(a) In order to accomplish the purposes and to provide for the enforcement of this chapter, there is hereby created the board. The board is hereby vested with the authority to carry out the purposes and enforce the provisions of this chapter. On June 24, 1959, the members of the present board now in existence shall hold office for the remainder of their respective terms for which they have been elected and thereafter until their successors are elected and qualified and shall constitute the board under this chapter. The board shall consist of six dentists who shall be selected in the method set forth herein all of whom having been actively engaged in the practice of dentistry in the State of Alabama for at least five years next preceding the date of their election and one dental hygienist elected at-large as provided in subsection (b). Each member of the board shall be a citizen of this state. No member of the board shall be a member of the faculty of any dental school, dental college, dental hygiene school, or dental hygiene college or receive any financial benefits for teaching in any dental school, dental college, dental hygiene school, or dental hygiene college or have a financial interest in a commercial dental laboratory or a dental supply business. One member, who is qualified as provided herein, shall be selected by the Alabama Dental Society every five years. As for all elections of members, any group of 10 or more licensed dentists, residing and practicing dentistry in the state, may nominate a candidate for the position of board member by submitting a petition bearing their signatures to the secretary of the board to be postmarked no later than the first day of July in the year of the election. The board shall cause the election ballots to be mailed or published digitally not later than September 1 in the year of the election to all the licensed dentists residing and practicing in the state and currently registered as prescribed by law. The ballot shall be postmarked, or otherwise submitted electronically, no later than October 1 to the secretary of the board . Three members of the board shall be present at the time the ballots, digital or physical, are tallied. Any candidate receiving a majority of the votes shall be declared elected to the board and will take the oath of office on or before October 15 in the year of his or her election. In the event no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the board shall conduct a run-off election between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes. The board shall cause the ballots pertaining to the run-off election to be mailed or digitally published on or before October 31 of the election year to all the licensed dentists who have renewed their licenses for the succeeding year as of October 1 of the current year, are residing and practicing in the state, and currently are registered as prescribed by law, and the ballots pertaining to the run-off election shall be postmarked or digitally published no later than the fourteenth day of November in the year of the run-off election and received, if mailed, by the secretary of the board no later than the first board workday following the fourteenth day of November. All mailed ballots received after this date shall be nullified. In the event of a run-off election, the candidate receiving the largest number of votes in the run-off election shall be declared elected to the board and shall take the oath of office and begin his or her term of office no later than the next scheduled board meeting. Every member elected shall hold office for a period of five years, which terms shall begin immediately upon taking an oath to properly and faithfully discharge the duties of his or her office and until his or her successor is elected and qualified, and the member so elected or appointed shall not at the expiration of the term be eligible to succeed himself or herself. The membership of the board shall be inclusive and reflect the racial, gender, geographic, urban/rural, and economic diversity of the state. Except for the board member position selected by the Alabama Dental Society, vacancies on the board shall be filled by the board by the appointment of the immediate past member of the board, and if for any reason the immediate past member of the board is unable to accept the appointment, then the board shall fill the vacancy by appointment of the most recent past board member who is willing to accept the appointment. If no past board member accepts the appointment, then the board may, by majority vote, appoint any licensed dentist qualified under the provisions of this chapter. In the event of a vacancy in the position selected by the Alabama Dental Society, the Alabama Dental Society shall select a dentist who is qualified as provided herein to fill the vacancy. Members of the board shall be removed by a two-thirds vote of the registered dentists in the state for neglect of duty or any just cause, by petition to the secretary of the board by 10 percent of the licensed dentists in the state. On or before July 1, 1962, the board shall send a copy of this section to all licensed dentists in the state.

Terms Used In Alabama Code 34-9-40

  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • following: means next after. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • oath: includes affirmation. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • preceding: means next before. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • Probation: A sentencing alternative to imprisonment in which the court releases convicted defendants under supervision as long as certain conditions are observed.
  • Remainder: An interest in property that takes effect in the future at a specified time or after the occurrence of some event, such as the death of a life tenant.
  • state: when applied to the different parts of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the several territories of the United States. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608
  • year: means a calendar year; but, whenever the word "year" is used in reference to any appropriations for the payment of money out of the treasury, it shall mean fiscal year. See Alabama Code 30-3D-608

(b)(1) One member of the board shall be a licensed dental hygienist. The dental hygienist member shall be of good moral and ethical character and shall have been actively engaged in the practice of dental hygiene in the State of Alabama for at least five years preceding the date of election. No dental hygienist member shall be a member of the faculty of any dental school, dental college, dental hygiene school, or dental hygiene college or receive any financial benefits for teaching in any dental school, dental college, dental hygiene school, or dental hygiene college or have a financial interest in a commercial dental laboratory or dental supply business while serving on the board.

(2) The dental hygienist member shall be elected as follows:

a. Any group of 10 or more licensed dental hygienists, residing and practicing dental hygiene in the State of Alabama, may nominate a candidate for the dental hygienist position by submitting a petition bearing their signatures to the secretary of the board no later than the first day of July in the year of an election. The board shall cause election ballots to be mailed or published digitally no later than September 1 in the year of an election to all the licensed dental hygienists residing and practicing in the state and currently registered as prescribed by law. The ballot shall be postmarked or otherwise submitted electronically no later than October 1 to the secretary of the board .

b. Three members of the board shall be present at the time the ballots, digital or physical, are tallied. Any candidate receiving a majority of the votes shall be declared elected to the board and shall take the oath of office on or before October 15 in the year of his or her election. In the event no candidate receives a majority of the votes cast, the board shall conduct a run-off election between the two candidates receiving the largest number of votes. The board shall cause the ballots pertaining to any run-off election to be mailed or digitally published on or before October 31 of the election year to all licensed dental hygienists who have renewed their licenses for the succeeding year as of October 1 of the current year, are residing and practicing in the state, and are currently registered as prescribed by law, and the ballots pertaining to the run-off election shall be postmarked or digitally submitted no later than the fourteenth day of November in the year of the run-off election and received, if mailed, by the secretary of the board no later than the first board workday following November 14. All mailed ballots received after November 14 shall be nullified. In the event of a run-off election, the dental hygienist candidate receiving the largest number of votes in the run-off election shall be declared elected to the board and shall take the oath of office and begin his or her term of office no later than the next scheduled board meeting.

c. All elections as described above shall be conducted by the board.

(3) The dental hygienist member shall be removed by a two-thirds vote of the registered dental hygienists in the state for neglect of duty or any just cause by petition to the secretary of the board by 10 percent of the licensed dental hygienists in the state.

(4) The dental hygienist member shall hold that position for a period of five years, which term shall begin immediately upon taking an oath to properly and faithfully discharge the duties of his or her office and continue until his or her successor is elected and qualified, and the member so elected or appointed shall not at the expiration of the term be eligible to succeed himself or herself. If a vacancy occurs in the position of dental hygienist, the unexpired term shall be filled by the board by the appointment of the immediate past dental hygienist member. If for any reason the immediate past dental hygienist member is unable to accept the appointment, then the board shall fill the vacancy by a majority vote of the other board members by the appointment of some other past dental hygienist member. If a vacancy occurs and there is not an immediate past dental hygienist member or other past dental hygienist member, the vacancy shall be filled by a unanimous vote of the board by the appointment of some otherwise qualified dental hygienist.

(5) The dental hygienist member shall advise the board on matters relating to dental hygiene and shall only be permitted to vote on matters relating to dental hygiene. The board shall provide the dental hygienist member with timely notice of all board meetings and the dental hygienist member shall be allowed to attend all meetings unless prohibited by law from attendance at any disciplinary hearings. The board shall not adopt any rule relating to the practice of dental hygiene unless the proposed rule has been submitted to the dental hygienist member for review and comment at least 30 days prior to its adoption. The dental hygienist member shall be entitled to the same compensation and expenses paid to dentist members of the board pursuant to Section 34-9-41.

(c) Any dentist or dental hygienist who has been found guilty of violating this chapter or any provision of a dental practice act of any other state and as a result his or her license was revoked, suspended, or placed on probation or who has been convicted of a felony, shall not be eligible for election or membership on the board for a period of five years from the termination of any such revocation, suspension, or probation.

(Acts 1959, No. 100, p. 569, §2; Acts 1961, Ex. Sess., No. 58, p. 1923, §1; Acts 1993, No. 93-159, p. 241, §3; Acts 1997, No. 97-155, p. 202, §3; Act 99-402, p. 669, §1; Act 2009-18, p. 43, §5; Act 2011-571, p. 1165, §1; Act 2013-252, p. 626, §1; Act 2018-274, §1.)