Courtesy of DDS
Diverse Dental Society Logo 22

DDS focuses on diversity and the marginalized

Feb. 3, 2021
In its first year, the Diverse Dental Society (DDS) is thriving and working on its mission to bring culturally diverse dentists and underserved populations together, especially during the pandemic.
Meg Kaiser, Associate Editor

Watch a video about DDS featuring Drs. Anna Munné and Pamela Maragliano-Muniz.

There’s a new organization in dentistry that’s quickly gaining attention in the industry. The Diverse Dental Society (DDS) is a unique entity comprised of three respected and culturally diverse organizations: the Hispanic Dental Association, the National Dental Association, and the Society of American Indian Dentists. These groups celebrate their rich cultures and share a common mission to address unmet needs in under-resourced communities while leveraging their collective impact to eliminate disparities and increase oral health equity.

“We believe in and advocate for oral health access, equity, and education in marginalized communities,” said Anna Munné, DDS, president of the Diverse Dental Society who is from Spain and has her own practice in Houston. “We are an inclusive organization that encourages membership of all dental professionals, regardless of race, color, creed, or national origin. The DDS is for everyone committed to social justice in health.”

Formed in April 2020, DDS promotes interprofessional collaboration and believes the integration of oral health throughout the health-care infrastructure is an essential component to a healthier nation. The group’s manifesto includes dismantling structural racism and advocating for social justice in the health of traditionally disenfranchised populations

So far, the reaction has been very positive,” Dr. Munné said. “We do not anticipate anyone antagonizing our efforts. Although our focus is diverse and marginalized groups, I believe any dentists or members of dental teams who have a different focus will be thrilled with our mission. The members of DDS are strong because together we have more relevance, and we are a bigger force to fight the challenges that our members and our underserved communities are facing.”

She acknowledges that this past year has amplified health disparities and underlying conditions in racial and ethnic minorities, which are populations served by DDS members. DDS provides insights about the impact of oral health and the importance of dental care during the pandemic.

“We’ve been working hard to set up and plan programs, but the pandemic has hindered many of our efforts and plans for outreach events,” Dr. Munné said. One that did recently get off the ground is a video contest sponsored by DDS and Colgate-Palmolive, with the theme “pandemic oral health safety.” “We know we can count on the support of Colgate, which has been behind our mission from the inception,” Dr. Munné said.

“With Colgate in many homes, we want to help create a healthier, cavity-free future for all,” said Dr. Marsha Butler, vice president, global oral health and professional relations of Colgate-Palmolive. “That’s why we support the vision and mission of the DDS and its noble efforts to provide minority health professionals with a platform for addressing the oral health-care needs of vulnerable communities throughout the US.”

The unified and collaborative efforts of the Hispanic Dental Association, the National Dental Association, and the Society of American Indian Dentists will continue to grow and address the unmet oral and health care needs of underserved populations. They’ll achieve this through service, education, outreach, and advocacy, and by impacting and helping to reform health policy. Learn more at