The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) disputes several assertions in SmileDirectClub’s statement following California Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing of AB 1519, a new law that gives the California Dental Board continued authority to oversee and regulate dental services in the state—specifically those related to teledentistry and direct-to-consumer orthodontic providers, like SmileDirectClub, Byte, Candid, and SmileLove. 

In its October 14 statement, SmileDirectClub claims that “nothing in AB 1519 requires SmileDirectClub to cease or modify its operations, and nothing regarding teledentistry in this legislation can take effect until the Board has given all stakeholders the opportunity to submit public comment and debate the merits of any proposed rules with clinically-based data—as the Governor has requested in his signing statement.” 

The AAO asserts that the company’s statement appears to conflict with the fact that the Governor signed the bill and acknowledged that the “bill includes significant policy changes related to the regulation of self-applied orthodontic treatments administered via telehealth and other technological platforms.” 

The association further points out that the statement is also at odds with the Governor’s signing message for the current legislation, which includes no further requirement by stakeholders before this legislation goes into effect on January 1, 2020.