6 unexpected additions to ADA's 2021 agenda

COVID-19 and the pandemic were one of the main focuses this year for the American Dental Association, an addition that was unseen a few years ago.

ADA President Daniel Klemmedson, DDS, MD, spoke to the ADA's House of Delegates Oct. 13 for his 2021 address.

Among other unexpected additions to the ADA's agenda this year were:

•Dentistry as essential healthcare.
•Political divisions that prompted questions about the ADA's involvement in the political process.
•A focus on health equity spurred by social inequities exposed during the pandemic.
•The serious potential for a dental benefit in Medicare.
•Transitioning to a new executive director.

"The next generation of dentists is currently in dental school and is more diverse than its predecessors. And although women, racially and ethnically diverse dentists, and those who practice in large-group settings represent the fastest growing populations of the dental workforce, ADA membership and leadership does not currently reflect the changing face of the profession. I think it is time for us to catch up," Dr. Klemmedson concluded. "Promoting a culture of belonging where everyone is represented — to the exclusion of no one — is what's right, what's fair, and what will sustain the ADA's influence as the nation's leading advocate for oral health."

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