OPTIONS stands for “Ohio Partnership To Improve Oral Health through access to Needed Services.” It is a program that links Ohioans in need with dental offices that care and will discount or possibly donate their services to those in need. OPTIONS is a partnership between the Ohio Dental Association and the Ohio Department of Health.

CincySmiles administers the Dental OPTIONS Program in Southern Ohio. The counties included in CincySmiles’ area of service include: Adams, Brown, Butler, Champaign, Clark, Clermont, Clinton, Darke, Fayette, Gallia, Greene, Hamilton, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Logan, Meigs, Miami, Montgomery, Pickaway, Pike, Preble, Ross, Scioto, Shelby, Vinton and Warren.

The qualifications of the program are based on income. Other factors, such has health conditions or extenuating hardship circumstances, may be taken into account. Applicants must not have any form of dental insurance or be eligible for Medicaid. Call the Medicaid hotline 1-800-324-8680 to find out how to apply for Medicaid or to find a dentist if you already have Medicaid coverage. If you have Medicaid, there are instances when you may still apply for Dental Options. These reasons include orthodontic treatment for children under the age of 18, dentures not covered by Medicaid, help because of a high Medicaid spend down or if you are in need of a periodontist. Medicare does not cover most dental treatment, so you may apply for Dental OPTIONS if you have Medicare. You may be asked for documentation of your coverage. Please click here to read other eligibility guidelines for OPTIONS.

Dental OPTIONS is not an emergency treatment program. Most counties have waiting lists several months long. If you are in need of emergency dental treatment, please click here for a listing of dental clinics. Or click here for listing of all clinics in all counties.

Once a patient’s application reaches the top of the waiting list, a referral coordinator will contact them to review the application. A final determination of eligibility is made at the time of review. If the patient is eligible for the program, the referral coordinator begins the process of finding a dentist who is willing to treat the patient. Volunteer dentists are not required to accept patients or to continue treatment after providing services. Every effort is made by the referral coordinator to match a patient with a dentist based on the patient’s dental needs and proximity to the dental office. Not every area, however, has a nearby dentist. Transportation to appointments is the responsibility of the patient. Patients who are matched with a dentist agree to follow the program patient rules, as listed here.

The services available under OPTIONS include most dental services except cosmetic whitening, adult braces, or implants. The goal of OPTIONS is to restore patients to good oral health so that they may reach an affordable level of routine dental care. Once a patient completes the treatment plan through the OPTIONS Program, the patient’s eligibility in OPTIONS is over. The patient may elect to have the OPTIONS dentist as their dental “home” paying normal office rates. OPTIONS patients may also elect to use the services of a dental clinic for routine maintenance once their treatment plan is completed. Please click here to access the Dental OPTIONS application.

If you have any questions about the OPTIONS Program, please call Barb Hanlon or Shannon Williams at (513) 621-2517. They will be happy to assist you.