Critics say New York soft on disciplining dentists

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

The (Syracuse, N.Y.) Post-Standard‘s James Mulder has found that, when it comes to cracking down on less-than-competent dentists, his state appears pretty lax.


Photo by radiant guy via Flickr

In New York, the 18,000 dentists are among, Mulder writes, the 800,000 people from “48 professions — from acupuncturists to veterinarians — policed by the state Education Department’s Office of Professional Discipline.” Last year, the board disciplined 24 of them, revoked the licenses of two and accepted the surrender of four more licenses.

The office took 1.54 disciplinary actions per 1,000 dentists last year, about half the rate of disciplinary actions taken against medical doctors and physician assistants. Discipline against doctors accused of misconduct in New York is handled by a different arm of state government — the state Health Departments Office of Professional Medical Conduct.
Also, the number of serious disciplinary actions against New York dentists declined by 53 percent between 2006 and 2010.

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