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Statement by Ronald L. Tankersley, DDS, President, American Dental Association

Contact Information:

Telephone: 312-440-2806
E-mail: mediarelations@ada.org (Journalists) or Contact ADA (All Others)

CHICAGO, Aug. 4, 2010—The American Dental Association shares the concern expressed in a letter it just received from the NY Attorney General’s office about patient credit financing practices. We will review it and respond accordingly within the specified timeframe.

First and foremost, dentists are health care professionals, and they want to help their patients receive the treatment they need and want. Patients may not have dental insurance or readily available funds to pay for their care at the time of treatment. Some patients may wish to budget their treatment costs over time. In these types of instances, third-party financing can be a useful option for patients to structure payment plans to cover necessary or elective dental care.

The ADA fully supports patients' right to understand their treatment plans and the costs of treatment. Financing can greatly benefit patients when it comes to paying for their dental treatment, provided that patients fully understand their terms of the financing program.

The ADA continues to encourage dental office staff to advise patients to contact financing companies directly before signing an agreement if they do not fully understand how the program works.

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing more than 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit the Association's Web site at www.ada.org.