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Academy of General Dentistry Releases Employment Statistical Map

CHICAGO, Illinois – The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is pleased to announce the release of the organization's statistical map entitled “The Economic Contribution of the Dentistry Profession in 2004” that details how many workers are employed in the oral health sector in each congressional district and state, as well as the annual payroll of these employees.

This innovative map can be found on the AGD's Web site at www.agd.org/advocacy.asp. By simply clicking on any state, online visitors can find employment data organized by state and congressional district.

“The AGD is extremely proud to provide this statistical information to legislators and other interested parties,” says AGD President Bruce A. Burton, DMD, MAGD, ABGD. “Our goal is to inform lawmakers on Capitol Hill just how much the dentistry profession contributes to their congressional districts and states, both in terms of the number employed and payroll totals. We ask them to consider these constituents as they make decisions on legislative initiatives that impact the general dentistry profession.”

Copies of each congressional district statistics have been delivered to each legislator's office, along with a copy of AGD's fact sheets on its legislative goals for the second session of the 109th Congress.

The AGD compiled and analyzed the most recent data available from the 2004 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages, and Occupational Employment Statistics Survey. The county employment data was converted into congressional districts and then added together to determine the number of oral health care workers who are employed in each district.

“Our organization spends a lot of time in Congress advocating for issues of importance to general dentists, and these statistics and interactive map will play an integral role in our legislative campaign on Capitol Hill,” says AGD's Washington lobbyist Janet Kopenhaver. “This tool has already proven to be an excellent medium for proving to legislators just how important the dentistry profession is to each of them.”

“One of the first questions we are asked when visiting Capitol Hill offices is ÔHow many of my constituents are employed in the dental profession?'” says Dr. Burton. “Now we have the answer.”

The AGD remains concerned about cuts to the Medicaid system and reducing dental services under the Medicaid program. “Oral health care is, and should be considered, an essential primary health care component of our health care system,” says Dr. Burton. “Poor oral health only results in increased costs to our government.”

Since dentistry is primarily comprised of small businesses and many OSHA regulations result in enormous costs to these employers, general dentists are working towards the enactment of OSHA reform legislation that would reform the regulations to help general dentists comply with or, if necessary, fight frivolous charges brought by OSHA agents without reducing protections for employees.

About the AGD

The AGD is a professional association of more than 35,000 general dentists dedicated to staying up to date in the profession through continuing education. Founded in 1952, the AGD has grown to become the world's second largest dental association and the only association that exclusively represents the needs and interests of general dentists.

A general dentist is the primary care provider for patients of all ages and is responsible for the diagnosis, treatment, management, and overall coordination of services related to the patient's oral health needs. To learn more, visit www.agd.org.

SOURCE: Academy of General Dentistry

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