Regarding “Americans are in the dark on oral health, survey says” (Life, July 24): The American Dental Association's past and present leadership continues to be out of touch with the American people's oral health care needs. ADA's launch of its new website, MouthHealthy.org, is a small tip of the iceberg in meeting the oral health needs of our nation. The ADA needs to open its communique to other oral health care professions and to open the flood gates of oral health care services for all Americans through more affordable and alternative delivery systems, using denturists, dental health aide therapists, dental therapists and independent practices and boards for dental hygienists.
Where is ADA's leadership? Let's free up the oral health care professions! Dentists alone can't bring about the needed change to correct the disparities and lack of access to dental health and oral health care. If the ADA would quit squeezing out competition, it would free up more chair time for children. ADA's self-serving political agenda is hurting those in need of dental and oral health care by suppressing qualified competitors who provide dental and oral health care services to people with disparities.
A few years ago, the Oklahoma Dental Association and Oklahoma Legislature made it a felony for a denturist to practice at what they've been trained and educated to do, forcing denturists to move to Indian reservations to practice and others to quit providing denturists services altogether.
Gary W. Vollan, Basin, Wyo.
Vollan is state coordinator for the Wyoming State Denturist Association.