In October of 2018, the Ohio State Dental Board referred amendments to its “Dental Specialties Recognition and Advertising Rules” to the Ohio Common Sense Initiative Office (CSI). The proposed administrative rules require dentists advertising as specialists to have completed an accredited, full-time, post-doctoral education program.  The AAO has long supported this CODA educational requirement, and with the assistance of Dr. Chris Roberts (2019-20 AAO president-elect), Dr. Phil Beckwith, and Dr. Dale Anne Featheringham, the AAO previously submitted comments to Ohio advocating for this CODA requirement.

In April of this year, the Ohio CSI made the following determinations regarding the proposed rule:

  1. the rule is consistent with the clearly articulated state policies of regulating the practice of dentistry and ensuring the practice of dentistry is safe, and
  2. the rule is not merely a pretext for anticompetitive conduct because it stops short of preventing any licensed dentist from practicing a specialty.

Because the CSI office reached this conclusion, the proposed rule will now go back to the Ohio State Dental Board, which will solicit additional comments from the public. The AAO’s Legal Department will continue to monitor the rulemaking process and will provide comments and input as appropriate.  Should the proposed regulation become law, only those dentists who have completed a full-time, CODA accredited residency program will be able to advertise as specialists in Ohio.

Please note, every orthodontist (as a citizen of and licensed dental provider in his or her region) and orthodontic patient has the right, independently and individually, to express his or her opinion on any dental issue to his or her dental board, regulatory bodies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and elected officials (e.g. Attorney General, Governor, state representative, etc.). If you feel so compelled, you can look up and contact the appropriate entity.

Contact information for state and provincial dental regulatory authorities can be found at