UPDATE: Notorious Hilo Dentist Licensed Thanks to Brian Schatz
Hawaii Tribune-Herald, April 12, 2014: Stover was licensed as a medical doctor in Hawaii in 2001 and as a dentist in 2005. He was among 87 dentists licensed in Hawaii by regional exam or credential during a transition period after the Hawaii Board of Dental Examiners stopped administering its own test and before it began requiring dentists to pass a national exam....
The state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website shows that Stover had seven complaints filed against him this year as a doctor and as a dentist, most after the Tavares case was publicized.
Three complaints were lodged last year, and two the year before. All 12 complaints are still pending and under investigation, and the department will release no further details. Another complaint filed against him in 2010 was closed the following year for insufficient evidence.
read ... Hilo dentist quits as complaints mount
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Original, Published January 26, 2014: Until 2005, when Legislators intervened over the objection of the Hawaii Dental Association, Hawaii had tough dental licensing requirements which protected patients while still allowing Hawaii to enjoy one of the highest numbers of dentists per capita. Here is the story in chronological order:
State loosens dentist licensing
Pacific Business News, May 19, 2005: The Legislature has approved sweeping changes in the way dental professionals are licensed in Hawaii, potentially allowing more dentists to practice in the state.
After years of lawsuits and challenges that questioned the fairness and validity of the state exam for dentists, the Hawaii State Board of Dental Examiners this year stopped offering the test. The test had an estimated 50 percent failure rate, significantly higher than other state or regional tests.
The board, which has administered the arduous licensing exam since the mid-1900s, last offered the test in July 2004 and is in the process of revamping it.
In a move to fast-track a new state exam, legislators passed a bill allowing the licensing board to bypass the state's slow rule-making process and is requiring the board to administer two tests by the end of 2005.
If the board doesn't administer the two exams, the state will accept licensure by regional exam and licensure by credential for specialists such as orthodontists and oral surgeons, meaning that a license from another state can be accepted in Hawaii in place of taking another exam. And the law has been changed so that Hawaii will accept a new national exam once it is established next year.
Because the testing has been suspended, dentists who wanted to set up practices have been left in limbo, forced to take jobs on the Mainland or remain unemployed until the state resolves the issue.
"It's unconscionable to not allow a local kid who has finished dental school to take a test and practice in Hawaii," said Rep. Brian Schatz, D-Makiki-Tantalus. "The bottom line is that it's a free market and this is not like accountancy or law where it would differ from state to state. Teeth are teeth and if somebody passed the board in New England or Florida, I'm prepared to assume they're a qualified dentist."
"If we allow someone else to determine the skill of our dentists then it's a matter of trust. How can we verify the person?" said Mitchell Chun, president of the Hawaii Dental Association, which opposed the changes to the law. "We just have to trust that they didn't slip through the cracks at a testing facility thousands of miles away."
Sen. Roz Baker, D-Kapalua-Makena, who supported the new legislation, said the issue has caused friction between younger and older dentists.
"It's gotten contentious which is unfortunate because it seems to be the younger dentists against the older dentists," Baker said. "The younger dentists are more flexible about licensure by credential, but the older dentists like it the way it is. It looks to me like there's some economics involved."
While Hawaii has 1,314 dentists, the second highest number of dentists per capita in the United States, Oahu is the only island that is saturated….
LINK: SB568 of 2005 (Also sponsored by Sen Chun Oakland)
Finley Boyle Tragedy Exposes Danger of Primary Care Dentists Operating as Pediatric Dental Specialists
Dr. Ben Burris, DDS, MDS, January 8, 2014 Following the tragic death of Finley Boyle, a 3-year old girl in Hawaii who passed away after a Primary Care Dentist attempted to perform advanced procedures and sedation on a child despite having no formal training to do so, Dr. Ben Burris today lambasted the Hawaii Board of Dental Examiners for gross negligence in allowing the dentist to blatantly and irresponsibly mislead the public.
Contrary to what its name implies, Dr. Lilly Geyer practiced at "Island Dentistry for Children," – Dr. Geyer is not a dental specialist nor do any pediatric dentists provide service there. Dr. Geyer, who has been charged with Boyle's death, did not complete the advanced education and accredited residency program required of those specialists licensed in pediatric dentistry. This specialization and licensure requires the successful completion of a full-time two-year postgraduate residency after exemplary performance in dental school. Accredited residency programs accept an extremely limited number of applicants and are highly competitive; thus, only the most qualified dental students and dentists are accepted.
Though the name of Dr. Geyer's practice misled parents into thinking she was an expert in treating children, she did not have even have the most basic monitoring equipment or emergency procedures required of specialists. From the accounts available, it appears that in her attempt to perform advanced dental procedures, she irresponsibly sedated innocent children with tragic results.
"While the Primary Care Dentist who performed the procedure is the defendant in the lawsuit filed by Finley's family, she is not the only one at fault," said Dr. Burris. "The Hawaii Board of Dental Examiners shares in the responsibility for allowing a PCD to deceive the public into believing she is a Dental Specialist."
"By allowing Dr. Geyer to name her practice 'Island Dentistry for Children,' the Hawaii state dental board gave Dr. Geyer tacit permission to present herself as an expert in providing care for and treatment to children – which is far from the truth. Parents thus unknowingly subjected their children to amateurs performing complex procedures and sedation without the appropriate education, experience, equipment or qualifications to do so."
New rules address isle dentists' use of oral sedatives, including drugs allegedly given to a 3-year-old Kailua girl
Star-Advertiser, January 25, 2014: "Most states do address all types of sedation, all the way through general anesthesia, and the required training and documentation for each of those," said Dr. Joel Berg, immediate past president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Hawaii Administrative Rules on Dentistry have long required dentists to get advanced training and written authorization from the state Board of Dental Examiners to administer general anesthesia and intravenous-conscious sedation. They also require dentists to have proper facilities and staff to handle problems and emergencies in such cases.
But the regulations had been silent on oral sedatives, which can induce mild or moderate sedation, depressing the central nervous system.
On Jan. 16, however, Gov. Neil Abercrombie signed new rules requiring dentists to complete comprehensive postgraduate training that meets American Dental Association guidelines and obtain permits before administering "moderate conscious sedation," whatever the mode of drug delivery. The rules were approved by the Board of Dental Examiners in July and have been undergoing administrative review since then.