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 Common Questions

  1. What's the difference between the Arizona Dental Association and the American Dental Association?

    The Arizona Dental Association is one of 53 constituent/territorial societies of the American Dental Association. The Arizona Dental Association assigns a group of delegates to the American Dental Association to represent the association's goals and wishes.
  2. How many dentists in Arizona are members of the Arizona Dental Association and the American Dental Association?

    The Arizona Dental Association currently has more than 2,400 members, representing approximately 7083 percent of dentists practicing in the state. The American Dental Association represents more than 155,000 members across the United States.
  3. How is the Arizona Dental Association funded?

    The Arizona Dental Association receives a majority of its funding through membership dues. In addition, the association generates income by hosting the Western Regional Dental Convention and generates income through its for profit subsidiary, AzDA Services.
  4. What is the Arizona Dental Foundation? How is it connected to the Arizona Dental Association?

    The mission of the Arizona Dental Foundation is to fund and promote quality dental health care programs, research, and education and to provide oral health information to underserved Arizona populations. Formed in 1991, the Arizona Dental Foundation is the charitable arm of the Arizona Dental Association. The Arizona Dental Foundation hosts and coordinates Give Kids a Smile! events across the state. In 2008, this resulted in nearly half a million dollars of charity care to children, many of whom had never visited a dentist. The foundation also puts on several events a year and provides over $500,000 of donated dental care annually to underserved Arizonans.
  5. How do Arizona residents benefit from the efforts of the Arizona Dental Association?

    The Arizona Dental Association works with its member dentists to provide the residents of Arizona with the highest standard of dental service possible. In addition, the association supports legislative and regulatory initiatives that to improve access to oral health care.
  6. What is the percentage of Arizona residents who do not have dental insurance?

    Approximately 44 percent of adults and 38 percent of children living in Arizona do not have dental insurance.
  7. What percentage of Arizona dentists participate in AHCCCS?

    According to a report by the Arizona Head Start Association, approximately 15 percent of dentists in Arizona currently participate in AHCCCS programs.
  8. What is the Arizona Dental Association doing to help get more residents insured?

    While the Arizona Dental Association is not an insurance provider, the association is committed to improving access to care for residents of the state through legislative initiatives and partnerships with government, non-profit, and community organizations.
  9. What percentages of Arizona children visit the dentist?

    During 2006, just over half of Arizona's children (57 %) visited a dentist. This most commonly occurs in rural areas and some low-income urban areas. The Arizona Dental Association is always looking at ways to partner with local agencies to improve access to oral health care in these areas. In addition, the association supports legislative and community initiatives that will improve access to care for residents of the state
  10. What oral health care challenges does the Arizona Dental Association see in Arizona? Is the problem associated with a particular region or demographic? What will be done to help remedy the problem?

    By the age of 13, 65 percent of Arizona's children have experienced dental decay. With only 57 percent of Arizona children visiting a dentist, more has to be done to improve access to care. Much of the issue lies around access to care in underserved rural areas, as well as some low-income urban areas. The Arizona Dental Association continues to develop partnerships with state, local, and tribal agencies and non-profit and community organizations to improve access to oral health care in these areas. The Arizona Dental Association supports initiatives and campaigns led by the Arizona Department of Health Services' Office of Oral Health to make the public aware of the issues that face Arizona In addition, the association advocates for increased funding for and access to oral health care by supporting their own legislative initiatives and those of their partner organizations.
  11. What is the Arizona Dental Association's position on amalgam/dental fillings?

    A dentist's foremost priority is the safety and health of their patients. Dentists base their treatment recommendations on the best-available scientific evidence and their own clinical experience. The Arizona Dental Association understands that choosing the type of filling for cavities can be an important decision and we are committed to preserving the rights of patients to choose from a full range of filling materials that have been proven safe to use.
  12. What is the Arizona Dental Association's position on water fluoridation?

    One of the best natural defenses against cavities is fluoride. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that is present in all water, including lakes and rivers. Fluoridation of community water supplies is the single most effective public health measure to prevent tooth decay.

    Since its introduction more than 60 years ago, fluoridation has dramatically improved the oral health of millions of Americans. Every $1 invested in community water fluoridation results in $38 saved in dental treatment costs. In addition, a person can receive a lifetime of fluoridated water for less than the cost of one dental filling.

    More than 180 million U.S. residents are served by water supplies in which fluoride has been adjusted to an optimal level to help prevent tooth decay. Several communities in Arizona have adopted water fluoridation, including Phoenix, Chandler, Mesa, and Yuma. The Arizona Dental Association wants Arizonans to know that, when adjusted to optimal levels, water fluoridation is a safe and effective tool to help dentists and patients fight tooth decay.
  13. What is the Arizona Dental Association's position on cross-border dentistry?

    In the U.S., there is a system of safeguards in place when it comes to receiving both medical and dental treatment. These safeguards, such as the ability to file a malpractice lawsuit or a complaint with the dental board are practically invisible. As patients, we don't always notice them and many times we end up taking them for granted. In many other countries, no such safeguards exist.

    When you decide to travel to another country for treatment, it is good advice to check out that country's standards for dental care, the qualifications of the dentist who will be treating you, and what happens if you develop complications. Also, if you develop complications, can you afford to jump on a plane and go back to that country? Will your health or dental insurance cover treatment for any complications? Sometimes, it's not as easy as picking up a phone and calling your local dentist for help if something goes wrong.

    There are a lot of unknowns to consider when you go to another country for your health care needs. Even the local water may be inadequately treated to control waterborne diseases and parasites. In the U.S., dentists are held to a high standard of care and they abide by both a code of ethics and laws and regulations governing their practice. Federal regulatory agencies set up guidelines that dentist follow, including sanitary and infection control guidelines, regulations for radiation safety for X-rays, and proper waste disposal. These standards are all in place for your safety and protection. The Arizona Dental Association hopes that you will make the right decision for your health and safety when seeking treatment.
  14. How does a person's oral health affect their overall wellbeing?

    Poor oral health can profoundly affect a person's health and wellbeing. Children may have lifelong issues from non-treatment such as pain and tooth loss which can cause poor nutrition and impaired speech. Often times the public forgets that dentists are doctors who help prevent and diagnose diseases. As a result, dentists play a vital role in Arizona resident's overall health. It is important that residents visit a licensed dentist, schedule regular checkups and receive the necessary treatment that they need.