In the State of Florida, the law makes it a felony (unlicensed practice of dentistry) for a non-dentist to provide, or offer to provide, tooth-whitening services. The law allows tooth whitening supplies to be sold directly to consumers and it allows consumers to apply whitening products to their own teeth. But actually performing or offering to perform, the service for another person is the practice of dentistry, such that only a Florida-licensed dentist may lawfully do it.
Enforcement has been slow and the number of bleaching kiosks is rising at an alarming rate. Business-owners may not know that a dental license is required if they place the products in, or take an impression of, a consumer’s mouth. Yet ignorance of the law is no excuse. Prosecutors may be reluctant to pursue felony charges if they believe – incorrectly – that there is no danger to the patient from tooth whitening. Yet the public goes unprotected if the rule of law is compromised. Enforcement agencies may be reluctant to divert resources to tooth-whitening choosing instead to focus only on “major” crimes. Yet there is money in the budget to prosecute unlicensed activity and it is indeed a felony. Investigators may face considerable challenges because tooth whitening operations are often set up at very temporary, easily relocated, locations where the business owner in not present to be served with process.
Unlicensed activity is prosecuted by the Florida Department of Health. This report is from the Hillsborough County Dental Association.
Soreide Law Group represents those seeking admittance to the Florida Board of Dentistry. We also represent those dentists brought in front of the Florida Board of Dentistry for disciplinary hearings. To speak to a lawyer regarding these issues please call: (888) 760-6552, or visit our website at: www.floridaprofessionallicense.com.