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INSCRIPTIONS
| Journal of the Arizona Dental Association, June-July 2013
Arizona State Boardof Dental Examiners
BODEX ExecutiveDirector’sMessage
ElaineHugunin
BODEXUPDATE
BoardanditsMission
u
Continued on page 20
In reviewing past columns written for Inscriptions,
I came across one in which I was interviewed by
AzDA when I had only been at the Board a few
months. Board staff believes it would be beneficial to
share this on an annual basis. A few modifications have
been made to the answers since its first publication.
Whatmisconceptions do licensee
dentists have inregard toBODEX?
In some circles there is a perception that we (BO-
DEX) can operate however we choose. But, in fact,
BODEX, like other regulatory boards, is governed
by specific statutes and administrative rules including
the open meeting and public records laws.
Some licensees feel they are guilty until proven inno-
cent, or that the Board is out to get them, but again
we are mandated by law in everything we do and are
accountable to the public. The Agency takes its mis-
sion very seriously.
There still is confusion as to what is and is not public
information. To clarify, dismissed complaints are no
longer reported to the public. Non-disciplinary or-
ders that are older than five years are also no longer
reported to the public. All disciplinary orders are
reported forever. See ARS § 32-1207(A) (3).
Additionally, BODEX staff cannot arbitrarily change
or apply rules or statutes nor interpret the law for
licensees or the public.
What is the biggestmisconception
the publichas about BODEX?
The public often erroneously believes they can receive
restitution no matter what and that it will be granted for
pain and suffering and also for subsequent treatment
done. The public also believes that BODEX is funded
through taxpayer revenue rather than licensee fees.
We are seeing more complainants obtain attorneys
to represent them and often they believe it is “their
case” and their “day in court.” Board communications
state that the complainant is only a witness in the case.
Additionally, many complainants erroneously believe
we have a large staff of investigators who go to each
dental office to investigate complaints. Some licensees
may also believe this!
What is BODEX’smission?
To provide professional, courteous service and infor-
mation to the dental profession and the general pub-
lic through the examination, licensure and complaint
adjudication and enforcement processes; to protect
the oral health, safety and welfare of Arizona citizens
through a fair and impartial system.
Whatmeasurescould licensee dentists
take toreduce the likelihood theywill
becalledbefore the Board?
This is a difficult question to answer. However, I
believe effective communication is one of the key
factors as to how to avoid complaints. Managing the
patient’s expectations is critical, not only in terms
of the treatment but also in terms of billing. Some-
times just listening to the complainant can eliminate
that complainant’s need to file a complaint—they
just want to be heard. Many complainants are very
thorough in their documentation that accompanies
the complaint and include the specific dates and
times when they have attempted to call the dentist.
The dentist and staff should attempt to return pa-
tient calls and likewise document their attempts.
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