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Sunday, 23 November 2014
 
 
How to File a Complaint Print E-mail

HOW TO FILE A COMPLAINT


Things You Need to Know Before You File a Complaint:

If you wish to file a complaint with the State Board of Dental Examiners (SBDE), please do so in writing.  The SBDE prefers complaints be submitted using the SBDE Complaint Form and Release of Records Form which are available for download on the bottom of this page.

 

Be prepared to provide the full name and practice address of dental licensee.  Provide dates and details of any incident, being as specific as possible. 

 

The Board accepts and investigates all complaints, including anonymous complaints; however,

a finding of a violation of the laws as found in the Dental Practice Act (DPA) or in the SBDE Rules and Regulations must be based upon evidence and testimony.

 

Depending on the evidence, your complaint may be dismissed, or the responding licensee may be found to have violated the DPA.  If the licensee has violated the DPA, the Board may impose a penalty ranging from a warning to a license revocation.

 

Some patient complaints do not fall within the SBDE's jurisdiction.  It is very important to understand that the legislature has defined only certain events as violations.  While the SBDE cannot investigate any complaint that is not within its jurisdiction, all complaints received are read and evaluated.

 

The SBDE has no jurisdiction over fees charged.  If you need help obtaining a refund, you can contact the Better Business Bureau, the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection, or your local Dental Association.

 

Anonymous Complaints:

Anonymous complaints are accepted by the SBDE; however, it is nearly impossible for the SBDE to investigate consumer complaints that are filed anonymously.  In order to investigate a complaint, the Board needs access to patient records.  These cannot be obtained when the complaint is filed anonymously. 

 

Does the licensee who I file a complaint against receive a copy of my complaint?  The Texas licensee who is the subject of a complaint is entitled to receive an un-edited copy a complaint filed against them.  In other words, if you wish to remain anonymous, please do not provide any personal information to include your name, or the names of other individuals, within the complaint. 

 

What if I don’t want to file a formal complaint, but want to make the Board aware of something?  The Board’s mission is to safeguard the dental health of Texans.  Any information of possible violations of the Texas laws or SBDE Rules and Regulations must be investigated if the Board has jurisdiction.  Any information you submit in writing to the Board may be evaluated as possible grounds to begin an investigation.

 

Confidentiality:

It is important to remember that by filing a complaint and signing a release, you are giving up your right to confidentiality about your relationship with the licensee.  Waiver of this confidentiality is necessary to conduct an investigation.  In addition, although the Board attempts to resolve complaints without a contested hearing whenever possible, any complaint that cannot be settled by an Agreed Order between the licensee and the Board must go to a contested hearing before the state administrative law judge.  If a hearing is required, you may be ordered to turn over records and information about yourself to the licensee’s lawyer to enable him or her to prepare a defense for the hearing.

 

Dental Care Provided by Non-Licensed Persons: 

Any dental care provided by a person other than a licensed dentist or a licensed dental hygienist working under the supervision—direct or indirect—of a licensed dentist, or a trained dental assistant working under the direct supervision of a dentist is in violation of the law and should be reported to the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners or a local law enforcement agency.

How Do I Obtain a Complaint Form and a Release of Records Form?

These forms are available four ways: 

 

1.   Download the files available below.

2.   Call the SBDE and request a Complaint Packet at:  1-512-475-1996

3.   E-mail the SBDE and request from at:  This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

E-mailed Complaints: An un-edited copy of your complaint must be presented to the individual about whom you are complaining. Dental Board personnel cannot alter or remove information from a complaint (including e-mail addresses).

When sending emails to the TSBDE, please indicate the intent of your communication in the subject and body of your email. This will help prevent our Security System from flagging your email as possible spam and deleting it.

 

Downloadable File(s)
(The files below are the same files you would receive in paper form from the SBDE)
All forms are offered in two formats. Acrobat Reader is used to read a PDF file and is freely available for download at Adobe.


FILE NAME Acrobat File (PDF)
Complaint Form PDF Icon
Release of Records Form PDF Icon

 

How Do I Complete the Complaint Form?

1.  State in simple, narrative language why you think the professional violated the Act or rules. You do not need to quote the specific rule you believe was violated.

2.   With the completed form, please submit copies of all information which you believe are important to your complaint.

Note:    All documents and other items submitted to the Board become the property of the Board and cannot be returned. Failure to supply requested documents may result in the dismissal of the complaint. Original Records, if needed, will be obtained by Board investigators and may be returned under certain circumstances.


Where Do I Send My Complaint Form and Release Form To?

There are three different ways you could place your complaint against a licensee.

1.   E-mail:    Submit your complaint electronically to:  complaints@tsbde.state.tx.us

E-mailed Complaints: An un-edited copy of your complaint must be presented to the individual about whom you are complaining. Dental Board personnel cannot alter or remove information from a complaint (including e-mail addresses).

When sending emails to the TSBDE, please indicate the intent of your communication in the subject and body of your email. This will help prevent our Security System from flagging your email as possible spam and deleting it.


            2.   Mail:       Send your complaint in writing to:  

 

Texas State Board of Dental Examiners
Enforcement Division
333 Guadalupe, Tower 3, Suite 800
Austin, TX 78701-3942

 

            3.   Fax:        Fax your completed form to the SBDE at:  1-512-463-7461


 

What Happens After I File My Complaint?

1.  The SBDE will acknowledge receipt of your complaint in writing within 10 days of receipt. 

 

2.  If your complaint is within the SBDE's jurisdiction, it will be assigned for proper study.  Complainants are informed of the progress of the complaint approximately every 90 days until final action is taken. 

 

3.   Visit our webpage on the Complaint Investigative Process for a step-by-step explanation.

 

How Long Will The Investigation Take?

The SBDE makes every effort to deal with each complaint as quickly as possible. The time it takes to conduct an investigation varies depending on the facts and circumstances of the specific complaint.  While some complaints are resolved in less time, it is not unusual for an investigation to take longer than a year to complete.

 

Final Decisions of the Board  The Board acts as a whole in making final determinations about complaints.  SBDE Board Members are not to be contacted about potential, pending, or closed complaints.

 

What If I Have Other Questions About the Complaint Process?

General questions about the complaint process or the status of a complaint should be directed to the SBDE Enforcement Staff at phone at:(512) 475-1996, or by e-mail at: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it or by Fax:    (512) 463-7461.    (The complaint process is confidential and some information cannot be made available. In addition, specific questions about whether conduct by a licensee is a rule violation cannot be answered by staff. The SBDE, after a full investigation, is the final decision-maker with respect to whether a rules violation has occurred.)

When sending emails to the TSBDE, please indicate the intent of your communication in the subject and body of your email. This will help prevent our Security System from flagging your email as possible spam and deleting it.

 

 
 
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