American Dental Association is on The BRIDGE!
The BRIDGE is an online network from LMT dedicated exclusively for members of the Dental Laboratory community. Join free to connect with American Dental Association.
It's been more than a year since two of our industry's biggest suppliers - Zahn Dental and Darby Dental Lab Supply - merged into one.
At the recent American Dental Association Annual Session, the ADA House of Delegates passed Resolution 52. This resolution says, "Resolved that in order to enhance dental patient health and safety, the...See more ADA urges all state dental boards to register U.S. dental laboratories." The culmination of ADA taking this step has been more than ten years in the making. NADL President-Elect Gary Iocco and Bill D'Aiuto, DDS, former Chair of the ADA Council on Dental Practice and a current Trustee for the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology testified at the ADA proceedings on this resolution. "Doctors from around the country testified at Reference Committees Hearings and on the House of Delegates floor in favor of Resolution 52, commenting that this was a supportive measure to ensure the domestic dental laboratory industry would thrive in the future by ensuring basic standards of operation," says Iocco. Dentistry is regulated at the state level through boards of dentistry. Those regulatory boards oversee everything from business requirements, continuing education and other practice criteria required to operate for dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and in a few states dental laboratories and technicians. Due to its governance structure, the ADA relies on the actions of independent state associations/societies to foster policies at the state level. This is why, in most cases, to get something done on a nationwide basis takes a long time. However, if ADA policy recommends a certain path, it is generally widely adopted at the grassroots level. During the course of the last 10 years, NADL and NBC have worked diligently with the staff and elected leadership of the American Dental Association and other allied dental organizations to change the perspective of how regulations and best practices are looked at with respect to dental laboratories. For many years, ADA has maintained a high level of respect for the "Certified Dental Technician" credential. Within existing ADA policy, there are many references to dentists, at all levels to work with CDTs, as the policy narrative speaks to the competency of the technician due to their likely formal education and their verified skill and knowledge through national examinations. In recent years, through the efforts of the NADL, the ADA House of Delegates has passed additional policy resolutions that address both patient contact material disclosure and point of origin disclosure to enhance both dentist as well as patient transparency. What has been missing is a tie to enforcing such best practices. The fact that the new resolution passed addresses laboratory registration provides a platform where a political discussion within the states can take place on integrating a comprehensive set of standards. As a result, it is likely there will be better enforcement of existing laws and regulations. "The fact that ADA even took such a policy stand is a huge victory and cannot be overstated," says Henry Martin, CDT, 2013 NADL President. NADL will continue to work collaboratively with the ADA, and with state dental laboratory associations to ensure that moving forward any new regulations that are considered at the state level are created in a manner that patient health and safety are the outcomes achieved while maintaining an eye towards minimizing the costs of compliance. For more information on the NADL, visit www.nadl.org.
New analysis released by the American Dental Association indicates that overall spending on dental care has remained flat in recent years, despite the fact that per patient dental spending by Baby Boomers...See more and seniors increased. Two research briefs released by the ADA's Health Policy Resources Center bolster previous statistics showing that adult dental visits have been declining from 2000 to 2010, leading to less spending on dentistry and oral care. Significantly, the declines in both dental spending and visits predate the economic crisis of 2008. "Our results suggest very strongly that the dental economy is in a major transition," wrote Dr. Marko Vujicic, Ph. D., managing vice president of the HPRC and lead author of the briefs. "Dental spending has not rebounded since the end of the Great Recession and has been stagnant, on a per capita basis, since 2008." In 2011, dental spending accounted for 4 percent of overall national health expenditures, down from 4.5 percent in 2000, according to HPRC analysis of data gathered from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau. The rate of growth of dental spending has also slowed in recent years. Between 1990 and 2002, per capita dental spending grew by 3.9 percent per year after adjusting for inflation, a rate that fell to 1.8 percent between 2002 and 2008. Since 2008, the per capita dental expenditure growth rate declined 0.3 percent while overall health spending grew by 1.6 percent. According to a previous HPRC brief, in 2003 41 percent of adults reported going to the dentist during the prior year. That figure declined to 37 percent in 2010. Children, however, visited dentists more often between 2003 and 2010, but since their dental care tends to be less expensive than adults', it did not result in greater dental spending overall. While overall dental expenditures have remained flat, the HPRC analysis shows there's more to the story -spending by Baby Boomers and the elderly is on the rise. Between 2000 and 2010, seniors' annual spending on their dental care increased from $655 to $796. The HPRC credits the increase to advances in preventive and restorative dental care, leading to greater numbers of elderly retaining their teeth. "Thanks to greater understanding of the importance of oral health and mouth healthy measures such as water fluoridation, the dental well-being of Americans has improved in recent decades," said Dr. ADA President Dr. Robert A. Faiella. "According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of adults missing all or some of their teeth dropped from 50.2 percent in 1999 to 43.6 percent in 2010. But as positive as this trend is, the fact fewer adults are utilizing dental care jeopardizes that progress. Financial barriers to care are up among young adults, and the number of people who visit the ER for their dental care is rising. We need to find creative solutions to improve access to care for millions of Americans and reverse these recent trends." To read the full research briefs, visit www.ada.org/1442.aspx.