Board of Dental Health Care Regulations–Law Enacted

New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Committee–Background: The New Mexico Legislature passed a law in 2004 requiring the Board of Dental Health Care to develop new rules for all non-dentist owners employing or contracting for dental services. The law went into effect on March 6, 2005. A committee including dentists and dental hygienists developed the regulations. Who needs a non-dentist owner license? 1) Individual who owns a dental practice that is not licensed as a dentist or dental hygienist in New Mexico. 2) Corporate entity not owned by a majority interest of a New Mexico licensed dentist or dental hygienist. Entities that may function as a non-dentist owner without a NM license: 1) Government agencies providing dental services within affiliated facilities. 2) Government agencies engaged in providing public health measures to prevent dental disease. 3) Spouses of a deceased licensed dentist or dental hygienists for a period of one year following the death of the licensee. 4) Accredited school of dentistry, dental hygiene or dental assisting providing dental services solely in an education setting only. 5) Federally qualified health centers, as designated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, providing dental services. 6) Nonprofit community-based entities and organizations that use public funds to provide dental and dental hygiene services for an indigent person. 7) Hospitals licensed by the Department of Health. Purpose of Licensure? It is the purpose of the New Mexico Dental Health Care Act [Chapter 61, article 5A NMSA 1978] to insure that the public is adequately protected from the practice of dentistry and dental hygiene by unqualified persons and from unprofessional conduct by persons licensed to practice dentistry and dental hygienists. Licensure Deadline: All non-dentist owners shall be licensed in the State of New Mexico no later than January 1, 2010. To Get a License: Potential licensees can fill out an application and pay the licensure fee at: Toney Anaya Building, 2550 Cerrillos Rd, Santa Fe, NM. They also must contact Professional Background Information Service (PBIS) at (602) 861-5867 to initiate a Level II background report on the individual that is the non-dentist owner or by the president of the parent corporation. The non-dentist owner application is available on the Dental Board’s website: www.rld.state.nm.us/dental or can be sent directly by calling the Board office at (505) 476-4680. Completed application must be signed and notarized by the individual that is the non-dentist owner or by the president of the parent corporation; applications are valid for one year from the date of receipt. Penalties for No License: A person that functions or attempts to function as a non-dentist owner or who is an officer of a corporate entity that functions or attempts to function as a non-dentist owner in New Mexico without first complying with the provisions of the Dental Health Care Act [61-5A-1 to 6-5A-29 NMSA 1978] is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be sentenced pursuant to the provisions of the Criminal Sentencing Act [Chapter 31, Article 18 NMSA 1978] to imprisonment for a definite period not to exceed one year and, in the discretion of the sentencing court, to a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both. Each occurrence of functioning as a non-dentist owner without complying with the Dental Health Care Act shall be a separate violation. For more information contact Anita Villegas, Board Administrator, 505-476-4825

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