Dr. Keith Krell, left, president-elect of the American Association of Endodontists, is pictured with AAO attorney Sean Murphy.  The AAE is also advocating in Iowa and other states regarding specialty advertising concerns.
On August 21, 2018, AAO attorney Sean Murphy attended an Iowa Dental Board hearing regarding Iowa's specialty laws and provided testimony on the Board's proposed changes.
Previous efforts by the AAO helped persuade the Iowa Dental Board to walk back a plan to remove the state laws regarding dental specialty advertising altogether and focus instead on revising those laws.  Given the Board's approach, Dr. Michael Durbin, the AAO trustee from the Midwestern Society of Orthodontists (MSO), worked with the AAO Legal Department to draft and submit comments to the Dental Board on behalf of the AAO.
The letter’s comments stress the AAO's belief that any specialty laws should require those who are practicing and/or advertising as "specialists" to have successfully completed a post-doctoral advanced dental educational program of at least two full-time years, which is accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA).  In addition, the letter proposes revisions to Iowa's specialty laws to provide clarification and prevent consumer confusion.

Thanks to the AAO Component Legal Support Fund, the Legal Department has been assisting Iowa with this issue since 2017 and is glad to see, via the Board's proposed revisions, that AAO members’ concerns are being heard. 
View the Letter Drafted by Dr. Durbin to the Iowa Dental Board

Learn about other recent state-based advocacy initiatives:

- Missouri
- New Hampshire
- Georgia
- Rhode Island
An additional 15 states have now qualified for assistance via the AAO Component Legal Support Fund.

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. If you feel so compelled, contact your state's dental board to discuss such matters with them.  Contact information for state dental boards can be found at https://www.aaoinfo.org/aao/state-dental-board-info.  

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 feedback@aaortho.org.
Aug. 29, 2018

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Questions? Call 800-424-2841 or e-mail aaomembers@aaoinfo.org
The AAO Donated Orthodontic Services (DOS) program has received a $5,000 donation from the Henry Schein Cares Foundation.

The Henry Schein Cares Foundation works to strengthen dental, medical, and animal health worldwide by supporting programs designed to increase access to care in communities around the world. The $5,000 grant is in addition to a $10,000 sponsorship contribution from Henry Schein® Inc. and the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, given to the AAO DOS program on an annual basis. 

The AAO DOS program refers patients for pro bono treatment by participating AAO members across the United States. All DOS patients are low-income children without insurance coverage, or who do not qualify for other assistance in their states of residence. The DOS program is administered nationally by Dental Lifeline Network, with which the AAO collaborates to offer the program.

Dental Lifeline Network:

♦ Screens all applicants for the AAO DOS program to ensure that their financial need levels are appropriate for pro bono treatment;
♦ Educates applicants about the orthodontic treatment process; and
♦ Ensures that patients referred to orthodontists are prepared to comply with all treatment requirements.

While treatment is provided to DOS patients at no cost, each patient is asked to pay a $200 application fee to cover administrative expenses. Donations to the DOS program, including the Henry Schein Cares Foundation grant, make it possible to waive the $200 fee for the most needy applicants whose families cannot pay it.

The DOS program is overseen by a Board of Directors composed of both AAO member orthodontists and corporate representatives from leading orthodontic suppliers.

“We are delighted and very grateful to have received support from the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, demonstrating that the foundation shares our commitment to expanding access to orthodontic treatment,” said Dr. Michael Durbin, president of the AAO DOS Board of Directors.

“Many AAO members have expressed great enthusiasm for the DOS program and for the experience of providing treatment for these patients,” added Dr. Durbin, who is also the AAO trustee from the Midwestern Society of Orthodontists. “DOS patients, most of whom never expected to be able to have orthodontic treatment, are thrilled to have received such an opportunity. The Henry Schein Cares Foundation is helping to make the dream of having a healthy, beautiful smile a reality for many more patients.”
How to Join the DOS Program as a Provider
New providers are welcome in every U.S. state. To learn more and join the program as a provider, AAO members may contact Dental Lifeline Network at DOS@dentallifeline.org or call (866) 201-5906.

For questions or more information about the program, contact Ann Sebaugh at asebaugh@aaortho.org. Providers are not required to treat a specific number of cases.

Aug. 23, 2018

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Questions? Call 800-424-2841 or e-mail aaomembers@aaoinfo.org