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By Susan L. Wood, D.D.S.

In April, I joined more than 1,000 dentists and dental students from around the country for ADA Dentist and Student Washington Lobby Day, along with a dozen other AAE members attending as part of their state delegations. This was my fourth Lobby Day as AAE’s ADPAC representative and I have caught the advocacy bug!

When I hand the AAE ADPAC baton over to Dr. Maria C. Maranga at the ADA meeting in October, I will continue stepping up for dentistry as a member of my Arizona state delegation to Lobby Day. It is empowering to have my voice amplified by joining with dental colleagues.

The ADA does an incredible job of setting the stage for Lobby Day Hill visits by providing talking points and tips on key issues, which this year included:

I encourage AAE members to take a look at these to stay informed. Some issues may affect your practice more directly than others, but anything that impacts the overall dental professional also impacts endodontists.

Before I stepped up as AAE’s ADPAC board representative, I thought of advocacy in D.C. as something that the ADA does for me—and the ADA is a powerful and effective force in Washington—but that power derives from the grassroots dentists who elect their representatives and can vote them out of office. When an organized, informed group of constituents visit their representatives, they listen.

But you don’t have to come to Washington to support dentistry’s advocacy. The ADA makes it easy to email your representatives on key issues through the ADA Legislative Action Network. Please sign up if you haven’t already, and also consider supporting ADPAC.

I am also thrilled to report that the AAE is providing $1,500 stipends for three AAE members in practice 10 years or less to attend the 2019 ADA/ASDA Lobby Day. Dr. Maranga, myself and other Lobby Day “veterans” will provide mentorship and the selected AAE members will attend Hill visits with their state delegation. I guarantee that they will leave fired up and ready to participate at a deeper level with their state dental association. And we need AAE members engaged in all levels of organized dentistry!

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Dr. Susan L. Wood is a partner at Phoenix Endodontic Group in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics and serves on the Foundation for Endodontics Board of Trustees. For more information about participating in dental advocacy, contact Dr. Wood at drwood@phoenixendodontist.com.