by Jim Du Molin
By now I would hope you’re aware of the raging debate on the issue of oral conscious sedation. (You can catch up by reading my editorial on the subject.) In a nutshell, the ADA wants to limit conscious sedation by general dentists.
The doctors’ group Team 1500 has been fighting the ADA on this issue. The organization has been praised by acting US Surgeon General Dr. Kenneth Moritsugu, who commended the group for its “dedication to making quality healthcare available to all Americans.”
Moreover, the Academy of General Dentistry featured Team 1500 as the lead item on its website and newsletter. AGD President Dr. Bruce DeGinder wrote, “The Academy of General Dentistry is likewise dedicated to making quality healthcare available to all Americans.”
Team 1500 can explain the situation better than I can, so I’m going to let them do the talking this week. The following article was written by the group’s director.
Are the ADA and AGD the Secret Puppet Masters of Team 1500?
By Dean Rotbart, Director
I had a contentious phone conversation this past week with a member of the American Dental Association’s Council on Dental Education and Licensure, also known as CDEL.
It is CDEL that is recommending a major overhaul of the ADA’s existing guidelines pertaining to the practice of oral conscious sedation (OCS) – changes that we at Team 1500 believe are wholly unnecessary and designed primarily to protect the financial turf of oral surgeons, dental anesthesiologists and other specialists.
This CDEL member made it clear from the start that he doesn’t respect me or Team 1500. His contention was that we are working outside the established systems and are using questionable methods to promote our cause.
Our nearly 20-minute phone conversation followed CDEL’s meeting in Chicago late last month to consider the newly proposed guidelines that were submitted to CDEL by its Committee on Anesthesiology, also known as Committee H.
I had already discovered from another CDEL member that CDEL mostly – if not entirely – endorsed the recommendations that Committee H presented to CDEL’s 16 members. I wanted to confirm my facts and try to understand what rationale CDEL was using for proposing radical changes to the very same guidelines that the ADA’s own House of Delegates had praised in the fall of 2005 for their “remarkable safety record.”
There was more heat than light generated during our conversation.
The CDEL dentist, in particular, presented me with this false syllogism: Since most of Team 1500’s many donors and thousands of supporters also are members of the independent Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS), then really it is DOCS who has been harassing CDEL, the ADA and others who are promulgating the new regulations.
What a non sequitur!
As I pointed out, those who are most opposed to the ADA’s proposed overhaul of the OCS guidelines are ALSO members of the ADA and Academy of General Dentistry (AGD). So in fact, if the CDEL member’s logic were correct, it is the ADA and AGD – not DOCS – that are actually pulling the strings of Team 1500.
Trying to trivialize the thousand-plus dentists who at Team 1500’s suggestion wrote the ADA to protest CDEL’s proposals by suggesting they are a small group of self-interested dentists is the pot calling the kettle black.
Share your own thoughts on the issue of oral conscious sedation by leaving a post. This is a major debate in dentistry today, and I’m curious to know where you stand!
Jim Du Molin