SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) today issued its final order on the matter of the dental, controlled substance, and specialty licenses, as well as the sedation permit of Hicham Riba, D.D.S. Daniel E. Bluthardt, Director of the Division of Professional Regulation signed an order indefinitely suspending the general dentistry license of Dr. Riba for a minimum of 18 months, the pediatric dentistry specialty license for at least three years, controlled substance license for at least five years and revoked the permit for Dr. Riba to sedate patients. The terms of these suspensions will be effective from the date of the summary suspension issued on Sept. 29, 2006. Director Bluthardt also ordered Dr. Riba to pay a fine of $10,000, the maximum allowed under the Dental Practice Act.
“The records in this case reflect poorly on Dr. Riba’s ability to practice general dentistry,” Bluthardt said in his order. “A dentist is responsible for all aspects of his practice, including maintaining proper records, ensuring proper training of staff, and being able to practice dentistry, in a specialty or otherwise, in a safe and professional manner. In this case, it is clear that Riba failed in his responsibilities to provide appropriate dental care, in a specialty or otherwise, in a safe and professional manner.”
The Board of Dentistry had recommended a six month suspension of Riba’s general dentistry license, retroactive to the date of the initial summary suspension. Bluthardt instead, accepted the recommendations of the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for a longer suspension of 18 months.
Bluthardt argues in his order that he is extending the suspension of his general dentistry license beyond the recommendations of the Board due to Riba’s failure to ensure his staff was appropriately trained, his inaccurate record keeping, and his willingness to exceed the scope of his sedation permit. In addition to the order signed today Bluthardt filed a report with the Secretary of State and with the Board of Dentistry providing his reasons for disagreement with the Board’s recommendations.
Copies of the Order of the Director, the Order in Contravention of the Board filed with the Secretary of State, and Dental Board’s Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Recommendation to the Director, as well as the summary suspension, are available on the IDFPR.com website.