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ADA appoints members to dental specialty commission

New group created to reduce potential bias, conflict of interest in recognition process

January 22, 2018

By Kimber Solana

The ADA announced Jan. 11 the members of a new commission established to oversee the decision-making process for recognizing dental specialties, an effort to reduce potential or perceived bias and conflict of interest in the process.

The ADA National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards is comprised of nine general dentists, appointed by the ADA Board of Trustees, and a dentist from each of the nine recognized specialties, appointed by the sponsoring organization.

The nine ADA appointees are: Drs. Joseph A. Battaglia; James D. Benz; Ralph A. Cooley; Alan E. Friedel; Kevin A. Henner; Denise L. Hering; Roger Kiesling; Charles H. Norman, III; and Mark Zust.

The specialty appointees are: Drs. Wayne A. Aldredge, American Academy of Periodontology; Don Altman, American Association of Public Health Dentistry; James M. Boyle III, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery; Robert Delarosa, American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry; Anita Gohel, American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Radiology; William T. Johnson, American Association of Endodontists; Andrew J. Kwasny, American Association of Orthodontists; Frank J. Tuminelli, American College of Prosthodontists; and John M. Wright, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

The establishment of the new commission will enhance the specialty recognition program that sets requirements designed to help dentists excel throughout their careers, and the public ascertain the importance of educationally qualified and board certified dental specialists, according to the ADA Board of Trustees report that accompanied Resolution 30H-2017, which the ADA 2017 House of Delegates approved in Atlanta.

The Board decided to explore a new commission after it charged the Task Force on Specialty and Specialty Certifying Board Recognition to evaluate the process and criteria by which specialties and specialty certifying boards are recognized.

Previously, the ADA House of Delegates determined the recognition of dental specialties, organizations and certifying boards. According to the Board report, that process carried financial and reputational risks.

The new commission will be guided with a list of principles that include:

  • The process must be grounded in objective standards that protect the public, nurture the art and science of dentistry and improve the quality of care.
  • The process must serve to reduce potential bias or conflicts of interest, or the perception of bias or conflicts of interest, in the decision-making process.
  • The process must include multiple steps, including provisions for appeal.

The commission is expected to hold its first meeting in late spring.