Presidents

ADA presidents serve year-long terms. They're elected to uphold our mission and support our members.

A photograph of the ADA president 2021-2022, Dr. Cesar R. Sabates, standing in the lobby of the ADA building in front of the American Dental Association sign.

Messages from the ADA presidents

ADA Contributes $5 Million to Dental Insurance State Ballot Initiative

Dear Colleagues,

As I meet with dental professionals from across the country, I am asked, “What is the ADA doing to help?” on the issue of dental insurance. Dental insurance is one of the most frustrating issues for dentists. And as doctors, we want our patients to get the most value possible for the dental insurance premiums they pay.

Well, I have good news to share. The American Dental Association has committed $5 million in support of a statewide ballot initiative—Question 2 in Massachusetts—that would require dental insurance companies to spend at least 83% of premium dollars collected on dental services or refund the difference to patients, as opposed to insurance companies using the money for executive salaries or other administrative costs.

This type of percentage requirement—called a medical loss ratio (MLR)—is already in effect in Massachusetts for medical health insurance. Voting yes on question 2 would establish the same type of requirement for dental insurance in that state as well. The ADA is proud to join with the Massachusetts Dental Society to help support this measure, and we are asking for your support as well. Please consider financially contributing to the campaign to support a YES vote on Massachusetts Question 2.

Why? Because if we win in Massachusetts, it will be a watershed moment for patients and dentistry, setting a precedent that could herald future change for dental insurance across the country.

Dental insurance companies will oppose our efforts and try to scare voters. They may claim that by voting yes, dental insurance premiums will likely have to increase. Our campaign needs the resources to counter this negative messaging so the public realizes that voting yes will hold the dental insurance companies accountable when it comes to the hard earned dollars patients have paid in premiums.

Dental plans should serve patients first and foremost, and the companies that offer them should welcome transparency and accountability, rather than hide from it.

I encourage everyone across the country who wants to see dental insurance companies held accountable for spending premium dollars collected on actual patient care to stand with us and financially contribute to this campaign here.

Your contribution to Massachusetts Dental Care Providers for Better Dental Benefits can set the stage for dental insurance change one state at a time. Check out www.voteyeson2fordental.com for more information on the ballot measure.

Every dollar contributed is important. ALL dentists, dental team members and patients are the beneficiaries of this initiative. We are a dental family standing together to protect and advocate for our patients.

Sincerely,
Cesar R. Sabates, D.D.S.
President, American Dental Association

Will You See One?

Dear Colleagues:

As a child, I watched my father go the extra mile to take care of his patients and give back to our community as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. I couldn’t have known it then, but his example was shaping what would become one of my personal guiding principles and my professional philosophy: Of those to whom much is given, much is required.

I’ve carried this belief with me throughout my career, following my father’s footsteps and always looking for ways to give back. Twenty-five years ago, I had my first opportunity to work with Dental Lifeline Network, which provides free, comprehensive dental care for the elderly, those who are medically fragile, or people with permanent disabilities. Working with DLN and its flagship program Donated Dental Services (DDS) has offered me a firsthand look at the positive effect that our profession has on the people in our communities who need our care, and for many reasons, have gone without.

Through DDS, I recently worked with Gloria, who sacrificed her own health while she served as the primary caretaker for both her husband, who suffers from cancer, and her mother, who has a disability. Today, after 13 surgical procedures, Gloria’s oral health and function have been restored.

To me, Gloria’s story—and that of the 165,000+ people DDS has served since its inception in 1985—demonstrates that our impact as dentists goes far beyond what we might consider all in a day’s work. Imagine what patients feel when they leave our care. When they are able to live without pain, to enjoy a meal, and to smile with confidence, we have made an improvement on a fellow human being’s quality of life. And that is the true work of a dentist.

With 7,000 patients currently on the national DDS waitlist, there is a great opportunity for ADA dentists to make a difference. Will you see one? It's easy—DLN screens patients, coordinates appointments, and handles all the paperwork. You determine the treatment plan and see patients in your office on your own schedule.

Click here for more information about volunteering with Dental Lifeline Network. You just may change a life.

Thank you,

Cesar R. Sabates, D.D.S. President, American Dental Association

ADA Strongly Encourages COVID-19 Vaccination

Dear Colleagues,

You may have seen recent news coverage about a number of health organizations calling for mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations for health care workers. You might have wondered—what is the ADA’s stance?

The ADA strongly encourages dental professionals to be vaccinated for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The ADA is not calling for mandated vaccination.

ADA policy, “Infection Control in the Practice of Dentistry (Trans.2012:470; 2019:266)” recommends vaccination in accord with what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends. Currently, the CDC doesn’t recommend mandated COVID-19 vaccination for health care professionals. In the future, if the CDC changes its recommendation, the ADA will be sure to share this news so you and your dental team can ensure you are following all applicable rules and regulations. For more information on current CDC guidelines specifying which immunizations are recommended for healthcare workers, including those in dental practices, please visit ADA.org (member log in required), and be sure to follow rules and regulations applicable to your location or employment situation.

I’m a very strong believer in vaccination, and I hope, as a health care professional, that you are, too. Back in December 2020, I shared this same photo of myself being vaccinated, and I encouraged you to also take a shot to help end the pandemic.

The ADA was a staunch advocate for inclusion of dental professionals in Phase 1A of COVID-19 vaccine distribution, and we were successful. The CDC included us in the Phase 1A recommendation with final authority resting with individual states to prioritize populations to be offered the vaccine. Once eligible to receive the vaccine, many of you shared your own photos of being vaccinated.

Dentistry is a science and evidence-based profession, so I wanted to share some data with you. The ADA Health Policy Institute (HPI) surveyed dentists and found nearly 90 percent (89.8 percent) of dentists reported being fully vaccinated for COVID-19, while 93.4 percent of dentists reported receiving at least one dose. Clearly, dental professionals are doing their part to limit the spread of the virus, but we must keep at it.

As we continue to hear about rising infection rates due to the Delta variant, I want to repeat to you what I noted in my December 2020 message: Dentists are essential health care providers whose leadership, counsel, and example will go a long way in building vaccine confidence in our nation. Let’s do our part to move public health forward. If you haven’t already been vaccinated, please get vaccinated and encourage your team members and patients to do the same.

Let’s take our shot to help end this pandemic!

Daniel J. Klemmedson, D.D.S., M.D.

ADA presidents

2021-Present
2021-Present

Cesar R. Sabates

2020-2021
2020-21

Daniel J. Klemmedson

2000-2020
2019-20

Chad P. Gehani

2018-19

Jeffrey M. Cole

2017-18

Joseph P. Crowley

2016-17

Gary L. Roberts

2015-16

Carol Gomez Summerhays

2014-15

Maxine Feinberg

2013-14

Charles H. Norman III

2012-13

Robert A. Faiella

2011-12

William R. Calnon

2010-11

Raymond F. Gist

2009-10

Ronald L. Tankersley

2008-09

John S. Findley

2007-08

Mark Feldman

2006-07

Kathleen S. Roth

2005-06

Robert M. Brandjord

2004-05

W. Richard Haught

2003-04

Eugene Sekiguchi

2002-03

T. Howard Jones

2001-02

D. Gregory Chadwick

2000-01

Robert M. Anderton

1980-2000
1999-00

Richard F. Mascola

1998-99

S. Timothy Rose

1997-98

David A. Whiston

1996-97

A. Gary Rainwater

1995-96

William S. Ten Pas

1994-95

Richard W. D’Eustachio

1993-94

James H. Gaines

1992-93

Jack H. Harris

1991-92

Geraldine T. Morrow

1990-91

Eugene J. Truono

1989-90

R. Malcolm Overbey

1988-89

Arthur A. Dugoni

1987-88

James A. Saddoris

1986-87
1985-86

Abraham Kobren

1984-85

John L. Bomba

1983-84

Donald E. Bentley

1982-83

Burton H. Press

1981-82

Robert H. Griffiths

1980-81

John J. Houlihan

1960-1980
1979-1980

I. Lawrence Kerr

1978-79

Joseph P. Cappuccio

1977-78

Frank P. Bowyer

1976-77

Frank F. Shuler

1975-76

Robert B. Shira

1974-75

Lynden M. Kennedy

1973-74

Carlton H. Williams

1972-73

Louis A. Saporito

1971-72

Carl A. Laughlin

1970-71

John M. Deines

1969-70

Harry M. Klenda

1968-69

Hubert A. McGuirl

1967-68

F. Darl Ostrander

1966-67

William A. Garrett

1965-66

Maynard K. Hine

2012

Fritz A. Pierson

1963-64

James P. Hollers

1962-63

Gerald D. Timmons

1961-62

John R. Abel

1960-61

Charles H. Patton

1940-1960
1959-60

Paul H. Jeserich

1958-59

Percy T. Phillips

1957-58

William R. Alstadt

1956-57

Harry Lyons

1955-56

Bernard C. Kingsbury

1954-55

Daniel F. Lynch

1953-54

Leslie M. Fitzgerald

1952-53

Otto W. Brandhorst

1951-52

LeRoy M. Ennis

1950-51

Harold W. Oppice

1949-50

Philip E. Adams

1948-49

Clyde E. Minges

1947-48

Harvey B. Washburn

1946-47

Sterling V. Mead

1944-46

Walter H. Scherer

1943-44

Charles R. Wells

1942-43

J. Ben Robinson

1941-42

Oren A. Oliver

1940-41

Wilfred H. Robinson

1920-1940
1939-40

Arthur H. Merritt

1938-39

Marcus L. Ward

1937-38

C. Willard Camalier

1936-37

Leroy M. S. Miner

1935-36

George B. W. Winter

1934-35

Frank M. Casto

1933-34

Arthur C. Wherry

1932-33

George W. Dittmar

1931-32

Martin Dewey

1930-31

Robert T. Oliver

1929-30

Robert B. Bogle

1928-29

Percy R. Howe

1927-28

Roscoe H. Volland

1926-27

Henry L. Banzhaf

1925-26

Sheppard W. Foster

1924-25

Charles N. Johnson

1963

William A. Giffen

1922-23

John P. Buckley

1921-22

Thomas B. Hartzell

1920-21

H. Edmund Friesell

1900-1920
1919-20

John V. B. Conzett

1918-19

Clement V. Vignes

1917-18

William H. G. Logan

1916-17

Lafayette L. Barber

1915-16

Thomas P. Hinman

1914-15

Donald M. Gallie

1913-14

Homer C. Brown

1912-13

Frank O. Hetrick

1911-12

Arthur R. Melendy

1910-11

Edward S. Gaylord

1909-10

Burton L. Thorpe

1908-09

Vines E. Turner

1907-08

William Carr

1906-07

Adelbert H. Peck

1905-06

Mark F. Finley

1904-05

Waldo E. Boardman

1903-04

Charles C. Chittenden

1902-03

Llewellyn G. Noel

1901-02

James A. Libbey

1900-01

Greene V. Black

1880-1900
1899-00

B. Holly Smith

1898-99

Harvey J. Burkhart

1897-98

Thomas Fillebrown

1896-97

James Truman

1894-96

James Y. Crawford

1892-94

John D. Patterson

1891-92

William W. Walker

1890-91

Alison W. Harlan

1889-90

Matthew W. Foster

1888-89

Charles R. Butler

1887-88

Dr. Frank Abbot, of New York City, was elected twenty­ seventh president of the Association at the 1887 meeting at Niagara Falls.

1886-87

Walter W. Allport

1885-86

William C. Barrett

1884-85

John N. Crouse

1883-84

Edwin T. Darby

1882-83

William H. Goddard

1881-82

Henry A. Smith

1880-81

Cyrus N. Peirce

1860-1880
1875-76

Aaron L. Northrop

1874-75

Mason S. Dean

1873-74

Thomas L. Buckingham

1872-73

Phineas G. C. Hunt

1871-72

George H. Cushing

1870-71

William H. Morgan

1869-70

Homer Judd

1868-69

Jonathan Taft

1867-68

Ambrose Lawrence

1866-67

Chauncy P. Fitch

1865-66

Christopher W. Spalding

1864-65

John H. McQuillen

1861

William H. Allen

1862-1863

George Watt

1860-62

William H. Atkinson