The Florida Dental Laws and Rules Exam
In the last meeting of the Board of Dentistry, several dentists were fined and suspended for failure to take
and pass a Laws and Rules Exam. This may come as a surprise, as the exam is ostensibly an optional
one, which may (or indeed may not) be taken by a dentist or dental hygienist seeking certification in
Florida. However, the Board of Dentistry has the authority (at its discretion) to compel a dentist or dental
hygienist to take this exam (something often done as a means of course correction in the event of
malfeasance) which covers the Florida laws and rules to which the Board of Dentistry, the Department of Health and Florida licensed dentists and dental hygienists must adhere.
Ordered to Take Laws and Rules Exam? Now What?
Neglecting this order comes at the peril of the errant dentist. The typical result of missing the deadline is
an administrative complaint, suspension of the dental license, thousands in fines, and still thousands
more in costs. That is; under Florida law, a disciplined dentist becomes liable for legal costs incurred by
the board in prosecuting them!
The only way to limit these costs is to competently defend against the pending action against your license. If a favorable settlement is reached with the board, you can control the financial impact on you by negotiating a stipulation as to how much the board attorney will claim for their own fee. A settlement, with your bargaining position backed by competent legal representation experienced in dealing with the board of dentistry, can sometimes be the best way to control the damage of an administrative complaint; whether for the Laws and Rules Exam, or anything else.
Furthermore, the board has very broad discretion to punish misfeasance (including a failure to comply
with their orders). So while a fine, suspension, and costs are typical, the penalties imposed can run the
gamut from much lighter fines, all the way to potential revocation. Thus anyone who values his career
will be loathed to leave it to chance.
Facing an Administrative Complaint for Failure to Take Exam?
If you’re facing an administrative complaint for failing (or failing to take) a required exam, it’s not too
late to assume control of the situation; call Howell, Buchan, and Strong today to set up your free, no-obligation legal consultation.