ADEA Washington Update

SmileDirectClub, LLC v. Georgia Board of Dentistry

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SmileDirectClub, LLC (SDC) was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Nashville, TN. SDC recently filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia to prohibit the enforcement of a rule recently adopted by the Georgia Board of Dentistry (Board), along with a demand for unspecified monetary damages. 

The rule requires a licensed dentist to provide direct supervision of digital scans used to fit orthodontic aligners. SDC’s complaint alleges that the Board violated the Sherman Act[i] when it allegedly conspired to restrain the ability of non-dentists to provide “nonclinical administrative support services” by withholding relevant information from the state of Georgia about the rule’s affect.

According to the SDC complaint, this new rule would destroy its business model, which is based on providing technician-administered photographic scans of patients’ mouths, which are then referred to offsite dentists for evaluation and used to construct clear plastic aligner treatments fitted to each individual patient. 

The new rule does not require direct supervision by a dentist during digital scanning but does require a licensed dentist to be present in the building during scanning. SDC is alleging that the rule will reduce Georgia citizens’ access to dental care, increase consumer prices and impose unnecessary regulations on a safe nonmedical procedure.

[i] The Sherman Antitrust Act, 26 Stat.209, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-7 (1890)

Duggan ad 2013