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About Us

Click on the WELCOME button on the left menu to see important news about our program and links to new resources.

Our mission is to promote and improve the oral health of Ohioans. We do this by:

  • Supporting programs that prevent oral diseases, such as community water fluoridation and school-based sealant programs.
  • Working to help Ohioans of all ages get the dental care they need.
  • Monitoring the oral health of Ohioans through collecting, analyzing  and sharing oral health data.
  • Helping other health professionals, such as physicians and nurses, improve the oral health of their patients.
  • Working to ensure that oral health is seen as an essential part of health.


What is Dental Public Health?

About Dental Public Health

Most people know about dentistry from going to a dental office.  Fewer people may know about dental public health, one of the nine areas of dentistry recognized by the American Dental Association.  Dental public health helps improve the oral health of entire communities by:

  • Preventing oral diseases.
  • Promoting ways to help people improve their oral health.
  • Protecting the public’s oral health through laws and regulations that make sure people can safely get dental care. 

Dental Public Health in Ohio

Listed below are some examples of the dental public health work done by the Oral Health Program at the Ohio Department of Health:

  • We use data to understand the amount of oral diseases that our residents have and to learn whether their oral health is getting better.  Sometimes we collect these data through surveys; other times, we use data that has been collected by others in the state or elsewhere in the U.S. 
  • We evaluate whether Ohioans are able to get dental care when they need it.  We ask people what keeps them from getting the care they need.
  • We educate the public and other health care workers about ways to prevent oral diseases.
  • We work with others in the state to design programs to help improve the oral health of Ohioans across the lifespan.
  • We use the latest research to guide us in deciding the best ways to prevent oral diseases among Ohioans.

Dental Public Health Associations

There are three major dental public health organizations in the U.S.  Each offers many resources, such as newsletters, guidelines and publications. They sponsor conferences and webinars on dental public health research, education and programs.


What We Do

Click on the fact sheets listed below to learn more about some of the main activities of the Oral Health Program.


Champions of Oral Health


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The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) is pleased to announce that Dr. David Hoag, DDS, Chief Dental Officer of Third Street Family Health Services in Mansfield, has been selected to receive the 2022 Dr. James F. Quilty, Jr. Award for Champions of Oral Health.

Dr. Hoag was recognized for his efforts to provide dental care to children served by a fixed school-based health center and a new mobile dental program serving the Mansfield public schools, expanding access to clinical oral health services, and spending more than a decade educating hundreds of dental students in the clinic. Ms. Peggy Anderson, CEO, Third Street Family Health Services, nominated Dr. Hoag for the award.

According to Ms. Anderson, “Dr. Hoag truly believes in training students and growing the next generation of dentists. While we have difficulties recruiting other providers in other disciplines, Dr. Hoag makes our recruitment of dentists much easier. His students want to work for him and Third Street because of the training and time he takes to share the importance of what we do. He gets the next generation excited about working with underserved individuals in rural areas.”

Dr. Canice Bean, Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University College of Dentistry, provided a letter of support for Dr. Hoag’s nomination. She noted that “Dr. Hoag’s commitment to training excellent, socially aware dental professionals is beyond description. He has mentored over 400 students in best practices while providing a win-win opportunity for students to gain clinical skills and awareness of the barriers to care experienced by an underserved segment of the community. Many practitioners are not prepared to meet the needs of people living in poverty. There is an increasing need for a well-trained workforce that can provide services to the most vulnerable.”

Dr. Hoag is currently collaborating with OB/GYN providers at the Third Street clinic to teach them how to perform dental risk assessments on pregnant patients so problems can be identified and addressed early with referrals to Third Street’s dental services. He also led efforts to resume providing oral health services to children enrolled in Head Start programs in Crawford County. These examples of his work reflect his dedication, passion, and commitment to underserved populations and to reducing barriers to care experienced by those living in poverty.

Dr. Sheng Liu, Chief Clinical Officer of Third Street Family Health Services, offered a letter of support for Dr. Hoag’s nomination, noting that “he has been instrumental in Third Street’s efforts to expand their services to new areas. He has also spearheaded several collaborations to improve Ohioans’ dental health and educate the underserved about how oral health can impact total health.”  She also noted, “Dr. Hoag’s professional and personal merits not only strengthen Third Street’s dental services but are assets to our community.”

Recipients of the award are presented with a plaque and their names are engraved on a plaque perpetually on display at ODH. Please see a description of the award and a list of past recipients.