West Virginia Board

Of Dental Examiners

1999 Newsletter











WELCOME!! TO OUR NEW

BOARD MEMBER



Dr. Thomas S. Wilkerson



Dr. Thomas S. Wilkerson was appointed to the Board by Governor Underwood November 30, 1998. He is a pedodontist and practices in Charleston. His term expires June 30, 2003.





ADVERTISING



Licensees should be advised that portions of the dental practice act concerning advertising have been declared unconstitutional in the past by the Attorney General's office.



However, the most common advertising complaint that the Board receives that it investigates arises when a dentist advertises as a specialist when he/she does not hold a specialty license as required by law.



The law specifically states "Announcing or otherwise holding himself out to the public as a specialist or as being specially qualified in any particular branch of dentistry or as giving special attention to any branch of dentistry or as limiting his practice to any branch of dentistry without first complying with the requirements established by the board of dental examiners for such specialty and having been issued a certificate of qualification in such specialty by the board," is a violation of 30-4-7(4).



When a General Dentist calls attention to a specialty field a disclaimer should be used stating that the dentist is not a licensed specialist.



Further, be advised that the Board conducts investigations due to complaints because of alleged deceptive or misleading statements contained in the advertisement. Please keep in mind that advertisements should be understandable by the consumer. A prudent dentist considering any advertisement should ask: "Is this a factual statement? Could I prove it if I had to?"









COMPLAINTS



From July 1, 1998 to June 30, 1999 the Board handled 35 complaints.





Members of the Board

George D. Conard, Jr., DDS, President

John C. Dixon, DDS, Secretary

Bernard J. Grubler, DDS

Thomas S. Wilkerson, DDS

Anthony J. Spadafore, DDS, MS

Dina Agnone Vaughan, BSDH, MS

Dolores L. Gribble, Consumer Member





CONTINUING DENTAL EDUCATION



Questions have been asked about continuing education hours for attending meetings of dental study clubs. Please note that the regulations (5CSR1 5-1-11.2(b)(17)) concerning dental study clubs states as follows:



"Study Club means a group of at least five (5) dentist or dental hygienists who do the following:



Organize for the purpose of scientific study;



Operate under the direction of elected officers;



Maintain written by-laws;



Conduct regular meetings; and



Maintain written attendance records of all meetings."



The Board of Dental Examiners has afforded these clubs a way to allow their members to obtain continuing education credits since it feels that study clubs are an important part of the practice of dentistry in the State of West Virginia.



NATIONAL PRACTITIONER DATA BANK



The National Practitioner Data Bank is a clearing house for adverse information concerning the professional competence and professional conduct of dentists, physicians, and other health care practitioners.



All State Boards of dentistry, boards of medical licensure, hospitals and insurance companies are required by law to submit adverse actions against health care providers to the Data Bank.



The West Virginia Board of Dental Examiners does make queries from the data bank concerning licensees from other states. While there has been some support on the federal level to amend the laws to allow information to be shared with consumers, information from the Data Bank is not available to the public at the current time.







As of June 30, 1999 the license population for the State of West Virginia was as follows:



DENTAL HYGIENE

Total Active Licenses 1266 1,032

Total Retired Licenses 129 92

Total Practicing In State 824 606



2000 LEGISLATIVE SESSION



During the 2000 Legislative Session the Board of Dental Examiners will be supporting legislation which does the following:



Suspension or revocation of a license issued by another state or territory on grounds which would be the basis of discipline in this state.



Incompetent, negligent or willful misconduct in the practice of dentistry or dental hygiene, which shall include the rendering of unnecessary dental services and any departure from or the failure to conform to the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing dental or dental hygiene practice in their area of expertise as shall be determined by the Board. The Board need not establish actual injury to the patient in order to adjudge a dentist, dental hygienists or limited registrant guilty of the above-named conduct.



Engaging in unprofessional conduct. For purposes of this clause, unprofessional conduct shall include any departure from, or failure to conform to, the standards of acceptable and prevailing dental or dental hygiene practice and standard of care for expanded function dental assistants in which proceeding actual injury to the patient need not be established.



Engaged in conduct that indicates a lack of knowledge of, an inability to apply or the negligent application of, principles or skills of dentistry or dental hygiene.



Any action or conduct which would have warranted the denial of the license.



It also allows the Board to have its own attorney instead of paying the attorney general's office when services are needed and/or a hearing examiner if necessary. It also allows the Board to employ their own full time investigator.



At this point in time the Board can utilize the same personnel that it has in their office with minimal additional costs. However, due to the additional duties placed upon the Board including the costs associated with the anesthesia bill, continuing education, central data reporting office, and more hearings, it has become necessary to request a raise in renewal fees. The Board has proposed raising the renewal fees for dentists from $75.00 to $125.00 per year which should cover financial needs for the next seven to ten years.

Further, the Board is requesting a change in the law to allow Board members reimbursement of reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred and a two hundred dollar a day per diem.









REMINDER



Renewals must be received in this office on or before the first day of February, 2000. If you do not meet the February 1 deadline your license is considered expired until it is received. This could cause problems with your malpractice insurance and you may not be covered during such a lapse.



CE'S TO BE COMPLETED

JANUARY 31, 2000



The current continuing education period started February 1, 1998 and will end January 31, 2000. During this time period Dentists must obtain 20 hours including 3 hours of infection control. Hygienists must obtain 12 hours including 3 hours of infection control.



These hours are to be reported to this office no later than Wednesday, March 15, 2000 on the form supplied to you with your license renewal forms, if you do not have all credit hours by the February 1 renewal deadline.



You are exempt from this period if you graduated from Dental or Dental Hygiene school within one year prior to February 1, 1998 or during this period.



You are also exempt from continuing education reporting if you are RETIRED after 25 years of practice in the State of West Virginia and do not pay a license fee.



Please do not send copies of certificates only the completed form supplied to you for reporting your continuing education hours.



You are required by regulations to maintain and compile accurate records relating to all continuing education courses that are successfully completed. These records and information must be maintained for a period of six years.



The West Virginia Board of Dental Examiners shall randomly audit the continuing education records maintained by each dentist and dental hygienist.



If you have not completed the continuing educations hours that are required of you please contact this office immediately.















STAFF



James G. Anderson, III Executive Secretary

John F. Parkulo Assistant Executive Secretary

Susan M. Combs Office Manager

Bradford A. Vaughan Investigator

Dr. Donald E. Neil Investigator



Phone # (304) 252-8266

Fax # (304) 252-2779

E-Mail Address - apsa@citynet.net