Speaks on bleaching

By Sarah Rosario

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

The US Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled North Carolina's dental board cannot ban non-dentists from offering teeth-whitening services.

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you, which is why Charlotte dentist Dr. Bradford Picot takes whitening teeth seriously.

"It's not just a matter of plaque or hygiene. It could be malformations in teeth, or development of the teeth at a young age," he said.

These are just some of the reasons Picot said teeth yellow. They're issues dentists can fix in one visit, but with cheaper whitening options on the market, many clients are choosing the alternative.

"When I think of a dentist I don't think of someone who is going to whiten my teeth; I think of someone who is going to clean them and check me for gingivitis or any types of diseases" said Phillip Lorenz.

The fight to ban teeth-whitening services provided by non-dentists has been going since 2010.

In 2011, North Carolina's dental board sued the FTC for preventing it from shutting down businesses like day spas and tanning booths that offer whitening services.

The case made its way to federal court.

On Friday, a judge refused to consider it.

Another reason why the court ruled against the state's dental board is because it's made up of dentists appointed by other dentists.

Picot said it's not as much about competition as it is about dental hygiene. He offers over-the-counter whitening products to his patients, but said when it comes seeing a non-certified person to get the job done, a dentist is better trained to get the job done.

"There's a lot of training that goes into dental school to diagnose what can be done to effectively whiten your teeth and how can we manage the complications," he said.

Picot hopes the federal court ruling will get further consideration but said it's ultimately up to the client to decide who they want doing their dental work.

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