The letter expressed the congressmen’s concern regarding SmileDirectClub and expressed their support for FDA and FTC investigating the company’s practices.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) reported that on January 6, nine members of the U.S. House of Representatives authored a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “to express [their] concern regarding SmileDirectClub.” Additionally, the Congressmen expressed their “strong support of the FDA and FTC investigating the practices of SmileDirectClub to ensure that it is not misleading consumers or causing patient harm.”
The signatories to the letter all have healthcare backgrounds—five dentists, three medical doctors, and one pharmacist.
The full letter is available here.
The AAO also provided an update on the lawsuit filed by SmileDirectClub against the California Board of Dentistry. On December 23, 2019, the Board filed a motion to dismiss the claims brought against it by SmileDirectClub and Dr Jeffrey Sulitzer, the company’s chief clinical officer, in the court for the Central District of California.
The claims arise out of an investigation by the Board into SmileDirectClub and Sulitzer in California, which resulted in an Accusation (formal complaint) filed by the Board against Sulitzer in November 2019. The Board alleges that Sulitzer, in overseeing SDC “SmileShops” in California, reportedly committed violations of California’s dental laws, apparently including, but not limited to, use of fraud in the procurement of fictitious name and additional office permits, use of advertisement tending to deceive or mislead the public, treatment of patients not of record, and aiding and abetting the unlicensed practice of dentistry.
The AAO’s position is that orthodontic treatment is a complex medical process and that it is in the best, and safest, interest of the public to have that treatment conducted under the direct and ongoing supervision of a licensed orthodontist.