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What is the difference between federal service (FDS) and tripartite membership?

If you are in full-time military or federal government service, you are eligible to apply for FDS membership. This is direct ADA membership at the national level. Tripartite membership—that is, membership at the component (local), constituent (state), and national levels—is required for dentists in private practice. As a federal dentist, you are eligible for tripartite membership if you wish.

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I'm in the reserve. Can I apply for FDS membership?

Sorry, no. Only those who are federally employed on a full-time basis are eligible.

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What are dues for FDS members?

For 2013, full national dues are $522.

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I recently graduated from dental school. Does the FDS membership offer reduced dues for new dentists serving in FDS?

You bet! The ADA offers four years of reduced dues to recent graduates who maintain continuous membership. First-year-out dentists pay $0, while second-year-out pay 25 percent, third-year-out 50 percent and fourth-year-out pay 75 percent. So, for 2013, totals due are $0, $131, $261, and $392, respectively. Full dues are $522.

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I’m currently working for a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), do I qualify for FDS membership?

In order to qualify for FDS membership you must produce a Federal ID or have a contract with the federal government.

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I'm considering a residency or specialty training program. Is there a special rate for me while I'm in this program?

Yes! If you are enrolled in an advanced dental education program, you may qualify for graduate student membership. Dues are just $30 per year. This membership is renewable annually, as long as you continue in the program. Click here for the membership application (PDF) Link opens in separate window. Pop-up Blocker may need to be disabled..

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Do I have to pay my dues all at once?

No, if you would like to sign up for the FDS Membership Dues Installment Payment Program, you can pay your dues in four equal installments in November, January, March and May. Click here for more information.

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I have been an ADA member for almost 30 years. Will I be eligible for life membership?

Yes. Dentists who have been active/retired members for 30 years continuously (or 40 years if there was a break in membership) and are at least 65 years of age qualify for life membership status. The member would be considered an active life member if still practicing dentistry, and would pay 75 percent of full active member dues and assessments. If the member is retired, then the member would be considered a retired life member and would owe no ADA dues or assessments. Members attaining life membership status actually begin paying the life member rate owed the year following completion of the requirements.

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I'm leaving the federal dental services and will be entering private practice. What are my membership options?

If you are in private practice, we encourage you to join as a tripartite member through your state dental society, where you will reap the benefits from state, local and national membership. Please contact your state dental society directly for information about joining or click here (PDF) Link opens in separate window. Pop-up Blocker may need to be disabled. for a tripartite membership application. For a list of state dental society addresses, click here.

Plus, to help you in the transition, the ADA offers the Roadmap to a Successful Dental Practice (PDF) Link opens in separate window. Pop-up Blocker may need to be disabled..

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I am retiring from the federal dental services and don't plan to practice dentistry. What are my membership options?

Please contact the ADA FDS Membership Office by e-mail or telephone 800.232.2083 to request an affidavit of retirement if you are no longer earning income from the practice of dentistry. After you complete and return it and it is approved, you will be eligible for retired membership status the following membership year. Retired members have all the benefits of active members, but pay just 25 percent of national dues.

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I'm moving! How can I let the ADA know my new address?

E-mail your new contact information (address, phone, fax, and e-mail for both your home and office addresses) to the FDS Membership office at fdsmember@ada.org. We'll update your record to keep your ADA publications and other mail coming your way. Be sure to indicate your mailing preference. Or, call the FDS Membership office at 800.232.2083.

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Contact Information
ADA Office of FDS Membership
Telephone: 1-800-232-2083
E-mail: fdsmember@ada.org