Board of Dentistry

Peer Assistance Program

The Wellness Committee is a peer assistance program provided by the Tennessee Dental Association and partially funded through a grant from the State of Tennessee. The program offers consultation, referral and monitoring for dentists, dental hygienists, and registered dental assistants whose practice is impaired, or potentially could be impaired, due to the use of drugs or alcohol, or a psychological or physiological condition.

A referral can be made confidentially by an employee assistance program, a co-worker, family member, friend, or the practitioner him/herself. If the practitioner is willing to undergo a thorough evaluation to determine the extent of the problem and any treatment needed, the identity of the practitioner is kept confidential from the Tennessee Board of Dentistry, as long as the practitioner remains complaint with the program.

The Board may also make referrals to the Wellness Committee when a rehabilitation program is deemed appropriate as a part of any disciplinary action. (If referrals are made from the Board as a part of the disciplinary action process, reports are routinely made to the Board.)

Chemical dependency is a significant problem among health professionals and is a chronic, progressive illness that can be treated effectively. As with all chronic illnesses, the earlier the identification and treatment, the better the prognosis. Some signs of chemical dependency are:

  • Mood swings
  • Inappropriate behavior at work
  • Frequent days off for implausible reasons
  • Non-compliance with acceptable policies and procedures
  • Deteriorating appearance
  • Deteriorating job performance
  • Sloppy and illegible charting
  • Errors in charting
  • Alcohol on breath
  • Forgetfulness, or
  • Poor judgment and concentration

For any questions or concerns, contact the
Wellness Committee at (615) 628-3200.