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Examining the complaint process as it relates to licensed MN dentists

A successful career in dentistry is about more than just earning a degree and the necessary licensure, which by itself is a herculean effort. Rather it’s also about building a successful practice, earning the respect of colleagues and, of course, gaining the trust of the community served.

Unfortunately, all of this can be jeopardized when the Board of Dentistry, an agency tasked with ensuring that “Minnesota citizens receive quality dental care from competent dental health professionals,” receives a complaint calling your fitness to practice into question.

In general, the Board is empowered to take disciplinary measures against licensed dentists who violate the Minnesota Dental Practice Act, which is codified by Minnesota Statute 150A.

These corrective actions taken by the Board are based on written complaints that may be filed by anyone from co-workers and patients to peers and concerned members of the public.

While the prospect of receiving a letter from the Board notifying you that a written complaint naming you has been filed is alarming, it’s important to keep two things in mind:

  • While complaints may be filed by anyone, the subject matter cannot be discussed with anyone other than the individual who filed the complaint and the dentist named in the complaint.
  • The Board receives anywhere from 200-300 complaints every year, suggesting that those dentists named in a complaint are by no means alone or doomed to some sort of career-ending action.     

In the next few posts, we’ll explore the complaint review and resolution process in the hopes of providing dentists with some much-needed insight.

In the interim, if you would like to learn more about your rights and your options concerning professional licensure defense, please consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible. 

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