If you’re having a dental procedure that involves oral medication, you might want to reconsider.
That’s because a new lawsuit from the Center for Consumer Freedom, a Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group, alleges that some dental professionals are pressuring people to pay up or pay for a private clinic that specializes in dentistry.
The lawsuit alleges that Dr. Michael W. Gee, president and CEO of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has instructed dental students to call his office with their dental records in order to request treatment, but that he’s also instructed dental offices to offer dental work free of charge.
In the lawsuit, the Center alleges that Gee is encouraging students to contact his office for oral procedures.
GEE was not immediately available for comment.
The suit was filed on Tuesday by the Center and other plaintiffs, who allege that GEE’s dentist office has pressured students to pay for dental care by offering free procedures or by requesting free treatment through a private provider.
The Center said that the practice of dental billing violates federal consumer protection laws.
The Center is asking the court to require dental offices that use Gee’s billing information to disclose the practice to the public.
The practice of charging for dental work without a consumer’s consent is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits the discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, disability, age, genetic information, veteran status, or marital status, the lawsuit states.
It also requires that consumers be given the opportunity to opt out of the practice.
“This practice violates federal law and should be immediately stopped,” said Center President David Boies.
The centers lawsuit is a joint effort by the advocacy group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the National Consumer Law Center.
CREW has filed similar complaints with the Justice Department.
Gee is currently a member of the board of directors for the American Dental Association, which is the largest association of dentists in the country.
His dental practice is located at 9600 N. Pacific Coast Highway in Sherman Oaks, California.
A spokeswoman for the Association of Dental Surgeons in the United States said that he is not a member and declined to comment further.