Dr. Tara Cash, MDA Dentist of the Year

Recognizing a member who's demonstrated outstanding service to the MDA, profession and/or to the community in the past year.

Tara CashDr. Tara Cash, an orthodontist in Springfield, Mo., has been named the 2022 Missouri Dental Association (MDA) Dentist of the Year Award winner. She was honored at the Association’s annual awards banquet hosted during its House of Delegates in Jefferson City, November 4, 2022.

The Dentist of the Year Award recognizes a member dentist who has demonstrated outstanding service to the Association, to the profession of dentistry and/or to the community in the past year.

Dr. Cash was chosen for her transformational work to develop local, dentist-led therapies for lip and tongue ties in newborns. She began in 2015 after being made ware of an unmet need. At that time newborns and their families had to drive hours out of area to access services, an insurmountable barrier for many. In the first year Dr. Cash completed approximately 30 cases; since then, Dr. Cash has expanded her work, and in 2021 more than 400 procedures were performed. Doing these locally in her office saves the patient and their families time and money and is much less invasive. Dr. Cash has evolved in her role beyond serving solely as a provider of this service and now collaborates with other experts in the fields of speech pathology and medicine. She has been a presenter to the Greene County Tongue Tie and Lactation Conference among other student, professional and community groups. Local healthcare systems have taken notice and new programs currently are in development within the Springfield community to increase offerings for this service.

A second special accomplishment of Dr. Cash is concluding eight years as Chairperson of the Greater Springfield Dental Society’s robust Children’s Dental Health Month Screening program—a monumental undertaking as Springfield Public Schools constitutes one of the largest districts in the state with more than 37 schools. Dr. Cash, with the help of her staff and volunteers, has coordinated this large-scale project adeptly, including maintaining a dental health presence among school children during the logistical difficulties of the recent pandemic.

She is a member of the American Dental Association, MDA and Greater Springfield Dental Society, as well as Women in Orthodontics and the American Association of Orthodontists.

Dr. Cash is a former board member and president of the Ronald McDonald House Charities “Tooth Truck” and has been recognized as a 40 Under 40 by the Springfield Business Journal. In addition to serving as the current president of the Greater Springfield Dental Society, she is a longtime member of the Selection Committee for the Weaver Grant administrated under the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.

She earned both her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree (2006) and Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics specialty degree (2008) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. She practices at Cash Family Orthodontics alongside her father, Dr. Jerry Cash.

Click here to view the "Prize Patrol" video honoring Dr. Cash.