June 16, 2016 -- A lawsuit challenging the Georgia Board of Dentistry's rule prohibiting nondentists from doing teeth whitening will proceed.
The District Court for the Northern District of Georgia refused on June 6 to dismiss a 2014 suit filed by a teeth-whitening entrepreneur, arguing that Georgia’s policy violates federal antitrust law.
The claim is similar to a 2015 case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners lacks the authority to regulate nondentist teeth-whitening services, finding that the board is anticompetitive because it is mostly composed of dentists.
In recent years, teeth whitening has grown into an $11 billion industry, encompassing products such as gum and toothpaste, as well as services offered by dentists, salons, spas, and mall kiosks.
In March 2016, a Connecticut law restricting nondentists from shining light-emitting diode (LED) teeth-whitening lights on customers' teeth survived a challenge after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the case.