Smith Serves on State Board

Joyell Nevins
Record Herald Editor

TIPP CITY — Dr. Charles Smith is starting a new year with a new job.

No, he’s not leaving HealthPark Dentistry. Rather, he was recently appointed to serve on the State Dental Board.

Appointments are officially made by the governor, but screened through the Ohio Dental Association. A friend of Smith’s asked him if he would be interested in serving, and Smith responded he would be excited about the opportunity. After going through the appropriate channels, Smith’s first board meeting was in December.

Smith has been practicing dentistry in Tipp City since 1970, after three years of practice in the Navy with the Marines. HealthPark has received 17 local and state business awards, and is one of six dental offices nationally to receive the maximum three year accreditation for quality in dentistry. Along the way, Smith has brought on several associates and specialists to his office.

“I was told long ago to only add other professionals who would set a standard so high, that they might not hire me if I applied,” Smith said. “After 40 years of practice, I may have accomplished this.”

So as his number of qualified associates has grown, Smith has been reducing his patient time to 10-15 hours per week. He still loves being a dentist, though, and saw the board as another way to serve in the profession.

“Over the years, I’ve said to other dentists and staff ‘you know, if I was on the state dental board, I’d try to do…’” Smith said. “Well, as I reduced my work hours, I decided to put my years of experience to use helping the dentists and people of Ohio.”

According to State Dental Board Executive Director Lili Reitz, the group meets eight times a year in Columbus. They have committee meetings in the morning, and then a group board meeting in the afternoon. The board always consists of nine dentists, three dental hygienists, and one public member. Currently, the public member is the director of legal affairs for a lawn company in Marysville. Board members serve four-year terms, and may serve no more than two terms.

The dental board has three major purposes. First, it handles the licensure process for dentists in Ohio. Second, it investigates complaints made against licensed dentists (Reitz said most complaints involve treatment of patients). Third, it is responsible for taking disciplinary action when violations or code infractions occur. Action can range from probation to revocation of license.

“Our focus is always on protecting the public,” Reitz said.

Smith feels that with the Affordable Care Act and other legal changes, there is a lot of fluctuation in doctoral practices, including dental.

“Our state board works well with our legislature, to help Ohio dentists deal with the stress created by our legislature’s expectations and resulting laws, people’s needs, and the Ohio Dental Association’s limited resources to support the dentists,” Smith said. “I believe the next five years will be the most critical time for all dentists to sort out how they will practice to meet all of these conflicting needs.”

Along with serving on the board, Smith has submitted a grant proposal to the federal Health and Human Services Department to implement his own solution to provide “cost effective, preventively-oriented” dental care to those on Medicaid. The proposal has been backed by State Representative Richard Adams and State Senator Bill Beagle.

HealthPark Dentistry is located at 110 S. Tippecanoe Dr., Tipp City. For more information, call
(937) 667-2417.

For more information about the dental board, call (614) 466-2580 or visit dental.ohio.gov.

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