AGD turns 60

Feb. 8, 2012
Organization founded Feb. 6, 1952.

CHICAGO, Illinois—On Feb. 6, 1952, Dr. Thaddeus Weclew and several colleagues met in Chicago to create and sign what would be the first charter of the Academy of General Dentistry.

These dentists identified a vacancy in the dental profession—there was no established, consolidated source to provide dentists with continuing education opportunities. At the time, Dr. Weclew and his colleagues believed that CE was “an occasional, haphazard experience for most professionals.”

In 2012, the AGD will celebrate its 60th anniversary, and the core values upon which the AGD was built continue to inspire the organization’s growth.

“AGD members seek to learn the latest clinical techniques and treatments in order to provide patients with the best dental care available,” said AGD President Howard Gamble, DMD, FAGD.

“In its 60 years, the AGD has grown from offering members a handful of courses to hundreds of CE opportunities each year through constituent chapters and the national AGD Annual Meeting & Exhibits. The AGD not only tracks the CE that members earn to help them meet their state licensure requirements, but it also encourages members to pursue achievement-based designations, such as the AGD Fellowship and Mastership awards.”

Although the AGD was founded with an emphasis on CE, the organization has expanded its focus in the past 60 years. The AGD has created a presence at allied dental meetings and on Capitol Hill, advocating at the local and national levels when issues arise that affect the profession.

Additionally, a dentist’s membership in the AGD demonstrates to patients, the public, and other professionals that he or she is committed to lifelong learning and the oral and overall health of the public.

The AGD continues to expand its offerings in the interest of keeping membership current in an evolving professional environment. In recent years, the AGD has created a new practice management conference, started a blog, created a podcast, made its publications available online, launched a consumer-facing Web portal, and developed a comprehensive CE database.

On the other side: practitioner as patient in an implant experience

The philanthropic arm of the AGD, the AGD Foundation, has raised funds to support access to care programs, initiated an annual outreach project (Nation of Smiles, One Smile at a Time), and created a partnership with Special Olympics Special Smiles.

“Through innovative annual meeting programs, social media, and other online endeavors, we want to ensure that our members continue to grow and learn in their fields,” said Dr. Gamble. “Staying at the forefront of dentistry allows our members to improve themselves and the care they offer to their patients. It’s exciting to imagine what opportunities the next 60 years might bring.”

For more information about the AGD, visit

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