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JADA to celebrate its first 100 years

Landmark articles, commentaries will highlight centennial

December 10, 2012

By James Berry

The official Bulletin of the National Dental Association, forerunner to The Journal of the American Dental Association, debuted in November 1913—100 years ago next year.

Starting this coming January, JADA will mark its centennial with a series of specially prepared articles and commentaries to be presented in each of its 12 issues throughout the year.

“This is a momentous occasion, an opportunity for ADA members to celebrate their professional journal's central role in the advancement of dental science and dental practice,” said Dr. Michael Glick, JADA editor since 2005.

The ADA's monthly Journal is dentistry's best-read peer-reviewed publication, as reported by Kantar Media, an independent research firm.

“Dental science is central to our profession, and JADA is central to our voice in dental science,” said Dr. Robert Faiella, ADA president. “I have been an avid reader of JADA since my earliest days in dental school. I have seen it grow and improve with the times, and I have seen dentistry grow and improve with JADA's considerable influence.

“As dentists and ADA members, we can all be very proud of our journal and its many contributions to our profession,” the president continued. “My congratulations to Dr. Glick, the JADA Editorial Board, the current JADA staff and to all those who came before in a remarkable century of progress.”

Dr. Glick 
The centennial celebration will kick off with a special January editorial jointly written by Dr. Glick and Dr. Bruce Pihlstrom, JADA's associate editor for research.

A clinical dental researcher who practiced dentistry for more than 30 years, Dr. Pihlstrom also produces JADA's Journal Scan feature. And some months ago, he consented to take on yet another role with JADA: Centennial Editor.

“Perhaps more than any other dental publication, JADA provides a living history that documents the evolution of dentistry from the early 20th century to the present,” Drs. Glick and Pihlstrom note in their editorial.

Dr. Pihlstrom
JADA, they add, has long been “an important source of peer-reviewed scientific information for all health practitioners” and has played a key role in “shaping the direction of our profession and in the prevention and treatment of oral disease.”

After January, each of the 11 JADA issues in 2013 will spotlight a specially selected “landmark” article that was published in JADA over its first century. From February through December, each issue will include a brief excerpt of the landmark article, a link to the full article online, and a commentary on the article and its contribution and importance to dentistry.

Recruited to write the commentaries were health care professionals with firsthand knowledge about the article or its topic, or with a special interest in the topic.

As Centennial Editor, Dr. Pihlstrom—formerly with the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and current professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota—had the task of overseeing the selection of both the landmark articles and commentary authors.

“It was very difficult to narrow the field, very challenging,” he said of the articles. “It was a challenge, but also exciting to be able to look at the last 100 years and attempt to identify articles that could be considered landmarks.”

The selection process was not an exact science, he noted. Other articles—and many additional articles—could have qualified as landmarks. But the assignment was to choose 11.

Dr. Pihlstrom oversaw the process, but he didn't work alone. He consulted dentists from every walk of the profession: general dentists and specialists, private practitioners, educators, public health dentists, other
researchers, men and women. He consulted other health professionals and sources such as the National Library of Medicine, the ADA Library and JADA's own Editorial Board.

“We also talked to some patients to get a sense of how dental care had changed for them over the years,” he said.

To qualify for landmark status, an article had to meet one or more of the following criteria:

• at the time of publication, the article summarized the state of knowledge on a topic of major interest in dentistry;

• it presented or summarized research or knowledge that led to increased understanding of oral disease or its prevention and treatment;

• the article presented or summarized research or knowledge that changed dental or public health practice.

Both JADA and the ADA News are produced within the ADA Publishing Division under Managing Vice President and Publisher Michael D. Springer.

The dental industry, said Mr. Springer, has played a vital role in the growth of the profession and the success of The Journal. “New products and innovations have transformed the practice of dentistry and the oral health of the public,” he said, adding that industry support also has helped make JADA the profession's premier scientific journal.

JADA Editor Michael Glick, who also is dean of the School of Dental Medicine, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, described the ADA Journal as a “catalyst for advancement in dentistry” and both “a witness to and central participant in the history of our profession.”

He added, “All dentists and all the patients they serve have benefited from JADA's contributions to dental science and practice. Let us hope that the next century is as successful and productive as the last.”