Posted November 20, 2018 12:09:12 Dental hygenists were the only professional dentists in the United States without a union when the American Dental Association voted to recognize their unions in 1991.
The law, which took effect in 1993, requires them to be represented by an elected body.
Dental union activists had argued that this law was unfair, saying that dentists were required to be members of the American Association of Dental Examiners (ADA) but were not required to have union representation.
The ADA was formed in 1972 to promote dental education and certification, but since then has become a political entity.
Since its inception, the ADA has been involved in a number of cases involving medical malpractice claims, such as the Osteoporosis Association of America’s (OAA) suit against the ADA in 2007, and the lawsuit filed by the ADA against the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2007.
The OAA’s suit claimed that the ADA and the AMA were engaged in a conspiracy to discriminate against dental hygenist members by refusing to provide the OAA with the necessary information about the effectiveness of the ADA’s Dental Practice Act (DPA) and other dental legislation.
The AMA’s complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of California, was dismissed on summary judgment in August 2018, but in a separate lawsuit brought by the Dental Institute of America (DIA), which is an affiliate of the AMA, the case is now before the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The DIA and the ADA both maintain that the DPA is a “federal statute that protects all Americans” and is necessary to protect the public’s health and safety.
In response to the dismissal, the DIA said that it was considering whether to appeal.
It noted that in the future, the court could decide that the decision of the DBAE’s board to deny the ADA representation was a violation of its members’ rights under the DPEA.
A spokesperson for the DTA’s executive board told New Scientist: “We welcome the decision in the DSA case and look forward to working with the DGA and the DHA to make this case moot.
We will continue to work with the ADA to ensure that the rule of law prevails for everyone.”