- ABOUT US -
Almost 20 years ago, Dr. Alan Farber, a periodontist in Long Island, NY, started a collaboration forum for specialists to share ideas online and learn from one another. Hundreds of specialists have benefited from this service. Now, Dr. Farber has founded the International Association of Dental Specialists (iADS) to take that forum to the next level.
Using modern digital technology, the electronic mailing list software application has been transformed into a much more robust, user-friendly platform—the Specialists' Forum accessible only to iADS members at theiads.org.
- WHAT'S NEXT -
Need a second opinion? Looking for advice on a case? Have a patient who is moving away and needs a specialist in a different location? The Specialists' Forum provides a member-only, specialists-only messaging system to share information.
The web format also provides the power of indexing. Threads from the last 20 years are being catalogued and placed on the iADS Specialists' Forum to make them easy to search. iADS will start posting indexed threads in 2018 and periodically add the threads from previous years until all content is available and searchable online.
The result is an incredible database, a body of current and historical information created by specialists, for specialists that is only available to iADS members.
Why Choose iADS?
What are the benefits of iADS membership?
There are many organizations for dental specialists, however we are the only completely Interdisciplinary community. This is what makes us unique.
There is no other organization in the world where dental specialists can come together to share ideas, obtain the results of research and product reviews targeted to specialists, develop mentoring relationships, educate the public about what we do, and discuss specialty practice management.
We have a specialist forum that started as a listserv over ten years ago that has over 20,000 posts. Using today’s technology and the iADS membership structure, we are now indexing and archiving those posts for easy reference. When specialists have questions within their specialty or when they want to reach out to other specialists for interdisciplinary advice, they can use the forum and get input from specialists around the world.
In terms of educating the public, we are starting with a website for dental specialists, but in year two we plan to launch a website for the public. In the past, general dentists have been the gatekeepers. iADS will harness the power of the Internet to reach the public directly.
Also, there are some dentists who have initials after their names and they call themselves specialists, but they do not have the requisite training and credentials. Our goal is to let the public know a) how dental specialists are uniquely qualified to meet their needs, and b) give the public access to a geographically searchable database of iADS members who all have the formal training necessary to be true dental specialists.
Why are you so passionate about iADS?
Dental specialists have not done a good job getting the specialty care message out to the public.
The public knows that if you have a heart problem, you see a cardiologist; if you have a skin problem, you see a dermatologist.
There is insufficient awareness regarding the training involved for someone to become an orthodontist or an oral and maxillofacial surgeon and the scope of these specialties, for example.
Also, most people do not know what periodontists do, and very few people have even heard terms such as “prosthodontist” or “endodontist.” There is a public recognition problem for all the recognized specialties.
Dental specialists worldwide have tremendous expertise, yet relatively few people know who we are and what we do. This public education mission is the reason iADS exists and my personal passion.
Will joining lead to increase patient referrals within the iADS network?
There will two ways to get patient referrals through iADS. The first is internal referrals. Even with the listserv, which is unorganized and primitive by today’s standards, we have had significant networking, including patient referrals. I have personally made referrals and received referrals through that system. With hundreds or even thousands of members, a robust website, and all the modern data management tools, we will take patient referrals to an entirely different level.
The second opportunity will evolve over time. The plan is to create a public website, drive people to the site through marketing, and encourage the public to find a dental specialist in their area and contact that clinician directly. Individual members will place an iADS logo on their website to help brand themselves as true dental specialists.
We will set up a system to allow potential patients to engage in an online chat with a specialist in their area. The purpose of that dialogue will be to answer inquiries, and of course the clinicians will invite individuals to come directly to their practices for diagnosis and treatment planning
Online lectures from specialists and experts in other fields such as accounting, human resources, information technology, and marketing allowing the chance to connect worldwide with some of the industry leaders in their respective fields.
Regional, national, and international meetings focused on the latest science advances that affect our specialties and the best ways to promote our practices.
Not-for-profit research connects with iADS to provide unbiased information. You can use our forum to discuss areas of research.
Access to a member-only website to share marketing resources, discuss cases, and learn from fellow specialists across the country and around the world; this will help create public awareness of benefits for seeking care from a recognized dental specialist.
iADS is your voice, your advocate, your marketing partner, your collaboration forum, and your future.