2017 ORS 679.140¹
Discipline of licensee
  • grounds
  • procedure
  • sanctions

(1) The Oregon Board of Dentistry may discipline as provided in this section any person licensed to practice dentistry in this state for any of the following causes:

(a) Conviction of any violation of the law for which the court could impose a punishment if the board makes the finding required by ORS 670.280 (Denial, suspension or revocation of license based on criminal conviction). The record of conviction or a certified copy thereof, certified by the clerk of the court or by the judge in whose court the conviction is entered, is conclusive evidence of the conviction.

(b) Renting or lending a license or diploma of the dentist to be used as the license or diploma of another person.

(c) Unprofessional conduct.

(d) Any violation of this chapter or ORS 680.010 (Definitions for ORS 680.010 to 680.205) to 680.205 (Services rendered under permit), of rules adopted pursuant to this chapter or ORS 680.010 (Definitions for ORS 680.010 to 680.205) to 680.205 (Services rendered under permit) or of an order issued by the board.

(e) Engaging in or permitting the performance of unacceptable patient care by the dentist or by any person working under the supervision of the dentist due to a deliberate or negligent act or failure to act by the dentist, regardless of whether actual injury to the patient is established.

(f) Incapacity to practice safely.

(2) “Unprofessional conduct” as used in this chapter includes but is not limited to the following:

(a) Obtaining any fee by fraud or misrepresentation.

(b) Willfully betraying confidences involved in the patient-dentist relationship.

(c) Employing, aiding, abetting or permitting any unlicensed personnel to practice dentistry or dental hygiene.

(d) Making use of any advertising statements of a character tending to deceive or mislead the public or that are untruthful.

(e) Impairment as defined in ORS 676.303 (Purposes of health professional regulatory boards).

(f) Obtaining or attempting to obtain a controlled substance in any manner proscribed by the rules of the board.

(g) Prescribing or dispensing drugs outside the scope of the practice of dentistry or in a manner that impairs the health and safety of an individual.

(h) Disciplinary action by a state licensing or regulatory agency of this or another state regarding a license to practice dentistry, dental hygiene or any other health care profession when, in the judgment of the board, the act or conduct resulting in the disciplinary action bears a demonstrable relationship to the ability of the licensee or applicant to practice dentistry or dental hygiene in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. A certified copy of the record of the disciplinary action is conclusive evidence of the disciplinary action.

(3) The proceedings under this section may be taken by the board from the matters within its knowledge or may be taken upon the information of another, but if the informant is a member of the board, the other members of the board shall constitute the board for the purpose of finding judgment of the accused.

(4) In determining what constitutes unacceptable patient care, the board may take into account all relevant factors and practices, including but not limited to the practices generally and currently followed and accepted by persons licensed to practice dentistry in this state, the current teachings at accredited dental schools, relevant technical reports published in recognized dental journals and the desirability of reasonable experimentation in the furtherance of the dental arts.

(5) In disciplining a person as authorized by subsection (1) of this section, the board may use any or all of the following methods:

(a) Suspend judgment.

(b) Place a licensee on probation.

(c) Suspend a license to practice dentistry in this state.

(d) Revoke a license to practice dentistry in this state.

(e) Place limitations on a license to practice dentistry in this state.

(f) Refuse to renew a license to practice dentistry in this state.

(g) Accept the resignation of a licensee to practice dentistry in this state.

(h) Assess a civil penalty.

(i) Reprimand a licensee.

(j) Impose any other disciplinary action the board in its discretion finds proper, including assessment of the costs of the disciplinary proceedings as a civil penalty.

(6) If the board places any person upon probation as set forth in subsection (5)(b) of this section, the board may determine and may at any time modify the conditions of the probation and may include among them any reasonable condition for the purpose of protection of the public and for the purpose of the rehabilitation of the probationer or both. Upon expiration of the term of probation, further proceedings shall be abated by the board if the person holding the license furnishes the board with evidence that the person is competent to practice dentistry and has complied with the terms of probation. If the evidence fails to establish competence to the satisfaction of the board or if the evidence shows failure to comply with the terms of the probation, the board may revoke or suspend the license.

(7) If a license to practice dentistry in this state is suspended, the person holding the license may not practice during the term of suspension. Upon the expiration of the term of suspension, the license shall be reinstated by the board if the board finds, based upon evidence furnished by the person, that the person is competent to practice dentistry and has not practiced dentistry in this state during the term of suspension. If the evidence fails to establish to the satisfaction of the board that the person is competent or if any evidence shows the person has practiced dentistry in this state during the term of suspension, the board may revoke the license after notice and hearing.

(8) Upon receipt of a complaint under this chapter or ORS 680.010 (Definitions for ORS 680.010 to 680.205) to 680.205 (Services rendered under permit), the board shall conduct an investigation as described under ORS 676.165 (Complaint investigation).

(9) Information that the board obtains as part of an investigation into licensee or applicant conduct or as part of a contested case proceeding, consent order or stipulated agreement involving licensee or applicant conduct is confidential as provided under ORS 676.175 (Complaints and investigations confidential). Notwithstanding ORS 676.165 (Complaint investigation) to 676.180 (Notice prior to disclosure), the board may disclose confidential information regarding a licensee or an applicant to persons who may evaluate or treat the licensee or applicant for drug abuse, alcohol abuse or any other health related conditions.

(10) The board may impose against any person who violates the provisions of this chapter or ORS 680.010 (Definitions for ORS 680.010 to 680.205) to 680.205 (Services rendered under permit) or rules of the board a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each violation. Any civil penalty imposed under this section shall be imposed in the manner provided in ORS 183.745 (Civil penalty procedures).

(11) Notwithstanding the expiration, suspension, revocation or surrender of the license, or the resignation or retirement of the licensee, the board may:

(a) Proceed with any investigation of, or any action or disciplinary proceedings against, the dentist or dental hygienist; or

(b) Revise or render void an order suspending or revoking the license.

(12)(a) The board may continue with any proceeding or investigation for a period not to exceed four years from the date of the expiration, suspension, revocation or surrender of the license, or the resignation or retirement of the licensee; or

(b) If the board receives a complaint or initiates an investigation within that four-year period, the board’s jurisdiction continues until the matter is concluded by a final order of the board following any appeal.

(13) Withdrawing the application for license does not close any investigation, action or proceeding against an applicant. [Amended by 1955 c.560 §2; 1961 c.311 §1; 1963 c.284 §8; 1965 c.122 §5; 1971 c.157 §1; 1973 c.554 §1; 1977 c.192 §3a; 1977 c.745 §51; 1979 c.142 §1; 1979 c.744 §53a; 1981 c.185 §2; 1983 c.169 §11; 1985 c.323 §6; 1991 c.734 §73; 1995 c.199 §2; 1997 c.791 §25; 1999 c.253 §1; 1999 c.578 §1; 2003 c.83 §5; 2009 c.756 §39]

Notes of Decisions

In General

Prohibi­tion against obtaining fee by fraud or misrepresenta­tion is not limited to transac­tions between dentist and patient. Hurley v. Bd. of Dental Examiners, 29 Or App 223, 562 P2d 1229 (1977), Sup Ct review denied

Board of Dental Examiners improperly revoked dentist’s license for “unprofessional con­duct” for misrepresenta­tion in obtaining malpractice insurance where dentist’s con­duct was not covered by specifica­tion in this sec­tion or by rule adopted pursuant to ORS 679.250 (Powers and duties of board). Megdal v. Board of Dental Examiners, 288 Or 293, 605 P2d 273 (1980)

Board of Dentistry is not re­quired to adopt administrative rules defining unacceptable patient care before it can discip­line dentists. Morgan v. Board of Dentistry, 118 Or App 626, 848 P2d 650 (1993), Sup Ct review denied

Improper Advertising

Paragraphs (2)(L) and (m) are not repugnant to or irreconcilable with the defini­tion of dentistry in ORS 679.025 (License required to practice dentistry). Bernard v. Bd. of Dental Examiners, 21 Or App 44, 533 P2d 833 (1975)

Atty. Gen. Opinions

Contract by dentist with firm undertaking to advertise free referral service to local participating dentists by telephone directory, newspaper and mailing as constituting employ­ment of “cappers” or “steerers”, (1981) Vol 41, p 520

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 679—Dentists, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors679.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2017, Chapter 679, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano679.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.