ORAL SURGEONS: Performing Plastic Surgery Breaks Law, Board Says
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons who perform cosmetic surgeries unrelated to dental problems are breaking the law and can be subjected to fines and possibly the loss of their licenses, according to a ruling by the California Dental Board. The board's decision stems from concern over the growing number of oral surgeons who were "actively seeking clients" for cosmetic surgery, including nose reconstruction, lip enlargement, neck liposuction and face lifts. Under California law, only medical doctors can practice plastic surgery; most oral surgeons hold only dental licenses. Medical board attorney John Puentes said, "This would be practicing medicine without a license." While the board sought to close the loophole, it did not address the continuing problem of dental school residents assisting in cosmetic surgery while studying under licensed oral surgeons. The problem persists since some dental schools require students to earn both medical and dental degrees, while others grant only dental degrees (Kindy, Orange County Register, 3/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.