The 2018-19 Board of Directors officially took office at AAE18. The Board’s Annual Meeting, which was held earlier that week in Denver, offered an opportunity to welcome and orient new Board members, thank members of the Board whose terms of service expired, and have meaningful dialogue around the strategic priorities for the specialty.
The AAE Board made great progress in the first year of its new strategic plan. The Board dedicated a significant portion of its meeting toward achieving three strategic goals:
- The public will value saving their natural teeth and seek endodontists—the specialists in saving teeth—for their care.
- The Board approved moving forward with a consumer engagement initiative, and will be working with an agency to launch this program.
- Additional initiatives during the course of the last year that support this goal include AAE, Foundation and ABE website redesigns; enhancement of the find an endodontist online search; and activities relating to root canal awareness week.
- The dental profession will value endodontists as partners with advanced expertise in providing patient care.
- Over the course of the past year, the Board has approved white papers and position statements geared at establishing and supporting a single standard of endodontic care. A communications strategy will be developed around this new content, and online educational content on practicing to the endodontic standard will be developed for general practitioners.
- The Board approved initial steps for a committee to plan an outcomes consensus conference. Development and agreement on common outcomes to be utilized across all clinical research in endodontics will be a significant stride for the specialty. Long-term, this will support advocacy efforts by enabling the AAE to objectively communicate the value of endodontic care to key stakeholder groups.
- In addition, the Board reviewed and approved several revised or new guidelines and position statements:
- AAE and its members will be recognized as the global leaders in advocating the value and quality of endodontics.
- The AAE will be launching a survey geared at identifying the unique needs of international members; these results will help to inform a global member development plan. Additionally, a plan to target domestic recruitment and retention is in development.
- In the coming year the AAE will be promoting the science of endodontics by partnering with the ABE to promote board certification, and by hosting joint conferences with international organizations.
The AAE Board has also been tracking recent developments in state-level advertising regulations. A 2016 federal court ruling in Texas, which found the state’s specialty advertising regulations to be in violation of the first amendment, has spurred the American Dental Association to review and redesign its process for recognition of dental specialties. In addition, it has also resulted in the newly-formed American Board of Dental Specialties making efforts to convince state dental Boards to alter their specialty advertising regulations in a way that does not limit “specialties” to those recognized by the ADA.
AAE has been represented at meetings of the Iowa and Washington state dental boards, both of which are faced with addressing this issue.
It is AAE’s position that regulating dental specialty advertising protects the public and therefore should be undertaken by state Boards of dentistry. AAE is currently partnering with other stakeholders to advocate for this position at the state level.