ODA President Dr. Mark Bronson looks ahead at his 2011-2012 term

Dr. Mark Bronson began his term as Ohio Dental Association president at the end of the ODA House of Delegates in September. In this Q&A with ODA Today, Dr. Bronson looks forward on his term.

What are some of the issues you expect the ODA to face during your presidency? How do you think the ODA should address these issues?

Access to Dental Care is going to be one of the greatest issues we will face and will continue to be an issue as long as there is an at-risk population.The economic times are difficult, and when employers look to cut cost, dental insurance is one of the first things that is cut from their budget. When benefits are not available, patients tend to seek treatment at hospital emergency rooms. This provides no definitive dental treatment and can only prolong the issue of dental disease.
Another major issue will be midlevel providers and DHATs. The ODA will use all our resources to educate policymakers and the media on the dangers of unskilled individuals trying to provide dental care. These providers will not help with access in Ohio, and are a waste of Ohio resources, and a danger to the public. Make no mistake; irreverisble procedures are surgical treatment and should only be done by licensed dentists. Midlevel providers and DHATs are under-educated for this reponsibilty.

If you could state one message to new ODA members, what would it be?
We need YOU!! The best part about organized dentistry is the diveristy of interest, expertise, and experience. I benefit from membership every day in my practice due to the interaction and camaraderie with fellow dentists. We need you to interact, we need you to give us your thoughts, we need you to broaden our scope, we need you to be involved.

If you could state one message to ODA leaders, what would it be?
THANK YOU!!! Our profession continues to progress because of your donation of time and talent. Our profession is only as strong as the weakest link. It’s in our best interest to have ODA leaders advocating to policy makers, teaching our students, and setting the agenda for our future.

What, or who, helped you make the decision to pursue dentistry as a profession?
I am a second generation dentist. My father and mother never asked or told me to be a dentist, but they put me in the right schools and environment to be challenged and taught me problem solving. My mother always gave me things around the house to fix so I learned to take things apart and put them together. My dad would buy me models to work on and always make me responsible for the pets and plants. So, science was a major focus growing up. After working odd jobs during college I decided that working for myself was what I wanted. Utilizing science and interacting with people I knew dentistry was the best of both worlds. It was a great decision then and it is still a great decision today.

What, or who, helped you make the decision to become involved in organized dentistry?
When I was in college in 1982 my Dad sent for me and my brother to come home from college when he was installed as President of the Cincinnati Dental Society. Meeting all the dentists and seeing how they interacted with my Dad and talked about the things he did in the society impressed me. After graduating from OSU I went directly into practice with my father, Dr. Fred Bronson. Within 2-3 weeks of getting my license, I immediately joined the Cincinnati Dental Society. At the first Cincinnati Dental Society meeting I attended, I was totally impressed and enjoyed the camaraderie as I was welcomed to the society. Shortly after that I was invited to serve on a task force at the ODA and the interaction with members and staff continued to motivate me to other positions, leading me to where I am now.

What do you believe will be your biggest challenge as ODA president? And how will you