In this issue of Chairside® magazine, there is an article from my mentor, Dr. Gordon Christensen. Well, I’m happy to announce that an article from Gordon will now appear in every new issue of Chairside magazine. I have heard Gordon mention in the past that he would send articles to JADA that would routinely be returned as too opinionated, and I told Gordon I would only send back articles that weren’t opinionated enough! If organized-dentistry’s leadership is unwilling to allow dentists to voice potentially unpopular opinions, how will change or progress ever take place?
Gordon’s first target this month is third-party payment organizations (such as Delta Dental), and how they have lowered reimbursements in states like Washington and Missouri while dentists’ overhead percentages continue to creep upward. The California Dental Association has taken legal action against Delta Dental to prevent the same thing from happening there.
Later in the article, Gordon takes the ADA to task for having disregarded the overabundance of dentists and hygienists in many areas while new dental schools continued to open in the last five years, with more being planned and built even now. He also laments the lack of clinical competency among recent graduates of particular dental schools that are more focused on research than on clinical ability.
This is exactly the kind of educated, well-reasoned opinion piece I was hoping for from Gordon, whom many consider to be dentistry’s elder statesman. I hope you enjoy it, and the discussion it will create, as much as I did.