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CDA Update

CDA members and California’s dental community turn to our association for timely, trusted information about current and developing issues in dentistry. The Update provides resources and guidance on topics affecting dentists, their patients and their profession, including dental benefit plans, regulatory compliance, legislation and advocacy, patient safety and practice management.

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‘It does not cost to be a CDA member; it pays to be a CDA member’

Richard Barnes, DDS, reflects on three ways his membership has impacted his career

Like many of you, I joined CDA in dental school simply because I was asked.

But after graduation, when I started a dental practice from scratch, it quickly became apparent that being a CDA member was about more than an annual dues payment. From a literal cost savings to protections from factors that would disrupt our profession, CDA has delivered benefits that more than pay for the cost of annual dues year after year.

Here are a few reasons I am committed to being a CDA member for life.

  1. Members come first. CDA has built a culture that zeroes in on protecting, supporting and educating its members. From its executive team to staff, decisions are made by evaluating the impact to members. A great example of this is The Dentists Insurance Company. Its keen focus on members was exactly why the company was started and why we, as member dentists, are able to have access to this important, member-centric benefit. We would all do well to make our business decisions with such attention to the mission at hand.
  2. The invaluable assistance from Public Policy and Practice Support. The CDA team that is advocating for dentists each day truly rivals the state in its influence and authority. This work has ensured that the dental profession remains one that we can be proud of. There is so much work done here that most of us don’t even know about. Not to mention, CDA has helped members in our fight to be reimbursed by dental insurance companies over and over again, championing our needs and supporting our practices from top to bottom.
  3. Money in your pocket. My personal experience has left no doubt about the value of being a CDA member. In one recent year, I collected more than $50,000 between the Delta Dental settlement and the cost savings from purchasing supplies via The Dentists Supply Company. With more than 25 years of paying dues, that is probably the best ROI I have ever had, and all it required was taking part in the programs that CDA has designed with us in mind.

What is harder to capture in pure evidence is the camaraderie with my peers and this community of best-in-class dental professionals, which has been the best part of being a member. All of you have made me want to be a better dentist, family man, person and friend.

These reasons and more are why it is concerning to me to hear my fellow members question the value of CDA, particularly in a year that has disrupted our work—and the world—in unprecedented ways. Organized dentistry works because we are dues-paying members. It’s an incredible value for our dollar, pandemic or no pandemic. I look at it like this: It does not cost to be a CDA member; it pays to be a CDA member.

Before your 2021 renewal statement arrives later this year, I encourage my fellow dentists to tune in to see how your dues dollars are spent to benefit you. Renewing your membership is a vow to support your peers. It’s a pledge to maintaining our collective strength with an organization that works tirelessly on our behalf. All we have to do in return is show up.

Let’s commit to being CDA members for life.

By Richard Barnes, DDS