Dentist sued over online video that disparages snap-on veneers

By Melissa Busch, DrBicuspid.com associate editor

January 18, 2023 -- The owner of a snap-on veneers lab has filed a defamation lawsuit in U.S. court against a Missouri dentist who cautioned viewers in an online video about this type of temporary prosthetics. The story was published on January 15 in the Springfield News-Leader.

Billy Watson, owner of Brighter Image Lab in Fort Worth, TX, filed a lawsuit on January 9 against Dr. Grant Olson and his dental practice Innovative Dental Center for General & Advanced Dentistry in Springfield, MO. Watson claims in the suit that Olson made false and misleading statements in a video that he posted in November 2022 to his Innovative Dental YouTube channel, which has 129,000 subscribers, that could damage Brighter Image Lab, according to the story.

Olson does not specifically name Brighter Image Lab in his video, which is titled "The Ugly Truth About Veneers," but he discusses a patient's experience with temporary veneers that were bought from "a company out of Texas." Olson states in the video, "I won't name the names, but you know who you are."

Watson is seeking an injunction to remove the video from YouTube, which he claims will cause "irreparable" harm to the reputation of Brighter Image Lab. Watson is also seeking monetary damages, according to the story.

During the 12-minute video, which has had more than 9,000 views, Olson claims that temporary veneers are not regulated and may cause significant damage to a patient's teeth, bones, and gums, which can result in costly dental procedures. In the video, Olson said he was speaking out against snap-on veneers after one of his patients bought them and was left with tooth decay that required significant dental intervention, according to the story.

In the lawsuit, Watson claims that some problematic statements made by Olson include that snap-on veneers are not really veneers, they don't save patients money in the long run, and they cost $5 to make them. The dental lab owner also claims that the dental industry is threatened by his business, which allows customers to improve their smiles without having to visit a dentist, according to the story.

"You're spending $800 to cost yourself thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars," Olson warned in the video.

At the end of Olson's video, he endorses Snap-On Smile, a product that requires dentist involvement but one that he does not use at his own practice. Olson said in the video that he promoted Snap-On Smile because he knows other dentists who use it and have reported it as an effective short-term solution for patients.

"The licensed dentist has to at least remove the decay from the teeth, we can't just cover up a mess underneath and then go 'Yeah, you're good to go. Catch you later,'" Olson said in the video. "So, there's ethics involved. We have to remove infection, make sure that everything is safe. You're not going to find teeth getting worse as long as you take them off and clean the teeth underneath."


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