Dental Lawyers 

How we help dentists

We represent dentists charged with criminal offences and dentists facing allegations of processional misconduct, including complaints, investigations, and disciplinary proceedings before the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario (“RCDSO”).

Criminal Charges

We defend dentists charged with criminal offences under the Criminal Code and other statutes like the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, Provincial Offences Act, Competition Act, and many others.

Our criminal practice includes defending charges like assault and aggravated assault, criminal negligence causing death, homicide, impaired driving, fraud, money laundering, drug trafficking and possession, and sexual assault. We represent individuals at all stages of criminal proceedings, from the moment an individual is contacted by police before being arrested, to bail hearings, pre-trial discussions, trial and sentencing, and finally, on appeal.

We have experience representing many clients who are professionals, like dentists, and understand some of the unique circumstances that may be at play.

RCDSO Complaints

Who can make a RCDSO complaint?

A member of the public can make a complaint against a dentist. A complaint must be made in writing, online or otherwise recorded (email, mail, fax, audio, etc.), and a complainant cannot be anonymous.

There are two parties to an RCDSO complaint: the complainant and the dentist. The College assigns an investigator to review the complaint and gather information.

What do I do after a RCDSO complaint is made?

When a complaint is filed against a dentist, the dentist will receive a copy of the complaint and RCDSO will request a copy of the dentist’s records and a written reply to the complaint. Dentists often have a lawyer help them with this process.

The RCDSO will assign an investigator to the complaint. Once the investigation is complete, the parties will have an opportunity to submit comments. Following that, both parties (the dentist and the complainant) receive a complete copy of the record of investigation. It is important to note that all correspondence submitted by one party during an investigation is disclosed to the other party.

Once a copy of the investigation file is provided, a panel of comprised of 3-5 members from the Inquires, Complaints and Reports (IRC) Committee (ICRC) deliberates on the file. The ICRC employs a risk assessment framework to reach an outcome. There are a number of different possible outcomes. After deliberating, the ICRC can take may take any action it considers appropriate, including:

  • No action
  • Provide the dentist with advice and recommendations
  • Ask the member to voluntarily enter a remedial agreement
  • Ask the member to voluntarily undertaking to resign or restrict her or his practice
  • Require the dentist to complete a Specified Continuing Education or Remediation Program (SCERP)
  • Require the dentist to appear before the panel to receive a caution
  • Refer specific allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence to the Discipline Committee
  • Refer the dentist to a panel of the ICRC for incapacity proceedings

The ICRC cannot order financial compensation.

It is possible for some complaints to be resolved through the College’s Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process. ADR can only be used if both parties (the dentist and the complainant) agree to participate in the process.
When an outcome is reached, the Panel will provide written reasons that explain its analysis of risk. Each party will receive a copy of the written decision.

RCDSO Registrar’s Investigations and Reports

The RCDSO investigation process is separate from the complaints process. If there are reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a member (dentist) is incompetent or committed an act of professional misconduct, an investigator can be appointed. The Registrar’s Powers of Investigation are provided by s. 71(1) of Schedule 2 to the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991.

An investigation can be triggered when there are concerns about a dentist’s conduct or competence. Information raising these concerns may come from mandatory reporting, the Quality Assurance Committee, insurance companies, investigations by Public Health, media, and criminal investigations.

When the Registrar appoints an investigator, the process is similar to the formal complaints process [MR note: link to GSLLP page on RCDSO Complainants]. The dentist will be notified of the Registrar’s Report and the results of the investigation. The dentist will have the opportunity to provide a written response to the College. The investigation results are brought to the attention of the Inquires, Complaints and Reports (IRC) Committee and a Panel of the Committee will review the Registrar’s Report. The Panel can take one or more of the following actions:

  • No action
  • Provide the dentist advise and recommendations
  • Ask the dentist to voluntarily enter a remedial agreement
  • Ask the member to voluntarily resign or restrict her or his practice
  • Require the dentist to complete a Specified Continuing Education or Remediation Program (SCERP)
  • Require the dentist to appear before the panel to receive a caution
  • Refer specific allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence to the Discipline Committee
  • Refer the dentist to a panel of the ICRC for incapacity proceedings

RCDSO Disciplinary Proceedings

After a complaint to the RCDSO is formally investigated, the Inquires, Complaints and Reports (IRC) Committee decides what actions, if any, are appropriate to address the dentist’s conduct. The ICR Committee can make a referral to the Discipline Committee.

The Discipline Committee is responsible for hearing and determining allegations of professional misconduct or incompetence that are referred to it from the Inquires, Complaints and Reports (IRC) Committee. In each case, a panel comprised of 3-5 people (consisting of a minimum of 2 dentists and 1 appointed public member, and a maximum of 3 dentists and 2 appointed public members) consider each case and decide whether the allegations have been proven and, if so, what the appropriate penalty is.

If the Discipline Committee panel finds a dentist guilty of professional misconduct, the panel may make an order for one or more of the following:

  • Revoke the member’s certificate
  • Suspend the member’s registration for a specified time period
  • Impose specified terms, conditions, and limitations on the member’s certificate for a specified or indefinite time
  • Require the member appear before the panel to be reprimanded
  • Require the member to pay a fine not exceeding $35,000.00 to the Minister of Finance

It is possible for the panel to find that commencing the proceedings was unwarranted. If that is the case, the panel may make an order requiring the College to pay all or part of the dentist’s legal costs. Alternatively, if there is a finding of professional misconduct, the panel can order the dentist to pay all or prat of the College’s costs and expenses.

When a dentist if found guilty of professional misconduct, the proceeding results are published on the College’s Register which is publicly accessible. The College also publishes a summary of each case, as that is required by the Regulated Health Professionals Act.

Contact us about your case

Please leave us the best number to call and we will reach out to you as soon as possible.

Telephone: 416-649-5061
Email: info@gsllp.ca

Address:
116 Simcoe Street, Suite 100
Toronto, ON
M5H 4E2