American Dental Association

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The American Dental Association (ADA) is the professional association representing 152,000 dentists and describes itself as being "committed to the public's oral health, ethics, science and professional advancement; leading a unified profession through initiatives in advocacy, education, research and the development of standards." [1]


According to a January 2006 search of the online database, the ADA lobbies on "Environmental / Superfund" and health issues. It has a political action committee, the American Dental Political Action Committee, whose director is Francis X. McLaughlin. ADA's Washington DC office has at least 13 staff people, including three Congressional lobbyists: Michael A. Graham, William Prentice and Judith C. Sherman. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the American Dental Political Action Committee gave $1,481,504 to federal candidates in the 2004 election cycle, 40% to Democrats and 60% to Republicans. [2]

ADA also hires outside counsel and consultants, including Larson Dodd Stewart & Myrick and Wexler and Walker Public Policy Associates on health issues, and Pepper Hamilton LLP on environmental / Superfund issues, according to

According to the Center for Public Integrity, the ADA spent $2,520,000 on lobbying from 1998 to 2004. Over that same period, the ADA was represented by WPP Group plc, Larson Dodd Stewart & Myrick and Baker & Hostetler. [3]

The ADA filed a lawsuit on January 31, 2006 against the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and its dental health aide therapists (DHATs) who fill a void left by dentistry's refusal to treat low-income individuals or work in rural areas of Alaska. [4]. The ADA lost that lawsuit and Alaskans' dental health is improving [5]

After the Fluoride Action Network (FAN), which opposes water fluoridation, established its website at, the ADA bought the website URL, presumably to confuse people seeking the FAN website.

Public Relations

According to the press release for its 2005 media conference, the ADA has hired the PR firm Stewart Communications, Ltd. The firm's website details: [6]

Stewart Communications, Ltd. planned and implemented the American Dental Association's (June 2000) media conference, the organization's first media conference since 1983. ...
Media involved in the ADA event included Associated Press, Reuters Health, Consumer Reports, the Good Housekeeping Institute and Magazine, the New York Daily News, "DATELINE NBC," Essence, Self, and the Columbia News Service.
Placements included news items on ABC-TV's "World News This Morning" as well as television coverage in major markets and on Reuters TV, which serves 900 broadcast outlets worldwide.
The "Healthy Mouth Healthy Smile" was recognized by the Publicity Club of Chicago and awarded a Silver Trumpet.

According to another page on the firm's website: [7]

The mission of the Health Reporting Conference is to train practicing physicians and other healthcare professionals to be skilled communicators as reporters, expert news sources or program hosts on a local level, bringing health and medical information to local audiences through radio and TV. The conference is like "completing medical broadcast journalism school in a weekend."
Secured speakers and special guests have included: Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, PhD., as well as former Surgeons General Koop and Novello, Drs. Timothy Johnson, Art Ulene, Dean Edell and Nancy Snyderman.

The 2005 ADA media conference was covered by many media outlets, as well.

ADA has also hired the New York-based PR and marketing firm Van Vechten & Company. [8] According to the firm's webiste, they won a Presidential Citation for their work for ADA. [9] The firm's website briefly describes their ADA work: [10]

What did we do for the ADA? We fought false information about the supposed risks from fluoride. We fought false reports about intensified risks from amalgams and the mercury contained within fillings. But our biggest challenge was the highly controversial case surrounding Kimberly Bergalis and five other Florida patients infected with AIDS by a central Florida dentist. Our program literally changed the face of dentistry and introduced Universal Precautions as the new standard in infection control.

ADA distributed misleading information on two federal fluoride Reports [["ADA Distributing Misleading Information on Two Federal Fluoride Reports"]]. [11]

Contact Information

American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
Phone: 312-440-2500

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