CA RDA LAW AND ETHICS EXAM FINAL

Terms in this set (81)

CCR 1067(a-c)
DENTAL ASSISTANT
(a) "Dental auxiliary" means a person who may perform dental supportive procedures authorized by the provisions of these regulations under the specified supervision of a licensed dentist.
(b) "Dental assistant" means an unlicensed person who may perform basic supportive dental procedures specified by these regulations under the supervision of a licensed dentist.
(c) "Registered dental assistant" or "RDA" means a licensed person who may perform all procedures authorized by the provisions of these regulations and in addition may perform all functions which may be performed by a dental assistant under the designated supervision of a licensed dentist

CCR 1067(i-j)
SUPERVISION
(i) DIRECT SUPERVISION means supervision of dental procedures based on instructions given by a licensed dentist who must be physically present in the treatment facility during performance of those procedures.
(j) GENERAL SUPERVISION means supervision of dental procedures based on instructions given by a licensed dentist, but not requiring the physical presence of the supervising dentist during the performance of those procedures.

CCR1067(L)
SUPPORTIVE PROCEDURES
(l) "Basic supportive dental procedures" means fundamental duties or functions which may be performed by an unlicensed dental assistant under the supervision of a licensed dentist because of their technically elementary characteristics, complete reversibility and inability to precipitate potentially hazardous conditions for the patient being treated.
(a) Effective with the 1974 license renewal period, if the board determines that the public health and safety would be served by requiring all holders of licenses under this chapter to continue their education after receiving a license, it may require, as a condition to the renewal thereof, that they submit assurances satisfactory to the board that they will, during the succeeding two-year period, inform themselves of the developments in the practice of dentistry occurring since the original issuance of their licenses by pursuing one or more courses of study satisfactory to the board or by other means deemed equivalent by the board. The board shall adopt regulations providing for the suspension of the licenses at the end of the two-year period until compliance with the assurances provided for in this section is accomplished.
(b) The board may also, as a condition of license renewal, require licentiates to successfully complete a portion of the required continuing education hours in specific areas adopted in regulations by the board. The board may prescribe this mandatory coursework within the general areas of patient care, health and safety, and law and ethics. The mandatory coursework prescribed by the board shall not exceed fifteen hours per renewal period for dentists, and seven and one-half hours per renewal period for dental auxiliaries. Any mandatory coursework required by the board shall be credited toward the continuing education requirements established by the board pursuant to subdivision
(a) Any licentiate under this chapter may have his or her license revoked or suspended or be reprimanded or be placed on probation by the board for conviction of a crime substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a dentist or dental assistant licensed under this chapter, in which case the record of conviction or a certified copy thereof, certified by the clerk of the court or by the judge in whose court the conviction is had, shall be conclusive evidence.
(b) The board shall undertake proceedings under this section upon the receipt of a certified copy of the record of conviction. A plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere made to a charge of a felony or of any misdemeanor substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a dentist or dental assistant licensed under this chapter is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this section. The board may order the license suspended or revoked, or may decline to issue a license, when the time for appeal has elapsed, or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal or when an order granting probation is made suspending the imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under any provision of the Penal Code, including, but not limited to, Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code, allowing such person to withdraw his or her plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information, or indictment.
a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, any proceeding initiated by the board against a licensee for the violation of any provision of this chapter shall be filed within three years after the board discovers the act or omission alleged as the ground for disciplinary action, or within seven years after the act or omission alleged as the ground for disciplinary action occurs, whichever occurs first.
(b) An accusation filed against a licensee pursuant to Section 11503 of the Government Code alleging fraud or willful misrepresentation is not subject to the limitation in subdivision (a).
d) If an alleged act or omission involves any conduct described in subdivision (e) of Section 1680 committed on a minor, the seven-year limitations period in subdivision (a) and the 10-year limitations period in subdivision (e) shall be tolled until the minor reaches the age of majority.
(e) An accusation filed against a licensee pursuant to Section 11503 of the Government Code alleging conduct described in subdivision (e) of Section 1680 not committed on a minor shall be filed within three years after the board discovers the act or omission alleged as the ground for disciplinary action, or within 10 years after the act or omission alleged as the ground for disciplinary action occurs, whichever occurs first. This subdivision shall apply to a complaint alleging conduct received by the board on and after January 1, 2005.
(f) In any allegation, accusation, or proceeding described in this section, the limitations period in subdivision (a) shall be tolled for the period during which material evidence necessary for prosecuting or determining whether a disciplinary action would be appropriate is unavailable to the board due to an ongoing criminal investigation.
A board may deny, suspend, revoke, or otherwise restrict a license on the ground that an applicant or licensee has violated Section 123 pertaining to subversion of licensing examinations.

It is a misdemeanor for any person to engage in any conduct which subverts or attempts to subvert any licensing examination or the administration of an examination, including, but not limited to:
(a) Conduct which violates the security of the examination materials; removing from the examination room any examination materials without authorization; the unauthorized reproduction by any means of any portion of the actual licensing examination; aiding by any means the unauthorized reproduction of any portion of the actual licensing examination; paying or using professional or paid examination-takers for the purpose of reconstructing any portion of the licensing examination; obtaining examination questions or other examination material, except by specific authorization either before, during, or after an examination; or using or purporting to use any examination questions or materials which were improperly removed or taken from any examination for the purpose of instructing or preparing any applicant for examination; or selling, distributing, buying, receiving, or having unauthorized possession of any portion of a future, current, or previously administered licensing examination.
(b) Communicating with any other examinee during the administration of a licensing examination; copying answers from another examinee or permitting one's answers to be copied by another examinee; having in one's possession during the administration of the licensing examination any books, equipment, notes, written or printed materials, or data of any kind, other than the examination materials distributed, or otherwise authorized to be in one's possession during the examination; or impersonating any examinee or having an impersonator take the licensing examination on one's behalf. Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under the authority provided for in any other provision of law. In addition to any other penalties, a person found guilty of violating this section, shall be liable for the actual damages sustained by the agency administering the examination not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000) and the costs of litigation.
(c) If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of the section that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this section are severable.
Unprofessional conduct by a person licensed under this chapter is defined as, but is not limited to, any one of the following:
(a) The obtaining of any fee by fraud or misrepresentation.
(b) The employment directly or indirectly of any student or suspended or unlicensed dentist to practice dentistry as defined in this chapter.
(c) The aiding or abetting of any unlicensed person to practice dentistry.
(d) The aiding or abetting of a licensed person to practice dentistry unlawfully.
(e) The committing of any act or acts of sexual abuse, misconduct, or relations with a patient that are substantially related to the practice of dentistry.
(f) The use of any false, assumed, or fictitious name, either as an individual, firm, corporation, or otherwise, or any name other than the name under which he or she is licensed to practice, in advertising or in any other manner indicating that he or she is practicing or will practice dentistry, except that name as is specified in a valid permit issued pursuant to Section 1701.5.
(g) The practice of accepting or receiving any commission or the rebating in any form or manner of fees for professional services, radiograms, prescriptions, or other services or articles supplied to patients.
(h) The making use by the licensee or any agent of the licensee of any advertising statements of a character tending to deceive or mislead the public.
(i) The advertising of either professional superiority or the advertising of performance of professional services in a superior manner. This subdivision shall not prohibit advertising permitted by subdivision (h) of Section 651.
(j) The employing or the making use of solicitors.
(k) The advertising in violation of Section 651.
(l) The advertising to guarantee any dental service, or to perform any dental operation painlessly. This subdivision shall not prohibit advertising permitted by Section 651.
(m) The violation of any of the provisions of law regulating the procurement, dispensing, or administration of dangerous drugs, as defined in Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 4000) or controlled substances, as defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code.
(n) The violation of any of the provisions of this division.
(o) The permitting of any person to operate dental radiographic equipment who has not met the requirements of Section 1656.
(p) The clearly excessive prescribing or administering of drugs or treatment, or the clearly excessive use of diagnostic procedures, or the clearly excessive use of diagnostic or treatment facilities, as determined by the customary practice and standards of the dental profession. Any person who violates this subdivision is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) or more than six hundred dollars ($600), or by imprisonment for a term of not less than 60 days or more than 180 days, or by both a fine and imprisonment.
(q) The use of threats or harassment against any patient or licensee for providing evidence in any possible or actual disciplinary action, or other legal action; or the discharge of an employee primarily based on the employee's attempt to comply with the provisions of this chapter or to aid in the compliance.
(r) Suspension or revocation of a license issued, or discipline imposed, by another state or territory on grounds that would be the basis of discipline in this state.
(s) The alteration of a patient's record with intent to deceive.
(t) Unsanitary or unsafe office conditions, as determined by the customary practice and standards of the dental profession.
(u) The abandonment of the patient by the licensee, without written notice to the patient that treatment is to be discontinued and before the patient has ample opportunity to secure the services of another dentist, registered dental hygienist, registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, or registered dental hygienist in extended functions and provided the health of the patient is not jeopardized.
(v) The willful misrepresentation of facts relating to a disciplinary action to the patients of a disciplined licensee.
(w) Use of fraud in the procurement of any license issued pursuant to this chapter.
(x) Any action or conduct that would have warranted the denial of the license.
(y) The aiding or abetting of a licensed dentist, dental assistant, registered dental assistant, registered dental assistant in extended functions, dental sedation assistant permitholder, orthodontic assistant permitholder, registered dental hygienist, registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, or registered dental hygienist in extended functions to practice dentistry in a negligent or incompetent manner.
(z) The failure to report to the board in writing within seven days any of the following: (1) the death of his or her patient during the performance of any dental or dental hygiene procedure; (2) the discovery of the death of a patient whose death is related to a dental or dental hygiene procedure performed by him or her; or (3) except for a scheduled hospitalization, the removal to a hospital or emergency center for medical treatment for a period exceeding 24 hours of any patient to whom oral conscious sedation, conscious sedation, or general anesthesia was administered, or any patient as a result of dental or dental hygiene treatment. With the exception of patients to whom oral conscious sedation, conscious sedation, or general anesthesia was administered, removal to a hospital or emergency center that is the normal or expected treatment for the underlying dental condition is not required to be reported. Upon receipt of a report pursuant to this subdivision the board may conduct an inspection of the dental office if the board finds that it is necessary. A dentist shall report to the board all deaths occurring in his or her practice with a copy sent to the Dental Hygiene Committee of California if the death was the result of treatment by a registered dental hygienist, registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, or registered dental hygienist in extended functions. A registered dental hygienist, registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, or registered dental hygienist in extended functions shall report to the Dental Hygiene Committee of California all deaths occurring as the result of dental hygiene treatment, and a copy of the notification shall be sent to the board.
(aa) Participating in or operating any group advertising and referral services that are in violation of Section 650.2.
(ab) The failure to use a fail-safe machine with an appropriate exhaust system in the administration of nitrous oxide. The board shall, by regulation, define what constitutes a fail-safe machine.
(ac) Engaging in the practice of dentistry with an expired license.
(ad) Except for good cause, the knowing failure to protect patients by failing to follow infection control guidelines of the board, thereby risking transmission of bloodborne infectious diseases from dentist, dental assistant, registered dental assistant, registered dental assistant in extended functions, dental sedation assistant permitholder, orthodontic assistant permitholder, registered dental hygienist, registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, or registered dental hygienist in extended functions to patient, from patient to patient, and from patient to dentist, dental assistant, registered dental assistant, registered dental assistant in extended functions, dental sedation assistant permitholder, orthodontic assistant permitholder, registered dental hygienist, registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, or registered dental hygienist in extended functions. In administering this subdivision, the board shall consider referencing the standards, regulations, and guidelines of the State Department of Public Health developed pursuant to Section 1250.11 of the Health and Safety Code and the standards, guidelines, and regulations pursuant to the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973 (Part 1 (commencing with Section 6300) of Division 5 of the Labor Code) for preventing the transmission of HIV, hepatitis B, and other blood-borne pathogens in health care settings. The board shall review infection control guidelines, if necessary, on an annual basis and proposed changes shall be reviewed by the Dental Hygiene Committee of California to establish a consensus. The committee shall submit any recommended changes to the infection control guidelines for review to establish a consensus. As necessary, the board shall consult with the Medical Board of California, the California Board of Podiatric Medicine, the Board of Registered Nursing, and the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, to encourage appropriate consistency in the implementation of this subdivision. The board shall seek to ensure that all appropriate dental personnel are informed of the responsibility to follow infection control guidelines, and of the most recent scientifically recognized safeguards for minimizing the risk of transmission of bloodborne infectious diseases.
(ae) The utilization by a licensed dentist of any person to perform the functions of any registered dental assistant, registered dental assistant in extended functions, dental sedation assistant permitholder, orthodontic assistant permitholder, registered dental hygienist, registered dental hygienist in alternative practice, or registered dental hygienist in extended functions who, at the time of initial employment, does not possess a current, valid license or permit to perform those functions.
(af) The prescribing, dispensing, or furnishing of dangerous drugs or devices, as defined in Section 4022, in violation of Section 2242.1.
In addition to other acts constituting unprofessional conduct within the meaning of this chapter, it is unprofessional conduct for a person licensed under this chapter to do any of the following:
(a) Obtain or possess in violation of law, or except as directed by a licensed physician and surgeon, dentist, or podiatrist, administer to himself, any controlled substance, as defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code, or any dangerous drug as defined in Article 8 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9.
(b) Use any controlled substance, as defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code, or any dangerous drug as defined in Article 8 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9, or alcoholic beverages or other intoxicating substances, to an extent or in a manner dangerous or injurious to himself, to any person, or the public to the extent that such use impairs his ability to conduct with safety to the public the practice authorized by his license.
(c) The conviction of a charge of violating any federal statute or rules, or any statute or rule of this state, regulating controlled substances, as defined in Division 10 (commencing with Section 11000) of the Health and Safety Code, or any dangerous drug, as defined in Article 8 (commencing with Section 4211) of Chapter 9, or the conviction of more than one misdemeanor, or any felony, involving the use or consumption of alcohol or drugs, if the conviction is substantially related to the practice authorized by his license. The record of conviction or certified copy thereof, certified by the clerk of the court or by the judge in whose court the conviction is had, shall be conclusive evidence of a violation of this section; a plea or verdict of guilty or a conviction following a plea of nolo contendere is deemed to be a conviction within the meaning of this section; the board may order the license suspended or revoked, or may decline to issue a license, when the time for appeal has elapsed or the judgment of conviction has been affirmed on appeal, or when an order granting probation is made suspending imposition of sentence, irrespective of a subsequent order under any provision of the Penal Code, including, but not limited to, Section 1203.4 of the Penal Code, allowing such person to withdraw his plea of guilty and to enter a plea of not guilty, or setting aside the verdict of guilty, or dismissing the accusation, information or indictment.
(a) (1) A licensee who fails or refuses to comply with a request for the dental records of a patient, that is accompanied by that patient's written authorization for release of record to the board, within 15 days of receiving the request and authorization, shall pay to the board a civil penalty of two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per day for each day that the documents have not been produced after the 15th day, up to a maximum of five thousand dollars ($5,000) unless the licensee is unable to provide the documents within this time period for good cause.
(2) A health care facility shall comply with a request for the dental records of a patient that is accompanied by that patient's written authorization for release of records to the board together with a notice citing this section and describing the penalties for failure to comply with this section. Failure to provide the authorizing patient's dental records to the board within 30 days of receiving this request, authorization, and notice shall subject the health care facility to a civil penalty, payable to the board, of up to two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per day for each day that the documents have not been produced after the 30th day, up to a maximum of five thousand dollars ($5,000), unless the health care facility is unable to provide the documents within this time period for good cause. This paragraph shall not require health care facilities to assist the board in obtaining the patient's authorization. The board shall pay the reasonable cost of copying the dental records.
(b) (1) A licensee who fails or refuses to comply with a court order, issued in the enforcement of a subpoena, mandating the release of records to the board shall pay to the board a civil penalty of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each day that the documents have not been produced after the date by which the court order requires the documents to be produced, unless it is determined that the order is unlawful or invalid. Any statute of limitations applicable to the filing of an accusation by the board shall be tolled during the period the licensee is out of compliance with the court order and during any related appeals.
(2) Any licensee who fails or refuses to comply with a court order, issued in the enforcement of a subpoena, mandating the release of records to the board is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine payable to the board not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000). The fine shall be added to the licensee's renewal fee if it is not paid by the next succeeding renewal date. Any statute of limitations applicable to the filing of an accusation by the board shall be tolled during the period the licensee is out of compliance with the court order and during any related appeals.
(3) A health care facility that fails or refuses to comply with a court order, issued in the enforcement of a subpoena, mandating the release of patient records to the board, that is accompanied by a notice citing this section and describing the penalties for failure to comply with this section, shall pay to the board a civil penalty of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000) per day for each day that the documents have not been produced, up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000), after the date by which the court order requires the documents to be produced, unless it is determined that the order is unlawful or invalid. Any statute of limitations applicable to the filing of an accusation by the board against a licensee shall be tolled during the period the health care facility is out of compliance with the court order and during any related appeals.
(4) Any health care facility that fails or refuses to comply with a court order, issued in the enforcement of a subpoena, mandating the release of records to the board is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine payable to the board not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000). Any statute of limitations applicable to the filing of an accusation by the board against a licensee shall be tolled during the period the health care facility is out of compliance with the court order and during any related appeals.
(c) Multiple acts by a licensee in violation of subdivision (b) shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both that fine and imprisonment. Multiple acts by a health care facility in violation of subdivision (b) shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000) and shall be reported to the State Department of Health Services and shall be considered as grounds for disciplinary action with respect to licensure, including suspension or revocation of the license or certificate.
(d) A failure or refusal to comply with a court order, issued in the enforcement of a subpoena, mandating the release of records to the board constitutes unprofessional conduct and is grounds for suspension or revocation of his or her license.
(e) Imposition of the civil penalties authorized by this section shall be in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(f) For the purposes of this section, a "health care facility" means a clinic or health care facility licensed or exempt from licensure pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of the Health and Safety Code.
(a) In addition to other acts constituting unprofessional conduct under this chapter, it is unprofessional conduct for any dentist to perform or allow to be performed any treatment on a patient who is not a patient of record of that dentist. A dentist may, however, after conducting a preliminary oral examination, require or permit any dental auxiliary to perform procedures necessary for diagnostic purposes, provided that the procedures are permitted under the auxiliary's authorized scope of practice. Additionally, a dentist may require or permit a dental auxiliary to perform all of the following duties prior to any examination of the patient by the dentist, provided that the duties are authorized for the particular classification of dental auxiliary pursuant to Article 7 (commencing with Section 1740):
(1) Expose emergency radiographs upon direction of the dentist.
(2) Perform extra-oral duties or functions specified by the dentist.
(3) Perform mouth-mirror inspections of the oral cavity, to include charting of obvious lesions, malocclusions, existing restorations, and missing teeth.
(b) For purposes of this section, "patient of record" refers to a patient who has been examined, has had a medical and dental history completed and evaluated, and has had oral conditions diagnosed and a written plan developed by the licensed dentist.
(c) This section shall not apply to dentists providing examinations on a temporary basis outside of a dental office in settings including, but not limited to, health fairs and school screenings.
(d) This section shall not apply to fluoride mouth rinse or supplement programs administered in a school or preschool setting.
(a) The board shall establish criteria for the acceptance, denial, or termination of licentiates in a diversion program. Unless ordered by the board as a condition of licentiate disciplinary probation, only those licentiates who have voluntarily requested diversion treatment and supervision by a committee shall participate in a diversion program.
(b) A licentiate who is not the subject of a current investigation may self-refer to the diversion program on a confidential basis, except as provided in subdivision (f).
(c) A licentiate under current investigation by the board may also request entry into the diversion program by contacting the board's Diversion Program Manager. The Diversion Program Manager may refer the licentiate requesting participation in the program to a diversion evaluation committee for evaluation of eligibility. Prior to authorizing a licentiate to enter into the diversion program, the Diversion Program Manager may require the licentiate, while under current investigation for any violations of the Dental Practice Act or other violations, to execute a statement of understanding that states that the licentiate understands that his or her violations of the Dental Practice Act or other statutes that would otherwise be the basis for discipline, may still be investigated and the subject of disciplinary action.
(d) If the reasons for a current investigation of a licentiate are based primarily on the self-administration of any controlled substance or dangerous drugs or alcohol under Section 1681, or the illegal possession, prescription, or nonviolent procurement of any controlled substance or dangerous drugs for self-administration that does not involve actual, direct harm to the public, the board shall close the investigation without further action if the licentiate is accepted into the board's diversion program and successfully completes the requirements of the program. If the licentiate withdraws or is terminated from the program by a diversion evaluation committee, and the termination is approved by the program manager, the investigation shall be reopened and disciplinary action imposed, if warranted, as determined by the board.
(e) Neither acceptance nor participation in the diversion program shall preclude the board from investigating or continuing to investigate, or taking disciplinary action or continuing to take disciplinary action against, any licentiate for any unprofessional conduct committed before, during, or after participation in the diversion program.
(f) If a licentiate withdraws or is terminated from the diversion program for failure to comply or is determined to be a threat to the public or his or her own health and safety, all diversion records for that licentiate shall be provided to the board's enforcement program and may be used in any disciplinary proceeding. If a licentiate in a diversion program tests positive for any banned substance, the board' s diversion program manager shall immediately notify the board's enforcement program and provide the documentation evidencing the positive test result to the enforcement program. This documentation may be used in a disciplinary proceeding.
(g) Any licentiate terminated from the diversion program for failure to comply with program requirements is subject to disciplinary action by the board for acts committed before, during, and after participation in the diversion program. A licentiate who has been under investigation by the board and has been terminated from the diversion program by a diversion evaluation committee shall be reported by the diversion evaluation committee to the board.
The public and the profession are best served by dentists who are familiar with identifying the signs of abuse and neglect and knowledgeable about the appropriate intervention resources for all populations.

A dentist's ethical obligation to identify and report the signs of abuse and neglect is, at a minimum, to be consistent with a dentist's legal obligation in the jurisdiction where the dentist practices. Dentists, therefore, are ethically obliged to identify and report suspected cases of abuse and neglect to the same extent as they are legally obliged to do so in the jurisdiction where they practice. Dentists have a concurrent ethical obligation to respect an adult patient's right to self-determination and confidentiality and to promote the welfare of all patients. Care should be exercised to respect the wishes of an adult patient who asks that a suspected case of abuse and/or neglect not be reported, where such a report is not mandated by law. With the patient's permission, other possible solutions may be sought.

Dentists should be aware that jurisdictional laws vary in their definitions of abuse and neglect, in their reporting requirements and the extent to which immunity is granted to good faith reporters. The variances may raise potential legal and other risks that should be considered, while keeping in mind the duty to put the welfare of the patient first. Therefore a dentist's ethical obligation to identify and report suspected cases of abuse and neglect can vary from one jurisdiction to another

Dentists are ethically obligated to keep current their knowledge of both identifying abuse and neglect and reporting it in the jurisdiction(s) where they practice.
A dentist may use the title Doctor or Dentist, DDS, DMD or any additional earned, advanced academic degrees in health service areas in an announcement to the public. The announcement of an unearned academic degree may be misleading because of the likelihood that it will indicate to the public the attainment of specialty or diplomate status. For purposes of this advisory opinion, an unearned academic degree is one which is awarded by an educational institution not accredited by a generally recognized accrediting body or is an honorary degree.

The use of a nonhealth degree in an announcement to the public may be a representation which is misleading because the public is likely to assume that any degree announced is related to the qualifications of the dentist as a practitioner.

Some organizations grant dentists fellowship status as a token of membership in the organization or some other form of voluntary association. The use of such fellowships in advertising to the general public may be misleading because of the likelihood that it will indicate to the public attainment of education or skill in the field of dentistry.

Generally, unearned or nonhealth degrees and fellowships that designate association, rather than attainment, should be limited to scientific papers and curriculum vitae. In all instances, state law should be consulted. In any review by the council of the use of designations in advertising to the public, the council will apply the standard of whether the use of such is false or misleading in a material respect.3
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