Texas teledentistry provider files lawsuit challenging state’s ban
February 11, 2021
Austin, Texas; Feb. 11, 2021: A virtual dentistry provider filed a lawsuit today challenging a Texas rule that prohibits dentists from conducting appointments virtually. TheTeleDentists, along with a practicing dentist, allege that Texas’s ban on teledentistry protects established in-person practitioners from competition at the expense of virtual providers and the general public.
Teledentistry uses video, phone and other technology to provide remote dental care, resulting in lower costs, improved access and fewer emergency room visits. Since the start of the pandemic, telehealth services have spiked in popularity.
“Access to remote dentistry should be encouraged right now, but instead, the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners has banned teledentistry,” said Joshua Polk, an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation, which represents TheTeleDentists free of charge. “The Board lacks the authority to make sweeping mandates like this, and regardless, it’s not the government’s role to pick winners and losers in the dental market.”
The lawsuit argues that banning patients from talking to a dentist from the safety of their home during a pandemic isn’t about protecting public health — it’s about protecting incumbent businesses from innovation.
The case, Celeste Mohr, D.D.S., et al. v. Texas State Board of Dental Examiners et al., was filed in the Travis County District Courts.
Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 14 victories out of 16 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.
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