Tag Archives: dental board

State Licensing Boards Limiting Choice For Consumers

Teeth Whitening and the State Licensing Boards

In an injunction issued by Judge Robert Pitman, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas held that Teladoc, the progressive healthcare platform connecting doctors to patients via remote means, succeeded in blocking the Texas Medical Board—for the time being. Teladoc, like the teeth whiteners of North Carolina, has taken on the Texas state licensing board in the dispute of the board’s illegally limiting competition. The Texas Medical Board, adopted revisions that Teladoc argues violates federal law as well as the Sherman Antitrust Act.

A matter of safety?

As with the teeth whitening debate, the Texas Medical Board claims their motivation is concern regarding patient safety. However, no evidence produced supports harm to any patient. The board rests soundly on the theory that allowing Teladoc to serve clients may prove harmful to the public. State licensing boards promoting extreme concern for public safety without supporting evidence begs the question, Who are they really protecting? Big Brother oversight with no sign of even potential harm highlights how state boards feel about competition toward their participants.

State Licensing Boards limit options

State Licensing Boards Limiting Choice For Consumers

As technology develops, people demand more affordable, convenient options that the evolution makes available. The default maneuver across many states is to deny those options on legal grounds. Statutory language is revised to stamp out perceived threats. This sends a clear message to the public that the status quo will always favor the licensing board. They ban new technology which lowers prices or opens new venues of alternatives to traditional care. And people are clearly getting the message. While the dentists and doctors may think that no one is watching, the public is paying close attention. They understand that state licensing boards are more than market participants. Guided by corporations and special interests, they know these boards clearly hold their own interests above those of the people. Attempts to limit access to affordable healthcare for non-emergency medical issues won’t go any better than limiting teeth whitening did.

State Licensing Boards trying public patience

With the affordability of technology and public healthcare, when will they exhaust the public’s patience? People grow weary of self-interested state licensing boards conveniently limiting options. In this case, at least, Teladoc has the means to stand toe-to-toe with the state licensing board. But what about the next wave of emerging technology that threatens a state board? In North Carolina, viable small businesses shut down due to orders deemed illegal by The United States Supreme Court. Who pays for entrepreneurship crushed out by the next state licensing board’s “theory of harm” that they can’t prove? There should be some measure in that gray area of “oversight” that calls for actual proof. At the very least, boards can offer thorough research and investigation. State licensing boards cannot shut down a viable and profitable business simply because it competes with the board’s participants.

While expanding markets continue to offer new opportunities, a savvy public demand options. The status quo will not hold for long. Technology will continue to develop, and people will demand further improvement in their access to care. People deserve choices in how to obtain that care. Yet, state licensing boards hold onto tired language of statutes quickly becoming outdated. Actions mimicking the same clutching that hindered email from replacing snail mail. The insistent drum of technology as it marches on will proves what a fool’s exercise that is. Many licensing boards across the country, Texas included, don’t employ Parker’s immunity measures. This begs the more reasonable question, who will pay for the damages? Teladoc made clear that treble damages in the face of its scheduled IPO would run into the tens of millions.

Brighter Image Lab is an advocate for consumers

However, companies like Teladoc are not the only ones on the front lines of this critical shift in consumer advocacy. Fighting for decades, Brighter Image Lab brings clients the very best in affordable teeth whitening and state-of-the-art removable smile makeovers. Find out how Press On Veneers has leveraged technology, creating a new smile enhancement. Brighter Image Lab challenges the status quo and allows consumers to have a dental choice regarding the appearance of their smile. Before you pay thousands for dental veneers or a Snap On Smile, call and speak with Laurie Hall. Ask about the options available with Press On Veneer removable veneers.

State Boards killing good ideas like Non-Dental Teeth Whitening

What do Non-Dental Teeth Whitening, Legalzoom, and Uber have in common?

The last decade has ushered in exponential growth in many businesses like non-dental teeth whitening. They have introduced the public to new approaches and opportunities that technology has made available.

LegalZoom, for example, is a business that resonated profoundly with a public that was tired of being separated from opportunity simply because there were no affordable options. Today, it has found its way into the home of every businessperson wanting to branch out with a new idea. So also was the case with Tesla, Uber, and non-dental teeth whitening.

The phenomenon of creating new paths to opportunity is the anchoring standard of technology. However, in areas that are controlled by state licensing agencies, business evolution that benefits the consumer—rather than the participants—are never welcome.

The pioneers who harness technology, operate on the fine line of technology and the state licensing in their area. They drive forward with new innovative designs that create low cost, affordable options for consumers. This is the hallmark of a free market and spurs competition under most circumstances.

However, such businesses often pay grievously for their vision.

State Boards killing good ideas like Non-Dental Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening banned in North Carolina

In the case of Legalzoom, the state of North Carolina contended that allowing people access to self-help with regards to legal forms could only be construed as “the unauthorized practice of law.”

North Carolina took a similar stance trying to regulate teeth whitening, recently buckling under the power of The United States Supreme Court ruling that put an end to the teeth whitening debate for every state.

The Supreme Court ruled that state licensing boards, comprised primarily of market participants, do not have automatic immunity from antitrust laws.

North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission dealt a setback to what has become an increasingly common form of attempts by state licensing boards to regulate trade that competes with their participants.

The birth of today’s non-dental teeth whitening serves as the best example to illustrate the path of consumer demand and the intersection of state licensing.

While popularity for teeth whitening gained momentum in the 1990s, the cost for dental teeth whitening was prohibitive. Dentists charged upwards of $400.00 for teeth whitening, and the process itself was extreme.

Sitting in a dental chair, under harsh lightening with a solution so strong it had to be monitored, its understandable how dentists may have viewed these measures as needing the skill of a licensed dentist to oversee the results.

Dentists didn’t understand

However, what dentists failed to take into account was that not everyone needed, or wanted, such extreme teeth whitening measures. Not content with the status quo, kiosks and individual businesses developed lower cost, less invasive alternatives to the dentist office.

As a result, the expanding market demanded options. The dentists, in conjunction with the North Carolina Dental Board, worked to scrupulously destroy all options but the dentist. Attempting to put non-dental teeth whitening out of business, the North Carolina Dental Board illegally thwarted teeth whitening options. Consequently, this lead to higher prices in dental teeth whitening and reduced choices for consumers.

In cease and desist orders that forced small businesses to close their doors and stop offering non-dental teeth whitening, the North Carolina Dental Board effectively worked to gain exclusive rights to teeth whitening for their local dentists.

Retrospectively, some of the arguments seem ridiculous. An expert for The North Carolina Dental Board, Dr. Haywood referred to businesses that offer non-dental teeth whitening as “charlatans,” “quacks,” and “thieves,” comparing the process to “assisted suicide.”

It’s quite clear that dentists wanted to believe non-dental teeth whitening inherently dangerous, requiring the care of a licensed dentist.

Millions of people with whiter smiles and larger bank accounts have proved that false. Dr. Haywood’s unsupported positions no longer bear the same weight. As a result, non-dental teeth whitening is as common as dental floss, and no one is the worse for it.

Far from being inherently dangerous to the public, Legalzoom, teeth whitening, Uber, Tesla, and Press On Veneers emerge as pioneers on the side of a public that has had its patience exhausted by having their options challenged and limited by self-interested state licensing boards.

Technology will continue to push options like non-dental teeth whitening

In conclusion, no matter what the future holds, technology is changing the options available. The benefits to the consumer will only increase. It’s worth noting the rules are evolving where self-help and the rights of consumers’ are concerned. Far too many people possess limited time and resources to cave to the pressure of outdated methods of doing business. State boards continue to force these practices on a savvy population. Citizens who can just as easily find an answer without their help with no ill effects whatsoever.

Find out how Press On Veneers is working to create affordable new smile enhancements. Transform the appearance of your smile without a dentist visit. Before you pay thousands for Lumineers or a Snap On Smile, call with Laurie Hall today about your removable veneer. On the cutting edge of technology, a beautiful, affordable smile is now your dental choice.

Supreme Court rules limiting teeth whitening unconstitutional

U.S. Supreme Court rule – dentists cannot regulate teeth whitening

Supreme Court rules limiting teeth whitening unconstitutional

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the North Carolina dental board does not have the authority to regulate teeth whitening services. By a 6-to-3 vote, the court said that the state board, composed mainly of dentists, violated the nation’s antitrust laws by attempting to regulate teeth whitening competitors.

Teeth whitening at a dentist’s office can be expensive, so non-dentists started offering the service at a lower price at spas and shopping centers in North Carolina. The state board of dental examiners, which consists mainly of dentists, accused the non-dental teeth whitening businesses of practicing dentistry without a license. As a result, the board ordered them to stop regulate teeth whitening companies or face potential criminal charges.

Dentists regulate teeth whitening for personal gain

At that point, the Federal Trade Commission intervened to block the board’s actions. A lower court sided with the FTC. They agree state regulatory power ends when it gives private dentists the power to unlawfully knock out their teeth whitening competitors for personal gain.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court also sided with the FTC. Writing for the six-justice majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said that it is not even clear under North Carolina law that teeth whitening “constitutes the practice of dentistry.” He noted that states are normally immune from the federal antitrust laws. But in a case like this, where private dentists dominate a state dental board, he said, there is too great a risk of “self-dealing.”

The solution, he observed, is disinterested state authorities providing clear and active supervision to regulate teeth whitening. Unfortunately, the nation’s highest court found that did not exist in North Carolina.

What this means for other states

Almost all dental boards in the United States develop standards of professional conduct and dental care. These include continuing education requirements to maintain a high level of integrity and performance in the practice of dentistry. However, according to FTC records, a number of regulating dental boards have overstepped their authority. They make decisions not to “protect the public,” but to protect the special interest group they represent.

This decision not only affects the other states, but carries a mandate. States may only regulate teeth whitening through disinterested state authorities.