Texas Dentists: Did You Fail Your Last Sedation/Anesthesia Inspection?

Did you or someone you know fail a tier II anesthesia inspection by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE)?

If so, you/they are not alone. Unfortunately, hundreds of dentists failed a tier II anesthesia inspection. The TSBDE is making good on their promise to re-inspect those who failed.

Some dentists were recently re-inspected and are getting ‘jammed up’ over "repeated failures." 

The TSBDE is in the last year of the first 5-year cycle of sedation/anesthesia inspections of moderate sedation (level II & III) and general anesthesia (level IV) permit holders. By the end of August 2023, they will have to reconcile all their outstanding re-inspections and report to the state legislature.


What Should You Do?

This is a good opportunity for every sedation/anesthesia permit holder to perform a self-review. Immediately review your corrective actions, board settlement agreement, state board rules (particularly Rule 108.7 (standard of care), Rule 108.8 (recordkeeping), chapter 110 (sedation/anesthesia), and your office sedation and emergency procedures to make sure you are up to date and in compliance with State Board Rules.

If you fail your re-inspection, you could permanently lose your dental license (not just your sedation permit).

I hear the Board is done jacking around (not that they were playing games before), but there will be no more mercy.


Why Are They So Tough?

For many years, the TSBDE has been crucified for being too lax on enforcement actions against naughty dentists. I often hear dentists complain that the board has gone too far the other way and that they are now "too tough" on dentists. I understand how some people may perceive this, but I generally do not find this to be true.

Sometimes the Board has tough calls to make, and sometimes they make the wrong call. From experience, I can tell you that sometimes it is difficult to discern the good guys from the bad guys. Sometimes, bad guys look like good guys and good guys look like bad guys – on paper.

I know people. I listen and I hear things. I promise you that many case reviewers and Board members are pro-dentist; they are often inclined to give fellow dentists the benefit of the doubt (sometimes even when they should not).

I am also pro-dentist, though I am not anti-Board. That said, I tell you the current Board and staff are as fair and professional as any I have seen in the last decade. I don’t know any of the staff anymore (haven’t for many years). I do know several Board members, and, in my opinion, Texas dentists are fortunate to have representation by (most of) the current Board members.

Like it or not the TSBDE has a tough job to do. Do your part and take care of your business to ensure you never have a bad run-in with the Board (or any other regulatory agency). It’s almost entirely avoidable and seldom worth the stress.

How do I know this? I am a former investigator for the TSBDE. Some of you knew me as Sergeant Tinker. I used to investigate naughty dentists. I have really "been there" and "done that." 

Present day I work for hundreds of dentists. I hear their stories and walk beside them when ugly situations unfold. I share in their stress when they have to deal with regulatory issues. It’s really tough sometimes (for them and me).


When Should You Do Something

Straight talk: I’m a no B.S. dude and I’m good at what I do, which is why I have so many awesome clients who keep me very, very busy. I can’t help everyone, and I don’t have time to do mock inspections for 400 dentists on the re-inspection list. My current clients are my passion and priority.

If you failed your last inspection and you are concerned about being reinspected, call now and let’s get ahead of this situation together. 

Don’t wait until you receive notice of your re-inspection from the Board. I won’t ditch what I have going on with my other clients to do emergency consultations for any dentist who waits until the last minute to seek my help. If you need help, call now, seriously.


Why You Should Do Something

You worked hard to get where you are. You must be a good steward and take care of what you have (your license, your practice, your patients, your lifestyle). A little humility, diligence, and preparation go a long way to protect everything you have today. Get going now, do something to protect your future from your past. Pick your pain. 

“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.” – Jim Rohn

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