Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Dentist Hypocrasy

Dentists in several states are petitioning to have non dentists prohibited from performing teeth whitening procedures. On one hand, I can understand this.  Teeth whitening is clearly a dental procedure. The procedure is perfomed in many spas and in physician offices as well.

The American Dental Association (ADA) is petitioning states to enact legislation banning the procedure from non-dental offices. They have been very successful thus far. Twelve states have already enacted legislation limiting the procedures to dental opffices. The legitimate justification for the regulation is the incidence of teeth sensitivity, gum irritation and in extreme cases, trauma to the teeth, gum and enamel. Most of theses problems are transient and the incidence of a true problem is rare.

Here is the hypocrasy: dentists are routinely performing non-dental procedures such as derma fillers (Resylane, Juvederm, etc) and Botox Cosmetic. They are performing laser treatments and hair removal services as well.  The incidence of complication in these procedures is gretaer than in teeth whitenting and the potential side effects are worse. Yet, they are pushing legislation to protect their turf and criticising others, such as dermatologists, who are legitimately protecting their turf.

In my opinion, dentists should be doing teeth whitening and it should not be provided in a spa setting.  However, physicians should be able to perform this procedure.

However, I also believe that dentists should not be doing aesthetic laser, dermal filler and wrinkle relaxers. It is outside the scope of their license, experience and training. I am not talking about maxillo facial doctors and other M.D.'s that practice medicine in and around the mouth and face.  I am talking about true dentists.

I just returned from a business trip to New York and I was appalled at some ads by dentists. Not only did they claim to be "experts" in aesthetic medicine, and not only are they doing these procedures, BUT they are claiming that dentists are the true experts in the delivery of dermal fillers, Botox Cosmetic and other procedures on the face!!! Sorry, guys (and ladies) almost everything that you are doing is dermatology...don't take my word for it...ask the FDA and the ABMS. You are practicing outside the scope of your license!!

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