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ADA reaffirms policy opposing direct-to-consumer dentistry

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The ADA said in a press statement that dentists are the only individuals licensed to accept responsibility for patient care.

Following news reports about the liquidation of a manufacturer and marketer of teeth aligners sold directly to consumers, the ADA has reaffirmed its policy stating its opposition to direct-to-consumer dentistry. 

According to the ADA, direct-to-consumer dentistry has the potential to cause “irreversible harm to individuals, who are treated as ‘customers’ rather than patients.” In a press statement, the Association said that dentists are the only individuals licensed to accept responsibility for patient care.

“Under virtually all states’ laws and as is reflected in ADA policy, the dentist is ultimately responsible for the patient’s care and is the only individual licensed and qualified to accept responsibility,” the press statement said.

“Moving teeth without knowing all aspects of a patient’s oral condition has the potential to cause bone loss, lost teeth, receding gums, bite problems, jaw pain, and other damaging and permanent issues,” the statement continued. “Without the involvement of a licensed dentist, patients lose an essential quality control checkpoint — their dentist — to ensure all aspects of their treatment are performed and are progressing in the best interests of the patient.”

The statement reiterates the ADA’s commitment to patient safety and quality care and encourages those using or considering using a direct-to-consumer dentistry service to consult a dentist and discuss care options.

“Oral health and overall health are deeply connected, and the ADA encourages all patients to find a dentist they can visit regularly,” the ADA said. 

For more information on the ADA’s position on DIY dentistry, visit, MouthHealthy.org/DIYdentistry


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