The ODA is the profession’s primary resource in Ohio

The Ohio Dental Association offers members opportunities to receive continuing education credits at a reduced rate. Members can attend the ODA Annual Session for at least $375 less than non-members. The 2016 Annual Session will be Sept. 15-18.

As membership renewal season approaches, some members may be wondering what benefits they receive by renewing their membership. The answer is simple: the ODA is Ohio’s resource for the profession. When a member has a question or needs something, he or she should contact the ODA first. Odds are the information is available through membership. Benefits cover a wide range of areas that dentists find valuable, including saving money on products and services, legal and regulatory compliance advice and information, opportunities to help improve access to care, advocacy efforts to ensure the profession remains strong and continuing education opportunities.

ODA President Dr. Chris Connell said he finds inclusion and information to be the two most important aspects of organized dentistry.

“I have found over my many years of involvement with organized dentistry that being a member of an inclusive, active, and caring group makes the myriad of other things we do in our dental careers that much better,” Connell said. “The relationships that I have made throughout the state, and in fact the country, are important to me. During my year as president of ODA, I am truly looking forward to the kind invitations that I have received to come to various local dental societies and meet with my friends and colleagues in their hometowns to provide updates on ODA activities and programs. I also know that there is a tremendous amount of information that I can access and utilize between my local, state, and the national levels of organized dentistry. The tripartite shines in this regard, because where one group stops, the next one continues. Staff at all levels play such an important role, too. All those individuals at each level that I have had the opportunity to work with, have always been professional, enthusiastic, and eager to help. And now, sites such as ODA.org, success.ada.org, and mouthhealthy.org provide that information for me and my patients 24/7.”

Advocacy

Members continually rate advocacy as one of the top member benefits. As one dentist, it can be difficult to effect change when it comes to legal and regulatory issues. If special interest groups and insurance companies with significant resources are in opposition to the profession’s best interests, one dentist alone doesn’t have much of a voice. But when the Ohio Dental Association represents a large percentage of dentists in the state, there’s power behind the association’s message. By joining dentists together with a collective voice, the association can advocate on behalf of dentists and their patients, fighting against unnecessary and burdensome regulations and protecting the sanctity of the dentist-patient relationship.

Currently, the ODA is supporting legislation that would prohibit insurance companies from setting fees for services they do not cover. House Bill 95 has been approved by the Ohio House and is pending in the Ohio Senate.

Additionally, the ODA is opposing the creation of a midlevel provider in Ohio. Outside interest groups continue to push for this radical proposal, which would allow a person with only two years of post-high school training to perform irreversible surgical dental procedures including the extraction of teeth, cutting tooth structure and gums, and the administration of local anesthetic injections.

Information

In a 2014 “ODA Today” readership survey, 94 percent of respondents said the “ODA Today” is a valuable member benefit. Many respondents reported that the “ODA Today” keeps them informed of issues affecting dentistry in Ohio and many said it is their primary source of dental news. One survey respondent said the “ODA Today” is “informative, up to date, and well written. The coverage of pertinent legislative issues as well as perspective from our legal and legislative team is invaluable when it comes to what we should know in regulatory compliance.”

Additionally, members receive updates through the ODA’s e-newsletter, “NewsBytes,” and have access to member-only information on the ODA’s website, www.oda.org. Members can also call ODA staff to get questions answered and learn more information.

Discounts on products and services

The Ohio Dental Association Services Corp. (ODASC) researches products and services useful to dentists and their practices to help save them time and money.

ODASC now offers an employer group health benefits plan to ODA member dentists and their staffs – the ODA Wellness Trust.

The Wellness Trust is a self-insured plan, which allows participants to avoid some of the regulations and requirements of the Affordable Care Act. This plan has been exclusively developed for member dentists and their staffs to help battle the increasing cost of providing health care benefits and to provide access to health care plans outside the Affordable Care Act. Participants in a self-insured plan typically see a 10 percent savings compared to marketplace plans. For more information on the Wellness Trust, visit odawt.org.

ODASC also offers many other products and services, and many members find that by taking advantage of the discounts provided to members through ODASC, they can actually cover the cost of their dues. For more information on all of the ODASC-endorsed products and savings available, visit odasc.com.

Volunteer opportunities

The ODA offers dentists several opportunities to give back to their communities, including:

  • Give Kids a Smile, where dentists provide free care to children in need.
  • Dental OPTIONS, where dentists provide care to low-income, uninsured individuals.
  • ODA Foundation, where donations go toward providing scholarships to dental students and grants to programs throughout Ohio.
  • Smiles for Seniors, a program that promotes oral health care of older adults through education.
  • Operation TACTIC, an educational program to prevent the use of tobacco.

For more information about the ODA’s volunteer opportunities and how to get involved, visit https://www.oda.org/community-involvement/.

Continuing Education

The ODA offers members opportunities to receive continuing education credits at a reduced rate. Members can attend the ODA Annual Session for at least $375 less than non-members. Annual Session features nationally known speakers on a wide variety of topics for the entire dental team.

The 2016 ODA Annual Session will be held Sept. 15-18 in Columbus.

ODA members also have the opportunity to attend Leadership Institute, the ODA’s award-winning program developed to help all ODA members become more successful and effective leaders. Attendees consistently rank the event as one of the top leadership development workshops. Attendees will have the opportunity to earn several free CE credits at the free event. Next year’s Leadership Institute will be March 4 and 5, 2016, at the Hilton Columbus at Easton.

Camaraderie

Dentists often say that meeting other dentists from around the state is one of the top benefits of joining organized dentistry. Throughout the year, the ODA features several events where dentists can connect with colleagues from across the state. From events like the Leadership Institute and Annual Session, to new dentist events and component society meetings across the state, it’s a great way for dentists to meet other people like them.

Renew Your Membership

Membership renewal opens this month. Watch your mailbox for your dues statement, or visit www.oda.org/renew. ODA membership dues are due Jan. 1, 2016, for the 2016 membership year.