In a clear and unequivocal verdict, a federal court judge in California ruled that credentials issued to dentists by the American Academy of Implant Dentistry (AAID) are bona fide and legitimate, and state laws that prohibit or restrict advertising them to the public are unconstitutional.
Judge John Mendez, for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California, struck down a state law that effectively prevented dentists from advertising credentials issued by AAID, which demonstrate their training and proficiency in implant dentistry. He said that AAID and the American Board of Oral Implantology/Implant Dentistry (ABOI) “are bona fide credentialing organizations whose standards are rigorous, objectively clear, and verifiable. These are not fly-by-night credentialing organizations. They take their role and responsibility seriously.”
AAID said today the verdict, issued Oct. 15, is a victory for consumers as well as dentists.
“We are very pleased with this decision. It validates the rights of dentists with AAID credentials to advertise them to the public without disclaimers and provide valid information from which consumers can assess the qualifications of dentists to perform implants,” said AAID President Joseph Orrico, DDS.
Noting that the consumer is more protected by receiving information about the AAID and ABOI/ID credentials, Mendez wrote: “Where is the harm in giving consumers more information about the ABOI/ID and the AAID credentialing programs? And the answer is there is no harm. It only benefits the consumer.”
In an ironic twist, two specialists appeared as witnesses for the state of California, yet testified that they had also sought out additional training from AAID.
“The judge said that speaks volumes as to how AAID and ABOI/ID are viewed within the profession as a bona fide organization in every sense of the word,” said Frank. R. Recker, DDS, JD, AAID’s chief counsel.
Orrico further commented that the federal court verdict establishes another strong precedent overturning advertising restrictions on AAID credentials, following a similar decision in April 2009 by a Florida state court.
“Demand for dental implants is rising, and more dentists need comprehensive training to become highly skilled at implant procedures,” said Orrico. “There is a higher risk with the procedure if the dentist has limited experience.”
AAID offers a rigorous implant dentistry credentialing program, which requires at least 300 hours of post-doctoral instruction in implant dentistry, passing a comprehensive exam, and presenting successful cases of different types of implants to a group of examiners. It is one of the most comprehensive credentialing programs in dentistry.
AAID can help consumers find a local credentialed implant dentist at aaid.com. AAID is based in Chicago and has more than 3,800 members. It is the first organization dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of implant dentistry by supporting research and education to advance comprehensive implant knowledge.