Trey Lawrence, AAO Vice President, and General Counsel joined three New York state orthodontists – Dr. Renée Pompei, Dr. Ken Cooperman, and Dr. Yanique Le-Cadre – at the New York State Board of Dentistry meeting in January to discuss the need to explore possible pathways to address workforce challenges and to address the shortage of dental assistants in New York.
The lack of assistants is affecting the ability of orthodontists to handle the demand for care adequately. Many U.S. AAO member practices have reported difficulty hiring sufficient staff for their offices. A recent workforce initiative in Michigan reached a successful conclusion with grassroots input from orthodontists practicing there.
Over 220 New York orthodontists stepped up, signing a petition to demonstrate support for solutions to address workforce shortage challenges through the New York Board of Dentistry and the New York State Assembly. The issue has been referred to the Board’s Committee on Dental Assistants to recommend potential pathways to address rule changes. AAO staff and New York State Society of Orthodontists (NYSSO) leadership will continue working together on this important advocacy issue.