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Call for general dentists to declare their independence from the American Dental Association

July 6, 2016
"The history of the present ADA Board of Trustees is a history of absolute Tyranny over the general membership."

"The history of the present ADA Board of Trustees is a history of absolute Tyranny over the general membership."

Inspired by America's Declaration of Independence, a group of dentists and other concerned healthcare professionals are calling on all general dentists in the United States to drop their membership to the American Dental Association.

TEAM 1500, a coalition of more than 1,500 healthcare providers and concerned citizens, issued the call on July 4, 2016, in response to more than a decade of what the group believes has been malfeasance on the part of the ADA's Board of Trustees and the ADA's influential committee chairs.

Channeling the original Declaration of Independence, which spelled out the complaints of the American colonists against the British Crown, TEAM 1500 members issued their own statement, declaring:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all dentists have equal standing, that they are endowed by their training with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are service to patients, dedication to safety, reliance on science, and commerce free of unreasonable interference.

"That to secure these rights, professional associations are instituted among individuals, deriving their just powers from the consent of the members.

"That whenever any Form of association becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the general membership to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new organization, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to affect their public service and practice.

"Such has been the patient sufferance of general dentists; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of association.

"The history of the present ADA Board of Trustees and entrusted council chairs is a history of repeated self-dealing and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over the general membership."

READ MORE:The American Dental Association—Advocating for dentists and their patients

Among the specific grievances cited by TEAM 1500 members are:

• The ADA's complete disregard for its own long-standing commitment to basing the group's recommended safety guidelines and educational requirements on evidence-based research and science.

• Failure to place the compelling needs of the dental public for access to safe, effective, and affordable dental care ahead of the self-interest of the ADA leadership and a small, but influential, minority of ADA members.

• A lack of truly representative governance that places control of the ADA's board and key committees in the hands of oral surgeons and other specialists, who consistently fail to represent the best interests of the general dentists who comprise more than 90% of the ADA's membership rolls.

• The absence of credible due process in the operation of ADA committees and the Board; giving deference to oral surgeons and other specialists, while disenfranchising general dentists and the organizations that represent them.

RELATED READING:US District Court ruling sets stage for expansion of 'dental specialties', practitioner independence from ADA restrictions

"The ADA has effectively segregated and economically oppressed general dentists – and their patients – for more than a decade, to enrich the tiny minority of oral surgeons and other specialists who run the association as a private country club and ATM," TEAM 1500 noted. The irony is that it is the ADA membership dues collected from general dentists that empower the ADA's leaders to deprive those very general dentists of equitable and democratic representation, TEAM 1500 added.

Since 2006, TEAM 1500 has worked in concert with dentists and other healthcare providers to ensure that patients of all economic and ethnic backgrounds have equal access to quality medical and dental care. While the ADA's self-interested governance hurts general dentists, TEAM 1500 believes the true victims of the ADA's self-dealing are patients—especially poor and minority patients—who must pay more for dental visits and who have fewer choices in care due to the ADA's repeated violations of its public trust.

TEAM 1500 asks that general dentists who are fed up with being treated as second-class ADA members, and having their patients suffer the consequences, cancel their ADA membership, effective immediately.

"Once the benefit of membership in the ADA truly was in the interest of general dentists and their patients. It no longer is," TEAM 1500 concludes.

Source: PRNewswire press release, 5 July 2016

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