November 19, 2018
I read with interest the letter from Dr. Tracy Oliver in the Oct. 1 issue of The ADA News. The subject of the commoditization of dentistry or more accurately, dental services, seems to be a topic of little interest to the leaders of organized dentistry.
As a fee-for-service solo practitioner for over 37 years, it is painfully obvious not only to me, but also to the hundreds of practitioners, lecturers, hygienists, chairside assistants, front desk assistants and many, many other people in dental-related fields that I have had personal contact with, that the insurance and corporate entities are encouraging and promoting this trend.
It is the overwhelming opinion of those I have had contact with, that the results of these forces in dentistry are devastating to not only the quality of care, but also to relationship dentists should have with their patients, and that are clearly stated in the ADA Code of Ethics.
Why is organized dentistry silent to these issues?
The issues of dental education costs, corporate ownership of dental offices (illegal in the state of Texas but completely ignored by law enforcement agencies), under-funded dental regulatory boards and uninformed dental patients must be addressed by organized dentistry.
The insurance and corporate entities have virtually unlimited resources and will never cease to exist.
But the ADA, along with state and local societies and governments, can do something if they choose to take up the gauntlet.
Are our leaders listening?
Or is this just the elephant in the room?
Jack Bodie, D.D.S.