CIRCLEVILLE — Local Dentist Dr. Hans Guter has been chosen as the vice president of the Academy of General Dentistry.
The nationwide position was chosen at the organizations’ annual meeting on Oct. 25 which was held virtually this year.
Guter’s service started with the Ohio AGD serving as membership chair for four years, mastership chair for 12 years and serving as president of the Ohio AGD for two years. He has served two terms as regional director for AGD. Guter graduated from The Ohio State University College of Dentistry in 1989 and has practiced in Circleville since 1990.
“Like most leaders of any organization, I’d like to see more growth in our services to members and expand the opportunities for them to become more involved,” Guter said. “I want to work with other members of the board in building and stabilizing our corporate partnerships and increasing our advocacy efforts in order to influence favorable legislative outcomes to benefit our members and the industry.”
Guter said the advocacy efforts are what motivated him to run.
“We dentists in Ohio were considered nonessential health care and everyone in Ohio was shut down from March 16 to May 4,” he said. “I’ve always been a big advocate for legislative advocacy and I’ve seen this become a bigger issue in the last few years.”
Guter said he also likes the political advocacy for what it means for his patients.
“The real reason for my involvement and to advocate is for the well-being of the patients that we treat,” he said. “I’ve always been an advocate for my patients. My definition of being a professional is that you’re constantly learning. My patients know that what I’m doing now might not be what I’m doing in four to five years. A lot of people don’t know the issues of their insurance they just go to work and pay their deductible. The political part of it is as much to help the patients as much as anything. By being a national officer I can help institute some policies not only on the state level but the national level.”
Guter said insurance issues are another key topic of concern for the AGD.
“I’m not contractually bound with any insurance company but even in my case I’ve not had any increase in rates from my patients since 2012,” he said. “I’m looking at that since I’ll be in Chicago and Washington, D.C more to work with legislative councils.”
Guter said his interest in dental work came from an interest in both art and science. His brother also went through dental school and his father is an architect.
“For me the mix of science and art, especially with my dad’s influence it was something that always interested me,” he said. “It’s something I use everyday. As a dentist you need to know anatomy and pharmacology but I also do a lot of cosmetic work so it’s a neat mix of art and science.”
Guter said dentistry also gives him more freedom than some of his friends that have M.D.s.
“Unlike medicine, it gives me a lot of freedom to do some of the other things I’m interested in and the political aspect of dentistry,” he said. “If I need a Wednesday to go to Columbus, because I don’t work at a large practice, I don’t need to ask for it off. It’s been a wonderful profession in that sense. I opted for dentistry because a lot of my friends were in medical school until their mid 30s and I wanted to be done with formal education when I was 30 and to be around to see my family grown up. A lot of my friends are on call or rotation and their spouse is taking things on in the homefront.”
Guter is also involved locally with the Knights of Columbus and Rotary Club. Guter is married to his wife Kathy and has three adult children. His practice is located on 598 Northridge Road in Circleville.