To change "what is" into "what should be"
The purpose of organized dentistry is to use the strength of the group to deliver benefits to the individual dentist and patient
Organized dentistry is a community of independent dentists who have united to form a collective whole. Comprised of national, member-run organizations like the ADA and the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), specialty societies like the American Association of Orthodontists and the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, groups with focused interests like the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and state and local organizations like the California Dental Association and the Chicago Dental Society, these organizations take a “we’re in this together” approach to dentistry. Operating under formal governance structures, these organizations leverage the strength of the group to deliver benefits to the individual dentist and patient.
Without organized dentistry and advocacy, you are vulnerable
Without advocacy, insurance companies could tell you how much to charge patients, corporate employers could dictate treatment not based in science and ethics, and lawmakers could make you pay extra taxes because they think you make enough money.
There is a lot at stake. Public policy decisions are made every day with the ability to dramatically influence our profession. We must ensure that Members of Congress understand the work we do so they can make informed decisions. Only then can we be effective in our fight for and against legislation that could have a direct impact on our practice, our patients and the dental profession.
Does know enough to make laws on dental issues?Imagine how much you knew before dental school!
Dental techniques and technologies aren’t the only things that evolve. Dental regulations also can change quickly. When they do, organized dentistry is ready to respond on behalf of individual dentists at the local, state, and national levels. Over the years, politicians have legislated a wide variety of issues that had the potential to affect your practice and your patients.
Clearly, you know more about oral health issues than do politicians. By channeling individual dentists’ voices into an industry-sized chorus that, in many cases, has a direct line to elected officials, organized dentistry ensures your knowledge and experience are brought to bear during crucial policy discussions that could impact you, your colleagues, your patients, your employees, or your community. Dental associations and societies don’t just give you a voice in political discussions. If you want to contribute more actively, they also give you a hand in them. Many organizations host legislative summits, and town hall meetings and continuing education that teach grassroots organizing, policymaking, communication, and other political skills. Whatever you want to protect—your patients, your profession, or your practice—organized dentistry is your first and best defense
Some of the organizations which speak on our behalf are the ADA, ADPAC, the TDA, GHDS and DENPAC. Simply being a member protects our profession. Without lifting a finger, by belonging to organized dentistry you empower those out on the front lines. If I said my organization represented 40 percent of dentists vs. 65 percent of dentists, which would compel you to listen? More members = greater impact.
Politics are far from the extent of what organized dentistry does. Organized dentistry researches products for the safety of our patients. The ADA creates standards of care and recommendations for patients and providers to promote increased oral health in our country. Organized dentistry creates a network of dentists who can look out for each other and mentor new incoming dentists. I could go on, but the key is that dentistry and the associated specialties are not simply jobs. Dentistry is a profession. By working together as a unit we can become better providers and keep our patients healthier. Everyone wins.
We are all in this together! The importance of organized dentistry has gone undervalued in recent years, as times for dentists have been so favorable. But in an era of increasing student debt, massive political change in health care, and rapidly evolving technologies, our team must again have its importance realized. Being a member of organized dentistry strengthens our profession. The dental field is great because we have protected it. If we stop, this changes. Amidst different morals and political views there are the core values we hold that brought us to this field: the foundation of organized dentistry. Join the ADA, join your local and state dental societies. What else could you do for your career and your practice that costs so little, but can do so much? Plus, there are so many other benefits to membership. It’s a no brainer. Just remember even if you don’t want a physical seat at the table, you are still on the team. Together we stand.