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Dentistry: Are Dentists Ready for Unionization?

Disappointed by the American Dental Association, half of dentists say they are ready to unionize, finds a recent survey by The Wealthy Dentist. Of course, many support the ADA and think a dentists' union would be disastrous.

San Francisco, CA, November 11, 2008 --( Half of dentists are ready for the profession to unionize, reveals a recent survey by dental marketing and dental practice management resource The Wealthy Dentist. Feeling trapped by dental insurance and abandoned by the American Dental Association, many dentists are ready for an organized dental union.

"You have got to be kidding me," said a Missouri prosthodontist. "Ever heard of the ADA?" Other dentists supported the dental association. "We have the ADA. If you want something done, put the pressure on them. The ADA is a very effective weapon on many fronts," declared a Florida dentist.

But others were sorely disappointed by the ADA. "The ADA can't get us national licensing," complained a New Jersey dentist. "The wimps running the dental societies certainly don't help when it comes to the insurers," said a New York dentist.

Dentists are often conservative, and many were turned off by the idea of a union. "What good would it do?" asked a California dentist. "Unionization would mean giving up each dentist's independence. Union workers have to abide by union rules instead of making their own policy and treatment decisions. If a dentist doesn't want to deal with insurance, he doesn't have to. It's entirely voluntary."

Dental insurance is one of the most important reasons dentists would join a union. "The insurance companies take far too much advantage of the dental industry, and do pretty much whatever they feel like knowing full well that organized dentistry, such as it is right now, doesn't have much in the way of clout to put up a fight against them," said a California dentist. Exclaimed another, "We should bring a class action lawsuit on those insurance companies!"

But not everyone hates dental insurance. "Insurance is God's gift to dentistry!" raved a dental consultant. "Without it, there would be a lot less dentistry getting done."

One dentist was so enthusiastic about the idea that he immediately volunteered to organize a dental union. "I got ripped off from all insurers: HMOs, PPOs, Medicaid, private insurers," he complained. "Put me in your organization and I will have 90% of dentists in our Union. I will travel the country. The time to fight back is now! Never give up! Let's fight!"

A Rhode Island periodontist suggested an alternative. "I'm not keen about unionization, but the best way would be for individual groups to form 'pods' under a single tax ID number. A group of almost 100 MDs in our state has been very successful with this, and it had an impact on an insurance company when the group threatened to pull out."

"Hey, is Dr. Hoffa looking for a new project?" joked Jim Du Molin, dental patient marketing guru and founder of dental management resource The Wealthy Dentist. "I must say, these results really surprise me. I know there's a lot of frustration with the ADA, but I wouldn't have expected dentists to say that unionization is the answer!"

Du Molin invites readers to visit his blog at and comment on this survey.

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The Wealthy Dentist
Jim Du Molin

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