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Dental specialty commission sets policies, procedures, structure in first meeting

May 21, 2018

By Kimber Solana

Photo of Dr. Norman and Michael Kendall
Chair: Dr. Charles H. Norman III, left, and Michael Kendall, senior associate general counsel, smile during the first meeting of the National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards, held May 9-10 at ADA Headquarters. Dr. Norman was elected chair of the national commission during the meeting.
Members of a new commission established to oversee the decision-making process for recognizing dental specialties and their respective certifying boards held its inaugural meeting May 9-10 at ADA Headquarters.

The National Commission on Recognition of Dental Specialties and Certifying Boards is comprised of nine general dentists, appointed by the ADA Board of Trustees, and one specialist from each of the nine recognized specialties, appointed by the sponsoring organization. A public/consumer member will be appointed later this year.

"The first meeting of the new commission was a very productive two-day session in which we approved our rules, policies, operating procedures and organizational structure," said Dr. Charles H. Norman III, who was elected chair of the national commission during the meeting. Dr. James Boyle was chosen as vice chair.

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

The specialty appointees are: Drs. Wayne A. Aldredge, American Academy of Periodontology; Don Altman, American Association of Public Health Dentistry; Boyle, 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; John M. Wright, American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology.

The establishment of the national commission will enhance the specialty recognition program in accord with the ADA Requirements for Recognition of Dental Specialties and National Certifying Boards for Dental Specialists, which is designed to help dentists excel throughout their careers, and the public ascertain the importance of educationally qualified and board certified dental specialists. That mission was specified in the ADA Board of Trustees report that accompanied Resolution 30H-2017, which the ADA 2017 House of Delegates approved in Atlanta.

"The commissioners are committed to this new process for specialty recognition and look forward to receiving applications from interested dental groups," Dr. Norman said.

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 national 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, or the perception of bias or conflicts of interests, in the decision-making process.
  • The process must include multiple steps, including provisions for appeal.