Activities Regarding Direct-To-Consumer Orthodontics

The AAO’s efforts regarding Direct-To-Consumer Orthodontics has taken a broad approach, as we strive to protect the health and safety of orthodontic patients, both current and prospective. 

*Consumer Alert from the AAO – Questions to Consider When Researching Direct-To-Consumer Orthodontic Companies (like SmileDirectClub, Candid Co., Smilelove, SnapCorrect, Orthly, Etc.) 

 

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May 8, 2019

Federal Court Dismisses a Majority of SmileDirectClub’s Claims, and Finds that SmileDirectClub’s Digital Scans Constitute the “Practice of Dentistry”

On May 8, 2019, the Court entered an Order dismissing a majority of SmileDirectClub’s claims in the lawsuit. The Court dismissed all of the claims against the Board as an entity, as well as any claims against the Board’s individual members seeking monetary damages. 

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April 29, 2019

AAO President, Dr. Brent Larson, Addresses At-Home Aligners

Larson says people should know that teeth straightening is not “something that just changes your look. It’s actually a very complicated biological procedure.”

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April 25, 2019

AAO Weighs In: CVS Expanding Services to Include Teeth-Straightening

The American Association of Orthodontists has criticized the service, warning that in-person visits are important in this type of care. Dentists can spot gum disease during these visits, and X-rays can detect bone loss not seen in a photo, Sean Murphy said.

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April 18, 2019

Federal Court Throws Out Over Half of SmileDirectClub’s Counts Against the Alabama Dental Board

On April 17, 2019, the Court entered an order on the Alabama Board’s Motion to Dismiss, and threw out six of SmileDirectClub’s counts against the Board.

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April 4, 2019

AAO Responds to SmileDirectClub in Georgia Lawsuit

The AAO filed a motion seeking leave to file a response brief in further support of the Georgia Board’s Motion to Dismiss, supporting the position of the Board and its members in the lawsuit, and in opposition to the claims and arguments made by SDC.

View the Brief

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April 2019

AAO President, Dr. Brent Larson, Addresses DTC Treatment

Dr. Brent Larson, AAO president, took part recently in a nationwide Satellite Media Tour (series of coordinated media interviews), speaking with nearly 25 television and radio interviewers on the topic of direct-to-consumer orthodontic treatment.

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March 19, 2019

AAO Secures Veto of Problematic Teledentistry Bill

In an effort to protect patient health and safety, the AAO and the New Mexico Association of Orthodontists (NMAO) worked to stop Senate Bill 241 from becoming law. 

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February 21, 2019

AAO Files Amicus Brief in SmileDirectClub's Georgia Lawsuit

The AAO filed a motion seeking the court’s permission to file an amicus brief in support of the Georgia Dental Board in the lawsuit brought against the Board by SDC.  The court granted the AAO’s motion and accepted the brief for consideration in the lawsuit.  The lawsuit remains pending.

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February 1, 2019

AAO Addresses SmileDirectClub Efforts in Arizona

The SmileDirectClub appeared before the Arizona State Board of Dental Examiners (Dental Board) to discuss its business model and Arizona SmileShops.  The AAO’s Sean Murphy attended to provide the AAO’s perspective on orthodontic treatment and address the arguments made by SmileDirectClub. The AAO was the only party that responded to SmileDirectClub’s statements during the Dental Board’s public comment period. The Arizona Dental Board thanked the AAO for its perspective and indicated they would be considering the information presented and likely schedule a subsequent meeting on this topic.

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January 28, 2019

New Jersey Dental Association Files Lawsuit Against SmileDirectClub

The New Jersey Dental Association (“NJDA”) and one of its members, Dr. Scott D. Galkin, filed a lawsuit against SmileDirectClub (“SDC”) and three of the doctors who allegedly work with SDC, Dr. Danny Leeds, Dr. Robert DeRosso, and Dr. Issac Perle (the “Associated Doctors”).

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January 9, 2019

AAO Files Amicus Brief in SmileDirectClub's Alabama Lawsuit

The AAO filed a motion seeking the court’s permission to file an amicus brief in support of the Alabama Board of Dental Examiners in the lawsuit brought against the Board by SDC.  The court granted the AAO’s motion and accepted the brief for consideration in the lawsuit.  The lawsuit remains pending.

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December 21, 2018

AAO Weighs In: Teeth-Straightening Boom

“Orthodontics is the movement of biological material, and it’s best done under the supervision of a licensed orthodontist,” said Sean Murphy, AAO’s general counsel. “If not done correctly, (it) can lead to potentially irreversible and expensive damage…”

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November 2018

Alabama Dental Board Defends Itself against SmileDirectClub Lawsuit

On October 12, 2018, SmileDirectClub (“SDC”) and Dr. D. Blaine Leeds filed a lawsuit against the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama (the “Board”) in federal court for the Northern District of Alabama. On November 21, the Board and its individual members filed a Motion to Dismiss SDC and Dr. Leeds’ claims against them, arguing that SDC and Dr. Leeds have failed to adequately plead claims against the Board and its members.  

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November 2018

Georgia Dental Board Defends Itself against SmileDirectClub Lawsuit

On May 21, 2018, SmileDirectClub (“SDC”) filed a lawsuit against the Georgia Board of Dentistry (the “Board”) in federal court for the Northern District of Georgia. On November 21, the Board and its individual members filed a Motion to Dismiss SDC’s claims against them, arguing that SDC has failed to adequately plead claims against the Board and its members. 

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October 2018

AAO Advocates on Behalf of Canadian Orthodontists to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario

The AAO worked with a Toronto law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright Canada, to attend a meeting and communicate to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario concerns regarding stores in Ontario that appear to be providing patients with orthodontic treatment absent any in-person evaluation or in-person supervision by a licensed dentist.

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October 2018

AAO Addresses SmileDirectClub Efforts in Georgia

The Georgia Dental Board held a public hearing on the rule requiring direct supervision for digital scanning for fabrication of orthodontic appliances, over which SDC sued the Board.  The AAO made a presentation at that hearing in support of the Georgia Dental Board’s rule.  SDC also made a presentation at that hearing.

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In September 2018

AAO Responds To SmileDirectClub’s Efforts in Arkansas

In September 2018, SmileDirectClub held a meeting with members of the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners to discuss an Arkansas regulation that states an “in person” dental examination creates a proper dentist/patient relationship, and a “dentist/patient relationship must be established before the delivery of services via ‘teledentistry.’”  AAO Attorney Sean Murphy attended the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners meeting with the AAO’s Arkansas lobbyists and voiced opposition to SmileDirectClub’s efforts.

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September 20, 2018

AAO Weighs In: Teeth-Straightening Startups

“There’s more to treating a smile than just moving visible portions of the teeth,” said AAO associate general counsel Sean Murphy. “If you want to increase access to care, you have to make sure it’s in the best interest of patient health and safety.”

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Late 2017

Letter to the FDA

The AAO sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration regarding SDC, asking the FDA to investigate whether SmileDirectClub’s sale and distribution of dental aligner devices is consistent with applicable law and that the appropriate action be taken with respect to SmileDirectClub’s historic and continued sales and distribution of dental aligners.  The AAO is awaiting the FDA’s response.

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In late 2017

FTC Petition

The AAO filed with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) a twenty-plus page “Petition to Initiate Enforcement Action against SDC, LLC in Connection with Unfair and Deceptive Practices.”   The AAO is awaiting the FTC’s response.

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December 15, 2017

Dr. Snyder and the AAO Comment on SmileDirectClub to Virginia Board of Dentistry

Recognizing his right to petition his state dental board, in October 2017 Virginia AAO member Dr. Edward Snyder submitted a letter on his own to the Virginia Board of Dentistry, reflecting his thoughts and opinions about SmileDirectClub.

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October 21, 2017

Message to AAO Members Regarding Recent SmileDirectClub Claims

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In or around April 2017

State Dental Board Complaints—SmileDirectClub

The AAO filed complaints with 36 state dental boards and authorities against SmileDirectClub alleging specific regulatory and statutory violations.  A majority of those complaints are still pending and the AAO continues to monitor them. 

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