In Bryn Mawr, PA two women have been indicted for running an “after-hours” dentists office that operated unlicensed. The duo offered services to the uninsured for the most difficult to master procedures in the dental profession (i.e. root canals, pulling teeth, etc). Reading the article it is almost defamatory of the two. Calling them “crooked” and “fake” should border on libel. After all, the requirements to be licensed for this work is a fairly new regulation. These are the procedures that use to be performed by barbers. Now, I admit a few parts are humorous (in a darker respect) but…

From the AP:

A grand jury report alleges 45-year-old dental assistant Cheryl Laing and 24-year-old receptionist Jessica Gullickson used the Bryn Mawr dental practice where they worked to provide low-cost services to uninsured patients.

The licensing process is different from the training and the education…naturally. The former is part of a financial racket for state government. The latter, training and education, is important for consumer safety. But being licensed only absolves the consumer of the responsibility of due diligence. Imagine just for a moment that there was no regulation on dentistry. As a consumer, before you let anyone operate on you wouldn’t you start to ask questions? Like where was the person trained or educated, or how long they have been in the practice. Or maybe they came highly recommended from a few people you trust immensely. The choice to vet them and to what degree is your responsibility. Also, the choice to have an unlicensed and possibly total rookie in the field service me should also be my choice. Look at the trouble it causes because we are not free to choose.

Highway tooo the danger zone!
Highway tooo the danger zone!

I pay cash for my dentistry and have for many years. Currently I have a small cavity (my second one in my life) and I have negotiated the price down between two different offices. Most of that cost is administrative and part of their price quote comes from the fact that they really have no idea what to charge for their labor; they only know how much they bill insurance companies. But that is not the correct value of any procedure. It is an inflated cost at best. Tack on all of the measures they had to take (and remain) licensed and meet state regulations and I wind up with a quote for about $150. Now, I would never go to a backroom after-hours dental practice like the one listed above no matter how cheap it was. But I have no right to stop anyone else from obtaining those services. And since barbers use to do this work (and also require licensing) look at how ridiculous this has become. Now, every thing that a barber or hair stylist did in the past requires licensing. Braiding hair? Go ahead and risk it without a license. I look at old school photographs and the mothers who braided their girls hair daily could now generate windfall profit for a state if they clamped down. Maybe I shouldn’t give the state governments any ideas