Text of Oettmeier’s Nomination Speech

Good afternoon Delegates, alternate delegates, trustees, officers, staff and guests. I am excited about this opportunity to stand before you today as a candidate for the office of ADA 2nd Vice President. I am proud to have been a member of this organization for over 35 years. I’m here because I care. I care about our members, I care about our profession, I care about our organization, and I care about our patients who have placed their trust in us. I want our members and our organization to thrive.

I have had the good fortune to serve in the House of Delegates for the past 10 years, and I am grateful for all the wonderful friends I have made both in the House, and on the Council on Dental Benefit Programs. With ten years experience in the House, I am quite familiar with the issues, concerns, and challenges that face our profession and organization from both a current and historical perspective.

I have had the opportunity to fill many leadership roles within the ADA. I am a past chair of the Council on Dental Benefit Programs, a past chair of the ADA Code Revision Committee, and a past chair of the ADA Code Advisory Committee.  I have twice been appointed to serve on ADA reference Committees, chairing the 2011 ADA Reference Committee on Dental Benefits, Practice and Health. I believe I have a proven record of leadership that has prepared me to represent you well.


As an officer of the American College of Dentists, I applaud our Association’s efforts in the area of Ethics and Professionalism. I am proud of the high level of trust the public has in our profession. Continued education in ethics, is important to maintain the level of trust we have earned to date.

What is my vision for the future? I would like to see a future where freedom of choice is preserved, where patients are free to choose their own dentists, without being penalized. I would like to see a patient-doctor relationship where treatment decisions are made by the treating dentist, in consultation with the patient, and without third-party interference. Likewise, I would like my practicing colleagues to enjoy the same such environment in their own practices.

What are my promises to you? I promise that:

With every decision I make, I will act in a manner to reflect what I feel is best for our members, our organization, and our patients.

I will always be an informed and dedicated voice, and a respectful listener. However, when it becomes necessary to be tough I can and I will, be tough. If it is an important issue, I won’t accept that “it cannot be done” without a fight.

I will work continuously to increase the value and benefit of membership.

I will continue to fight third-party interferences in the patient-doctor relationship.

I will stand steadfast on my position that the dentist is the leader of the dental team and the dentist, and only the dentist should be allowed to diagnose, treatment plan, and perform surgical/irreversible procedures.

I will be a dedicated advocate to increase membership through active recruitment of non-members stressing not only the value and benefits of membership, but also the importance of a commitment to participate.

I will work to see our profession is fairly reimbursed for the services it provides, and that our profession is not saddled with undue constraints, restrictions and regulations.

I will work to develop strategies to lessen the financial burden on our new graduates.

I believe I possess the qualities and experience to be a highly effective voice for the House, and I pledge to you that I will always, always represent you to the best of my abilities.

I respectfully ask for your support and vote for ADA 2nd Vice President on Monday morning.

Thank you for this opportunity.