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Legal Advocacy & Litigation

The ADA stands up for dentistry, defending sound science and fair dealings on behalf of patients and the profession. The Association frequently explores possible participation in lawsuits that may be of national significance to dentistry.

We also support dentists and states facing legal challenges by way of friend of the court (amicus curiae) briefs. The following lawsuit is pending and may affect your rights as a dentist:

  • In The North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, the ADA and several other professional associations filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court in support of the North Carolina Dental Board’s petition for certiorari seeking to have the Supreme Court hear the Board’s appeal of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in favor of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC had taken the position that the Board acted in violation of U.S. antitrust laws when it sent cease and desist “orders” to non-dentist staffed teeth-whitening businesses operating in North Carolina. While the Board acted on the basis that these businesses were violating a state’s Dental Practice Act, the FTC contended that the Board was acting as a group of competitors attempting to exclude competitors from the marketplace. In early 2014, the Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari and the it is expected to hear the case in its Fall 2014 term.

Informational Assistance

The ADA answers member dentists' inquiries on a wide variety of issues. Answers are supplied on an informational basis and do not constitute legal advice.

Contact Us

ADA Division of Legal Affairs
211 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

© 2013, 2014 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this material by member dentists and their staff for use in the dental office is permitted. Any other use, duplication or distribution by any other party requires the prior written approval of the American Dental Association.

Revision date: April 2014 

Legal Disclaimer
The foregoing was prepared by the ADA Division of Legal Affairs. Its purpose is to promote awareness of legal issues that may affect dentists and dental practices. This document is not intended to provide either legal or professional advice, and cannot address every federal, state, and local law that could affect a dentist or dental practice. Because the law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and sometimes changes more rapidly than these materials, we make no representations or warranties of any kind about the completeness, accuracy, or any other quality of the information in the above piece. Nothing here represents advice or opinion as to any particular situation you may be facing; for that, it is necessary to consult directly with a properly qualified professional or with an attorney admitted to practice in your jurisdiction for appropriate legal or professional advice. To the extent the above includes links to any websites, the ADA intends no endorsement of their content and implies no affiliation with the organizations that provide their content. Nor does the ADA make any representations or warranties about the information provided on those sites, which we do not control in any way.