RI Dentists Sue Health Dept. Over Investigations

Apr 23, 2013

The Rhode Island Dental Association has filed suit in Superior Court against the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Board of Examiners in Dentistry. The suit alleges the state is abusing its power to regulate the dental profession.

The dentists’ group claims that state investigators illegally raided some dentists’ offices, interrupting one surgery in progress. The complaint also alleges that the state’s Board of Examiners in Dentistry failed to give dentists a clear set of regulations for handling anesthesia, controlling infection, and other practices.

The suit comes on the heels of a raid on an oral surgeon’s office. A round of letters from the health department to several dentists questioning their license renewals also prompted the complaint. The health department would not comment on the allegations. But a spokeswoman says the department investigates any complaints against practitioners and routinely inspects all dental practices that handle controlled substances, like painkillers.