News & Events
Ohio Dental Association members receive bang for their buck
by Jackie Best - Managing Editor
Ohio Dental Association dues are the second lowest in the country, according to the American Dental Association.
Along with such low dues rates, ODA member dentists receive extreme value from their membership. From professional development to volunteer activities and advocacy to opportunities for involvement, the ODA has something valuable to offer all members.
“Being a member of the ODA has helped me throughout my career in my practice, both in starting up my practice and then continuing on,” said Dr. Thomas Kelly, a general dentist from Beachwood. “There’s great member benefits from the programs for workers compensation, health insurance for myself and my employees, and then all the advocacy efforts that happen on our behalf at the statehouse.”
Continue reading below to learn about the top reasons dentists value their membership in the ODA.
The ODA Advocacy team tracks issues affecting dentistry throughout the year, working to protect dental practices and patients from unnecessary regulations.
“As you become more involved, you’re going to find out that the ODA along with ODPAC (the Ohio Dental Political Action Committee) are very effective at the state level at representing the interests of dentists and their patients,” Dr. Geoffrey Bauman, a periodontist from Newark.
One of the top benefits members mention as being important is the ability to connect with dentists throughout the state. Through various meetings and events, ODA members can easily meet other dentists and discuss important issues affecting dentistry.
“Many dentists are in solo practices or small group practices, and it can get lonely being by yourself all day every day,” said Dr. Erwin Su, a pediatric dentist from North Canton. “When I meet with my fellow dentists at the local, state or national level, it is very nice to be able to get together and talk about the challenges and the rewards of being a dentist.”
Giving Back to the Community
The ODA has many opportunities for dentists to give back to their community. Give Kids a Smile helps provide dental care to low income children, Dental OPTIONS helps provide care on a sliding fee to low income adults, and the ODA Foundation collects donations to provide grants and scholarships to help improve access to care.
A Voice in the Profession
Being a member of the ODA allows dentists to bring their voice and opinion to the profession of dentistry.
“Through various committees of the ODA, dentists can actually work together toward the betterment of our own profession, and together we can make a difference,” Bauman said.
By becoming involved with ODA councils and committees, members can shape the direction of the organization and the profession.
“One of the reasons I value my involvement is because I have a voice in the organization,” said Dr. Jennifer Kale, a general dentist from Twinsburg. “The more involved a member becomes, the more they begin to understand just how much the ODA does to support the practice of dentistry.”
Through the “ODA Today,” NewsBytes, and the members-only section of www.oda.org, the ODA provides members with access to information that can’t be found anywhere else. ODA staff members are also a valuable resource for information.
“The members-only section of the Ohio Dental Association’s website has a wealth of knowledge – a lot of stuff that you can’t find anywhere,” said Dr. Michael Halasz, a general dentist from Kettering. “It has all kinds of tidbits from things you need posted in your office from an OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) point of view to just anything you want to know. And the other thing I value is just the staff here knows so much about everything.”
Each member of the ODA agrees to the “American Dental Association Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.” This code holds members to a higher standard, and the ADA and ODA provide resources and information to members about ethics. Organized dentistry also provides a forum for members to discuss current ethics issues.
“I’m very interested in the ethics of the profession and certainly concerned about things that threaten that, and therefore being able to discuss this with other dentists I feel that we’ll be able to make a positive impact,” said Dr. Najia Usman, an endodontist from Medina.
ODA members have the opportunity to attend CE courses at a reduced rate. The ODA Annual Session offers a wide variety of courses presented by nationally known speakers to help dentists increase their knowledge or improve a skill.
The Ohio Dental Association Services Corp. researches products that would be useful to dentists and their practices to help members save time and money. Members can feel confident in knowing that the endorsed products are high quality for a reasonable price. And many of the products include additional savings just for ODA members.
Peer review offers dentists and patients an opportunity to resolve disputes and is an alternative to the court system. Volunteer dentists make a decision in the mediation in the clinical exam, and peer review is not a disciplinary process. The only thing peer review can do is to find that a refund is in order or that any balance that is still outstanding be waived.
The American Dental Association and ODA provide a free contract analysis service to members. Before a dentist decides to sign on to become a preferred provider with an insurance company, they can ask the ODA for a contract analysis to help understand any potential pitfalls.
To learn more about these resources and everything the ODA does for its members, visit www.oda.org.
“I don’t have to tell anyone else that being a dentist is the best career decision there is in the health care profession, but being a member of organized dentistry makes it so much better when we know that there’s an organization out there to help us to help our patients,” Su said. “You truly get more from the organization than you give.”