|Pictured, from left: Dr. Patrick Taylor, president-elect, American Association of Endodontists; Sean Murphy, AAO associate general counsel; Dr. Keyvan Sohrabi, AAO member.
On Friday, March 9, the Washington Dental Quality Assurance Commission (Dental Board) held a meeting regarding revisions to Washington's specialty advertising regulation. Thanks to the AAO Component Legal Support Fund, AAO Associate General Counsel Sean Murphy was able to draft written comments on behalf of Dr. Norman Nagel (AAO trustee for the Pacific Coast Society of Orthodontists), attend the meeting, and stress that any advertising regulation that would allow a dentist to advertise as a "specialist," should require that the dentist graduate from at least a two-year, full-time CODA-accredited specialty program.
Click here to view the AAO's written comments on this issue.
Prior to the AAO's involvement, the Dental Board was considering removing the CODA requirement from the regulation. Dr. Keyvan Sohrabi, an AAO member from Federal Way, Washington, also attended the meeting, and the AAO was able to enlist other specialists (endodontists and pediatric dentists) to comment on the importance of specialists graduating from two-year, full time CODA accredited programs.
In response to these efforts, the Dental Board decided to table any vote and look into this issue further, during which time the AAO will continue to be involved. Following the meeting, the American Association of Endodontists President-Elect, Dr. Patrick Taylor, thanked the AAO for its "eloquent presentation of the AAO view."
Earlier this year, the Washington State Society of Orthodontists (WSSO) applied to the AAO Component Legal Support Fund for help with this issue. The funding has allowed the AAO's lawyers to provide written and oral comments on behalf of WSSO member orthodontists.
You (as a citizen of and licensed dental provider in your state) have the right, independently and individually, to express your own opinions about public health and safety issues to your state dental board, elected officials, and/or attorney general. If you feel so compelled, feel free to reach out to your government and discuss such matters with them. Contact information for state dental boards can be found at https://www.aaoinfo.org/aao/state-dental-board-info
. Your state's laws and regulations are also available on the AAO's website, https://www.aaoinfo.org/state-laws-and-regulations
. Likewise, if you have patients who believe they have been injured or otherwise harmed by dental services or advertising, you can inform them about the process by which the patient can file a complaint with your state's dental board, should they wish to do so, https://www.aaoinfo.org/aao/state-dental-board-info
If you are aware of a dental board hearing regarding orthodontics*, please feel free to inform the AAO, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
* Click here to learn about ongoing work on the specialty advertising issue in Georgia.