Many members have contacted the ADA
with questions on how to deal with severe acute
respiratory syndrome. The ADA Council on Scientific
Affairs, working with the CDC and the Organization
for Safety and Asepsis Procedures, has developed
a Q-&-A that addresses dentists'
questions about SARS. Information
about SARS is constantly emerging, so the CDC
website also is a good source. CDC recommends
that dentists ask patients targeted screening questions
about fever, respiratory symptoms and recent travel.
In the unlikely event you encounter a possible SARS
patient in the dental office, the ADA SARS document
recommends that you refer them to a health care
facility or physician for diagnosis and care.
Yet another amalgam case against
the ADA has been dismissed. A Maryland Circuit Court
threw out the class-action suit against the ADA
and the Maryland State Dental Assn. The plaintiffs
alleged they weren't informed by their dentists
that their fillings contained mercury or posed a
health risk. The judge dismissed the complaints
"with prejudice." The lawsuit alleged the defendants
engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices
in violation of the Maryland Consumer Protection
Act, not disclosing that amalgam fillings are dangerous.
New York and Georgia courts dismissed similar suits
earlier this year.
Rep. Diane Watson (D-CA) has reintroduced
her Mercury in Dental Filling Disclosure and Prohibition
Act (HR1680) in the U.S. Congress. The measure would
essentially ban the use of amalgam by 2008.
Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN) is a cosponsor. We're sending
a letter to all members of Congress opposing the
legislation. The three dentist members of Congress,
Reps. Charlie Norwood (R-GA), John Linder (R-GA)
and Mike Simpson (R-ID), have asked their fellow
lawmakers in a "Dear Colleague" letter not to support
the bill, which they point out relies on faulty
science and would endanger dental patients.
In case you missed it, the April
21 ADA News featured a close-up look at the amalgam
waste issue, including the ADA's
new Best Management Practices for Amalgam Waste.
The coverage includes current ADA activities on
amalgam waste. Coming to JADA later this year is
an article that will examine practical aspects of
selecting and installing amalgam separators. We'll
also hold an annual session workshop in San Francisco.
Other topics include a look at state activity on
this issue and tips on how to find a recycler. These
activities are part of the ADA Action Plan on Amalgam
in Dental Office Wastewater that the House approved
A list of dental practice management
consultants now is on ADA.org
along with contact information, a description of
services and basic information about each consultant's
experience and training. Members can download the
directory free. This list should help answer tough
business questions such as staff training options,
marketing strategies, personnel matters, billing,
scheduling and how to respond to regulatory requirements.
As a new member service, the ADA
Legal Division will review HIPAA Business Associate
Agreements between members and software vendors,
including practice management software vendors.
Legal also will review BA agreements with malpractice
insurance carriers. The reviews will be provided
through the same process used by the Contract Analysis
Service, which is free if members submit an agreement
to their state association and the state forwards
it to us.
Some of you may already have seen
the supplement to the April 7 ADA News, which lists
the names of Give Kids A Smile volunteers
and supporting corporations. Our primary source
for listing participants was the ADA.org registration
form, and it's certain many volunteers never registered
there. We expect to hear from some of these as yet
unsung volunteers whose names didn't make the list
and ask that they register on ADA.org.
It's the best shot we have at tracking the full
impact of this extraordinary program, and being
able to tell that story is important to its overall
Please note a correction in your
2003 membership materials. Although the Hertz
information on the back of the 2003 membership cards
is correct, the Hertz 800 number on the rolodex-style,
paper, "carrier" portion is incorrect. The correct
toll-free number for Hertz is 800-654-2200. We regret
Last year's House passed a resolution
that we identify resources to help state and local
societies educate their communities about possible
health effects from frequent exposure to and over-consumption
of soft drinks. The Council on Access, Prevention
and Interprofessional Relations has identified two
Web sites that offer coalition building and education
materials. The ADA doesn't endorse these sites,
but they do address the House's directive. See "Taking
the Fizz Out of Soda Contracts: A Guide to Community
Action" and "School
Soda Report Sheds Light on Soft Drink Companies'
Marketing Practices to Cash-Strapped Schools"
(go Newsroom, then "School Soda Report..."). In
addition, ADA.org offers resources on the issue:
a joint report
from CAPIR and the Council on Scientific Affairs
Health, Nutrition, and Exclusive Soft Drink Contracts
in Schools". Also, the "Sipping and
Snacking and Oral Health: Facts for Parents and
Educators" brochure (Item W273) is sold through
the ADA Catalog (email@example.com).