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Letters: Corporate practice model

September 01, 2014 I read the My View ("From Bungalow To Big Box," July 14 ADA News) and was inspired to voice my opinion. As a member since the very beginning of my career, I had always thought of the ADA as being and overseer and protector of what is right.

In the 24 years I have been practicing dentistry I have seen my share of disappointment regarding the direction of the profession. When I began practicing I am pretty sure it was frowned upon for dentists to advertise. The Yellow Pages listing was more than adequate to provide exposure. Fast forward so many years later and we have advertising on television, radio and — the new Wild West — the Internet.

The idea that the American Dental Association has allowed the corporate model to exist in the first place is terrible. Young dentists' first experience in dentistry is as a corporate drone. No one sees this as a problem? Dentistry is a profession. As a profession it should be self regulated to maintain the highest standard not the lowest common denominator. When is good enough, good enough? Or is it more about being fast enough? Let's punch out and go home!

The idea that a state government can adjudicate on the issues of denturists and independent hygiene practice without any interruption from our dental associations should not surprise us. Have any of these innovations actually improved the quality of dentistry? My guess is that they have done more to detract from the art of dentistry and furthermore made more young practitioners miserable in their career choice.

The time for dealing with these problems proactively has past. Now if the ADA leadership does act it will be an expensive battle. My guess is they will bury their heads and move on.

I am left with some concerning thoughts. Am I alone in these beliefs? What does the future hold for dentistry? Are corporate models eventually going to choke out all other forms of private practice?

Robert Burstein, D.D.S.
South Windsor, Connecticut