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Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code 4515-03(D), the Board shall investigate evidence which appears to demonstrate that the Dental Practice Act has been violated. Any person may report to the Board any information which tends to show that the law has been violated. In the absence of bad faith, any person who reports information to the Board or who testifies before the Board in any disciplinary proceeding is not liable for civil damages as a result of his/her report (complaint) or testimony. (R.C. 4715.03(D)). Further, information reported to the Board and the subsequent investigation thereto is confidential.

Types of Complaints Addressed by the Board

The Ohio State Dental Board may discipline its licensees for violations of the Dental Practice Act. These violations may include:

  • Fraud or material deception in applying for or obtaining a license or certificate
  • Obtaining or attempting to obtain something of value by misrepresentation or deception in the course of practice
  • Inappropriate advertising
  • Conviction of a felony
  • Conviction of a misdemeanor in the course of practice
  • Engaging in lewd or immoral conduct in connection with the provision of dental services
  • Prescribing drugs in excessive amounts or without legitimate reason
  • Providing care that falls below the accepted standards for the profession (incompetence)
  • Impairment of ability to practice because of drug or alcohol abuse, or because of physical or mental illness
  • Performing duties beyond the scope of the license
  • Failing to comply with infection control requirements
  • Failing to meet continuing education requirements

Types of Complaints Not Addressed by the Board

  • Fee disputes between you and your dentist
  • Get money back that you feel is owed to you
  • Investigate/discipline practitioners who are not licensed by the Dental Board (dentists licensed in another state, or a person licensed by another state agency)

The Dental Board staff will assist you in determining if your complaint can be handled by the Board. If the Board cannot handle your complaint, the staff may refer you to another agency or organization for assistance.

The Dental Board can take action against a licensee's privileges to practice, however, it cannot assist you in suing a practitioner for money damages.

How is a Complaint Filed

Complaints are filed with the Board by mail. The staff accepts calls regarding complaints (614-466-2580), but you will be asked to follow up the call with a written complaint to the Board. If a staff member is not available to assist you, please leave a message and your call will be returned.

The complaint form is available on our website by clicking on the FORMS menu button option, or you may send a letter to the Ohio State Dental Board, 77 South High Street, 17th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215-6135. Be sure to include the practitioner's full name and business address with phone number, and a detail of the complaint. Please also include your full name, address and telephone number, and the names and addresses of any individuals you believe would assist the Board in investigating your complaint, so the Board may be able to follow up if additional information is needed.

Because the Board's investigations are confidential by law, the Board is not able to notify you of the step-by-step progress of the investigation. However, you may inquire of the status of your complaint by calling the Board office.

The Complaint Process

To maintain confidentiality and to ensure that every complaint brought to the Board's attention is reviewed, each complaint is assigned a case number. Your complaint is then reviewed by the Board Secretary and Enforcement Supervisor to determine whether the Board has the legal authority/jurisdiction to act on the complaint made. The Board only has the legal authority to investigate cases that indicate that the Dental Practice Act has been violated.

Although all complaints are evaluated, many complaints do not result in formal disciplinary action being imposed by the Board. After the initial review of the case, if it is determined that the Board does not have jurisdiction, the case will be closed, and you will notified of this in writing.

If the Board does have jurisdiction, the case will be assigned to an investigator. The Board's investigators work throughout the state, and their job is to gather all relevant information so that the case can be assessed by the Board Secretary. The Board Secretary oversees the investigations and serves as an advisor. Outside experts may also be retained in investigating a complaint.

The Board investigator may obtain records, seek information through interviews with you and/or other individuals relevant to the complaint, including the practitioner and any colleagues. Also, hospitals, insurance companies and pharmacies may also be contacted, depending on the nature of the complaint. The Board has subpoena power and will utilize this power when warranted.

If you choose to keep your name confidential, the Board will honor your request; however, withholding the complainant's identity may make it difficult or impossible to conduct a thorough investigation. All information related to Board investigations is required by law to remain confidential.