Wednesday, November 16, 2011

IJ Goes Up Against the Connecticut Dental Cartel



Institute for Justice -- "Teeth-whitening services are popular and increasingly available at spas, salons and shopping malls. This has been a boon for consumers because these businesses offer whitening services at a much lower cost than dentists do, often charging less than 25 percent of what a dentist would charge for similar results.

There is one group that is not smiling about these new, low-cost teeth-whitening services: the Connecticut Dental Commission. In June, the Commission ruled it is a crime punishable by up to five years in jail or $25,000 in civil penalties for anyone but a licensed dentist to offer teeth-whitening services, even if the customers apply the product to their own teeth.

Teeth-whitening products are regulated by the FDA as cosmetics, which mean anyone—even a child—can purchase them and apply them to his or her own teeth without a prescription and without supervision or instruction.

The Dental Commission's ruling has nothing to do with public health or safety and everything to do with protecting licensed dentists from honest competition." 

Watch video above, and here's background information from IJ, and here are some news reports here, here and here.

5 Comments:

At 11/16/2011 12:15 PM, Blogger NormanB said...

I remember the day when you could not buy over-the-counter reading glasses you needed a prescription from an eye doctor. The rationale was that without a proper exam you could 'ruin' your eyes.

 
At 11/16/2011 1:06 PM, Blogger Cabodog said...

And while we're at it, how about teeth cleaning? Shouldn't hygienists be allowed to run an independent business, separate from the dentist?

 
At 11/16/2011 7:43 PM, Blogger Craig said...

My dentist has big window-posters advertising tooth-whitening for $149. During a visit, I asked the dentist if I could make an appointment to have my teeth whitened. He told me I didn't need one, they'd give me a kit and I do it myself.

In other words, you could buy them at the grocery store -- if it were allowed.

 
At 11/17/2011 9:25 AM, Blogger porschex911x said...

As a dentist I can assure you teeth whitening can do some real damage if you are not careful. For a majority of cases teeth whitening is a very straightforward procedure. In a small minority of cases the application of teeth whitening gels can for certain individuals create a lot of sensitivity and can damage your gums. That being said I can't support the notion of getting tooth whitening without a trained professional, dentist, doing a dental exam. It is for that small minority of cases that teeth whitening can be detrimental to ones health. The price is really not an issue for me. Tooth whitening has become a very inexpensive procedure. I would really advise everybody to get a dental exam before doing teeth whitening. The 25% discount your getting is most likely due to a lack of an exam. That being said the pricing is all the same.

 
At 11/17/2011 3:50 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

porschex911x: "That being said I can't support the notion of getting tooth whitening without a trained professional, dentist, doing a dental exam. It is for that small minority of cases that teeth whitening can be detrimental to ones health. The price is really not an issue for me. "

I believe the issue isn't so much the safety of whitening, as it is whether it should be unlawful to make our own choices as to who we feel is qualified to provide the service.

 

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