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Advocates from AAE Champion the Future of Dentistry on Capitol Hill during ADA Lobby Day

AAE members and staff attended the American Dental Association’s (ADA) Dentist and Student Lobby Day from April 7-9 in Washington, DC. Their mission: to advocate for the future of dentistry. Over three days, this conference provided dentists and dental students with a platform to engage directly with Congress, advocating for policy solutions to tackle dental workforce shortages, promote fair insurance competition and reimbursement, and address the burden of dental loan debt.

On April 7-9, more than 15 AAE members and staff attended the ADA’s Dentist and Student Lobby Day in Washington, DC to advocate for the future of dentistry. This three-day conference is one of the best opportunities for dentists and dental students to directly learn about and advocate for the policy issues impacting dentists and patients.

The event commenced with educational sessions to deepen attendees’ knowledge of the federal and state policy issues impacting the dental industry and how to best educate members of Congress about the issues impacting dentistry. Attendees also worked with their state dental societies to strategize on tactics and talking points to effectively lobby their members of Congress. After another day of educational and advocacy strategy sessions, AAE staff hosted a small networking reception for AAE members and dental students. ADA’s Executive Director Ray Cohlmia, and their government affairs staff also joined our members at this event to offer their advice on ways we can continue to work together to advocate for dentistry.

On the last day of the meeting, attendees went to Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress and their staff to ask for their support of organized dentistry’s legislative priorities. The bipartisan issues that AAE members and staff asked for were solutions to address:

  • Dental Workforce Shortages: Advocating for the Dental Health Act, attendees urged Congress to federally fund workforce training, expand dental services to underserved areas, and promote oral health education initiatives.
  • Fair Insurance Competition and Reimbursement: Supporting the bipartisan Dental and Optometric Care (DOC) Access Act, attendees sought to curb insurance plan overreach by preventing dental plans from dictating fees for non-covered services.
  • Dental Loan Debt: Lobby Day attendees advocated for congressional support for the REDI Act and the Dental Loan Repayment Assistance Act, which would alleviate the burdens of student loan debt through deferred interest or tax-exempt loan repayment assistance.

The ADA Lobby Day was a success, uniting over 1,200 dentists and dental students to educate Congress about the critical need for bolstering the dental industry and enhancing patient access to oral health care. The AAE encourages all members interested in advocacy efforts to join us for next year's ADA Lobby Day, slated for March 30 to April 1, 2025, in Washington, DC.