As a first-year dental student, I had no concept of what it meant to be an advocate for the dental profession. And when I took on my first role as the University of North Carolina (UNC) ASDA chapter legislative liaison, I still had no idea. Having no one at UNC to help guide the way, I was overwhelmed. Luckily, a few months after starting the role, I attended the ADA Dentist and Dental Student Lobby Day in Washington, D.C.
The hardest part about anything is getting started. This also is true for advocacy efforts. Oftentimes, students are passionate about a cause but may not know how or where they can start to make a difference. Advocacy wasn’t new to me, but ASDA created a program that helped me record my activity and realize that there were even more ways to get involved.
For new dental students, licensure exams are a few years away, but it’s never too early to start getting educated about the current process and what we can do to improve the experience for ourselves as well as future dental students.
Marquette University incorporates the state legislative day into its core curriculum, and this year, all D2s and D3s attended the event. Students joined forces with the Wisconsin Dental Association (WDA) to speak against the bill with one voice. Here are highlights from the 2019 legislative day.
Although three out of four Americans on a public water supply benefit from fluoridation, the misinformation about fluoridation is far too prevalent. Therefore, science-based decision making is critical for educating our communities.
As a fourth-year dental student at the University of Florida (UF), I’ve served patients across the state and found that dental caries was the most common condition I saw. This is no surprise, though, since it is the most prevalent of all oral diseases around the world, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.
More than 1,000 dental professionals visited our nation’s capital in April to advocate for the profession. The dental voice was loud and clear as attendees supported principles to alleviate the student debt burden, promoted the Ensuring Lasting Smiles Act and championed the repeal of the McCarran-Ferguson Act. Here are some highlights of the 2019 ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day, as well as action items on what you can do next.