David J. Manzanares, D.D.S.

Second vice president candidate

ADA Elections 2022

Candidates seeking ADA-elected offices prepared platform statements and profiles for the ADA News. Each candidate was sent a profile form with the same questions and asked to list no more than five items for professional memberships, volunteer posts/elective offices and main qualifications. Publication of these statements and profiles should not be construed as an endorsement of any candidate by the ADA News or other staff of the ADA or its subsidiaries. These statements and profiles are presented as information for Association members.

The candidates included are those who — as of Aug. 2 — had decided to seek office through the upcoming Association elections being held concurrently with the Oct. 15-18 House of Delegates in Houston. The candidates’ profiles and statements are also available on ADA.org for Association members only.

A Photograph of David J. Manzanares, D.D.S.
David J. Manzanares, D.D.S.

Campaign Statement

If an organization is to remain relevant, it must reflect the needs, thoughts and composition of its members. A variety of perspectives matter. As an employee dentist still early in my career, I believe I can offer a fresh perspective to the Board, which is representative of the “rank and file” member of the last decade. It is critical that we demonstrate value through our dedication to our core values and make the ADA an organization every dentist believes truly represents them. We need to address the challenges facing our profession, starting with:

  • Addressing educational debt: Many of our profession’s economic challenges, from practice transition to evolving practice models, stem from the massive debt incurred for education. A dental education must be a sustainable investment.
  • Maintaining the doctor-patient relationship: No third party, be it a payer or employer, should interfere with clinical care.
  • Preventing the commoditization of our profession: Dentists must be the key driver of dentistry.

The ADA is our voice to address these challenges, and we need to ensure it remains strong so we can represent every dentist. I am asking for your vote for ADA second vice president to strengthen your voice.


Current residence: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Dental school attended: University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry

Year received dental degree: 2009

Postgraduate education/specialty: Mastership, Academy of General Dentistry

Years of ADA membership (include ASDA membership): 17

Other professional memberships:

  • Academy of General Dentistry.
  • American Equilibration Society.
  • American College of Dentists.
  • International College of Dentists. Volunteer

Posts/elective offices held in organized dentistry:

  • Secretary/treasurer, New Mexico Dental Association.
  • ADA Council on Communications.
  • Chair, ADA Volunteer Engagement Program.
  • Director, NMDA Foundation Board of Directors.
  • Conference chair, Fiesta NMDA (NMDA Annual Session).

What are your main qualifications for the office you seek?

  • Values: A steadfast commitment to ADA core values. I believe the public should respect our integrity as much as our clinical skills and knowledge.
  • Experience: I am an employee dentist who has extensive experience working with underserved communities and am familiar with the challenges and opportunities that may emerge with various practice models.
  • Resourcefulness: For the past seven years, I have served as the secretary/ treasurer of the NMDA. I understand the challenges of trying to create a consistent and meaningful member experience in a small state with limited resources.
  • Innovation: As the original author of several resolutions which have passed through the House of Delegates, I am a pragmatic problem-solver.
  • Empathy: As a graduate of the ADA Institute for Diversity in Leadership, I understand how important it is that we seek input from all dentists, across all walks of life.

Why do you want to be an ADA officer?
I became a dentist because I wanted to help people while being able to control my destiny. Though we face many challenges, I believe the ADA is our conduit to make opportunities out of those challenges. The ADA has given voice to my ideas. It has empowered me and has given me ownership over my profession. I want every dentist to feel the same way. This is a membership which, if you are engaged, you will find it matters.

We need to be willing to question the status quo. We need to be willing to look for pragmatic solutions, even if it requires “outside the box” thinking. We need to consider many new perspectives as we chart the future of the ADA. As the next second vice president, I will listen to your story and make sure it is heard at the Board.