Posts Tagged ‘denturist’

Open Letter to Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA)

December 31, 2013

“In addition to comment on this proposed standards document, the Task Force on Development of Accreditation Standards for Dental Therapy Education Programs and Commission are seeking feedback related to the program track for dental therapy education. The proposed standards are presented as an independent dental therapy track not related to prior dental hygiene education, though advanced standing is permissible.”(1)

“The Task Force and Commission will accept comment on the proposed track as presented in this document. Specifically, is the non-dental hygiene track appropriate or should the proposed dental therapy education standards be modified to support a dental hygiene track?
Written comments on this question will be accepted until December 1, 2013.
Appendix VI Proposed Accreditation Standards for Dental Therapy Education CODA Winter 2013″(1)

To: Dr. Sherin Tooks, 19th Floor
Director, Commission on Dental Accreditation
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611

Dr. Sherin Tooks,

“Feedback related to the program track for dental therapy education. Specifically, is the non-dental hygiene track appropriate or should the proposed dental therapy education standards be modified to support a dental hygiene track?” (1)

Yes, the non-dental hygiene track is important and appropriate. There should also be a dental hygiene track with expanded duties but not to the extent of burdening the hygiene profession; displacing the hygiene profession from public health responsibilities and the time needed for preventive education corresponding with early childhood education.  Dental hygienists should be trained for public health emergencies, working side by side with public health nurses. 

Both tracks are important for meeting the oral healthcare needs of our nation. I served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War as a “Class A School” Dental Technician with duties and responsibilities as a chairside technician, dental hygienist, and lab technician. I was stationed with the Marines, at Parris Island, S.C. recruit depot. We had extended duties (depending on which dentist you worked with) that included simple extractions, suturing and removal, carving amalgams, giving injections, along with many others duties which would include helping the medical corpsmen with surgeries and procedures at other duty stations. 

“The dental therapist is a member of the oral healthcare team, who is supervised by a licensed dentist that is responsible for diagnosis, risk assessment, prognosis, and treatment planning for the patient.”(1)

The dental therapist concept has been a military concept and working model in branches of the U.S. military, providing oral health services to large numbers of recruits and military personnel (patients), especially when there were fewer dentists. The proposed DT accreditation standards for education look good. Thank you for your request of service.

Gary W. Vollan L.D.,  307-568-2047
State Coordinator, Wyoming State Denturist Association


Let’s Work Together for a Bigger Mission and Vision

April 28, 2012

Let’s Work Together for a Bigger Mission and Vision

Chris Cuomo, Gitika Ahuja, and Enjoli Francis’s article is good. Their article,” Medicaid’s Youngest Face Dental Crisis” in the “ Hidden America Series” is the beginning story of our national dental crisis and needs to be completed, along with a conclusion after further research. Hopefully it will go further into the truth and reason for the dental crisis across our Nation; not only for the youngest faces on Medicaid, but the oldest faces, the faces of poverty not eligible for Medicaid, middle income faces that have no money for dental needs, the many faces in institutions, prisons, mental, convalescent, the many faces on Indian reservations, faces with disabilities and military veterans.

There are many reasons for the crisis; some being listed in the article, many in the comments and some not mentioned. Between the article and the comments I listed approximately 25. Out of the 170 or so comments, I was the only one listing the American Dental Association as the problem and I stand firm on it. It all goes back to the American Dental Association’s past and present policies. ADA does the lobbying, millions of dollars each year, lobbying as a nonprofit. ADA’s mismanagement of past and present policies is responsible for the dental crisis across America and it has been going on for decades with the American Dental Association in control or maybe better stated, out of control.

Corporate ADA continues to show a lack of leadership in direction of proper oral healthcare policies across America. This is proven in how ADA continues to suppress other oral healthcare professionals by ADA’s written policies and actions that are passed on to state dental associations and state dental boards. Take for example in 2010; “ADA Apologizes for Tolerating Discrimination In the ‘60s” after Raymond Gist becomes ADA’s first African American President. ADA continues after the apology to discriminate and suppress others. The dental hygienist profession is 99% female. The dental hygienists have been trying to have their own state boards and work as an independent profession away from ADA which continues to fight the dental hygienists. The American Dental Association continues to suppress the denturist profession and is now fighting the dental therapists and dental health aide therapist’s professions.

For the article, just imagine what would happen if dental hygienists were able to practice independently and there was a hygienist in every public health office, in every state and a hygienist in some of the bigger schools; what a difference it would mean in meeting America’s dental needs. On top of that, give denturists their independence and right to work to provide denture and partial services to those in need; what a difference for the many Americans who could get dentures or have existing dentures fixed or relined. Imagine being able to go to a dental therapist for dental procedure just for access in having dental needs met. These professions provide oral cancer screening for patient referrals to dentists, oral surgeons, or medical doctors. It gives us Americans that many more oral heath care providers and frees up chairtime for children.

The American Dental Association needs to look at its corporate mission and vision statement and reexamine its policies directed at those professions which work toward the same mission and vision. As a denturist, ADA continues to keep us from doing what we’ve been trained and educated in and that’s providing affordable oral prostheses services directly to those in need. How does corporate ADA continue to get away with suppressing other oral healthcare providers? Back in 2010 ADA apologized for tolerating racial discrimination but ADA continues gender discrimination against the dental hygienists profession along with professional discrimination against denturists; seeing denturists as denture competitors working against the monopoly ADA clings to. No wonder we have a dental crisis. The American Dental Association needs to consider a bigger mission and vision. That bigger mission and vision is working together to meet the oral healthcare needs of America.

Gary W. Vollan L.D.

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                                                                                           



[1] The American Association for Dental Research (AADR), Statement on Oral Health Care within Health Care  Reform. Retrieved July 15, 2009, from

[2] A Report of the Surgeon General (2000). “Oral Health in America”