Posts Tagged ‘dental’

Denturists Persecuted by the American Dental Association

July 23, 2009

 

Despite being persecuted by the American Dental Association, denturists continue to push for the right to provide oral health screenings and referral services for those in need of denture care. The denturist is qualified to provide oral health screenings and referrals. With the nation wide shortage of dentist and the high cost of denture care by dentists; denture care by denturists has proven to be a safe alternative denture delivery system in six states in the U.S. and across Canada. Denturists are required to obtain education and training in oral health at an accredited college.

Denturists serve all segments of the public, especially people in nursing homes and those with disparities, providing accessible and affordable quality denture care. This is an opportunity for oral health wellness to be recognized by a qualified, educated denturist and referral services provided in the event that abnormalities are found.  The denturist plays a crucial part in alleviating the aftermath of the shortage of dentists by freeing up valuable chair time for restorative, cosmetic, and emergency dental care for children and adults across our nation.

The American Association for Dental Research (AADR) statement on oral health care includes policy recommendations. Excerpts from AADR policy statement released July 14, 2009, titled “Oral Health Care within Healthcare Reform,” [1] include the following.

  • “Recent dental research findings are uncovering the full extent to which oral health is linked to general health.” [1]
  •  “However, advances in care and treatment models have not been shared equally by all Americans, and the physical and economic burden of oral disease continues to outweigh that of other more commonly covered diseases and conditions.” [1]

“In 2000, the U.S. Surgeon General called the nation’s attention to the importance of oral health with the landmark report “Oral Health in America.” The report recognized the associations between oral health and general health and called upon policy makers to “build an effective health infrastructure that meets the oral health needs of all Americans and integrates oral health effectively into overall health”. Nearly a decade later, it’s time to respond to the Surgeon General.” [1] & [2]

The American Dental Association needs to respond to AADR’s report and the Surgeon General’s report to “build an effective health infrastructure that meets the oral health needs of all Americans and integrates oral health effectively into overall health”.[2] Trained and educated in oral health and referral services; denturists need the freedom to serve the people of this Nation who are in need of denture care, without being suppressed by the American Dental Association’s purse strings to lobbyist and ADA’s heavy handedness of persecution against denturists.

Gary W. Vollan, L.D., Coordinator for the Wyoming State Denturist Association   www.wysda.org                                                                                           

 

 


[1] The American Association for Dental Research (AADR), Statement on Oral Health Care within Health Care  Reform. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from  http://www.iadr.org/files/public/09June_AADRPolicyStatement.pdf

[2] A Report of the Surgeon General (2000). “Oral Health in America”    http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/oralhealth/nationalcalltoaction.html

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Denturists and American People in Need vs. American Dental Association Policies

January 6, 2008

“Regulating the denturist profession across the Nation in providing affordable denture care for the economically disadvantaged is the little thing we can do to make a big difference in the wellness of people. People are healthier and more productive when they have a denture that functions properly.”  Gary W. Vollan L.D. 

The balance of the working relationship between the dentist and denture technician has always tipped more favorably on the side of the dentist than the denture technician.

A number of denture technicians moved forward in the profession by becoming denturist because of the expectations of being the dentist’s counter-part but rarely with the denture technician receiving the deserved gratitude of those expectations.

Instead we worked long hours (not by choice), didn’t get paid for those long hours which usually involved remakes due to error of the dentist or assistant doing procedures.

 

Our jobs as denture technicians were usually held over our heads for us to jump, reach, and grab at, while the dentist decided which dental lab they would use if and when we complained or insisted that things be done differently and maybe even getting paid for the 60 or 90 day past due lab invoice.

 

As a denturist I enjoy my work. I enjoy the working relationship of a chosen dentist or oral surgeon for referral services for my patients.

 

The good fight is not with any current or past dentist. I’ve worked with some good dentist as a denture lab technician and as a denturist. A good majority of the dentist would rather spend their chairtime in restorative and cosmetic dentistry not dentures.

 

So what’s the problem? Corporate ADA. The American Dental Association’s big money politics, waste and not being able to relate to the dental needs of the people. It’s nothing different than what denture technicians and denturist have always dealt with as the counter-part of the dental profession.

 

Corporate ADA has no faith in its ability to provide for the dental needs of the American public. Even as denture technicians, we have always known we we’re better at being able to meet the denture needs of the American public and the American Dental Association knows it. We are a thorn in ADA’s side and they want us gone.

 

The American Dental Association has in place, a number of build up and award programs for dental lab technicians for good reason and then it supports outsourcing of dental prostheses. Something’s not right with this picture.

 

It’s one thing to pay pennies to the dental lab technician for dental prostheses but yet another thing to outsource the work away from the mom and pop dental labs across  America.

 

More and more people are doing without dental care because of ADA’s policy making. They spend 10’s of thousands of dollars for meetings to establish these policies that are leaving more and more people without dental care.

 

The policies discriminating against the economically disadvantaged Americans are those that are directed at stopping denturist, dental health aides and independent practices for dental hygienist.  The American Dental Association sends money to state dental associations with expectation that the state associations will uphold ADA’s policies but in turn it’s a negative reflection on the state associations because their using the money for reasons other than meeting the dental needs of the people of the state.

 

The American Dental Association could better serve the dental needs of the American people by giving the dental hygienists the freedom of their own boards and independent practices so they can better serve the preventive needs of the American people by serving in the area of public health.

 

Corporate ADA can take the necessary steps to establish boards for independent practice of the denturist profession and the dental health aides across the Nation. This would free up dentist to use their eight or more years of schooling and experience in extensive restorative dentistry and specialty areas of dentistry.

 

It would direct the need for more money for education for all areas of the dental profession. This would create more qualified doctors and less of the unethically inclined dentists that are in practice today due to dental school programs one size fit all level of the DDS degree.

 

Dental health aides or therapist would serve the same level that a physician’s assistant serves today. The American Dental Association would organize and regulate dentistry and associated professions across America to better meet the dental care needs of all people.

 

People need to get on the American Dental Association internet site and do a watch dog of the programs in place and see the money that’s wasted. It’s disgraceful, with the number of Americans doing without dental care. You’d think with all the money, power, and intellect the American Dental Association has it would do things differently.

 

Please consider this critique of corporate ADA.

Thank you—Gary W. Vollan L.D.

http://www.wysda.org      307-568-2047