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AAE Members Instrumental in Setting New ADA Policy at House of Delegates

During the days leading up to the 2023 ADA’s House of Delegates (HOD), where dentists from across the country work to develop policy that represents the profession nationwide, a request to enhance DICOM (Digital Imaging and Communication in Medicine) standards was introduced.

Knowing that DICOM standards allow images and associated information to be uniformly exchanged between equipment from different vendors, computers, and dental offices, and recognizing that these standards were initiated in the 1970s, AAE representatives at the HOD noted several incorrect assumptions included in the proposal (which, at the House, is called a resolution).

Together with CBCT specialists in the field of Endodontics, language to help shape House debate was crafted. While at the HOD meeting, and in less than 24 hours, Endodontists willing to provide testimony were identified, and scripts crafted. During testimony, where the rationale and merits for and against the submitted resolution was heard, AAE representatives discussed those incorrect assumptions fully, and urged the House to pause until a comprehensive, in-depth evaluation of CBCT image sharing, specifically taking into account the specific needs and challenges of endodontics could be completed.

The power of that testimony was clear – AAE members were thanked (with applause!) during testimony to the entire House, and several of the AAE speakers received notes of thanks and congratulations from other specialists. The ADA reference committee assigned to issues related to dental practice also noted the strength of the AAE testimony (another first!) as a determinate in their proposed recommendations to the House, who quickly set policy that included a directive to the ADA to work with interested dental specialty societies to identify the issues related to image exchange, identifying new specifications, standards, and guidance necessary to ensure interoperability.

In under 48 hours, AAE members showed that when we raise our voices together, we can make an impact!

Special thanks to Drs. Mo Fayed and Bruno Azevedo for their assistance in evaluating the original DICOM proposal that was submitted.

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