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American Dental Association—Leader in Oral Health Care—Celebrates 150th Anniversary

Association highlights remarkable history, reaffirms patient advocacy

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CHICAGO, October 16, 2008—This week, the American Dental Association (ADA), a leader in oral health care and patient advocacy, launched a yearlong celebration of its 150th anniversary at the Association’s annual meeting in San Antonio. An estimated 30,000 dental professionals are attending the meeting.

"The ADA’s 150th anniversary is a critical milestone in the history of our profession and in the life of our Association," said Mark J. Feldman, D.M.D., ADA president. "We hope that all our members across the country will join us in celebrating 150 years of excellence in service to our profession and our patients. We can all take great pride in our accomplishments and in our contributions to the nation's health."

The ADA traces its origins to the mid-19th century when representatives of eight regional dental societies and two dental colleges came together at Niagara Falls, N.Y., to establish a representative body of “stability and character.” They called their fledgling organization the American Dental Association. Over the years, technology has evolved from foot treadle to high-speed and laser drills, the emergence of quick-acting, short-duration anesthetics, and CAD/CAM technology for the creation of restorative devices, such as dental crowns. The ADA is the leading source for oral health information. Seven out of 10 U.S. dentists belong to the ADA with membership estimated at 156,000 dentists.

Launching the ADA’s sesquicentennial year, participants in the annual meeting in San Antonio toured a “Live Operatory Center” featuring the latest in laser, CAD/CAM and 3D imaging technology. Later in the year, anniversary events centered around the ADA Chicago headquarters will include archival and informational exhibits, special publications including an historical coffee table book, a special supplement in the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA), special articles in ADA News and children’s games and information on its Web site, In addition, the ADA plans to commemorate its anniversary through a variety of special public service and outreach activities.

The ADA 150th Anniversary celebration concludes with the Association’s Annual Session in Hawaii in October 2009.

About the American Dental Association

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website