FTC Staff Comment: Kentucky Legislature Should Consider Potential Benefits to Consumers of Enhanced Competition Among Denture Providers

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Federal Trade Commission staff submitted a comment on the competitive implications of proposed legislation that would license and regulate denturists within Kentucky.  Denturists are trained to make and fit removable partial and full dentures. Currently, Kentuckians who need dentures must obtain them through a dentist.  The comment responded to a request from Kentucky State Representative Tom Burch.

The comment, submitted by staff of the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Economics, recommends that the legislature consider the potential benefits of enhanced competition among denture providers that could be facilitated by House Bill 77 and “maintain only those scope of practice limitations necessary to ensure patient health and safety.”

“Competition among oral health care professionals has the potential to benefit consumers by improving access to care, containing costs, and encouraging the development of more effective care delivery models,” the comment states. “If denturists can provide safe, quality care to patients, allowing them to practice at a level commensurate with their training may bring benefits to Kentuckians in the form of increased access to care, more choice in how their care is delivered, and more cost-effective treatment. Because these benefits of competition could be significant to Kentuckians who need dentures, we encourage the legislature to carefully consider whether denturists can appropriately provide dentures, consistent with patient health and safety.”

The Commission vote to issue the staff comment was 4-0. It was sent to Kentucky State Representative Tom Burch on March 25, 2016. (FTC File No. V160008; the staff contact is Ellen Connelly, Office of Policy Planning, 202-326-2532.)

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