Local News

Judge: NC dentists cannot control teeth-whitening business

Posted July 21, 2011 12:04 p.m. EDT
Updated July 21, 2011 12:52 p.m. EDT

— A federal judge has determined that North Carolina's dental regulatory board cannot prevent non-dentists from providing teeth-whitening services.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission accused the state Board of Dental Examiners of improperly trying to shut down businesses like day spas and tanning booths that also offer whitening services.

The dental board then filed suit, alleging that a state law allows only dentists to perform teeth-whitening procedures and contending that the FTC overstepped its authority in trying to determine who can whiten teeth.

U.S. Chief Administrative Law Judge Michael Chappell ruled Tuesday that the dental board doesn't have the authority to order non-dentists to stop providing whitening goods or services, and he ordered the board to stop its anti-competitive practices.

Chappell gave the board 30 days to send letters to each non-dental business it previously warned against providing whitening services to notify them that it doesn't have any power to stop them.