MetroHealth Department of Dental Medicine receives Ohio Dental Association Access to Dental Care Program Award

For Immediate Release
October 7, 2021

The MetroHealth Department of Dental Medicine, which serves patients in Northeast Ohio, received the 2021 Ohio Dental Association Access to Dental Care Program Award on Friday, Oct. 1 at the Callahan Celebration of Excellence, held in conjunction with the 155th ODA Annual Session.

The MetroHealth Department of Dental Medicine has a long history of providing dental care for those in need as well as providing education and training to dentists through residency programs.

MetroHealth started one of the first oral surgery residency programs in the country more than 100 years ago. Since then, MetroHealth has added a General Practice Residency Program in 1959, an AEGD residency program in 1995 and a pediatric residency program in 1999.

In 2017, MetroHealth began a collaboration with the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, where students and residents rotate through MetroHealth clinics.

The department has a strong focus on systemic health and works to integrate care with physicians at MetroHealth. Examples include an initiative to lessen emergency department visits, collaboration with the sleep medicine department on treatment of obstructive sleep apnea, and treatment for clearance for oncological and orthopedic services.

The department provides specialty care in the areas of oral medicine, oral surgery, prosthodontics, endodontics, periodontics and pediatric dentistry, as well as preventative care and hygiene visits.

“The department is the largest provider of services to underprivileged in Ohio,” Said Dr. Gregory Heintschel, chairperson of the Department of Dental Medicine at MetroHealth System. “We are a huge access point for this population, not only for emergent and urgent care but ongoing and preventative care. We also offer several specialty services that are hard to come by.”

The department also serves as a referral source for specialized care from several clinics in Northeast Ohio that provide basic dental care and partners with community organizations to address dental access issues with foster care children and those with addiction.

The majority of patients seen in the department of dental medicine are underprivileged or part of the special needs population, with 85% being on Medicaid. A financial assistance program is also available to patients who qualify that allows them to pay for services based on a sliding fee scale.

The ODA’s Access to Dental Care Program Award honors an outstanding program that helps reduce the access to care problem in Ohio by offering free or reduced fee dental care to underserved populations.


Contact: David Owsiany, ODA executive director

Phone: (614) 486-2700


Photo available upon request.