Dr Rick slams Australian Dental Association

Friday, March 3, 2016

Dr Rick Luu believes the Australian Dental Association (ADA) has chosen to remain in the shadows while patients continue to seek quicker and cheaper dentistry, which in turn is harming their long term dental health.

“The ADA, as the peak industry body, must try to counteract this movement,” said Dr Rick. “At the moment, they don’t speak up on our behalf, they stay quiet, and because of that, I think they’re failing both the public and their members.”

Dr Rick, the owner of Oasis Dental in Canberra, says the role of the ADA should be to keep the public fully informed on the role of dentistry in healthcare and to counteract negative influences on the delivery of quality dentistry for its members.

“Members of the ADA that are doing the right thing and focusing on the long-term health of patients are overwhelmingly crushed by other members that focus on dentistry from a business point of view and sell the ‘quick fix solution’ to patients,” Dr Rick said.

“These dentists don’t actually stand behind the clinical quality of their work and seem to have forgotten why they are performing the dentistry it in the first place, which should always be to maintain long term oral health.”

“If the patient’s mouth is getting worse, you’ve failed in your duty of care.”

Dr Rick is frustrated that the ADA is not being more proactive in discouraging this behaviour.

“People are beginning to shop around a lot more for their dentistry. While the ADA behind closed doors is saying they don’t approve this, they should be openly communicating this to the Australian public.”

“Shopping around is something you do when you’re buying a commodity. If I’m buying the same product that comes out of the same factory from two different retailers, it makes sense to seek the cheapest price.

“However, in dentistry, shopping around almost always directly equates to the quality of the work that actually gets done. For me to offer faster and cheaper dental treatment, I’d have to take short cuts or lower my level of care.  I, like many dentists, fell into this trap for many years and now I’m not prepared to do that and my patients benefit from this.”

Dr Rick said he expects more from his industry association.

“The ADA should make it clear to consumers that good dentistry is about long-term healthcare and well-being, not shopping around for the lowest cost.

“Failed cheap dental work costs more to fix and is more harmful.  The integrity of our profession is deeply linked to patient care and taking responsibility for our actions.”

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