Since early 2018, the New Hampshire Board of Dental Examiners has been considering whether to revise its current rules related to recognizing dental specialties. The current version of New Hampshire’s rules relies on the definition of recognized specialties as defined by the American Dental Association (ADA). At a meeting in November 2018, the matter (whether to revise the current rules or continue using the ADA list of specialties) was finally brought to a vote but resulted in a tie. As a result, the Board voted again at both its December and January meetings, producing a tied result in each round with the Board uncertain which alternative language would be used should the rules be revised.
The AAO Legal Team has been monitoring New Hampshire’s decision whether to revise its specialty rules. The AAO’s Gianna Hartwig, on behalf of the AAO, provided the Board Administrator with a letter outlining possible language that could be used should the Board decide to revise its specialty rules, specifically encouraging regulations that require those who are advertising as “specialists” to have successfully completed a post-doctoral program in a specialty area of dentistry consisting of at least two full-time years and which is accredited by an accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education (i.e. CODA).
The letter was given to each Board member before voting at the February 4th
meeting. Citing the AAO’s letter for providing clarity, the Board voted in favor of beginning the process of revising its dental specialty rules and to consider the proposed language. A copy of the letter can be viewed here.
The AAO will continue to monitor specialty advertising developments in New Hampshire as the Board starts the process of considering and drafting new language.
Please note, every orthodontist (as a citizen of and licensed dental provider in his or her state) and orthodontic patient has the right, independently and individually, to express his or her opinion on any dental issue (including specialty advertising rules) to his or her state dental board and elected officials. If you feel so compelled, you may contact your state’s dental board. Contact information for state dental boards can be found by clicking here.