The Supreme Court ruled last week that a North Carolina dental board comprised predominantly of dentists and other professionals in the pearly white’s field could not prohibit non-dentists from performing teeth whitening treatments within the state.
As USA Today reported, it’s no wonder that the NC dentists sought to control this industry: while insurance billing remains their leading source of income and individual patients remain a difficult group from whom they must collect the remainder owed, this industry – teeth whitening – is cash at the door. Insurance doesn’t cover cosmetic services and there’s yet to be a dentist or policyholder to get this by the claim representative’s watchful eye.
All of which is to say that people pay up front at the time of service for their teeth whitening, and the dentists love it because the bill is 100% theirs. It’s no surprise then why these same dentists don’t want a little salon, spa, kiosk in the mall, or any other aspiring entrepreneurs in on this business opportunity when the dentists can keep it all for themselves.
“Money,” says Hal Fischer, founder of Anywhere Whitening and Teeth Whitening Academy. “The dentists thought they could monopolize this market and force patients to pay much higher fees from what non-dentists can do for a fraction of the cost. Teeth whitening is not a dental procedure – it’s a cosmetic procedure.”
Equally important as the High Court’s decision was the implication for the cosmetic treatment industry: originally orphaned by the medical and dental fields as cheaper versions of their ‘real’ procedures, these treatments – ranging from teeth whitening to hair removal and permanent makeup – have gained so steadily in popularity that teeth whitening itself surpassed Botox as the #1 most requested cosmetic service in the world, becoming a $12.4 billion services and products industry, according to Dentistryiq.com.
Fischer, who over five years ago began the mobile teeth whitening service Anywhere Whitening which brings teeth whitening services right to a client’s home or office for less than half the price of most dentists, recently launched the Teeth Whitening Academy – a small business incubator and professional training academy for the teeth whitening industry – to create an entry point for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to begin an entirely new business in teeth whitening, or augment their existing beauty business income.
With the result of the Supreme Court’s decision, Fischer says, “It’s good to see the government actually allowing the market to determine who does what type of business.” Fischer was quick to note that, “There is still a need for proper training from experienced professionals in the field.”
“Our purpose at TWA is to give entrepreneurs the tools they need to be successful providing clients with teeth whitening services. We approach this from a cosmetic treatment standpoint and from a business owner viewpoint so that these entrepreneurs can deliver professionally-administered teeth whitening treatments at an affordable and sustainable cost to the consumer.”