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    President's Message    

Dr. Robert Churney
2016-2017 FAP President


Make Perio Great Again

Now that I have your attention due to this political year, I think the above title is a great way to start my last president's message. It's been an interesting year for our country and our profession. It seems like our specialty, as well as all other dental specialties have been pushed aside for a super generalist model of teaching in our dental schools, especially the for-profit model schools. The American Dental Association (ADA) which represents all of dentistry voted for Resolution #65 at the last ADA House of Delegates meeting. This resolution, an amendment to the ADA Code of Ethics states, "A dentist my ethically announce as a specialist to the public in any of the dental specialties recognized by the ADA and in any other areas of dentistry for which specialty recognition has been granted..." (visit the ADA website to read the entire resolution). What was the reason behind this resolution and why wasn't there a fight? Well, that decision was already won in court with the lawsuit brought by the American Board of Dental Specialties and the ADA was just cleaning up language to match that decision. This decision affects all specialties, not just periodontics.

So, what does that mean going forward? It means that we need to work harder in the dental school clinics to continue to have a presence with the students. We must show how we, as a specialty, can enhance the treatment of their patients and form teams for treatment. We have to be able to show the benefits and successes of working in teams in both treatment and in case planning. In light of this, our February meeting features Dr. Brody Hildebrand, a board- certified Orthodontist and Prosthodontist as our keynote speaker. He will discuss how working in teams help, not only the practitioner, but also the patient themselves. Your orthodontic and prosthodontic colleagues here in the state have been invited to attend this meeting with us. I would ask you also to reach out and personally invite them.

It also means that we need to get involved in the political landscape to secure a Periodontist on the Florida Board of Dentistry. Thanks to Mark Abdoney, FAP Immediate Past President, we now have a political action committee and are working toward that goal. Oh, and speaking of our Board how about the first ever meeting that had to be called for lack of a quorum. The last meeting in Miami, first time ever, members of the Board walked out and therefore the meeting had to be stopped. Thank you to Beatrice Terry for representing the FAP at that meeting.

So, you see this is a quickly moving landscape and your FAP Executive Council is being as nimble as possible to continue to move our specialty forward within our state. I would like now to take time to thank the hard-working executive council members and those in the past that have assisted me through this year and the years before as I worked up the FAP ladder. You never really realize what is involved until you're in the middle of it. I thank all those whose shoulders I have stood upon over these many years.

Now maybe we should get some hats made with my message title, they seem to work.