Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Health Professions
Board of Dentistry
Regulations Governing the Practice of Dentistry [18 VAC 60 ‑ 21]
Action Amendment to restriction on advertising dental specialties
Comment Period Ends 9/5/2018
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8/25/18  8:45 am
Commenter: Dr. Matthew Cline

Strongly Oppose

This ultimately comes down to patient safety and public perception of the profession of dentistry. As a practitioner who spent several years as a general dentist who then completed a specialty program, I have been on both sides of this argument and strongly oppose this idea. General dentists should be able to perform procedures that they feel comfortable doing and for which they have received adequate training and can deliver excellent results, but in no way should they be able to call themselves specialists. Completion of a few weekend courses is no substitute for a multi-year specialty training program. A specialist is someone who limits their practice to one specific field and that is all they do all day. They have devoted all of their time to one field. A general dentist who dabbles in a particular specialty does not have the volume and experience to deliver excellent results every day. Allowing them to call themselves specialists will only confuse the general public who already doesn't understand the difference between a general dentist and a true specialist. As a profession, we need to work together to educate the public on who is properly trained to perform excellent results; not mislead them. Otherwise, the profession will be opening itself up to more botched results, which will lead to distrust from the public, more complaints to the board, and potential lawsuits. Ultimately this is harmful to the public and to the profession.