Dentists were one of the first professions regulated by the Department upon its creation in 1917. The practice of dentistry means the healing art that is concerned with the examination, diagnosis, treatment planning, and care of conditions within the human oral cavity and adjacent tissues and structures.
The Board is made up of eleven persons: eight have been dentists for a period of five years or more, two have been dental hygienists for a period of five years or more, and one member represents the public. The Board annually elects a dentist as chair. Each member serves a four-year term and may be reappointed for a successive term. No member serves more than two full terms in his or her lifetime.
The Board is charged with making recommendations to the Director in establishing guidelines for professional conduct, conducting of formal disciplinary proceedings brought under the Act, and establishing guidelines for qualifications of applicants. The Board may also make recommendations.
Dr Dennis E. Manning
1900 Hollister Dr Ste 300
Libertyville, IL 60048-5247
Phone: (847) 968-6000
Dr Peter D Chemello
1600 W Central Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005-2407
Phone: (847) 392-6220
Dr William G Flick
801 S Paulina St
UIC Rm 119 DENT MC 835
Chicago, IL 60612-7210
Phone: (708) 996-7460
Ms Kathy Heiar
11927 9th St
Milan, IL 61264-3940
Phone: (309) 737-1019
Dr Joseph D Maggio
6448 College Rd
Lisle, IL 60532-3290
Phone: (630) 548-1324
Dr Timmothy J Schwartz
1245 Florence Ave
Pekin, IL 61554-2325
Phone: (309) 346-3175
Dr Mary A Starsiak
5754 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60634-2623
Phone: (773) 545-0057
The State Board of Dentistry determines if a dentist has violated the Illinois Dental Practice Act after the Department of Professional Regulation investigates a complaint. If you are being investigated, the Illinois Dental Practice Act provides guidelines that explain their authority and your rights. Included in this section are these provisions. Please note that it is always advisable to consult with an attorney if you feel your rights need to be represented during any phase of the process.
(225 ILCS 25/25)
Sec. 25. Notice of hearing; investigations and informal conferences.
(a) Upon the motion either the Department or the Board or upon the verified complaint in writing of any person setting forth facts which if proven would constitute grounds for refusal, suspension or revocation of license under this Act, the Board shall investigate the actions of any person, hereinafter called the respondent, who holds or represents that he holds a license. All such motions or complaints shall be brought to the Board.
(b) Prior to taking an in-person statement from a dentist or dental hygienist who is the subject of a complaint, the investigator shall inform the dentist or the dental hygienist in writing:
(1) that the dentist or dental hygienist is the subject of a complaint; and
(2) that the dentist or dental hygienist need not immediately proceed with the interview and may seek appropriate consultation prior to consenting to the interview.
A Department investigator's failure to comply with this subsection may not be the sole ground for dismissal of any order of the Department filed upon a finding of a violation or for dismissal of a pending investigation.
(c) If the Department concludes on the basis of a complaint or its initial investigation that there is a possible violation of the Act, the Department may:
(1) schedule a hearing pursuant to this Act; or
(2) request in writing that the dentist or dental hygienist being investigated attend an informal conference with representatives of the Department.
The request for an informal conference shall contain the nature of the alleged actions or inactions that constitute the possible violations. A dentist or dental hygienist shall be allowed to have legal counsel at the informal conference. If the informal conference results in a consent order between the accused dentist or dental hygienist and the Department, the consent order must be approved by the Board and the Director. Participation in the informal conference by a dentist, a dental hygienist, or the Department and any admissions or stipulations made by a dentist, a dental hygienist, or the Department at the informal conference, including any agreements in a consent order that is subsequently disapproved by either the Board or the Director, shall not be used against the dentist, dental hygienist, or Department at any subsequent hearing and shall not become a part of the record of the hearing.
In Illinois, after an IDPR investigator visits the office, the dentist is called in for an informal hearing with a member of the State Board of Dentistry. Although dentists are not required to have an attorney at the informal hearing, the Illinois State Dental Society advises that legal counsel may be present. The objective of the informal hearing is to get to the bottom of the problem. The hearing is completely off the record. The process helps determine if the charges are unfounded and need to be dismissed or if additional action needs to be taken. Nothing discussed can or will be used in a formal hearing should one occur.
The informal hearing could result in a settlement that might involve the issuance of an administrative warning letter, which directs the doctor not to engage in the offending activity in the future, but it does not affect their licenses. Alternatively, the hearing could result in a number of other penalties, including a formal reprimand, license probation, license suspension for a specific or indefinite period of time, or license revocation. The dentist also may be required to pursue additional education and possibly pay a fine. In cases where the dentist has placed the public in serious danger, the license may be summarily suspended.
If the dentist agrees to the findings, the case goes on to the State Board of Dentistry for evaluation. The Board submits the case to the Director of IDPR with a recommendation. The Director can approve the recommendation of the Board or if he or she has additional questions or concerns, the case can be returned to the Board for further deliberation.
If a settlement is not reached with the dentist, the case goes to a formal hearing before an administrative law judge. This is real court. It's a real trial, and the dentist is before a real judge. The findings are legally binding. If the defendant does not accept the ruling, they can take the case to the circuit court of appeals.
The Board approaches each case with an open mind and is sympathetic to the difficult position in which dentists may find themselves. Their number one concern is for the patient and public safety.
Contact Dave Marsh with any questions about this topic.