SEATTLE, July 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Michael D. Silverman, a pioneer in the education of general dentists on sedation dentistry techniques and patient safety protocols, issued a statement concerning recent calls for general dentists to cancel their American Dental Association memberships.
Dr. Silverman, president and co-founder of DOCS Education, wrote:
"I am aware that many of our DOCS Education members and other general dentists are frustrated by the ADA's repeated attempts to tighten the guidelines and increase the educational requirements for general dentists who provide their patients sedation dentistry.
"In the absence of any credible scientific evidence to support the ADA's repeated efforts, a growing number of general dentists have come to view the organization's actions as a thinly veiled effort to promote the interests of oral surgeons and other specialists at the expense of general dentists.
"I, myself, have testified twice in the past year before ADA committees in opposition to the proposed revisions (known as Resolution 77), noting that the existing ADA guidelines – in place since October 2007 – have proven to be more than sufficient to protect the public's safety and comfort. (The very few unfortunate incidents that do occur result from dentists who ignore or fail to follow existing ADA guidelines and state regulations.) I have dedicated my professional career to educating dentists on science-based protocols for providing safe, effective, sedation dentistry.
"Recently, TEAM 1500, a respected coalition of health care providers and concerned citizens, launched a campaign encouraging general dentists to cancel their ADA memberships in protest of the association's ongoing attempt to make its sedation guidelines even stricter.
"While TEAM 1500 works in the public interest and its intentions are laudable, I cannot support the call for general dentists to declare their independence from the ADA.
"As an organization, the ADA has a long history of service to the public and the dental profession. The misguided efforts of some influential ADA members to impose unnecessary and non-scientifically based guidelines on general dentist is not, in my opinion, sufficient reason to overlook all the good that the ADA does elsewhere.
"Rather than quit the ADA, I encourage DOCS Education members and other general dentists to work within the system to once again defeat the ill-conceived ADA proposal.
"DOCS Education members and general dentists should contact their local and national ADA delegates without delay and let them know in no uncertain terms that they're unhappy with the proposed revisions. The proposals are not evidence-based, as required by the ADA's own guiding principles.
"Twice previously, in 2007 and in 2015, when ADA members spoke out, we were able to prevent the association from adopting revisions that were nearly identical to those currently being debated. Working within the ADA's existing structure, general dentists – who comprise the vast majority of ADA members – once more need to let their voices be heard."
More than 20 million Americans have overcome their fear and anxiety related to seeing a dentist thanks to safe, effective, sedation dentistry provided by general dentists, Dr. Silverman noted.
Dr. Michael D. Silverman
SOURCE DOCS Education