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Specialty recognition for dental anesthesiology rejected

San Francisco—A proposal to make dental anesthesiology an ADA-recognized specialty was denied by the House of Delegates Oct. 22.

Resolution 16 called for dental anesthesiology to become the 10th recognized specialty of the American Dental Association. The American Society of Dentist Anesthesiologists submitted the application for recognition to the ADA Council on Dental Education and Licensure in 2011.

The application was supported by the CDEL, its Committee on Recognition of Specialties and Interest Areas in General Dentistry and the ADA Board of Trustees; however, a majority of the House defeated the resolution to recognize dental anesthesiology as a dental specialty.

The Requirements for Recognition, a link to which can be found at ADA.org/104.aspx, state that a sponsoring organization seeking specialty recognition must document that the discipline satisfies all of these requirements:

1. In order for an area to be recognized as a specialty, it must be represented by a sponsoring organization: (a) whose membership is reflective of the special area of dental practice; and (b) that demonstrates the ability to establish a certifying board.

2. A proposed specialty must be a distinct and well-defined field which requires unique knowledge and skills beyond those commonly possessed by dental school graduates as defined by the predoctoral accreditation standards.

3. The scope of the proposed specialty requires advanced knowledge and skills that: (a) are separate and distinct from any recognized dental specialty or combination of recognized dental specialties; and (b) cannot be accommodated through minimal modification of a recognized dental specialty or combination of recognized dental specialties.

4. The specialty applicant must document scientifically, by valid and reliable statistical evidence/studies, that it: (a) actively contributes to new knowledge in the field; (b) actively contributes to professional education; (c) actively contributes to research needs of the profession; and (d) provides oral health services for the public; all of which are currently not being met by general practitioners or dental specialists.

5. A proposed specialty must directly benefit some aspect of clinical patient care.

6. Formal advanced education programs of at least two years beyond the predoctoral dental curriculum as defined by the Commission on Dental Accreditation must exist to provide the special knowledge and skills required for practice of the proposed specialty.

A new application for the same specialty may not be submitted until 24 months after final action on a previous application has been taken by the House.