Dental Hygiene and Crime: No Laughing Matter
When you apply for dental hygiene courses at many colleges, you will need to pass a criminal background check. Otherwise, you may be unable to complete the courses you need in order to earn your associate degree to become a dental assistant or dental hygienist.
Criminal Background Checks Explained
If you have a felony on your record, you will need to clarify the reasons why you are still eligible to be licensed for work as a dental hygienist or assistant. The information you provide must be true and accurate. If you falsify information on your forms, it may negatively affect your ability to receive or maintain a license.
Cases with a positive criminal history are sent to a review panel, where the decision is made regarding licensing. Each case is managed on an individual basis, and if you pose a potential risk for harm, you will not be licensed. Violations can be expunged after a certain length of time has passed, so you should use this method to clear your name, if you can.
Dental Hygienist in Trouble with the Law
One dental hygienist who worked with children was arrested several years ago for possession of drugs. The dental associates alerted the police that they believed the person was using drugs while on the job. Even though there had not been any safety issues for patients, it was a black eye for dental hygienists.
Gender Discrimination in Dental Practices
Not long ago, a woman sued her employer, a dental clinic, after being terminated because she was so attractive that she might pose a threat to the dentist’s marriage. An original court decision stated that the termination was legal, but she challenged that decision.
Her challenge breathed new life into her case and eliminated a misguided and harmful legal precedent, according to her attorney.
Women Practicing Dentistry without a License
Recently, two women were arrested for performing dental procedures after hours in the clinic where they worked as a dental hygienist and a receptionist. Apparently, they believed that their salaries were not high enough.
These two women were facing multiple charges, including unauthorized dental practice. They presented themselves as dentists in order to make extra money after hours. One did have training as a dental hygienist, while the receptionist had no formal training at all.
These women offered dental procedures for patients without insurance for reduced prices. They accepted only cash in payment, and did not keep any records of their “patients”. They did not check for drug allergies before they performed treatment, and they did not seek out information regarding past dental procedures.
The would-be dentists performed many types of dental procedures that included medication-dispensing, installation of braces and crowns, tooth extractions and root canals. They also took X-rays and injected patients with numbing agents during the course of their after-hours work. Police at the time asked for people to come forward if they had been treated by these women, to determine the extent of the dangerous practice.