If a Tree Falls in the Forest and No One is There, Does it Make a Sound?

By Graham Nicol, Esq., Health Care Risk Manager, Florida Bar Board Certified Specialist (Health Law)

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, does it make a sound? I don’t know, but if a person gets hurt in the thicket of unlicensed practice of dentistry, is someone going to get in trouble? In Florida, you bet. But, is it a misdemeanor (fines and county jail) or a felony (state prison) if convicted?

It used to be a misdemeanor back when my license to practice law used to be new; but nowadays, it is a felony — the most serious category of crime. Felonies include murder, rape, what that Madoff dude did and unlicensed practice of dentistry. So, what should you do if, as a licensed dentist, you see someone selling grillz in a flea market?

Let me be clear — that is unlicensed practice of dentistry. Obviously, most FDA members are not doing grillz as a large part of their practice because they’re too busy losing money treating Medicaid kids or they have something called ethics. So, most dentists don’t think grillz are “dentistry.” But from the perspective of law enforcement, it’s dentistry, just without a license. So, if you see it, report it!

Call 877.HALT.ULA (877.425.8852) as soon as possible before the criminal hightails it from the flea market to a back room in some sleazy bar next door to the unlicensed tattooist and illegal bookmaker. Not that we would know anything about that.


This blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. If you have a specific concern or need legal advice regarding your dental practice, you should contact a qualified attorney.

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