The AAO rejected a cease-and-desist letter from Smile Direct Club to retract a survey about retreatment rates for DTC aligner treatments.

The American Association of Orthodontists rejected Smile Direct Club’s demand to retract a survey the association produced about retreatment rates for direct to consumer aligner treatments.

On May 12, 2022 the AAO issued a press release regarding a survey of its members on mail-order orthodontic treatment issues.

The AAO received a cease-and-desist letter from attorneys for SmileDirectClub, demanding that it retract the press release and otherwise immediately cease any further references to the survey.

The survey in question showed that 77% of surveyed AAO members reported having seen patients for retreatment after receiving direct-to-consumer or mail-order orthodontic treatment, with 61% reporting seeing such patients at least once per quarter.

The AAO disagreed with every contention raised in SDC’s letter and said it will not comply with any of the demands set out in the letter.

The AAO’s attorneys have communicated this to SDC in a response letter and maintains that it has no intention of retracting the press release.

“It is of the highest priority to the AAO to take all advocacy and education efforts necessary to protect patients from risks of orthodontic treatment that do not include necessary components such as in-person examinations or x-rays prior to treatment.,” the AAO said in a statement.

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