The world is a funny place. Just the other day I was telling a group of people that state dental boards are effectively controlled by state dental associations – even though state dental associations hysterically deny this fact. In almost every state, the state dental associations traditionally decide who will be on the state dental boards (with a rubber stamp approval from the governor) and therefore the dental associations can do whatever they want with the authority, resources and protection of the state government. All too often this formidable power is used by market participants to stifle competition, limit access to care and act in random/capricious ways to single out any licensee who seems to be outside of “normal”. I know this because I lived it when I went toe to toe with the Arkansas State Board of Dental Examiners in Federal Court. However, knowing was not enough… until now.

Thanks to the stupidity of the Arkansas State Dental Association I now have irrefutable proof of what I’ve said for years. It arrived like manna from heaven via email today. Feast your eyes on this and see if the ASDA’s outrage over the Arkansas Governor’s decision not to rubber stamp the ASDA’s nominee for the Arkansas Dental board doesn’t convince you. It’s incredible that they were dumb enough to put this in writing for all the world to see but I will admit I’m thankful for the email and for the arrogance of my fellow dentists that made them think this a good idea.

I guess the bad news for the ASDA and the good news for access to care is that the times are changing and perhaps more governors will act independently, refusing to allow state dental associations to control state dental boards.

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