Diversion Program

What is it?

Diversion is a confidential program for licensed Dentists, Registered Dental Assistants, and Registered Dental Assistants in Extended Functions in California whose ability to practice may be impaired due to alcohol and/or drug abuse. The program offers a means of recovery without the loss of a license by providing access to appropriate intervention programs and treatment services. The Diversion Program must comply with the provisions in Business and Professions Code Section 1695.5.

Why This Service?

The purpose of the Diversion Program is to protect the public and rehabilitate the licentiate, and is available to dental professionals meeting the eligibility criteria.

For confidential inquiries about referral to the Diversion Program: call 1-800-522-9198.

Diversion Evaluation Committees (DEC)

The Northern DEC meets quarterly in Sacramento and the Southern DEC meets quarterly in Los Angeles. These committees assist the Board in evaluating licensees who may be impaired due to the abuse of alcohol or drugs.  Each committee is composed of three dentists, one dental auxiliary, one physician or psychologist, and one public member who all have experience or knowledge in the field of chemical dependency. Diversion Committee members are appointed by the Board and serve at the Board's pleasure.

Applications are now being accepted for the public member position on the Northern DEC; a dentist position on the Southern DEC;  and dental auxiliary positions on both the northern and southern DEC's.

In making a determination to apply, the following factors should be considered:

  1. Expertise - Members must have experience or knowledge in the field of chemical dependency.
  2. Time - A minimum of 4 days per year will be required for committee meetings. Committee members must also be available for telephone consultation with participants and program staff. Terms are four years.
  3. Reimbursement - Committee members will be reimbursed for expenses (i.e., transportation, meals, and lodging at the prevailing State rate) and will receive $100/day for each committee meeting. In addition, members receive the satisfaction of providing valuable service to the public and the dental community.
  4. Responsibilities - With assistance from other committee members and the clinical case manager, evaluate and determine which applicants will be admitted to the program; develop a rehabilitation plan for each participant; determine whether the participant may with safety continue or resume the practice of dentistry; and receive and review information pertaining to participants.

If you have any questions regarding the DEC application or the Diversion Program, please contact the Dental Board's Diversion Program Manager, at 916-263-2216.