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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9/4/18  10:36 am
Commenter: Jill Beitz DDS, VCU Periodontics


After four years of college, four years of dental school, one year in a general practice residency, and one year working in New Jersey as a general dentist, I discovered I STILL did not know enough and there was so much more to learn if I wanted to be a good dentist- let alone a specialist. As a second year resident in the VCU Department of Graduate Periodontics I can attest to the countless hours I have spent so far, and will continue to spend indefinitely, in reading the literature, treatment planning complex cases, putting together case presentations, preparing for literature and mock board exams, attending educational meetings, and transferring my knowledge to dental students in clinic and the classroom.  All of these hours are spent under the careful direction of many full-time and part-time faculty who are well known experts in the field.

The residency is three years long and the volume of information we take in on the subjects of periodontics, medicine, sedation, and implant dentistry is insurmountable.  Not only do we learn about current research and treatment techniques, but we also spend a considerable amount of time learning the classic treatment modalities that give us an understanding of treatment planning and clinical therapy that is unmatched by any providers that have not undergone this type of training. This is all in addition to completing a research project to fulfill the requirements for a Master’s degree to further progress our field and gain an even greater understanding of future treatment modalities to improve patient outcomes… not to mention the more than $500,000 I have amassed in student loans.

The elimination of specialty recognition would allow many who have not been through the training, literature review, and research of residency to allude to the public that they have had similar experience. This would be a direct violation of our ethical requirement to “do no harm.” Allowing undertrained practitioners to claim specialty status will, without a doubt, lead to patient harm and continue to degrade the profession into the future.   I strongly oppose this legislation!