Are you ENGAGED?

By Joe Anne Hart, FDA Director of Governmental Affairs

The American Dental Association (ADA) offers a valuable service to all FDA members that will help keep you up to date and involved in advocacy efforts at the federal level.

ADA Engage is an improved legislative action center that replaced Capwiz as the ADA’s main advocacy tool. The ADA uses Engage to send out action alerts, inform dentists on critical public policy issues and put FDA members in contact with their congressional legislators. Most importantly, Engage allows your voice to be heard.

How can you get ENGAGED? Visit ADA.org/Engage and click to sign up. It’s just that easy!

Code of Ethics Spurs Public’s Decision in Choosing Dentists, Survey Says

By David Burger, Senior Editor at the American Dental Association

ADA member dentists are unique in that they have something that other dentists don’t: a Code of Ethics.

Patients like that, according to the results of a new study commissioned by the Association’s Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs. Nearly 70 percent of patients are more likely to choose an ADA member dentist knowing that those dentists follow a Code of Ethics, the study showed. The survey also showed that nearly 75 percent of patients said that simply knowing that a dentist was a member of the ADA would influence whom they selected as a dentist.

The ADA has long believed that the ADA’s “Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct” elevated dentists’ reputation in the community, but didn’t have proof, said Pennsylvania dentist Dr. Linda K. Himmelberger, chair of CEBJA. “We were hoping to find it was a differentiator for the public,” Dr. Himmelberger said. “That is what the survey pointed out.”

The May survey was conducted among a Census-balanced, nationally representative sample of 1,000 people, with a 3 percent margin of error. Respondents were asked to read a description of the ADA Code before responding to a final question.

The survey tested whether public knowledge of the ADA Code and its fundamental purpose of putting the interests of patients first would resonate with the public and might result in channeling patients to ADA member dentists. Members of the ADA voluntarily agree to abide by the ADA Code as a condition of membership in the Association.

“CEBJA wanted to know if the ADA Code would help us with ADA’s membership goals,” said Oklahoma dentist Dr. Doug Auld, vice chairman of CEBJA.

The findings included:

  • Sixty-seven percent of respondents knew if their dentists were members of the ADA.
  • Two in five consumers believed that ADA dentists hold themselves to a higher standard than other dentists. After learning about the Code, the number increased to 53 percent.
  • Patients aged 35-64 were more likely to be influenced by the Code when choosing a dentist, while people in the 18-24 age range were considerably less influenced by the Code.
  • If people believe they are already going to an ADA dentist, the Code will likely influence them to look even more strongly for another ADA member the next time they are in need of a dentist.

Some of the findings pleasantly surprised Dr. Himmelberger and Dr. Auld.

“What impressed me was that 69 percent of patients, knowing that we had a Code, were more likely to go to a member dentist,” Dr. Auld. “I didn’t think it would be that high. I was surprised.”

“The public does feel very strongly about their dentists being members of the ADA,” Dr. Himmelberger said. “Seventy-five percent is a big number.”

Dr. Himmelberger said that member dentists should promote the findings and share them. “There are ways they can work the Code and the fact that they are ADA members into their daily interactions with their patients to increase the patient’s awareness of the Code and how it guides the way their dentist treats them,” she said.

She recommended that dentists should print out the ADA Code and have copies of it in the waiting room. Dr. Auld said that members also should have the ADA Code posted conspicuously in the office.

They also recommended that members should either post the Code on their websites or post an existing video about the Code, available at ADA.org/en/about-the-ada/principles-of-ethics-code-of-professional-conduct, on their sites.

Printed copies of the Code are available upon request by contacting the coordinator of CEBJA, Earl Sewell, at 312.440.2499 or sewelle@ada.org.

The Code can be viewed at ADA.org.

Burger D. Code of Ethics spurs public’s decision in choosing dentists, survey says.  ADA News. Posted July 15, 2015 at http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2015-archive/july/code-of-ethics-spurs-publics-decision-in-choosing-dentists-survey-says?nav=news. Copyright @ 2015 American Dental Association.  Reproduced with permission.

Welcome to Beyond the Bite: The Official Blog of the Florida Dental Association

By Drew Eason, FDA Executive Director/CEO

As we continue to empower members’ success and further the influence of our organization, we would like to announce the launch of Beyond the Bite, the official blog of the Florida Dental Association (FDA). This blog will provide you with industry trends, tips to strengthen your practice, FDA programs and events, and other resources.

Our monthly e-newsletter, News Bites, will continue to share important news and updates on your FDA membership, insurance and regulatory issues, and continuing education opportunities. Beyond the Bite will provide you with more resources to support your professional growth and practice’s success.

To make sure we cover a variety of topics, we will share blog posts from FDA leadership and staff, your local dental society leaders and other partners. We also welcome the opportunity to share blogs from members or hear from you on topics you’d like to see on the blog. If you have an idea for a blog post, please send a brief overview to Jill Runyan at jrunyan@floridadental.org.

This blog is a platform for dialogue. We encourage you to share comments or questions, as well as share our blog posts on your own social media platforms. Make sure to check back often for new topics and resources, and subscribe to our RSS feed. We hope that Beyond the Bite will be a valuable resource for you!