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Letters: Lead the change

ADA President Joseph P. Crowley's inaugural address at ADA 2017 in Atlanta urged dentists to "lead the change" and  stressed the need for the ADA to be "inclusive" of disparate groups such as "every race, gender, sexual orientation, religion and practice mode" and the "Academy of General Dentistry, the National Dental Association, the Society of American Indian Dentists, the Hispanic Dental Association, the American Association of Women Dentists and any organization that has an interest in our profession." It certainly makes sense for the ADA to try to align with them in an attempt to boost ADA membership and encourage diversity.  

Considering the fact that 100 percent of all dentists will stop practicing, either by choice or not, it is perplexing that the address did not include senior and disabled dentists but embraced other groups. Also, the core values of the ADA Members First 2020 Strategic Plan 2015-2019 seems disingenuous where the first bullet is, "Commitment to Members," and there continues to be no commitment to senior/retiring or disabled members.

The baby boomer dental generation has both the time and finances to greatly benefit the dental profession. The Association of Retiring Dentists, in an attempt to demonstrate the value of this group, in January 2017 offered to the ADA a new book to sell, "Life After Dentistry."

The success of this book should have been enough to gain the attention of the ADA and add credibility to the assertion that the baby boomers are worth their attention. Since its introduction, "Life After Dentistry" has provided thousands of dollars of revenue to the ADA through the sale of hundreds of books.

If not for the benefit of members, but for the benefit of the bottom line, the ADA might want to adjust its attention to the economic powerhouse the baby boomers represent. The ADA can add value to membership and increase revenue by providing more products and services to senior and disabled dentists.

President Crowley "challenges dentists to lead the change." We challenge the ADA to do the same.

Neil S. Hiltunen, D.M.D.
President, Association of Retiring Dentists
North Hampton, New Hampshire

Ronald J. Marsh, D.D.S.
President, Association of Disabled Dentists
Kennewick, Washington