Seeing Your Dentist for Botox? It's Happening More and More... And It's Often Illegal

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Physicians are not the only ones trying to break into the lucrative medical spa industry. Due to the recent surge in popularity, this industry is attracting dentists across the country that want in on the action - but according to a new article by the American Med Spa Association, this could be illegal.

The lure of the medical spa industry is very enticing for dentists looking to expand their practice and make their business more profitable, but dentists should be wary of jumping feet first into the med spa business without consulting an attorney first

The surge of dentists into the med spa industry raises important legal and regulatory questions. Can dentists legally own medical spas? Or perform laser or injectable medical procedures? Supervise laser technicians?

According to a recent article published by the American Med Spa Association (“AmSpa”), it all depends on where you live. “We have seen a huge influx of questions from dentists requesting information on whether they can own med spas,” said Renee Coover, Associate General Counsel of AmSpa and author of the article, "Dentists Grinding Their Teeth to Get Into the Medical Spa Arena…But is it Legal?"

According to Coover, whether a dentist can own a med spa or inject Botox depends on the state.    In Illinois, for instance, only a licensed physician may own a medical spa. Under the Illinois Medical Corporation Act, a medical spa, or any entity that provides medical treatment, must be owned and operated only by persons licensed under the Medical Practice Act of 1987 (the Medical Practice Act governs the medical licensing of physicians).

“The law is clear in Illinois that dentists may not own med spas,” said Renee Coover, Associate General Counsel for AmSpa. “In other states, however, the answer is not so clear.”

In Florida, for example, anyone, including a dentist, can own a medical spa. And in Washington and Oregon, non-physicians are not completely precluded from med spa ownership if they structure the business in a particular way.

Similarly, the laws vary widely from state to state as to whether dentists can even perform medical procedures like Botox and laser hair removal, which are commonly offered in med spas. In most states, dentists are limited to injecting Botox or other injectables in certain areas around the mouth. In Kentucky and Illinois, the use of Botox and other injectables falls within the scope of dentistry as long as it involves conditions surrounding the mouth but in other states like Missouri, the law does not provide express guidance on whether dentists may administer Botox or other injectables.

According to Coover, “The lure of the medical spa industry is very enticing for dentists looking to expand their practice and make their business more profitable, but dentists should be wary of jumping feet first into the med spa business without consulting a knowledgeable attorney first.”

According to the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa), every state has different rules and regulations and if dentists fail to comply with applicable state laws, they could face harsh penalties.

To read AmSpa’s full article on this issue, entitled “Dentists Grinding their teeth to get into the medical spa arena …but is it legal?” visit http://www.americanmedspa.org

For more information on AmSpa, please contact Gina Shaffer, Director Marketing and Business Development, at 312.981.0993, or via email at gshaffer(at)americanmedspa(dot)org.

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Renee Coover, Associate General Counsel

Gina Meyer-Shaffer, Director of Marketing and Business Development
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