What is considered "abuse" under the California Dental Practice Act?

What is considered "abuse" under the California Dental Practice Act?

Posted by Dental Didactics CE on May 7th 2022

We have received many dental continuing education inquiries related to the term "abuse" as it is defined by the California Dental Practice Act. California Practice Act course The term abuse therein refers not just to physical assault but any action that is unprofessional and deliberately takes advantage of the professional/patient relationship.  While not exhaustive, the following actions are considered unprofessional conduct and abusive and can result in the suspension or revocation of the license to perform dentistry:  California Business and Professions Code, Division. 2 (Healing Arts), Chapter 4 Dentistry, Article 4:

obtaining fees by fraud or misrepresentation

employing students or unlicensed dentists to perform dentistry on patients

acts of sexual abuse, misconduct, or relations with a patient substantially related to the practice of dentistry

use of false or fictitious names for the practice of dentistry which are misleading

misleading or fraudulent advertising of dental services to deceive the public

advertising of professional superiority

advertising to guarantee any dental service, or to perform the service painlessly

operating x-ray equipment without proper training and licensure

clearly excessive prescribing or administration of drugs

clearly excessive use of diagnostic or treatment facilities

use of threats or harassment against any patient or licensee for providing evidence regarding treatment

alteration of patient records

maintaining unsafe or unsanitary office conditions

abandonment of a patient without written notice

failure to report to the Board in writing within 7 days the death of a patient during a dental procedure

failure to use a scavenging system when utilizing nitrous oxide gas

failure to use sterilized or disinfected water for irrigation on exposed dental pulp

failure to begin orthodontic treatment without initial diagnosis, diagnostic radiographs and periodontal records

This is a representative list of the types of "abuse" or unprofessional conduct that can result in a suspension or revocation of dental licensure according to the Dental Practice Act.

A 2-hour course on the California Dental Practice Act is required of all dental licensees during each 2-year license renewal period. The 2-hour California Dental Practice Act CE course is available on our website at Dental Didactics CE