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Alabama dentist, telehealth company file antitrust suit against dental examiners' board

Alabama dentist D. Blaine Leeds, DDS, and SmileDirectClub filed an antitrust lawsuit against the Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama, claiming the board exceeded its authority and practiced protectionism, according to Law 360.

Dr. Leeds and SmileDirectClub alleged the board discriminated against them after ruling Dr. Leeds and the company could not practice in the state. SmileDirectClub has a teledentistry platform that allows out-of-state dentist Dr. Leeds to provide aligner therapy treatments.

According to the claims, Dr. Leeds could not practice in the state unless he is physically in the state. The board also allegedly would not allow SmileDirectClub to take images of consumers' teeth and gums.

The Board of Dental Examiners of Alabama sent a cease and desist letter to SmileDirectClub in September. The letter accused the company of illegally practicing dentistry in the state.

SmileDirectClub argues taking photos does not constitute a dental procedure because no diagnosis is made. They argue that because the photos do not equal a dental procedure, the board does not have the authority to determine if it is dentistry or not.

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