The Wyoming Dental Association is an investment in the future of your profession.
The WDA is involvement. Students decide on a dental career for various reasons: independence, earning capacity, professional status…but above all they desire a career where they will be involved with helping people. It is the nature of dentists to be involved – in community, church, and political affairs. The true professional that wants to maintain the excellent image of dentistry will also be involved in his/hers dental society. WDA members are active in the legislative process, in committees, in public service projects, on the Board of Dental Examiners, and in other capacities that affect dentistry (and dental health) statewide.
With over 300 members in the Wyoming Dental Association, your opinions, ideas, and involvement really count.
The WDA is benefits. Membership in the Wyoming Dental Association enables individual dentists to pool their resources with other professionals to receive membership benefits, which might not be affordable, or practical, on an individual basis. Tangible benefits include low-cost continuing education at the annual and mid-winter meetings. Intangible benefits are an important part of WDA services, also – legislative monitoring to assure the proper legal environment in which to practice, and statewide peer review are among the “intangibles” that directly benefit Wyoming’s dentists.
Because the WDA is a constituent society of the American Dental Association, members are entitled to a myriad of additional benefits and services, such as access to the largest single source of dental, scientific, and technical information; endorsed products and services; quality insurance programs; timely updates on practice management and financial planning ideas; as well as national efforts to inform and educate the public on the importance of good dental health.
Above all, WDA and its local districts provide a forum for exchange of ideas, friendships and support among the state’s dentists.
The WDA is people. The Wyoming Dental Association has always been a “volunteer-run” organization, with many dedicated members donating time and effort to smooth the running of the association. With one staff person coordinating the central office, the Wyoming Dental Association is an efficient organization providing an excellent return on your dues invested.
The Wyoming Dental Association is a voluntary network of professionals. This network provides many benefits:
• Exchange of ideas and information between members.
• Cooperation replacing competition among dentists.
• Ethical and professional accountability in an otherwise independent profession.
• Fellowship, encouragement, friendship, and fun
• An audible voice in the legislature through cooperative action.
Other important benefits are offered to members.
Continuing Education. The Wyoming Dental Association provides two quality continuing education programs each year. Each winter the Mid-winter Meeting is held in Jackson Hole. Every June, continuing education (full and half-day courses) is offered at the WDA annual session, held in alternating cities around the state. In addition, the district societies may sponsor continuing education courses throughout the year.
Peer Review. Peer review committees have been established within the district societies to review matters concerning appropriateness of care and quality of treatment when there is a request from a patient, a dentist, or a third party. It provides an expert and credible system for resolving disagreements that cannot be resolved at an earlier, more informal stage. Peer review is voluntary; it is not a court of law, nor does it have any punitive power. Peer review is a method by which the dental professional reviews himself or herself, with the intention of protecting the public and the competent practitioner. Quality peer review can demonstrate publicly both the excellent care dentists provide their patients and the initiative the professional takes to correct problems the may arise.
There are no fees for the WDA member dentist being reviewed; this is a benefit provided by WDA membership dues.
Tapping into ADA benefits. WDA members may call the WDA office with any questions. Remember that the WDA executive director is your connection with the ADA and with the rest of the Wyoming Dental Association.
Home Study Radiology Course. The Wyoming Dental Association provides a cost-effective home-study radiation safety course for dental assistants. The course, available only to WDA members, is approved by the Wyoming Board of Dental Examiners and meets the requirements outlined in the Dental Practice Act.
The WDA was created by and for its members – their involvement is crucial for the success and progress of the organization.
The governing body of the WDA is its members, the general assembly. WDA is led by its Board of Directors, composed of one elected representative from each of the six districts, plus the elected executive officers of the association. You may give input into WDA policy through your district representative on the board, or in the form of resolutions at the annual session. Resolutions are usually discussed on the district level before being presented at the annual session. At the annual business meeting, each dentist in Wyoming has the opportunity to be heard and to have his/her ideas considered by the membership.
There are six districts is the Wyoming Dental Association:
• Central (Casper/Douglas area)
• Northwest (Cody, Riverton, Jackson area)
• Northeast (Sheridan, Gillette area)
• Southeast (Cheyenne/Torrington area)
• Southwest (Rock Springs/Evanston area)
• South Central (Laramie/Rawlins area)
Each district elects its own officers and conducts local meetings on a schedule decided by its members. It is at these meetings that dentists maintain contact with one another and keep abreast of dental issues on the state and local level.
A member may get involved in many ways: by holding office, by participating in the legislative “calling tree”, by working on or coordinating a district project, or by volunteering for appointment to one of the WDA committees.
LEGISLATIVE AND GOVERNMENT ISSUES
The Wyoming Dental Association takes an active part in shaping the laws of the state, which directly and indirectly affects the practice of dentistry. The WDA’s lobbyist monitors state legislation. Through the legislative committee and a statewide network of “contact dentists”, the positions of the WDA are carried to every state legislator. Your “grass-roots” involvement makes this strategy successful. WYO-D-PAC, the WDA political action committee, also interacts with the Legislative Committee.
WDA members are involved in a number of public outreaches to help the people of Wyoming.
Along with its presence in the legislature, the WDA’s public outreaches help to paint an attractive, positive picture of the Wyoming dentist: politically aware and responsible, caring, concerned, and civic-minded.
National Children’s Dental Health Month is a nationwide promotion sponsored by the ADA. During February, Wyoming’s dentists participate in “Give Kids A Smile Day”, offering oral hygiene instruction, nutritional counseling, prophylaxis, fluoride sealants, radiographs, exams, restorations and extractions when necessary.
Student Recognition. The Wyoming Dental Association provides over $1,000.00 in scholarships to students in the dental auxiliary programs at Sheridan College and Laramie County Community College, as well as awarding the “Red Edwards Award” annually to the two outstanding dental auxiliary students.
Career Days. Some WDA dentists participate in “career days” for their local high school science classes. The object of the special days is to introduce prime science students to dental office procedure and the daily aspects of a dental career. As a result, some students will desire to pursue a dental related career. Others may not choose dentistry, but have an enhanced image of the practice of dentistry as a result of career days.
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS ABOUT WDA
How much are annual membership dues for the Wyoming Dental Association?
Membership dues are divided into three areas: national (American Dental Association) - $532; state (Wyoming Dental Association) - $444; and district - varies from $15 to $250 by district. Dues rates are different for new dentists in their 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th year(s) out of school and for retired and life member dentists. The total amount is paid to the WDA and is then distributed through the proper channels. Membership dues are payable January 1st of each year and become delinquent March 1st.
Does the WDA have a dues installment plan?
Yes! The WDA offers a dues installment plan as a member benefit. In June of each year, the WDA executive director will send out installment payment information for the next year’s dues. If a member elects to pay his/her dues via installment, the WDA will make the appropriate notation in the office records and send the member the necessary paperwork as well as monthly invoices. The first payment is due in July and the final payment in December.
Must dues be paid by check?
No! The WDA has the ability to process all credit cards. We especially encourage you to use your ADA USbank credit card to pay your dues – or for any payment to the WDA.
What are the voluntary contributions listed on the dues statement?
The WDA supports other supplemental activities that benefit dentistry in Wyoming; all are listed under the “voluntary contributions” section of the annual dues statement. The WDA/ADA relief fund is a separate fund designated for assisting dentists and their families in times of critical need. The WDA historical foundation was formed to promote a museum of dental arts for the people of Wyoming. The WYO-D-PAC, the association’s political action committee, contributes fund to statewide political campaigns, which supports issues favorable to dentistry. PAC contributions must be made on a separate, personal check to avoid problems with the Federal Election Committee.
Are membership dues deductible?
Membership dues in the association may be tax deductible as ordinary and necessary business expense. Dues paid to the association are not a charitable tax deduction for federal tax income purposes. The association is not a charity, but serves as an advocate organization.
Wyoming Dental Association; P.O. Box 4959; Casper, WY 82804; (307)237-1186 email: firstname.lastname@example.org website: wyda.org