December 14, 2009
By Maulid “Mo” Miskell, Program Director, Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners
It is has been an interesting and challenging three years that I have been on the job as program director for the Colorado State Board of Dental Examiners (Board). During this time, some important steps have been made in furthering the Board’s mission of consumer protection while at the same time working to ensure that licensed professionals are provided with a competitive and fair marketplace to practice their profession. Important steps have been made since this past legislative session in the implementation of two bills that impact dentists and dental hygienists, in addition to amending the dental anesthesia rules.
House Bill 1128 concerned the establishment of an academic license to allow a dentist employed by a school of dentistry to engage in the practice of dentistry in connection with programs affiliated with the school. A dentist practicing with an Academic Dental license may not use the license to practice dentistry outside his/her academic responsibilities. Licensure application materials are available on the Board’s Website in the Licensee/Applicant Services section at http://www.dora.state.co.us/dental/licensing/DEN.htm.
Senate Bill 129 revised the duties that may be performed by a dental hygienist, both supervised and unsupervised. A portion of this bill requires a practicing dental hygienist to maintain his/her own professional liability insurance coverage or to obtain it through a supervising dentist in an amount no less than $50,000 per claim and an aggregate liability limit for all claims during a calendar year of no less than $300,000.
The Board also engaged in two rulemaking hearings regarding proposed amendments to the anesthesia rules. The next full Board meeting is at 8:00 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2010. If a rule is adopted at that time, then it will be effective on March 30, 2010. New applications for anesthesia privileges or permits will be posted on the Board’s Website prior to the effective date of the new rule. Practitioners with current anesthesia permits will either be rolled over automatically into the new system once it becomes effective or will no longer be required to hold a permit or privilege, depending on the level of anesthesia they are performing. For a better understanding of what is currently proposed, go to http://cdaonline.org/images/pdf/DraftRuleXIVAnesthesia112509.pdf and then view the proposed amendments starting on page 15 through page 31.
At the end of December, the Board will send out license renewal notices. If your notice is lost or misplaced, please visit https://www.doradls.state.co.us/ to renew your license online. Remember, all dental and dental hygiene licenses are set to expire on Feb. 28, 2010. An important difference between the 2008 renewal and the 2010 renewal is that the renewal fee for dentists will see a significant increase. It is estimated that the fee will increase from $350 to $573.
The anticipated increase in the dental fee is due to the amount of legal services the Board had to use over the past two years in order to resolve cases that were initiated against dentists who were practicing below the generally accepted standard of care for Colorado. If enough individuals are operating below that standard and if the cases are not readily resolved, it directly impacts all of you by resulting in increased renewal fees needed to support the operating costs of this regulatory program. We will work hard these next two years to resolve any cases that come before the Board as expeditiously, thoroughly, and fairly as we can while keeping an eye on the legal services budget.
In a related topic, please check your current license to make sure that it is still active. It is important to understand that practicing on an expired license may result in disciplinary action taken against your license. If it is not, then please immediately cease practicing and contact our office at 303-894-7691 in order to start the process for reinstating your license. We will work with you to get your license reinstated as soon as possible. How you respond and react once you discover that your license has expired is important as that information will be taken into account by the Board when discussing what type of action is warranted for unlicensed practice.
It is also the responsibility of all supervising dentists who have licensed personnel operating in their practices to make sure that employee(s) are actively licensed. If any of them are not actively licensed, stop his/her unlicensed practice immediately and have that individual contact our office as soon as possible to start the process for reinstatement of licensure. You can always verify the status of a license by visiting the Board’s Website and using our Automated Licensure Information System Online (ALISON) at https://www.doradls.state.co.us/alison.php.
For those interested, the Division of Registrations has outsourced the production of wall certificates for academic dentists, dentists and dental hygienists to Wall Certificate Service (WCS), a division of Professional Credential Services, Inc., effective July 1, 2009. The outsourcing of the certificates provides enhancements to the certificates that both new and existing licensees will find beneficial. Specifically, the certificate demonstrating Colorado licensure provided by WCS is a larger, higher quality certificate than previously provided by the division.
For more information regarding wall certificates and how to obtain one, please visit our Website at http://www.dora.state.co.us/registrations/wallcert.html. Licensees will be able to order and pay the fee online. The fee for U.S. residents is $25 (there is an additional international shipping fee for international residents).
Further updates regarding upcoming legislation and other items of interest from the State Board of Dental Examiners will be provided on the Board’s Website at http://www.dora.state.co.us/dental/index.htm and through our online newsletter. You can also call 303-894-7715 with licensing questions.