Inside Dental Assisting
Dental Trade Alliance: Representing All Members of the Team
The Dental Trade Alliance (DTA) was created in 2004 from a consolidation of two dental trade associations, one of which was chartered in 1882. It is comprised of member companies that are distributors, dental laboratories and manufacturers. There is also an associate member category for organizations that provide services to DTA members—these include publishing companies, marketing entities and financial institutions. DTA maintains close ties with organizations representing all members of the dental team, including dental assistants.
The DTA has significant influence in the regulatory and standards setting arena worldwide; they also represent the industry in Washington.
Over the last 10 years, the DTA Foundation has funded over $1 million dollars in grants aimed at expanding access to oral health care. Thus, DTA is presently spearheading an effort to build a coalition—the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives—which with the Advertising Council launched a major national oral health public awareness campaign in 2012. Thirty-seven organizations recognized as experts in the field of oral health have partnered with the DTA in this initiative (www.healthymouthshealthylives.org).
Working with Dental Assistants
DTA members are constantly striving to improve products and services used by the dental team to provide the highest quality care. Dental assistants are a part of the team that many industry representatives meet with regularly to review new products and opportunities. The interaction between dental assistants and the rest of the dental team provides critical feedback to product development.
Many DTA member companies employ dental assistants, and national and state dental assistant organizations are active in working with DTA as well.
According to Gary Price, President & CEO, inconsistencies in regulations for all professionals working in the dental office are a concern to DTA. Additionally, the lack of oral health literacy among Americans is an important issue. Price states, “It’s not just a social-economic issue. There’s a basic lack of understanding of good oral health among the general population.”
For more information on The Dental Trade Alliance, The DTA Foundation and their member companies and supporters, please visit www.dentaltradealliance.org.