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The Future of Dentistry: Thriving in an Era of Change and Uncertainty

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The Future of Dentistry: Thriving in an Era of Change and Uncertainty


Tuesday, February 28, 2023


Location: The University of Utah, School of Dentistry, 530 S. Wakara Way, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84108

Dinner: 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm              Presentation: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm  


CDE Hours Awarded:                                       Conflicts of Interest:

1.5 CDE Lecture hours                                         No Conflicts


Education Methods: Lecture                             Required Experience:                    

AGD Subject Codes:  010, 550                          Dental Practice Experience                                                 

External Funding: None


Course Description:

Dentistry is seeing a lot of trends bringing both disruption and opportunity. A major generational shift is happening among dentists, with Boomers retiring and Millennials and GenZs moving in. This dynamic is bringing major changes in practice models, career paths, and ADA and UDA membership. At the same time, it is clear that our current dental care financing and delivery model works well for some segments of the U.S. population rather than others. The recently published 20-year retrospective of the 2000 Surgeon General Report shows that there have been important gains in oral health among children: however, there is much less progress among adults and seniors. About half of the U.S. population does not visit the dentist within the year, with affordability challenges being reason #1. Insurance reimbursement rates continue to decline slowly while at the same time becoming more important to patients as a means of payment.

How do dentists need to adapt? What is organized dentistry’s vision for oral health in America? Do we truly want dentistry to be an essential service in health care policy? What are important trends dentists need to be aware of in the next 2-5 years? Why is it important that dentists get involved in their association now more than ever? 

This session will highlight key trends that are coming that dentists need to be aware of and plan for. We will also discuss how the ADA is evolving to meet the needs of the next generation of dentists and safeguard the profession's future. There will be lots of time for discussion! You can ask the ADA Executive Director and Chief Economist anything! This is an interactive discussion.


Course objective:

  1. Understand key trends impacting dental practices, including dental insurance trends, consumerism, growth of group practice, and shifting patient mindset
  2. Identify key future-focused initiatives the ADA is launching to safeguard the profession in times of change. Understand why it is more important now than ever to be involved
  3. Explore opportunities for practicing dentists to innovate and take advantage of key market trends in the next 2-5 years


Guest Speakers:

Marko Vujicic, Ph.D., Chief Economist of the American Dental Association.

Marko Vujicic currently serves as Chief Economist and Vice President of the Health Policy Institute at the American Dental Association. He is a recognized thought leader in health care policy as it relates to dental care. He has published extensively in peer-reviewed journals such as Health Affairs and The New England Journal of Medicine, and his team’s work is regularly cited by CNN, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and other media outlets. Previously, he was Senior Economist with The World Bank in Washington, D.C., where he focused on health systems reform in developing countries. 


Raymond A. Cohlmia, D.D.S., Executive Director of the American Dental Association

Dr. Raymond A. Cohlmia is the Executive Director of the American Dental Association, the nation’s leading advocate for oral health. Dr. Cohlmia graduated in 1988 from The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry. He was in private practice for 26 years prior to becoming full-time faculty at The University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry, where he served as Dean for seven years prior to his full-time appointment at the ADA. Dr. Cohlmia is a life member of the ADA and served in the ADA House of Delegates as both a delegate and alternate delegate and on several councils and committees of the ADA over his tenure of many years of volunteer service to the ADA. He most recently served from 2015 to 2019 as the Twelfth District Trustee and was elected to the Board of the American Dental Association Science and Research Institute (ADASRI), where he served as their founding chair. He has also served in multiple capacities at the local and state levels, serving as president of both his local component and state associations. Along with being known for his leadership in the association, he is also known in dental education. While serving in his previous academic position, he created an innovative model of clinical delivery in the college. Dr. Cohlmia remains a member of many affiliate organizations, including the International College of Dentists, the American College of Dentists, the Pierre-Fauchard Academy of Dentistry, and the American Dental Education Association. Further, he has served on both dental and non-dental-based foundation boards. He is very active in his church, which was founded by his great-grandfather. He comes from a family of dentists, including his father, brother, and numerous relatives. He and his wife have three sons, of which two are general dentists.