Starting this week, patients will now have immediate access to all cases of Arizona dental board discipline and actions, reversing a years-long practice of hiding the majority of that information from the public.
In the past, state law prohibited the Arizona Board of Dental Examiners from posting non-disciplinary actions on its website.
But lawmakers repealed that law this year after an ABC15 investigation exposed 70 percent of board actions were essentially hidden from the public.
The dental board was required to beginning posting that information this month. It is now available on the board’s website.
The board was also required to audio record its meetings and post those on its website.
From 2010 through 2014, dental board records show there were 282 non-disciplinary actions compared to just 120 disciplinary.
Among the 282 non-disciplinary files, ABC15 discovered:
• Dentists accused or indicted of fraud
• Dentists who extracted the wrong teeth
• Dentists with issues involving prescriptions, drugs and alcohol
• Dentists with multiple malpractice reports
ABC15 also obtained an letter written by the dental board to dental professionals that said it’s “good news” that the vast majority of board actions are hidden from the public and are eventually destroyed.
After ABC15’s reports, Sen. Nancy Barto, R – Phoenix, who heads the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, said the law change will add much needed “sunshine” to the process.
Governor Doug Ducey also thanked ABC15 for the reports.
“We appreciate ABC15’s reporting on this important matter,” said Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato in a written statement earlier this year. “Arizonans rightly have an expectation that when they go to the dentist they’ll be treated safely and provided excellent care from a properly licensed professional.”
Sen. Barto also said she plans to introduce legislation next year that will expand the same level of transparency to every state board.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at firstname.lastname@example.org