can't even get someone on the phone at some of these dental boards.
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  3. oralcare123

    oralcare123 7+ Year Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Write to a President, he will fire them
  4. str8ner

    str8ner 7+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    Yes, I wrote to POTUS too. No response.
  5. jda02624

    jda02624 Junior Member 10+ Year Member

    Oct 10, 2002
    Holy crap, can you break that down and explain that amount?!

    I agree that it can be a cluster**k and I'm not sure what can be done about it. I have held licenses in Nebraska, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Texas and I continue to do so, for the same reason you state. Nevada's license was ridiculous with the FBI-level background search (I had to list employers from when I was in high school - I'm almost 50 now). They make you go through these numerous hoops, spend tons of money, yet they rarely pick up their phones or answer e-mails.
    The thing that pisses me off the most is how they seem to have no ability to enforce control over the state laws regulating dentistry. Corporations that run in states that require a dental practice to be owned by a licensed dentist (the corps have a "shell" owner in name only) and now Smile Direct Club basically setting up kiosks without a dentist present and doing ortho treatment. What's the point of even having a licensing board?
    I don't know the answer on how to fix things, but it seems as if they were actually doing their jobs correctly and utilizing the fees they charge efficiently, that things SHOULD work as they are supposed to. Instead, they run like most all things run by the government, unfortunately.
  6. str8ner

    str8ner 7+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    Regarding the figure: I've had to move for multiple reasons throughout my career. Some dentists (especially at state boards) seem to think it's bad if dentists move. They feel it is their duty to prevent dentists from moving. Frankly it sounds communist to me. People move. That's life. I have never been denied a license but every time I apply it takes months. Texas was the worst at 4 months. Nevada took 3 months. Minnesota took 3 months and I had to provide binders full of records and photos of the cases I have completed. I estimate that I have been unemployed for about 9 months of my career solely because of state boards making me wait unnecessarily for licensure. This easily surpasses the $100,000 mark in lost wages, not to mention all the fees and ancillary expenses.

    Compare that to getting a gun in Texas. You can get a gun in Texas in one day. That includes an FBI background check. They do it as you wait over the phone. If that's the case, I should be able to get a dental license in 1 day!

    The truth is state boards are protecting their turf and not doing a very good job of it. Qualified dentists will eventually get licensure. It's not like they're going to give up and become firemen (although some firemen do very well). But, dental boards are not supposed to protect turf. They are supposed to serve patients and dental providers. Instead of helping they are hurting everyone. They are denying access to care, indirectly leading to a rise in dental care costs, and costing dental providers millions in lost wages and fees. They say they are improving quality but it's just not the case.

    Most major countries (Australia, United Kingdom, China, Russia, France, etc.) have one national dental license. It makes sense. You go to a nationally accredited dental school and you take a national board exam. Why not have a national dental license.

    People have a right to work without delay. Unless there is probable cause there is no reason to stop anyone from working. Perhaps an amendment to the constitution is the only way to get that right to work?
  7. DrJeff

    DrJeff Senior Member Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Nov 30, 2000
    Brooklyn, ct
    Simply put, FREQUENT moving and applying for licenses in many new states over presumably a short period of time, when one isn't planning on practicing simultaneously in multiple states is going to raise the attention of a state board, and question what your motive is. Are you trying to "run away" from something "bad" you did in previous states? Because that's what a board is likely going to think, be that right or wrong?

    Most states will basically grant a license with proper forms and payment if the practitioner has had a 5 year history of continual practice and a clean record in their previous state. I have had no probably a half dozen of my dentist friends, who moved to a new state after 10= years of practice without any major issues obtaining a license in their new state, and have never been asked to show prior case documentation.... Not sure what's going on in your situation over all of this...
  8. str8ner

    str8ner 7+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2008
  9. str8ner

    str8ner 7+ Year Member

    Jul 18, 2008
    That reasoning is exactly why I need multiple licenses. I have a clean record. I took and passed a clinical exam. I have plenty of experience to be licensed by credentials in all but about 4 states (e.g. Florida). It should't take months to get a dental license. Again, if you can get a gun in one day, I should be able to get a dental license in one day. Regarding your friends that have had no problem, they are not the norm. Check out the Google reviews for the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners. They're atrocious! Most of them are in regards to the awful service and wait times related to processing license applications.

    Lastly, it's no one's business why I've moved, least of all the state boards'. That said let me give you a couple of reasons why I've moved. 1. residency (I had to get a new dental license for my residency program. 2. Minnesota is TOO COLD! Plus my employer thought it was ok to use the "N" word and to ask me to sign other doctors names. I had to get out of that crazy house. This is still a free country right? Where's the probable cause to hold me up?
  10. doc toothache

    doc toothache 10+ Year Member

    Jan 17, 2006
    Join a dental board and shake things up.

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