Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

My husband is very angry this morning.  There's a story in The New York Times that beauty salons are now taking over teeth whitening from dentists.  And the dentists are mad.

Campbell Robertson reports that, in Alabama, the salons are on the run.  One which developed a tooth whitening system and sold it to other salons heard from the state dental board that she was "practicing dentistry without a license," and was told to "cease and desist" at once. 

Now the owner is suing the dental board but it's an interesting question.  Who should be able to whiten your teeth?

We're seeing this kind of thing spring up all over, with "oral health practioners" -- somewhere between hygienists and dentists -- now being allowed to fill cavities and pull teeth in Minnesota.   But it's not just dentistry.

Though they've been around almost before OB/GYNs, midwives, too, take heat sometimes from doctors, who feel they're better-equipped to deal with deliveries.  A law to make it easier for a midwife to practice in New York state was soundly defeated back in 2010 when Congress challenged the safety of midwife-assisted births (and, undoubtedly, the safety of OB/GYN's pocketbooks). 

And what about tattoos and piercings?  Though no medical doctors do these, more and more people are trying it, often with those who are unlicensed, and sometimes, even doing it themselves. 

It's unlikely that dentists and doctors are going out of business anytime soon. But competition has certainly heated up, and with reimbursements by insurers, Medicare and Medicaid being slashed by the millions, many are hanging up their shingles and considering opening pizza parlors.  Hey.  The world can always use another pizza place, right?


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