The California Dental Association (CDA) recently named its new president for 2017 as Clelan Ehrler, DDS, MS, a retired orthodontist from the San Bernardino area, whose term began Jan 1. Ehrler succeeds immediate past president Kenneth Wallis, DDS.

In a speech to CDA’s House of Delegates, the policymaking body of CDA, Ehrler emphasized the importance of dentists getting involved in organized dentistry at the local dental society level—and the key role organized dentistry has in supporting the profession and charting its course for the future.

“Our local component dental societies, CDA and ADA, depend upon volunteers. We need our volunteers, our members, in order to have a voice in dentistry,” Ehrler says in a release. “In fact, the future of our profession is in our hands.”

Ehrler says it is critical, as an organization, to stay in motion, never remain stagnant, and to continue to advocate for emerging issues on behalf of members and the oral health of Californians.

Clelan Ehrler, DDS, MS

Clelan Ehrler, DDS, MS

“With the steps that have been taken to improve Denti-Cal, we’ve made great progress in the last few years when it comes to expanding access to dental care in California,” Ehrler says. “We look forward to building on this momentum in 2017.”

Ehrler is a graduate of Loma Linda University School of Dentistry. He earned a master of science in orthodontics from Loma Linda and has held numerous CDA leadership positions and served on various committees. Ehrler, who is past president of the Tri-County Dental Society, has also served as a CDA trustee and on the TDIC board of directors.

Ehrler has two sons: Todd Ehrler, DDS, MS, an orthodontist in Redlands, and Brent Ehrler, a professional bass fisherman who lives in Newport Beach.