90-41. Disciplinary action.

(a) The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners shall have the power and authority to (i) Refuse to issue a license to practice dentistry; (ii) Refuse to issue a certificate of renewal of a license to practice dentistry; (iii) Revoke or suspend a license to practice dentistry; and (iv) Invoke such other disciplinary measures, censure, or probative terms against a licensee as it deems fit and proper;

in any instance or instances in which the Board is satisfied that such applicant or licensee:

(1) Has engaged in any act or acts of fraud, deceit or misrepresentation in obtaining or attempting to obtain a license or the renewal thereof;

(2) Is a chronic or persistent user of intoxicants, drugs or narcotics to the extent that the same impairs his ability to practice dentistry;

(3) Has been convicted of any of the criminal provisions of this Article or has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any charge or charges arising therefrom;

(4) Has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any felony charge or to any misdemeanor charge involving moral turpitude;

(5) Has been convicted of or entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere to any charge of violation of any state or federal narcotic or barbiturate law;

(6) Has engaged in any act or practice violative of any of the provisions of this Article or violative of any of the rules and regulations promulgated and adopted by the Board, or has aided, abetted or assisted any other person or entity in the violation of the same;

(7) Is mentally, emotionally, or physically unfit to practice dentistry or is afflicted with such a physical or mental disability as to be deemed dangerous to the health and welfare of his patients. An adjudication of mental incompetency in a court of competent jurisdiction or a determination thereof by other lawful means shall be conclusive proof of unfitness to practice dentistry unless or until such person shall have been subsequently lawfully declared to be mentally competent;

(8) Has conducted in-person solicitation of professional patronage or has employed or procured any person to conduct such solicitation by personal contact with potential patients, except to the extent that informal advice may be permitted by regulations issued by the Board of Dental Examiners;

(9) Has permitted the use of his name, diploma or license by another person either in the illegal practice of dentistry or in attempting to fraudulently obtain a license to practice dentistry;

(10) Has engaged in such immoral conduct as to discredit the dental profession;

(11) Has obtained or collected or attempted to obtain or collect any fee through fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit;

(12) Has been negligent in the practice of dentistry;

(13) Has employed a person not licensed in this State to do or perform any act or service, or has aided, abetted or assisted any such unlicensed person to do or perform any act or service which under this Article or under Article 16 of this Chapter, can lawfully be done or performed only by a dentist or a dental hygienist licensed in this State;

(14) Is incompetent in the practice of dentistry;

(15) Has practiced any fraud, deceit or misrepresentation upon the public or upon any individual in an effort to acquire or retain any patient or patients;

(16) Has made fraudulent or misleading statements pertaining to his skill, knowledge, or method of treatment or practice;

(17) Has committed any fraudulent or misleading acts in the practice of dentistry;

(18) Has, directly or indirectly, published or caused to be published or disseminated any advertisement for professional patronage or business which is untruthful, fraudulent, misleading, or in any way inconsistent with rules and regulations issued by the Board of Dental Examiners governing the time, place, or manner of such advertisements;

(19) Has, in the practice of dentistry, committed an act or acts constituting malpractice;

(20) Repealed by Session Laws 1981, c. 751, s. 7.

(21) Has permitted a dental hygienist or a dental assistant in his employ or under his supervision to do or perform any act or acts violative of this Article, or of Article 16 of this Chapter, or of the rules and regulations promulgated by the Board;

(22) Has wrongfully or fraudulently or falsely held himself out to be or represented himself to be qualified as a specialist in any branch of dentistry;

(23) Has persistently maintained, in the practice of dentistry, unsanitary offices, practices, or techniques;

(24) Is a menace to the public health by reason of having a serious communicable disease;

(25) Has distributed or caused to be distributed any intoxicant, drug or narcotic for any other than a lawful purpose; or

(26) Has engaged in any unprofessional conduct as the same may be, from time to time, defined by the rules and regulations of the Board.

(b) If any person engages in or attempts to engage in the practice of dentistry while his license is suspended, his license to practice dentistry in the State of North Carolina may be permanently revoked.

(c) The Board may, on its own motion, initiate the appropriate legal proceedings against any person, firm or corporation when it is made to appear to the Board that such person, firm or corporation has violated any of the provisions of this Article or of Article 16.

(d) The Board may appoint, employ or retain an investigator or investigators for the purpose of examining or inquiring into any practices committed in this State that might violate any of the provisions of this Article or of Article 16 or any of the rules and regulations promulgated by the Board.

(e) The Board may employ or retain legal counsel for such matters and purposes as may seem fit and proper to said Board.

(f) As used in this section the term "licensee" includes licensees, provisional licensees and holders of intern permits, and the term "license" includes license, provisional license, instructor's license, and intern permit.

(g) Records, papers, and other documents containing information collected or compiled by the Board, or its members or employees, as a result of investigations, inquiries, or interviews conducted in connection with a licensing or disciplinary matter, shall not be considered public records within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes; provided, however, that any notice or statement of charges against any licensee, or any notice to any licensee of a hearing in any proceeding, shall be a public record within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes, notwithstanding that it may contain information collected and compiled as a result of any investigation, inquiry, or interview; and provided, further, that if any record, paper, or other document containing information collected and compiled by the Board is received and admitted into evidence in any hearing before the Board, it shall then be a public record within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes. (1935, c. 66, s. 14; 1957, c. 592, s. 7; 1965, c. 163, s. 4; 1967, c. 451, s. 1; 1971, c. 755, s. 9; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1195, ss. 7, 8; 1981, c. 751, s. 7; 1989, c. 442; 1997-456, s. 27; 2002-37, s. 9.)