MADISON, Wis. (5/30/14)--The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD), which was founded on the mission of responsible esthetics, recently voiced its support to eliminate non-dentist whitening treatments in North Carolina.
Currently, teeth whitening treatments can be performed by non-dentists in North Carolina. Some of these treatments take place in malls or in tanning salons.
The AACD Board of Directors voted earlier this month to participate in an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in support of the American Dental Association’s (ADA) position on The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission pending lawsuit.
Academy leaders opted to support the ADA on this issue, which could affect the livelihood of its members.
In 2010, the North Carolina State Board sent cease and desist orders to the non-dentist staffed whitening businesses, acting on the basis that these businesses were violating the state’s Dental Practice Act. However, the FTC contends that the Board acted as a group of competitors, attempting to exclude other competitors from the market.
AACD President Dr. James Hastings, who practices in Placerville, Calif., said the North Carolina State Board acted to protect patients’ oral health, which aligns with the AACD’s mission of responsible esthetics. AACD Members champion treatment that is consistent with the long-term health and needs of patients.
“Patients seeking whitening treatments should always do so from a dentist,” Dr. Hastings said. “Dental professionals can assess a patient’s oral health to ensure teeth and gums are healthy enough for whitening, reduce sensitivity, and ensure a better outcome. A non-dentist does not have the necessary training or education to properly evaluate an individual’s oral health.”
Providing teeth whitening services to a patient in poor oral health, such as a patient with gum disease, can be extremely harmful, Dr. Hastings added. Teeth whitening treatments can vary, and an AACD Member Dentist can help select the right treatment based on the patient’s oral health, severity of staining, and desired results.
The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case this fall.
North Carolina is not the only state that has seen legal action regarding teeth whitening. Roughly 14 states have changed their laws to exclude non-dental professionals from providing teeth whitening services, and at least 25 states have been ordered to shut down teeth whitening businesses, according to the Institute for Justice.
Click here to read AACD's statement regarding non-dentist teeth whitening procedures.
SOURCE: American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry