Dr. Ben Burris’ campaign to change state law so that he and other dental specialists can provide basic teeth cleaning services begins this week.
The Fort Smith orthodontist, if you recall, was ordered to appear before the Arkansas Board of Dental Examiners to answer questions about providing teeth cleanings to the general public.
That is a violation of the Arkansas Dental Practices Act because dental specialists aren’t allowed to practice outside their area of expertise.
Burris wasn’t happy that he was attacked by the board, pointing out that dentists have ventured into work outside their specialty, such as offering braces.
And he added that he is a dentist too.
He said the reason he was targeted was that he charged $98 for an adult and $68 for a child for a cleaning and an exam, which was about half of what dentists typically charge in northeast Arkansas, where Burris has some of his offices.
“This is not only a double standard that is an unfortunate result of primary care dentists protecting themselves; it’s cronyism at its worst,” Burris said in a statement that will be released generally on Monday.
“It places an unfortunate burden on families looking for quality services at affordable prices, and it is a practice which all responsible dentists should be ashamed of.”
Earlier this month, Burris said that his only option with the board was to sign a consent order where he agreed not to offer dental cleaning to the general public.
If he didn’t sign, he said, he feared he’d be brought up on charges by the board.
Burris also is launching a website to go along with his campaign, IChooseMySmiles.com, that will provide information to consumers, regulators and state legislators. The campaign is being helped by the Washington, D.C., public relations firm Levick.