|Action||Amendment to restriction on advertising dental specialties|
|Comment Period||Ends 9/5/2018|
I encourage the close attention to all the great comments here in opposition to this measure. Increasingly I, along with many of my colleagues, have witnessed the changing landscape in the dental profession. A steady decline in the level of care has been diluted by those already claiming to be specialists after a weekend course or equivalent. This has led to a growing level of confusion amongst the public that we specialists encounter daily whether in advertising or in the substandard care passing through in the form of a second opinion or botched treatment from non-specialty trained dentists. Patients deserve the best from all of us in the dental community and we have a duty to protect the patient from harm. Under this principle according to the ADA, the dentist's primary obligations include keeping knowledge and skills current, knowing one's own limitations and when to refer to a specialist or other professional, and knowing when and under what circumstances delegation of patient care to auxiliaries is appropriate. Why would we move in a direction that reverses this, leads to substandard care and increases the likelihood of harm at the unknowing/uninformed patient’s expense?
I’d challenge those considering this to have the courage to see this from those that our profession serves and vote NO. Instead focus efforts towards taking care of patients by strengthening the standards that define specialist care based on true training. Set the bar to a higher level, not to a lower one and keep specialty designation a distinction that patients can understand as being more than deceptive words.