Course Description:

This course consists of five modules. The modules are taken from Forensic Dentistry: Working from Failure, Moving Forward with Solutions.

Dr. John Dovgan, DDS, is a State Board consultant and expert witness. He’s an accomplished Standard of Care Investigator (S.C.I.), whose resume includes more than 1,300 dental board cases, 130 lawsuits, and multiple state and federal class action lawsuits. He created the first checklist the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners adopted for consultant use in blanket allegation cases.

Dentists in the United States are bound by a growing list of legalities and regulations. Many dentists are unfamiliar with the full range of statutes that impact their practices. In this course, Dr. Dovgan outlines how dentists can use the standard of care doctrine to serve patients while avoiding complaints, discipline, and litigation. He provides insight for understanding dental law and responding to board inquiries. This online course qualifies for 2 hours of CE credit that is automatically issued with a digital certificate once you have completed the program. In addition to dentists, the course will benefit state board members, current and future dental consultants, and permit examiners.

Standard of Care Lines You Should Never Cross

Practicing dentistry carries risk. There’s always the possibility that a patient will not respond as planned to treatment. When that happens, the patient may file a board complaint. Dental boards do consider the pain and suffering of a patient when deliberating punitive action. In this module, Dr. Dovgan lists common breaches of the standard of care. He shows how each breach could affect a patient. He explains how dental boards view the breaches in response to known risk factors. You’ll learn how to minimize adverse patient outcomes by applying the standard of care.

Understanding Important Legal Terms

The regulations that govern the dental profession can be dense, frustrating, and perplexing. They can also appear trivial, even silly. Nonetheless, they should always be taken seriously. Dental school cannot prepare students for the full range of legalities they’ll encounter on the job. That’s why in this module, Dr. Dovgan provides a crash-course in terminology. You’ll learn legal principles that apply to dentists regarding the standard of care breaches. You’ll see why he advises caution when breaking “unwritten rules.”

State Dental Boards vs Malpractice Case

Dental board cases are fundamentally different than malpractice cases. Still, because of the outsized media attention some malpractice cases attract, even dentists can blur the distinctions. In this module, Dr. Dovgan defines the elements of a board case. He demonstrates the way he evaluates a case. He offers recommendations for answering board complaints (and what to expect during the “monitoring” period). He shares little-known but surprising truths about dental malpractice cases. These revelations include insurance company priorities, settlement “justice,” and the “double jeopardy” process automatically generated by a settled malpractice claim.

Important Considerations for Malpractice

In this module, Dr. Dovgan explains how yesterday’s blanket allegations template used against dentists has evolved into a longer, more specific list. Consultants use the list to make adjudication decisions; you can use it to protect yourself. You’ll see why Dr. Dovgan favors the KISS approach to patient documentation but also advises doing “extra” charting. He shows how to evaluate the appropriate standard of care for simple and complex treatment plans.

State Dental Board Complaint Process

Receiving a complaint notice from the state dental board can feel like an ambush for any dentist. This is particularly true the first time that it happens. Dr. Dovgan uses this module to walk you through the formal complaint process. He discusses how complaints are filed, dismissed, summarized, and used in disciplinary action. You’ll understand the role of a lawyer in the complaint process. You’ll discover how to manage the care expectations of patients, even when they conflict with your standards. Hint: If you’re a perfectionist, this will be harder to do!

Buy this course today and you’ll have access to it for one whole year. You can also buy the full course, Forensic Dentistry and the Standard of Care: Risk Management, Record Keeping and Ethics in Dental Practice and access it for a full year.

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NOTE: Many dental boards require that a specified portion of your CE credits be via in-person attendance at live courses. Check your state's rules!


John Dovgan
John W. Dovgan, DDS

How can I meet my state’s requirements?

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