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AAO Addresses SmileDirectClub in Arizona

The Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners held its latest meeting on Friday, October 4, 2019. As part of the agenda, representatives of the American Association of Orthodontists and SmileDirectClub were invited to discuss “aligner treatment and the taking of digital scans of a patient’s mouth for the purpose of having a dentist or orthodontist approve of a treatment plan for correcting a malposition of the patient’s teeth.”

At the meeting, AAO Attorney Andrew Wiltsch presented the AAO’s position that the taking of an intraoral digital scan constitutes the practice of dentistry and, therefore, must be performed by licensed dentists or individuals operating under the appropriate level of supervision by a licensed dentist. Wiltsch also expressed the AAO’s concerns regarding patient health and safety and its desire to ensure clear aligner therapy is performed to the proper standard of care for orthodontic treatment.

Please note, individuals and patients can choose to contact their state, territory, or provincial dental boards or authorities (https://www.aaoinfo.org/aao/state-dental-board-info) (last visited October 15, 2019), their state Attorney General’s consumer protection office (https://www.usa.gov/state-consumer) (last visited October 15, 2019) or provincial consumer affairs office (http://www.consumerhandbook.ca/en/contacts/provincial-territorial-offices) (last visited October 15, 2019), regulatory agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) – (https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/contact-fda) (last visited October 15, 2019), and their elected officials (e.g. Governor, state representative, etc.) about dental issues.

The AAO has also developed a consumer alert that contains questions for potential patients to consider when researching direct-to-consumer orthodontic companies and previously published a press release regarding direct-to-consumer orthodontics.