Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share
News Releases

Dr. Usa Bunnag Chosen as 2017 ADA Humanitarian Award Recipient

October 16, 2017

Contact Information:

ATLANTA, Oct. 16, 2017 — Usa Bunnag, D.D.S., of Bethesda, Maryland, will receive the 2017 American Dental Association Humanitarian Award at the Opening General Session of ADA 2017 – America’s Dental Meeting. The award will be presented by ADA President Gary L. Roberts, D.D.S.

Dr. Bunnag is best-known for her organization Smiles on Wings, which has carried out biannual dental volunteer trips to her native Thailand since 2003. In 2014, with partial funding from the ADA Foundation Post-Tsunami Dental Reconstruction Program, Smiles on Wings built a permanent dental clinic to serve the community.
Dr. Bunnag’s work in the U.S. has been an equal labor of love. She works extensively with Bethesda-area Medicaid and refugee programs, in addition to serving a Washington D.C. community of Buddhist monks since 1996.
“It is my honor to be the first woman to receive this award and I would like to dedicate this award to my mother who instilled in me the importance of giving and being altruistic,” Dr. Bunnag said. “My message for all the young girls out there in villages around the world and to young immigrant children in the US is keep on dreaming. Don’t stop believing in yourself. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve your dream.”

The ADA Humanitarian Award recognizes dentist members who have distinguished themselves by giving at least 10 years to improving the oral health of underserved populations in the U.S. and abroad. The award includes $10,000 that is given to the dental charity/project of the recipient's choice.

To learn more about Dr. Bunnag, read this story in ADA News.

About the ADA

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 162,000 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