arizona dental board

Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners

The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners (“Arizona Dental Board”) is an Arizona administrative entity overseeing the licenses of practicing Arizona dentists and dental entities. This state agency regulates, disciplines and governs all Arizona licensed dentists including Arizona dental specialists.

The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners has the statutory authority to review and hear complaints made by patients against dentists, dental-related positions, and dental offices authorized to practice dentistry in Arizona.

It is important to understand that the Arizona Dental Board is not a court of law but rather is a state administrative entity. For example, the Arizona Dental Board does not have the authority to award pain and suffering, lost wages, punitive or other damages against a dentist. Rather, the statutory remedies available to the Arizona Dental Board, include an award ordering restitution of the money the patient paid to the dentist, censure, non-discipline, discipline, suspension and/or revocation of the subject dentist’s license.

Although the Dental Board has the authority to award an injured Arizona dental patient a refund or restitution and suspend and/or revoke an Arizona dentist’s license the Arizona Dental Board rarely takes such actions. Additionally, the Dental Board cannot order an Arizona dentist to pay for corrective dental work the injured dental patient requires.

It is important to note that the findings of the Arizona Dental Board are not binding in a civil dental malpractice lawsuit the patient might elect to pursue. Patients can elect to file a formal complaint with the Dental Board while also pursuing a civil dental malpractice case against the same dentist. The two processes, a dental board complaint, and a civil dental malpractice claim work independently of one another.

How to File a Board Complaint Against an Arizona Dentist

As an initial matter, Arizona Dental patients should understand that there is only one state agency that regulates and governs Arizona dentists. The only regulatory authority Arizona dentists must answer to, as it pertains to the privilege to practice dentistry in Arizona, is the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners.

The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners (commonly referred to as the Arizona Dental Board) is the only entity that can take action against an Arizona Dentist’s license. There are several dental trade groups and associations in Arizona with official-sounding names that can easily be confused with the state agency which regulates Arizona dentists. For example, an Arizona Dental patient who intends to file a complaint against his or her dentist with the state agency, The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners, may unknowing discover they have submitted their complaint to a trade group of local dentists who are not affiliated with the official state agency. Such organizations are often referred to as peer review groups. Arizona dental patients should know that peer review groups are not part of the state agency that regulates Arizona dentists and that peer review groups have zero authority to take action against an Arizona dentist involved in the patient’s complaint.

A patient wishing to file an official Dental Board complaint against an Arizona dentist or dental entity based upon treatment the patient received from the Arizona dentist can initiate the process with the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners by filing a written dental board complaint. The patient complaint form can be found by clicking here. You may also find additional forms bu visiting the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiner’s website.

Suggestions and Tips on What to Include in your Dental Board Complaint

The Arizona Board of Dental Examiners reviews hundreds of new patient complaints each year. The following are some general tips on what to include when filing a dental board complaint.

  1. Clearly identify the full name of the dentist who performed the work in question.

  2. State specifically the dental treatment that was performed.

  3. State the injury or consequence suffered as a result of the work performed.

  4. Identify the names of any second opinions you may have obtained related to the original work.

The information provided above regarding the Arizona Dental Board is not meant to constitute specific legal advice as to any particular situation and should not be relied upon as such. The reader should perform his or her own independent review and/or consult with an attorney regarding matters related to the Arizona Dental Board. In addition, the reader can contact the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners at (602) 242-1492 for any further questions.