In the middle of the enduring conflict between liberty and public welfare stands Joyce Osborn Wilson and her teeth-whitening business.
After 26 years of running The Hairport, Ms. Wilson, who now lives in this pretty lakeside town in northern Alabama, invented a whitening system called BriteWhite and began selling it to other salons and spas. It was all smiles for a year or so.
Then in 2006, she received a letter from a lawyer representing the state dental board. She was practicing dentistry without a license, the letter read, and must immediately “cease and desist” selling her products in Alabama.
Last month, Ms. Wilson and another owner of a teeth-whitening business sued in state court, arguing that a law declaring teeth whitening the exclusive province of dental professionals is unconstitutional.
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