TDR President’s Statement to the TSBDE
August 2010 Meeting

For the record, my name is Gwen Mitchell and I am chairwoman for Texans for Dental Reform. The state dental board is here to protect the public. And our research shows that there are dentists who have been disciplined by the board both probationary suspension and for other disciplinary actions who claim to be super dentist. You cannot be both. We believe that you should require all dentists who have been on disciplinary action to state it on there advertisement- immediately. And all dentists on probation should be required immediately to place on their advertisement of any kind that they are on probation or have disciplinary action.
    Also, our research shows that from 2002 through 2008, the state board of dental examiner's listed the action of the offender. But now you are not listing the action in their reports of disciplinary actions for 2009, 2010. Your promises last summer lo more closely inform the public with your new computer system has only been empty promises. You have multiple offenders advertising and deceiving the public while being on probation and very limited method for the public to be informed. And this protects the public? Again, it appears you are protecting bad players.

Texans for Dental Reform has several suggestions on how to improve the State dental boards efficiency and public trust:

  • At the beginning of licensees career create a data bank entry for violations this would allow for discerning a pattern of behavior while red flagging multiple offenses.
  • The public should have access via Internet to disciplinary actions and for what the offense was.
  • There is an undue emphasis on lower level complaints that can jam up the system. Not every violation warrants discipline but education and deterrents. First time offenders the treatment with the board should be fair (punishment fit the offense) however educating the dentist that repeat offenders will be treated firm with serious consequences.
  • With the Internet and magazines emphasizing top doctors, advertisement rules should be precise and a Pre-approval Committee should review just as the l law board executes. This will prevent jamming up the system because it is proactive and therefore will not happen without consequences if not approved by the committee. All dentists on probation should have to enter a disclaimer on any advertisement they make or their professional corporation makes.
  • Establish a Databank within the board system to regulate repeat offenders because at the present we do not believe the board members are receiving the complete picture of the offender.
  • Develop a system to red flag after a certain number of letters has gone out to patients with complaints.
  • Public record data bank of charges against any dentist to inform public of previous behavior.

When today you discuss the ethics policy for the dentists you regulate, what about your ethics policy as board members. Don’t any of you realize that you have had unethical behavior among your own members, and every one of you is afraid to stand up and do the right thing? Self govern yourself and be true to your profession. Quit letting a few dishonest power hungry members cover things up. We need someone to help fix the system since it is severely flawed and dishonest. We would like to ask the state to consider issuing a charge called FAIR and FIRM for topic on this mistreatment by the state board so that we can have an interdisciplinary hearing.