News From Dr. Smith’s Desk

This last week I met with the Ohio Dental Association’s Counsel on Dental Care. This Counsel is made up of 15 dentists around Ohio who meet regularly to coach the Ohio Dental Association on how to improve the quality of dental care for the people of Ohio.

I have worked for over 20 years to improve the care of Medicaid patients in Ohio. The current approach pays dentists to provide cheap, quick, unsupervised treatments. I’ve never been comfortable with this approach, so after years of working to change the system from fixing teeth to preventing the need to fix teeth, I gave up seeing Medicaid patients about 10 years ago – but I’ve never stopped trying to change the system.

A few weeks ago, the chairman of this Counsel invited me to share my preventive approach to his counsel for ½ hour. The new president of the Ohio Dental Association also attended my presentation. On Wednesday, I gave my presentation and, due to their interest and questions, I spoke for 1 ¼ hours with lots of shared ideas.

When I finished, the Counsel Chairman, the president, and I spent another 15 minutes discussing the future of Medicaid. The president told me he’s organizing a Medicaid task force of dentists to improve dental Medicaid. I offered to join his task force.

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