The American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of regulations by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners that limit dentists from advertising themselves as “specialists.” The AAID, which has won similar suits against California and Florida, says the rule violates free speech, equal protection, and due process rights.
The 22-page complaint was filed March 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division against the dental board. The AAID was joined in the suit by three other organizations: the American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists (ASDA), the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM), and the American Academy of Orofacial Pain (AAOP).
The complaint states that the rule unfairly gives sole authority to designate specialty status to a private trade association, the ADA, over which the Texas dental board has no control. Specialty recognition is determined by the ADA through a “political process carried out by competitor dentists, with no opportunity for review or appeal by any licensed dentist in Texas,” according to the suit.