17 STUPID ALBERTA DENTIST LAWS that are violating the Competition Bureau's latest report recommendations on Affordable Health Care (Oct. 2016)
UPDATE- Feb 2018 - a few of the silly ad rules were dropped- finally dentists can use the word 'FREE' and show actual photos of teeth!
In the news- LINK
1) Using Before & After Photographs of dental treatment on their websites is illegal. That's correct- your dentist can't show photos of his/her treatment results in an advertisement.(REVERSED 2018)
2) Using actual patient testimonials is banned by the ADA&C. There are loads of online rating programs, but legitimate comments from actual patients are not allowed on a dentist's website or marketing materials.(Partially allowed - not on websites, but OK on Facebook)
3) Mentioning their actual additional training after dental school and areas of interest are not allowed on websites/marketing materials if the Alberta Dental Association & College advertising investigators get on a dentist's case- the dental specialist lobby has made it necessary for general dentists to be very limited in their discussions of treatment skills which overlap certain specialists (especially orthodontists and prosthodontists). 'General Dentist' must be tattooed on every piece of marketing material if the doctor is not a registered specialist...INCLUDING the office signage (see this web page that catches Alberta dental authority jury members violating this advertising rule)
4) Using terms like 'state-of-the-art', 'dental wellness', 'dental spa' or 'expert' will get an Alberta dentist in hot water.
5) Use of the term 'cosmetic dentist' (which may simply imply an interest in aesthetic dental care and not a specialty) is a big no-no...a dentist can lose his/her license and be fined tens of thousands for using this common term.
6) Advertising limited-time discounts is illegal for Alberta dentists (sorry, no sales for you).
7) Using coupons, free whiteningor any advertisement with a dotted line around it which would suggest cutting it out of the newspaper and can get a dentist into a disciplinary hearing even if he/she agrees to withdraw the advertisement. PARTIALLY REVERSED
8) Mentioning Reader's Choice Awards or Awards in Dental School on an Alberta dentist's website is banned because it implies superiority. On the other hand the dental profession keeps giving out awards of their own to people they like.
9) Mentioning any employment in at a Dental School is unacceptable behaviour for Alberta dentists.
10) Guess what Grandma...Offering Senior Discounts to Albertans is banned by the ADA&C-if it is associated with a time-limited offer.
11) Mentioning previous Military Experience & Rank can get an Alberta dentist in the stockade. REVERSED
12) Mentioning positions on Charity Boards has also been frowned on by the authorities at the ADA&C.
13) Offering Smile Makeover Contests will leave a dentist in Alberta frowning after being disciplined by the ADA&C ('smile makeover' is also a banned term).
14)Advertising FREE CONSULTATIONS is also violation of the Alberta Dentist Rules(REVERSED)
15) Several dentists have even been disciplined for offering CHARITABLE Dental programs
16) Alberta dentists are NOT ALLOWED to use the name of their city in their practice name or website (even though a few current board members may be doing this) - JULY, 2017 UPDATE- This odd rule seems to have been one of the few that may have been REVERSED, possibly due to the fact that at least 3 board members were in violation of the rule, two of which while serving as jurors for another dentist's ad violation appeal.
17) One of the weirdest Alberta Dentist Laws is even using the word 'Affordable' has been banned (from dentist advertising)...if that just doesn't sum up the problem with the people involved in restricting Alberta dentist competition than nothing will convince you!
Alberta isn't the only province with dumb dentist laws- take BC for example, where they passed a law where dentists could not treat their spouses (supposedly it was overturned as quick as it was put in).
Alberta Dental Association Problems?
How many Alberta children were put at risk due to the slow shutdown of a dental sedation facility that caused 4-year old Amber Athwal's brain damage? Why did the ADA&C three former presidents to meddle with investigations, tribunal and sedation revisions when they had limited training in this area of expertise? A new study looks past what the ADA&C's version of events.
New book exposes 2017 ADA&C advertising guide changes that seem to benefit council members more than the public/other dentists. Why were changes made that favoured board members without other significant improvements? NOTE an Edmonton dentist was fined and suspended for his choice of practice name...but the board members get off without a glance. Get the rules changed to avoid scrutiny?Now, after enough complaints, the guide 'sort of' allows the advertising of free consultations, but they recommend calling them 'no cost meet & greet'? Really? Should it be called we don't really want to change anything unless it helps board members? No input from the general membership or the public... isn't the Health Minister paying attention to this? It seems like Ms. Hoffman may actually be worried the ADA&C isn't making enough progress without intervention.
Whistleblower suggests a dental authority cover-up of a concern with an aggressive cosmetic dental training program that was promoted by a lab with a financial arrangement with the dental authority...were concerns ignored, dentists led astray and unsuspecting patients irreversibly harmed? Did the ADA&C breach the responsibility to put public safety as their #1 priority and cover-up their mistake... will the Health Minister take action?
Book explains link between a provincial dental authority, a large Canadian dental lab and a 'cosmetic dental' training program which encouraged Alberta dentists to fly patients out of the province (where they did not have licenses or malpractice coverage) - FREE E-Book explains this in shocking detail - CLICK HERE
Can you trust a dental health authority that tells the father of a child in a coma she doesn't have to help (LINK), one that allows its sedation guidelines to fall to the lowest level in the country where a dentist juggles complex treatment AND monitors deep sedation (something that even specialists find impossible to do)?
(see the 'Warning' webpage) - SEE WHAT DENTISTS ARE SECRETLY SAYING ABOUT THE SYSTEM- LINK
NEWS COVERAGE on the 'NDP-ADA&C Fee Guide Fiasco':
"This fee guide idea is a ceremonial gesture...not a real fix...the average family with ONE dental plan will end up PAYING MORE with this idea" - http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/province-introduces-dental-fee-guide-to-take-a-bite-out-of-in-higher-bills
*Wild Rose Party brings up Competition Bureau report and the ADA&C - http://www.wildrose.ca/competition_bureau_report_supports_wildrose_call_for_dental_fee_advertising
"Interview with a patient from the U of A dental school is actually a testimonial during the Hoffman presentation which is a violation of the advertising guidelines" - https://soundcloud.com/your-alberta/dental-review-findings-shared-december-8-2016#t=11:26 (shouldn't dentists be able to interview their own happy clients or do rules not apply to everyone?)
A child is now brain damaged after dental treatment in Edmonton...why is it legal for a dentist to try to do the deep sedation/general anaesthesia while also doing the dental work (the UK has banned this RISKY idea as children are dying in the dental chair across North America- it is also banned in BC and Saskatchewan - why was it allowed in Alberta?). Why is there a shortage of pediatric anesthesiologists in Alberta? California is revising the dental sedation laws due to deaths, while Alberta authorities twiddled their thumbs? Will the ADA&C lawyer-complaint director know how to handle a truly serious issue or is this finally proof for the council that this position is outside her skill set...a full report should only take 30 days, not twelve months. Who thought she could handle this job?
UPDATE: The Alberta Dental Association and College adopted the following motion at its Council Meeting of October 28, 2016:
That the Alberta Dental Association and College immediately suspend the single operator model of simultaneously providing deep sedation or general anesthesia and dental treatment by dentists registered in Alberta during the ongoing review of the Dental Facilities Accreditation Standard of Practice. This does not affect simultaneously providing conscious sedation and dental treatment for dentists registered in Alberta utilizing the Standard of Practice: Use of Sedation in Non-Hospital Dental Practice.
New Book Exposes the Risks to Your Child during Dental Sedation- LINK
The former Honourable Sarah Hoffman Alberta Health Minister, Dr. David Swann MLA and Drew Barnes MLA have all been helpful in listening to the concerns exposed on this website.
A growing number of dentists are concerned that the Alberta Dental Association & College is stepping across the line with the over-regulation of competition among dentists. This has a direct reflection on dentist fees and access to care.
Edmonton Journal- Dental Association pretends nothing is wrong??? -LINK
Global News - 'Allow more competition...' -LINK
CBC News "Price Controls Not the Answer" - LINK
"Fees jump 56%..." - link
"Calgary Dentist Fees Compared" - LINK
Too little and too much fluoride in the water can be a problem - Link
Alberta Dental Association prints anti-marketing position (No price incentives for Alberta dental patients)
In the January 2016 ADA&C Updater publication (page3) president Dr. Tobin Doty reiterated the general anti-competitive position of the dental profession with the following statements:
"We are constantly lured to purchase, by use of clever ads such as: buy-one-get-one-free, deep discounts, flashy sales signs and coupons, along with easy return policies and money-back guarantees. The question that comes to mind is: Do we as dentists want a similar environment promoting our dental services and products?"
A former ADA&C council member and other experienced dentists are now risking their licenses speaking out about the problems at the Alberta Dental Association & College. They have notified the Alberta Health Minister, Dr. David Swann MLA and the Competition Bureau. The Alberta Dental Association & College so far is ignoring pleas to review these self-imposed regulations that punish dentists for simply doing what dentists can legally do in other provinces/states across North America. At the same time, many of the ADA&C board members have been caught breaking their own advertising rules and not punished.
The new Alberta Health Minister announced she is interested in investigating possible conflicts of interest at the Alberta Dental Association & College and seems to be ready to take this seriously (link to news). It is also appreciated that Drew Barnes MLA is also listening to concerns about the ADA&C's negative effect on dentist competition- promises to bring them to the Health Minister.
What is the Dental 'College' in the Alberta Dental Association & College?
If you are confused, you are not the only one. The 'college' could be referred to as the 'dental board' (the term used in the USA) and is not really a dental school as the name suggests. Many of the people employed there have never attended dental college and have been appointed into positions that require specialized training which seems to be lacking. The most obvious concern is about the choice of ADA&C Complaints Director - the person who reviews complaints from the public about their dentist and decides whether or not something went wrong and whether the dentist should be punished for professional misconduct leading to loss of his/her license - she is a lawyer without a dental degree and no clinical work experience in the dental profession.
What Happens When You have a Complaint About a Dentist?
You may wonder why dentistry is so expensive, or why complaints about a dentist to the association often only seem to make money for the dental association lawyers and consultants. Patients rarely get the financial compensation they want when the Alberta Dental Association gets involved.
Conflict of Interest?
Many dentists are extremely concerned about the conjoined 'dental association & so-called college' and have brought attention to certain issues with the policy makers such as Liberal leader Dr. David Swann and the media. After the election these same concerns were brought to the new Alberta Health Minister Sarah Hoffman as mentioned.
The free market increases the competitiveness of dental professionals which can lead to more alternatives for the public relating to convenience, pricing and payment plans.
The dental association may be exploited by 'The Old Boys Club' and certain dental professionals that attempt to reduce the advertising activities of their colleagues - interference with payment plans, reduced fees and convenience-based alternatives should not be policed by the dental authorities. The dental association needs to be aware that certain special interest groups may strategically working to use their influence on the complaints department investigations. This, in many general dentists' and even dental specialists' opinions is wrong.
The public needs to look beyond the headlines and consider the root cause of the restrictions on dentist competition. The inner core at the top of the dental association who are often called the 'Old Boys Club' seem to be attempting to control dentists beyond what the government had intended. Finally there is hope for change but first everyone needs to know how bad things have been allowed to become.
IMPORTANT UPDATES related to the Alberta Dental authority - aka 'dental college' (not university or dental school) - aka 'dental board' aka 'ADA&C' (names are subject to change due to reorganization as directed by gov't)
May 2022 - Petition to address Fairness to Injured Alberta Dental Patients - Why is only 1% of the $ from 'Bad Dentists' going to the Victims? How many years do investigations need to take?
The Alberta dental authority lawyers are FORGETTING the patient right to a REFUND within the Health Professions Act:
See (i) below in the Alberta Health Professions Act:
Orders of Committee
60(1) If the Discipline Committee finds that the conduct of an investigated person constitutes unskilled practice of dentistry or professional misconduct, or both, the Committee may make any one or more of the following orders:
(a) reprimand the investigated person;
(b) suspend the licence or registration, or both, of an investigated person either generally or from any field of the practice of dentistry for a stated period;
(c) suspend the licence or registration, or both, of an investigated person either generally or from any field of practice until
(i) the investigated person has completed a specified course of studies or obtained supervised practical experience, or
(ii) the Committee is satisfied as to the competence of the investigated person generally or in a specified field of practice;
(d) accept in place of a suspension the investigated person’s undertaking to limit the investigated person’s practice;
(e) impose conditions on the investigated person’s ability to engage in the practice of dentistry generally or in any field of the practice, including the conditions that the investigated person
(i) practise under supervision,
(ii) not engage in sole practice,
(iii) permit periodic inspections by a person authorized by the Committee, or
(iv) report to the Committee or Board on specific matters;
(f) direct the investigated person to pass a particular course of study or satisfy the Committee or Board as to the investigated person’s practical competence generally or in a field of practice;
(g) direct the investigated person to satisfy the Committee or Peer Review Committee that a disability or addiction can be or has been overcome, and suspend the person’s licence or registration, or both, until the Committee or Peer Review Committee is so satisfied;
(h) require the investigated person to take counselling that in the opinion of the Committee or Peer Review Committee is appropriate;
(i) direct the investigated person to waive, reduce or repay a fee for services rendered by the investigated person that, in the opinion of the Committee, were not rendered or were improperly rendered;
(j) cancel the licence or registration, or both, of the investigated person;
(k) cancel or suspend, subject to any terms the Committee considers appropriate, the permit where the investigated person is a professional corporation.
Report from the American Council on Science and Health warns unregulated dentist seminars are leading to unnecessary procedures and has recommendations for dental authorities which are being ignored in this province:
To dental organizations: • The American Dental Association should issue guidelines categorizing dental techniques as: 1) generally safe and effective, 2) experimental but based on sound scientific principles, or 3) unsound or disproven. • Dental malpractice insurers should withhold coverage for claims arising from procedures classified as unsound or disproven. • Third party insurers should not pay for unsound or disproven procedures and should closely monitor claims based on experimental treatments. • Steps should be taken to stop the spread of misinformation to dentists through accredited courses. This can be accomplished by setting and enforcing standards for the sponsors of courses and lecturers. Unproven hypotheses and conjectures must be distinguished from factual information. The standards that exist today do not weed out questionable topics and speakers. Some educators are concerned that overly rigid standards can stifle the development of important new ideas. However, these recommendations will not stifle scientific progress, since dentists can still take such courses but will simply receive no credit for them.
When a recent Alberta dental authority president was asked to consider banning educational credits from certain courses (as also recommended by the report above) with a high correlation to dental complications and complaints he dismissed the idea and responded 'They are simply an alternative approach'. With a high number of complaints now coming from patients treated by dentists trained by a las Vegas or 'neuromuscular' -based program perhaps it is time to reconsider this? These dentists could be forced to have patients informed the procedures are NOT scientifically verified and are in fact experimental. Sadly it has recently been discovered that even ADA&C experts are confused on the subject and do not recognize the extreme abuse of a full mouth of unnecessary procedures on otherwise healthy teeth. This province has been a hotspot due to the heavy promotion of these seminars over the last couple decades.
Be especially wary of 'TMJ' cures using full mouth crowns or the 'AGGA' jaw growing appliance as a 'cure' - both have a high risk of complications and are NOT scientifically verified procedures. The Alberta dental authority has also resisted pleas to warn dentists specifically about this issue.
April 2022- Alberta dental authority to date has hired 4 ex-police to head and support the complaint department. Grand total of ZERO years of dental training. This is extremely unusual and a sign of desperation. If dentists are truly acting like criminals the real police should be called. Police and lawyers do not know the dental profession. They make excuses they are YEARS behind and then choose unqualified personnel? Was one ex-policeman involved in an incident that killed an Edmonton child? He's now an investigator? Another one was accused of not reading a suspect his rights? Isn't this the same as a dentist failing to get proper consent before surgery?
The dental authority is now being investigated by an independent authority following complaints from different sources. We look forward to sharing the findings here in the future.
Multiple cases have proven Authority Lawyers have FAILED to follow the guidelines of the Health Professions Act (HPA) to consider recommending a full refund to patients of dentists who have admitted or been found guilty of professional misconduct. Calculations have found close to 99% of fines or costs collected from guilty dentists DO NOT GO TO THE VICTIMS. Follow the money right to the lawyers, consultants and jury members. This is absolutely ridiculous- compounded by the fact that Alberta has the HIGHEST DENTAL DISCIPLINE COSTS in Canada. Write Alberta's New Health Minister and tell him this is NOT acceptable. ALL patient cases where dentists admitted guilt should be reviewed by an outside agency from 2009 to the present to flag patients who were denied their rights within the HPA to a refund for the treatment in question.
Multiple Class action lawsuits are swirling around the damage from AGGA and ALF appliances that has been first sold to dentists at questionable seminars touting unsubstantiated claims of 'growing jaws' when in fact the appliances can tip teeth right out of the jaw bone.
December 2021- Alberta dentists claim new malpractice plan imposed on AB dentists puts them AND the public at greater risk- Everyone concerned is encouraged to sign petition which will be delivered to the Health Minister: https://chng.it/s9kbGyHBJt
October 2021- New Health Minister informed of concerns with Alberta dental authority. An 'oversight' organization looks into questions on dental authority lawyer responses - this could be good news for patients and dentists victimized by a misguided system where complaints often would take 5 YEARS to be processed. The only winners are the lawyers and consultants who absorb OVER 99% of the funds changing hands. DO NOT EXPECT A REFUND EVEN IF THE DENTIST ADMITS MISCONDUCT.
May 2021- Reporter investigates dentist's claim that the Alberta dental authorities KNEW about problems with gross over-treatment and in 2007 published an internal warning to dentists about risks of misinformation at dental seminars- and ignored requests for this exculpatory evidence to help their case against a dentist-author who published a book on the same subject three years later. This could be a case of extreme obstruction of justice with many top officials involved. Read the article: https://rdnewsnow.com/2021/05/04/retired-dentist-claims-new-evidence-exposes-authoritys-concern-with-overtreatment/
April 2021- ADA&C quietly installs a new complaints director - former policeman and lawyer Mr. Greg Preston. Outgoing director seemed unable to complete cases in a timely manner.
March 2021- Alberta patient waits 5 years for a tribunal decision that finds the dentist guilty and the FINANCIAL AWARD goes to the lawyers - no consideration for the patient's $30,000 plus loss even though the Health Professions Act allows for decision including a refund of treatment costs. This is PROOF the ADA&C lawyers DO NOT PUT PATIENTS FIRST.
March 2021- Evidence surfaces that proves the ADA&C had serious concerns about OVERTREATMENT of unsuspecting patients which they kept hidden from disciplinary proceedings which question the very nature of their exaggerated attack on the dentist-author who wrote a book on the SAME subject. How many lawyers and administrators are involved has yet to be determined but hiding exculpatory evidence is a serious ethics violation.
March 2021-Dentist sued for defamation for reporting alleged incident of sexual misconduct/unprofessional misconduct involving a former Alberta dental authority president to the dental authority- and reported to an MLA when the authority neglected to take action. Health Minister responded to request for whistleblower protection. COURT TRANSCRIPTS posted shortly for public review.
A similar case where a person was sued for reporting misconduct found this was unacceptable: https://www.lawtimesnews.com/resources/professional-regulation/suing-someone-who-complained-to-the-law-society-of-ontario-may-damage-public-confidence/330333
February 2021- Alberta dental association & college agrees to steps towards division of the organization and boost to public participation. It quietly seeks a replacement for the complaint director who has been the focus of concern since her installation. Currently the director seems to be rushing to clear her desk of a 9 year backlog of patient complaints she allowed to pile up as she was distracted with dentist vs dentist advertising complaints. In a perfect example of grave concern with the complaint system a patient attending a tribunal in February 2021 watched as lawyers negotiated a settlement of $30,000 for THEMSELVES forgetting the patient's rights.
According to the Health Professions Act (HPA):
(i) if, in the opinion of the hearing tribunal, the investigated person’s fees for professional services were improper or inappropriate or the professional services that the investigated person provided were improperly rendered or required the complainant to undergo remedial treatment, the hearing tribunal may direct the investigated person to waive, reduce or repay the fee for professional services provided by the investigated person;
Shockingly when asked why the patient did not get included in the settlement the ADA&C lawyer (Julie G) replied INCORRECTLY that it is not generally the case. The patient soon found other examples where patient refunds were included as allowed in the HPA. Then the patient asked to appeal and was told correctly 'the HPA does not allow the patient to appeal the decision of a tribunal committee.' ONLY THE DENTIST can appeal? What if the ADA&C lawyers did not do their job? She was told she could complain to the ombudsman. Perhaps the patient has more alternatives than to accept the failure of ADA&C lawyers to think outside their own billable hours. According to some rough calculations less than 1% of the money squeezed from dentists in the ADA&C disciplinary process ends up helping the patient in spite of regulation making it clearly it is allowed. A FULL AUDIT of all of Ms. Colleen Wetter's cases over her term as complaint director should be performed.
Patients must not accept this.
Feb. 2021- After years of searching a document was discovered that proved the ADA&C published an internal warning to Alberta dentists in September 2007 (seen above in photo) related to 'overtreatment of unsuspecting patients' a full three years prior to Dr. Michael Y Zuk's book on the exact same subject. The ADA&C also processed multiple complaints of patients harmed by overtreatment in a way not to link the damage to seminars promoted by their main advertising client. The ADA&C lawyer (recently removed from her post) may have intentionally refused to hand over the evidence that would have destroyed her censorship of the Red Deer dentist's book. The ADA&C president recently claimed the complaint department is doing an 'excellent job'. Either he is misinformed or a distorting reality. Health Minister Tyler Shandro, responding to persistent calls for action, sponsored a review of the complaint system. Shandro's review is expected to support concerns of many patients and dentists which are discussed on this website and would support his decision to force division of the two sides of the ADA&C.
April 2020- Video released exposing link between ADA&C with harmful dentist seminar program- censorship of book questioned (see above)
Top Stories- Critic of Alberta dental authority claims ADA&C may be violating the Conflicts of Interest Actof the province - top officials have undisclosed ties to dental broker company, dental corporations and dental insurance- some may be using positions of power to direct investigations to hamper competitors (example: Former CEO's children may be working for a company that lists dental practices may be benefiting from the authority's interference with a major dental corporation that prefers to buy direct from a dentist seller). Secret meetings wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on possible turf protection for the chief of the dental authority and his family? Why was this not disclosed? Why were awards given to insiders with questionable issues? Is the president of the ADA&C tied to 'Dental Corp' and how many on council have the same corporate or other connections? The current CEO - Dr. Randal Croutze -refuses to answer these questions?
PRESS RELEASE explains Ontario & Manitoba dental authorities banned 'Neuromuscular' Dentistry which has been blamed for $60,000 'over-treatment' of headaches and should not be used as an excuse of full mouth crowns. Alberta's authority has been recorded blaming Health Canada but is actually responsible for treatment approaches used by Alberta dentists. A number of patients have found the dental authority to be unresponsive to concerns and some are currently suing dentists related to this treatment. A detailed report has been submitted for consideration by the ADA&C.
Victim of Over-treatment speaks out to dental board - https://youtu.be/fpXfSqZLorI
December 2018 - New Book discusses questionable decisions by the Alberta Dental Authority possibly tied to continued harm to unsuspecting patients - http://www.blurb.com/ebooks/682400-dentistry-s-dirty-secret
"Quirky Alberta Dentist Advertising Rules were just a smokescreen to divert attention away from the Dental Authority's concerns about a Rogue Cosmetic Dentist Training Program which continues to lead to unnecessary drilling of Healthy Teeth. The ADA&C is linked to a Corrupt Educational Program that was fueled by Canada's largest dental lab. Victims are comparing notes on Social Media, talking to lawyers and are expected to participate collectively against the violation of the public's trust. Dentists warped by this training do not benefit from punishment or current ADA&C ethics training, the dentists were misled by the program and the dental authority needs to admit its part of the problem. It pretended to fix abusive cosmetic dentistry and over-treatment for headaches/wrinkles with full mouth veneers by banning the term 'smile makeover'? GMAB."
Interested in signing a petition to end the education credits for a questionable 'neuro-muscular' dentist training program sanctioned in many other provinces that may have harmed thousands? Read the book above, then decide if Alberta's dental authority has done enough to protect you and your loved ones.
FOR QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA CONTACT:
Dr. Michael Y Zuk, general dentist (RETIRED)
Red Deer at 403-347-8008. Or through the Facebook page
Michael Zuk DDS
© 2014 | Alberta Dental Association Problems - for discussion purposes only