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ADA Reduced Dues Program offers benefits

If you’re a recent graduate who has not yet joined the ADA, you may be eligible for the Reduced Dues Program.

Thousands of new dentists use the program to take advantage of the cost savings the program offers as they make the transition to practice but some aren’t aware it, said Dr. Danielle Ruskin, chair of the ADA New Dentist Committee.

“The Reduced Dues Program makes it easy for nonmembers to join the ADA or lapsed members to re-join,” said Dr. Ruskin. “You can enjoy the benefits of membership at a reduced cost, which is so important to new dentists who are dealing with the financial demands of student loans, practice startup costs and their own young families.”

Membership dues aren’t the only good deal. Accessing valuable member benefits is even more important in these tough economic times, Dr. Ruskin said. “As an example, ADA membership provides cost savings on life and disability insurance and products and services through ADA Business Resources. Once you’re a member, you can start taking advantage of all the benefits of ADA membership,” she said.

The Reduced Dues Program provides savings for recent graduates in the years following dental school graduation. The program requires continuous membership following dental school but many can pay “back dues” in order to come into the program, even if they have a membership gap. Most state and local dental societies offer similar reductions. Here’s how it works:

  • Year 1: You pay $0 in dues.
  • Year 2: You pay 25 percent of full national dues.
  • Year 3: You pay 50 percent of full national dues.
  • Year 4: You pay 75 percent of full national dues.
  • Year 5 and thereafter: You pay 100 percent 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 $30 a year during the program, and are eligible to either begin or resume the Reduced Dues Program schedule upon completion of their training.

How does it work for someone who has not maintained continuous membership? A common scenario is the new dentist who graduated from dental school, went into a general practice residency but did not maintain membership, and now is entering practice so would like to become a member. Payment of just $30—the national rate for graduate students—will make this dentist eligible for the $0 year and the rest of the Reduced Dues Program progression. Similar accommodations may be made based on the applicant’s own situation.

The first few years when a dentist makes the transition from dental education to practice is a time of many changes. But ADA membership has a lot to offer to recent graduates—for example, the ADA New Dentist Committee provides a complimentary New Dentist Resource Kit. To receive a copy, email

For more information or to apply for membership, contact the ADA, visit or contact your state dental society.