Posts Tagged ‘Oral Health Care’

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.