Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Partnerships and Commissions
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share

The Value of ADA Membership for New Dentists

ADA New Dentist News sat down with the chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee to talk about the value of membership for new dentists — those ten years or fewer out of dental school

ADA New Dentist News

Let’s start with a simple question; why single out new dentists? Isn’t ADA membership valuable for every dentist?

Dr. Brian Schwab

Oh sure. And there are so many benefits, such as ADA Members Insurance Plans, that are valuable for dentists at every career stage. But I think it’s especially critica

l for new dentists to be members.

I was looking at some numbers…did you know the average dental student debt back in 1990 was about $55,000 (editor’s note: According to the Annual ADEA Survey of Dental School Seniors, the class of 1990 had an average debt of $54,550)? Can you imagine? Even if you adjust that for inflation, you don’t reach six figures. So at that basic, pocketbook level, new dentists face different challenges from previous generations.

And the ADA understands that, which is why the Reduced Dues Program is so important. So, if you earned your D.D.S. or D.M.D. in 2013, then your first year is 2014 and you pay zero dues at the national level. Most state and local dental societies match the national rate. Then your second year out of school you pay 25% at the national level, the third year is 50%, and it keeps going until you are five years out and paying 100%. But you need to maintain continuous membership. And if you go into a specialty or residency program you can join as a graduate student member for $30 and that preserves your eligibility for reduced dues.

ADA NDN

What makes ADA membership valuable for new dentists?

Dr. Brian Schwab

Here’s a real world example. Say you are considering signing a contract to become a provider for an insurance company. Do you fully understand this legal document, including all the potential benefits and pitfalls? The ADA offers a contract analysis service where you can submit an unsigned contract and get a plain-language analysis of the agreement. It’s not a substitute for legal advice, it’s a great tool for making yourself well-informed and it’s absolutely free to ADA members.

As new dentists some of us own practices and some of us work for a practice. I’ve been in both positions, and I can tell you that the ADA Center for Professional Success is a great asset when it comes to those nuts and bolts questions about business. Again, absolutely free but only to ADA members.

ADA NDN

What about the clinical side of dentistry?

Dr. Brian Schwab

There’s JADA of course, with searchable archives online, and the Center for Evidence-Based Dentistry. I think these resources are especially helpful when discussing treatment planning with patients since the ADA name is so well-respected by the public. They see the green ADA sticker on the front door and it helps reassure them that they’ve chosen wisely when selecting a dentist.

ADA NDN

We’ve talked about tools to help new dentists succeed, and ways that ADA can help members be better dentists. Anything else?

Dr. Brian Schwab

As dentists we have to stand up for ourselves, and that means standing together. My practice is in Pennsylvania and every year I participate in our lobby day where hundreds of dentists and dental students come to Harrisburg, the state capital, to show our strength. There really is strength in numbers, and the ADA represents over 158,000 of us. That is huge! There aren’t a lot of professions with those numbers. But the flip side of that is that the numbers don’t just happen, our strength comes from our membership, which means individual dentists joining and renewing membership, one by one.

As a new dentist I want those numbers to be strong today, and I want them to be strong going forward because I’m planning on having a long career (laughs.) Protecting the future of my profession—that is probably the most valuable thing of all! 

New Dentist Now Blog

Curriculum vitae or resume: What’s the difference?
Fri, 26 May 2017 16:22:49 +0000 While many people use resume and curriculum vitae (CV) interchangeably, their formats are quite different and they are not intended for the same audience, according [...]
Want to make an impact on the profession? Become a speaker
Thu, 25 May 2017 14:05:07 +0000 Have you heard about the New and Emerging Speaker Series? I participated last year, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made recently. [...]
Just graduated? ADA creates new graduate resource
Wed, 24 May 2017 14:01:52 +0000 Recognizing that dental school graduates have unique needs, the Association created a web portal to help new dentists plan for success after graduation. The web [...]
Talking finances in a clinical setting
Mon, 22 May 2017 14:03:05 +0000 One of the greatest challenges for many dentists is the need to discuss money with patients. Dentists are people who are devoted to the well-being [...]
Does your website need a refresh?
Fri, 19 May 2017 14:07:36 +0000 Your website is your practice’s presentation to the public. It’s also the foundation for patient education efforts and represents a significant opportunity to enhance your [...]
Employment agreements: The devil’s in the details
Wed, 17 May 2017 14:02:23 +0000 Congratulations! You finished dental school and received an offer to join a practice. That’s terrific news. Or maybe you’re in the position of offering employment [...]
Refinancing my student loans and owning my education
Mon, 15 May 2017 13:57:00 +0000 $254,358.44. This is the amount it cost me for four years of two bachelor’s degrees and four years of a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. [...]
From mother to daughter: ‘That’s why I love dentistry’
Fri, 12 May 2017 14:09:29 +0000 “That’s why I love dentistry.” Her mother’s words still ring in her ears. Growing up in California, Dr. Ruchi Sahota didn’t plan to be a [...]
Top 5 CE online courses dentists are accessing
Thu, 11 May 2017 14:03:55 +0000 Do you wonder what your fellow dentists are learning about? According to ADA CE Online, dentists are most interested in courses relating to sedation, emergency [...]
New Dentist Conference registration opens today
Wed, 10 May 2017 12:00:23 +0000 We’re heading south this year and hope to see you in Atlanta October 19-21. We have an exciting lineup planned for you with three popular [...]