Pursuant to T.C.A. §
63-5-124, the Board is authorized
to refuse to grant a license or certificate to an applicant or to discipline an
individual licensed or certified by the Board if that individual has engaged in
unprofessional conduct. Pursuant to its authority under T.C.A. §
63-5-124, the Board declares that
unprofessional conduct includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(1) Exercising undue influence on the patient
or client, including the promotion of the sale of services, goods, appliances
or drugs in such manner as to exploit the patient or client for the financial
gain of the practitioner or of a third party.
(2) Directly or indirectly offering, giving,
soliciting, or receiving or agreeing to receive, any fee or other consideration
to or from a third party for the referral of a patient or client or in
connection with the performance of professional services.
(3) Failing to make available to a patient or
client, upon request, copies of documents in the possession or under the
control of the licensee which have been prepared for and paid for by the
patient or client.
(4) Making false
or materially incorrect or inconsistent entries in any patient records or in
the records of any health care facility, school, institution or other work
(5) Revealing of
personally identifiable facts, data or information obtained in a professional
capacity without the prior consent of the patient or client, except as
authorized or required by law.
Practicing or offering to practice beyond the scope permitted by law, or
accepting and performing professional responsibilities which the licensee knows
or has reason to know that he or she is not competent to perform, or performing
without adequate supervision professional services which the licensee is
authorized to perform only under the supervision of a licensed professional,
except in an emergency situation where a person's life or health is in
(7) Delegating professional
responsibilities to a person when the licensee delegating such responsibilities
knows or has reason to know that such person is not qualified, by training, by
experience or by licensure, to perform them.
(8) Performing professional services which
have not been duly authorized by the patient or client or his or her legal
(9) Failing to
maintain an accurate and legible written evaluation and treatment history for
(10) Failing to
identify to a patient, patient's guardian or the Board the name of an employee,
employer, contractor, or agent who renders dental treatment or services upon
(11) Failing to report
suspected child abuse to the proper authorities, as required by T.C.A. §
(12) Failing to
respond to written communications from the Department of Health, which are sent
pursuant to T.C.A. §
make available any relevant records with respect to an inquiry or complaint
about the licensee's unprofessional conduct.
(13) Falsifying, altering or destroying
treatment records in contemplation of an investigation by the Board or a
lawsuit being filed by a patient.
(14) Intentionally presenting false or
misleading testimony, statements, or records to the Board or the Board's
investigator or employees during the scope of any investigation, or at any
hearing of the Board.
Conspiring with any person to commit an act, or committing an act which would
tend to coerce, intimidate, or preclude any patient or witness from testifying
against a licensee in any disciplinary hearing, or retaliating in any manner
against any patient or other person who testifies or cooperates with the
Department of Health during any investigation involving the Board.
(16) Violating any lawful order of the Board
previously entered in a disciplinary hearing, or failing to comply with a
lawfully-issued subpoena of the Board.
(17) Violating any term of probation or
condition or limitation imposed on the licensee by the Board.
(18) Practicing with an expired, retired,
suspended or revoked license, permit, or registration.
(19) Prescribing controlled substances for a
habitual drug user in the absence of substantial dental
drugs for other than legitimate dental purposes.
Providing prescriptions for any
controlled substances listed in Schedules II, III, IV, and V, as provided in 21
C.F.R. Chapter 2
.12 through .15, to patients with whom no dentist/patient
relationship has been established. For purposes of this provision, a
"dentist/patient" relationship exists where a dentist has provided dental
treatment to a patient on at least one (1) occasion within the preceding year,
or exists by having adequate documented knowledge of the specific patient
(22) Using or removing
narcotics, drugs, supplies or equipment from any health care facility, school,
institution or other work place location without prior authorization.
(23) Pre-signing blank prescription forms or
using pre-printed or rubber stamped prescription forms containing the dentist's
signature or the name of any controlled substances listed in Schedules II, III,
IV, and V, as provided in 21C.F.R. Chapter 2, 1308.12 through .15.
(24) Failing to exercise reasonable diligence
to prevent partners, associates, and employees from engaging in conduct which
would violate any provisions of the Tennessee Dental Practice Act or any rule,
regulation, or order of the Board.
(25) Failing to avoid interpersonal
relationships that could impair professional judgment or risk the possibility
of exploiting the confidence of a patient, including committing any act of
sexual abuse, misconduct or exploitation related to the licensee's practice of
Termination of a
dentist/patient relationship by a dentist, unless notice of the termination is
provided to the patient. For purposes of this provision, a "dentist/patient"
relationship exists where a dentist has provided dental treatment to a patient
on at least one occasion within the preceding year.
"Termination of a dentist/patient
relationship by the dentist" means that the dentist is unavailable to provide
dental treatment to a patient, under the following circumstances:
1. The office where the patient has received
dental care has been closed permanently or for a period in excess of thirty
(30) days; or
2. The dentist
discontinues treatment of a particular patient for any reason, including
non-payment of fees for dental services, although the dentist continues to
provide treatment to other patients at the office location.
(b) The dentist who is the owner
or custodian of the patient's dental records shall mail notice of the
termination of the dentist's relationship to the patient, which notice shall
provide the date that the termination becomes effective, and the date on which
the dentist/patient relationship may resume, if applicable.
(c) The notice shall be mailed at least
fourteen (14) days prior to the date of termination of the dentist/patient
relationship, unless the termination results from an unforeseen emergency (such
as sudden injury or illness), in which case the notice shall be mailed as soon
as practicable under the circumstances.
Interfering or attempting to interfere
with the professional judgment of an individual who is licensed or certified by
the Board. Examples of interfering with the professional judgment of an
individual who is licensed or certified by the Board include, but are not
limited to, the following:
(a) Setting a
maximum or other standardized time for the performance of specific dental
professional standards, protocols or practice guidelines which conflict with
generally accepted standards within the dental profession.
Entering into any agreement or
arrangement for management services that:
interferes with a dentist's exercise of his/her independent professional
2. encourages improper
overtreatment or undertreatment by dentists; or
3. encourages impermissible referrals from
unlicensed persons in consideration of a fee.
(d) Placing limitations or conditions upon
communications that are clinical in nature with the dentist's
(e) Precluding or
restricting an individual's ability to exercise independent professional
judgment over all qualitative and quantitative aspects of the delivery of
(f) Penalizing a
dentist for reporting violations of a law regulating the practice of