Providing dental care providers with vaccine priority will protect all Ohioans

For Immediate Release

December 16, 2020

In light of the recent guidance that Governor Mike DeWine provided to the local health departments recommending COVID-19 vaccine priority for health care providers, including dental providers, Ohio Dental Association President Dr. David Kimberly, an Akron-area oral and maxillofacial surgeon, issued the following statement:

“The Ohio Dental Association is pleased that Gov. DeWine is recommending that local health departments in Ohio give vaccine priority to dentists and their staff. This is consistent with the recent recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

These recommendations recognize that dentistry is essential health care and that dentists and their staff are essential health care workers. We have consistently educated Ohio policymakers that by keeping the dental workforce healthy, Ohioans will continue to secure treatment for oral pain and infection in dental offices, thereby keeping them out of hospital emergency rooms.

Beyond treating immediate pain, dentists evaluate, diagnose, prevent, and treat diseases that can be life-changing or even life-threatening. For example, early detection of oral cancers and serious infections can lead to early treatment. Delaying treatment of these conditions can lead to life changing abnormalities or even death. Early treatment, however, can ensure such patients are able to lead a normal, healthy life.

We have also stressed that oral health is essential to overall health because we know that undiagnosed and untreated dental disease has been associated with a number of systemic health conditions including heart disease, diabetes, stroke and pregnancy complications.

By providing vaccine priority to dentists and their teams, Governor DeWine and local health departments will ensure all Ohioans have access to a healthy dental care delivery workforce so they can maintain strong oral health and overall health.”

About the ODA: The Ohio Dental Association represents more than 5,000 member dentists, nearly 70 percent of the state’s licensed dentists. ODA member dentists provide more than $40 million in donated care and services annually, and they are bound by the highest ethical standards and have access to superior ongoing education, training and resources.


Contact: David Owsiany, ODA executive director

Phone: (614) 486-2700