Dentists cannot have a monopoly on teeth whitening services, the Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court found that the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners was wrong when it sent “cease and desist” letters to companies that were offering teeth whitening at strip malls and kiosks. The board held that it was regulating the practice, but it was sued by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for creating an advantage for its members and blocking competition.
The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the FTC, agreeing that the board was acting on behalf of private members and not as a state regulatory agency since it was not being actively monitored by the state.
North Carolina law does not specify whether teeth whitening is a practice only allowed by dentists. The smaller businesses were offering the procedures for a lower costs than the dentists.