Bravo John L. Kennedy! Your article in the October 1995 issue addressed topics of major concern for all who wish to see dentistry continue as a profession.
If ever there were an era in which we need decisive leadership at the ADA level, it is now. The Attorney General, ACLU and GLAD should not frighten organized dentistry into submission. Let`s face it, the ADA has had the backbone of a chocolate eclair on such issues as:
1. The federal government`s debauchery in insisting on the significant increase in dental school enrollment in the early 1970s.
2. Not combating the FTC on the issue of allowing state and local dental societies to regulate ethics in advertising.
3. The reluctance to take a stand on what is best for the patient and, therefore, the ADA members regarding managed care. It is time to step on the toes of the turncoats among our membership who have given in to the profit-motivated insurance companies. Should the fear of a lawsuit from the FTC deter us from standing up to the insurance companies in order to preserve freedom of choice, fee-for-service dentistry?
4. No lobbying efforts to impede dental insurance companies` severe limitation of fair fees and annual benefits to patients (most policies have $1,000-$1,500 annual maximum benefits, the same as in 1972 when dental insurance began its invasion of dentistry).
5. The position of nonsupport of the ADA members who used their professional judgment in referring medically-compromised patients to an alternate facility for care.
I strongly support the ideals of organized dentistry having a strong and unified voice. A wake-up call to the ADA recently issued by the Academy of General Dentistry says it all: represent us well and stop your passivity.
Tom M. McDougal, DDS