Addressing questions regarding mobile dentistry in Wisconsin
The WDA is aware that for-profit, mobile dentistry businesses continue to approach school districts and nursing facilities across Wisconsin. These businesses offer limited preventive dental services to public and private school students and nursing home residents. Concerns about the scope, quality of care and accuracy of charges by some for-profit mobile dentistry businesses have been raised by the American Dental Association.
At least 10 states have adopted regulations to address these mobile dentistry concerns.
In Wisconsin, the Department of Health Services’ Division of Public Health, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Oral Health Coalition and the Children’s Health Alliance of Wisconsin,
has published a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help guide schools and nursing homes approached by mobile dentistry marketers.
WDA members contacted by school or nursing home officials seeking information on mobile dentistry should direct inquiries to DPH’s brochure (posted on WDA.org at http://bit.ly/10bWHcG). This is an appropriate and easy way to help local organizations get the information they need.
WDA members should avoid discussing pricing, quality of services or other similar issues. DPH is also available by phone at (608-266-1251) to help school and nursing home personnel review these for-profit mobile dentistry companies. With a mission statement
that calls for “…promoting professional excellence and quality oral health care for
the public,” the WDA will continue to work with the state, WOHC, CHAW and
other partners to address any quality and continuity of care concerns surrounding
But, member dentists and dental hygienists are reminded that any concerted action by the WDA, individual dental professionals or groups of members in regards to mobile dentistry may be seen as anti-competitive. Do not discuss the mobile dentistry issue – either in person or via email – with colleagues. Do not comment on these operations to patients,
or to the public or media. Again, sharing DPH’s brochure is the best way to help anyone asking about mobile dentistry services. A formal Antitrust Statement was adopted by the WDA House of Delegates in 2008 to help association leaders, staff and individual
members comply fully with all federal and state antitrust laws, rules and regulations. That
Antitrust Statement has been updated and can be found in the 2013 WDA Sourcebook (Member Directory and Practice Guide) on page 49. The statement and other antitrust
information and education resources also are available on WDA.org under the Practice and Legal FAQ section (member login required).
DISCLAIMER: This WDA publication and article are only intended as an informational guide for individual dentists and Wisconsin components regarding the application of antitrust laws to certain areas of dentistry. The information is not intended as specific legal advice and cannot serve as a substitute for consultation with one’s own attorney.