TEAM 1500 Says George Washington Would Have Frowned Upon the American Dental Association

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On his 275th birthday, George Washington would not have been pleased with the recent actions of the American Dental Association. Washington battled oral health problems all his adult life. Undoubtedly, says TEAM 1500, a non-profit coalition, Washington would have fought on behalf of the average dental patient and the patient's right to receive safe, effective treatments. The ADA is trying to push through new guidelines that would setback the dentistry profession to the era of the Revolutionary War, TEAM 1500 contends. "The ADA aims to help a few rich dentists at the expense of many hundreds of thousands of dental patients," TEAM 1500 says.

The fact that George Washington is frowning in so many portraits reflects the oral pain he had to endure

If George Washington were alive to celebrate his upcoming 275th birthday, he most certainly would frown upon the American Dental Association and its recent actions to disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of fearful and anxious dental patients.

That is the view of TEAM 1500, a non-profit coalition of dentists and other healthcare professionals who feel that the ADA has lost its focus on the public's oral health and instead is catering to a tiny group of powerful, self-interested dentists.

President Washington lost his first tooth at age 22 and by the time Washington was inaugurated as our nation's first president in 1789, he took the oath of office with only a sole intact tooth.

During his lifetime, Washington went through nine different dental practitioners, each of whom yanked teeth. "Crossing the Delaware, by comparison to tolerating oral pain, was a luxury cruise for our first Commander in Chief," says Dean Rotbart, director of TEAM 1500.

While serving as President, Washington wrote in his diary on January 18, 1790: "Still indisposed with an aching tooth and swelled and inflamed gum." Even after Washington had lost all of his teeth, he was vexed by the pain caused by ill-fitting dentures, which in his case were made of hippo ivory.

Had Washington lived in our times, he no doubt could have saved his teeth -- painlessly and without anxiety. That is, TEAM 1500 says, if the American Dental Association wouldn't block President Washington's right to pursue the happiness that more than one million other dental patients have discovered results from treatments with safe, effective oral conscious sedation.

"How ironic that the ADA is trying to push through new guidelines which, if approved, would effectively relegate hundreds of thousands of modern-day Americans back to the oral health practices of Revolutionary America," observes Rotbart. "'Yankee' was never meant to refer to dental patients."

According to TEAM 1500, newly proposed guidelines by the ADA would effectively prevent most fearful and anxious patients from receiving treatment from their family dentists and instead force them to seek out higher-priced, specially trained dentists.

"Guess who is pushing the ADA to take these ill-conceived actions?" Rotbart asks. "Of course, it is the tiny group of dentists who the new guidelines would favor at the expense of the vast majority of dentists and their patients."

As the nation celebrates President's day, TEAM 1500 asks Americans to consider how George Washington suffered due to poor oral health and asks that the ADA reconsider its proposals to foist such misery upon large sectors of the American public, especially those who are poor or live in rural communities (with limited access to specially trained practitioners).

"The fact that George Washington is frowning in so many portraits reflects the oral pain he had to endure," Rotbart says. "If our first President had had access to oral sedation dentistry, the father of our nation might well have gone down in history not just for his veracity but for his toothy grin."

TEAM 1500, the Trust for Equal Access Medicine, is a non-profit coalition of more than 1,500 independent healthcare providers who are dedicated to making quality medical and dental care available to all Americans.

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