Conn. Teeth-Whitening Rules Challenged in Court

By STEPHEN SINGER | November 16, 2011 | 10:40 AM EST

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut's rules that only a dentist can provide certain teeth-whitening services are being challenged in court.

The Institute for Justice filed the lawsuit in federal court in Hartford on Wednesday. The Arlington, Va.-based law firm says the state Dental Commission's regulations promote a monopoly for dentists by banning certain teeth whitening at salons and shopping malls.

A spokesman for the state Department of Public Health says officials haven't read the lawsuit and won't comment.

Regulations imposed in June cite inherent risks in teeth whitening and say whitening involves the practice of dentistry for diagnosing causes of discoloration, customizing treatment and other work.

The Institute for Justice, which takes on libertarian causes, says the regulations have put several practitioners out of business.