Frequently Asked Questions about ADA Membership

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How much are ADA dues?
In 2021, full national dues for an ADA member are $573. Recent dental school graduates, graduate students, internationals, and retired members pay a reduced rate. ADA dues at the national level are set each fall by the ADA House of Delegates. Local and state dental society dues vary by location.
What does "tripartite" mean?
The word “tripartite” means “composed of three parts.” The three parts of ADA membership—through your component (local) dental society, constituent (state and district or territory) dental society, and American Dental Association—complement each other. Each level offers valuable benefits and resources to members.

Almost all U.S. dentists are tripartite members and they join and maintain their memberships through their constituent dental society.
 
Can I join the ADA directly?
Dental students join the ADA through the American Student Dental Association. A small number of other categories are eligible for direct membership in the ADA (see Join the ADA for descriptions and applications).  However most dentists join the ADA and maintain membership through their constituent (state and district or territory) dental society.
Who is eligible for ADA Membership?
Dentists in the U.S. and abroad and U.S. dental students and graduate students are eligible for ADA membership.
What is the membership year?
The ADA membership year runs from January 1 to December 31.
What is the ADA reduced dues program?
If you earned your D.D.S. or D.M.D. in 2019, your year 1 is 2020. Here’s how it works:

Year 1: You pay $0 in dues.
Year 2: You pay 50% of full national dues.
Year 3: You pay 100% of full national dues.

Recent graduates who enter into a graduate or residency training program within the five years following dental school graduation pay the graduate student rate of $0 a year during the program, and are eligible to either begin or resume the Reduced Dues Program schedule upon completion of their training.

Is membership automatic for new dentists?
After you graduate, your membership with the ADA begins with a Provisional year. Your Provisional year is a free membership year at the national level (many state and local dental societies also offer this benefit) and provides you with access to all ADA resources to support important decisions you’ll be facing as you begin your career. The Provisional year is also referred to as the first year of the ADA’s Reduced Dues Program. As soon as you begin to practice dentistry, be sure to reach out to your state dental society so that you can get the most out of ADA membership on a local level. 
Are there prorated dues?
The membership year is the same as the calendar year. The ADA extends a discount of national-level dues for eligible new members who join mid-year or during the fourth quarter of the year, provided they have not paid the quarter-year dues rate in a previous year.
How do I renew my membership?
You will receive an invoice before your dues are due on January 1. Many state societies offer installment payment programs and/or accept credit card payments.
I let my membership lapse! What should I do?
In most cases, reinstating your membership is easy—just contact your constituent dental society (state, district or territory) or, if you are a direct ADA member, contact the ADA at 312.440.2500. Many ADA benefits (such as insurance) require current membership and a lapse in membership negatively affects your eligibility for life membership.
I'm relocating - does my membership move with me?
You will need to transfer your membership to your new location. Please let both your original local and state societies know of your move, and then contact the local and state dental society at your new location. Your national ADA membership will continue, but please update your address, telephone, and email contact information in order to keep your publications and other member communications coming your way.

Either log in to your MyADA account and manually update your information through our streamlined interface, or contact the ADA at 312-440-2500 or membership@ada.org to update your contact information. 
What is life membership?
An active or retired member dentist in good standing for at least 30 consecutive years or a total of 40 years, if there was a break in membership, and who has reached 65 years of age or older the previous calendar year is eligible for life membership. Member dentists who attain the requirements for life membership while still practicing (active life members) pay 100% of full active dues and 100% of any mandatory assessment. Members who qualify for life membership and are retired and have submitted an affidavit attesting to these qualifications to their state and local society, if such exists, pay $0 as a retired life member at the ADA level. Check with your state society for dues owed as life member at the state and local level.
What is retired membership?
ADA members who retire from the practice of dentistry and do not earn income from performing any dental-related activity become eligible for retired membership the year following retirement. An affidavit of retirement is required to be submitted to your state dental society (or to the ADA, if you are a direct member).  Retired members pay twenty-five percent (25%) of the full active dues and any mandatory assessment.