The Great Lakes Association of Orthodontists (GLAO) is a constituent of the American Association of Orthodontists. Components of the GLAO include: Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Ontario (Canada), and Pennsylvania (west of the Alleghenies). The GLAO advocates on behalf of its members and promotes the advancement of the Speciality of Orthodontics.
A MESSAGE FROM THE GLAO PRESIDENT…
Work Harder, Work Smarter…
and Work Together
As I begin this year as president of the GLAO, my first task is to thank our outgoing president, Aron Dellinger, for the great leadership that he provided as GLAO president over the past year. If you have had the privilege of knowing Aron, you know that he is a passionate advocate for our profession. He leads with thoughtfulness and enthusiasm. He has set the bar high, and I will work hard to show my appreciation for what I’ve learned from him over the past year.
Several interesting challenges face our profession currently:
The lines are blurring on specialty designation.
I recently attended the ADA meeting in Denver, where the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct was amended. Two significant changes came out of the amendment. First, it allows orthodontists to practice as general dentists if they so desire. While many of us love the practice of orthodontics and would never consider this option, new graduates facing crippling student debt are sometimes forced to supplement their income by practicing general dentistry. The second outcome of the amendment was to permit dentists to announce as specialists recognized in their jurisdictions, even if it’s not one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the ADA. This is the result of court cases that have challenged the ability of the ADA to be the sole body that designates what is and is not a specialty field of dentistry. All of these changes will have the potential effect of causing more confusion for the general public, as they try to decide who is the best provider for their dental services, including orthodontic treatment.
There is a busyness problem in dentistry. In addition to the recent legislative changes, a significant trend that has been identified by the ADA Health Policy Institute is the decrease in utilization of dental services since 2003. General dentists aren’t as busy as they used to be, and empty chairs and declining incomes have led some general dentists to seek additional procedures to offer in their practices. New technologies have sometimes given general dentists the impression that they can offer specialty services that are comparable to those provided by a specialist. As specialists that went through years of training to gain the knowledge base that we have, and that have honed our skills through practicing our specialty day in and day out, we know that no fancy technology gadget, weekend course, or clever marketing training can never replace what we know and can do as specialists. The problem, however, is that the general public doesn’t know this.
So now that I’ve totally depressed you, let’s talk about how we can combat the challenges facing our profession…
Click here to read more