How to Submit a Complaint

The processing of complaints submitted to the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners is governed by Chapter 255, Title 3, Occupations Code, and Rules 107.00 through 107.103 of the TSBDE’s Rules.

The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE) has jurisdiction over licensed dentists, dental hygienist, registered dental assistants and dental laboratories.  The agency investigates complaints alleging quality of care allegations, sanitation violations, professional conduct issues and issues such as patient abandonment or failure to comply with TSBDE rules and regulations. The agency also assists local law enforcement with the investigation of practicing without a license complaints. The TSBDE does not have jurisdiction over fee disputes.

Complaints submitted to the TSBDE must be made in writing.

Complaints may be submitted in one of the following manners:
  1. By email. Email complaints to complaints@tsbde.texas.gov
  2. By fax. Fax complaints to 512-692-2517
  3. By mail. Mail complaints to:
    Texas State Board of Dental Examiners
    Attn: Investigations Division
    333 Guadalupe ST
    Tower 3, Suite 800
    Austin, TX 78701-3942

You may use the Complaint Form to submit your complaint.

Complainants will be notified, in writing, of the case status at least quarterly. Complainants are also notified of any final action taken on their complaint. Complaints may be submitted anonymously, however the TSBDE may not provide investigative updates or case status to a complaint who submits an anonymous complaint.

All complaints submitted to the TSBDE must be reviewed to determine if the allegation is within the jurisdiction of the agency and if sufficient information is available to open an investigation. Accurate and complete information will expedite the complaint intake review. To assure sufficient information is submitted with your complaint, you may use the TSBDE complaint form which may be downloaded from the link above.

TSBDE Complaint processing and investigation includes the following:

  1. Complaint must be submitted in writing.
  2. Complaints are reviewed during an preliminary investigative process to determine if the agency has jurisdiction over the allegation and the individual against whom the complaint has been submitted (Respondent). Complaints found to be outside the agencies jurisdiction, or complaints that contain insufficient information to determine jurisdiction or allegation may be dismissed during the preliminary investigation period.
  3. Complaints found to have allegations generally within the jurisdiction of the agency but do not contain sufficient information to proceed to a full investigation may be designated as “Jurisdictional: Not Filed” and closed.
  4. Complaints found to be outside the TSBDE’s jurisdiction will be designated “Non-Jurisdictional” and will be dismissed.
  5. Complaints found to be within the jurisdiction of the agency and contain sufficient information to proceed to a full investigation are designated as “Jurisdictional: Filed” and are reviewed by the Dental Director and/or the Director of Investigations to determine the proper course of an investigation.
  6. Jurisdictional: Filed complaints are assigned to investigative staff to conduct a thorough investigation. During this investigative phase, evidence such as patient records, billing records and other pertinent documents are gathered, interviews of involved parties are conducted, and any other investigative steps are taken to verify whether the allegations have occurred.
  7. Any allegation involving patient treatment (standard or care) will be reviewed by the Dental Review Panel to determine if a standard of care violation occurred.
  8. Any violations identified during the course of an investigation are presented to the TSBDE Legal Division to determine if evidence is sufficient to proceed with disciplinary action.
  9. Complaint investigations which result in insufficient evidence of a violation of TSBDE Rules or Regulations will be dismissed.
  10. Minor non-patient care related violations may be resolved by the issuance of an Administrative Penalty issued by staff.
  11. Formal disciplinary actions such as Board orders or Remedial Plans are voted upon by the Board and formalized by a Board Order. Board Meetings are held approximately once every quarter.

Compliance – All final orders are monitored to ensure compliance, including completion of additional continuing education and payment of fines.

The TSBDE also encourages informal resolution of a complaint through continuing communication between the dentist and the complainant.

Knowledge of the requirements of the Dental Practice Act and the TSBDE Rules might prevent the submission of a complaint. Copies of the DPA and Rules are available for download on the TSBDE website.