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Dental assistant license

I decided to look up the assistants in my office and two have me questioning their certification/ licensure. One mentions Cancelled and the other expired. How do I find out what I need to do next. Confront the DA or go to doctor? What can help me prove this, or is it legal for them to be practicing under supervision of doctor??

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1 Answer

Your state’s Dental Practice Act will have the laws regarding the licensure and supervision of dental assistants (as well as dentists and hygienists). This can be found on the Board of Dentistry website for your state. It might also be a good idea to contact the Board directly to get clarification.
If your state requires active licensure for dental assistants and the assistants don’t hold active licensure, then you should ask them about it. Don’t be accusatory, just say that when looking up licensure, it shows its cancelled/expired and they might want to call the Board if that’s inaccurate to get things straightened out. Kind of like your giving them a heads-up.
I would then give them some time to see if they “fixed” the situation. If they don’t, then its time to bring the issue up with the doctor. If licensure/certification is required and they are working without the proper licensure/certification, the doctor as well as them, could get in trouble because that’s illegal. Your “proof” is looking it up online, like you already have. The Dental Practice Act is “proof” as well.
After all of this, if the situation isn’t fixed, the Board needs to know that the doctor is allowing assistants to work without the proper licence/certification. I must say that even if you report this anonymously, they will probably know its you. This could make for an uncomfortable working situation and have repercussions (even though you would be doing the right thing). It is our duty to report to the Board things that aren’t right.
This isn’t a great situation, so I really wish you the best of luck!

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