February 6, 2002, marks the 50th anniversary of the Academy of General Dentistry. In the past 50 years, the Academy has risen to the forefront of the profession and built a solid reputation as the premier dental organization committed to helping dentists stay up-to-date with new research, new technologies and new products through lifelong learning.
Dentistry promises to evolve over the next 50 years. For a patient, this means it's increasingly important to find out how their dentist stays current and up-to-date within the dental profession. A dentist dedicated to continuing education can provide a consumer and his family with enhanced confidence knowing that their dentist believes in quality patient care.
"Most of our members average more than 40 hours of continuing education per year, which exceeds the amount most states require for relicensure," says Howard W. Zuckerman, DDS, MAGD, president of the Academy. "Our continuing education requirements help our members provide their patients with the best possible care."
History of the Academy
The Academy of General Dentistry was conceived during the Golden Age of dentistry, when technological advances and clinical knowledge had reached new heights and the intrusion of government and insurance companies was at a minimum.
During this time, continuing education within the dental profession fell short. Good lectures were scarce and hands-on courses were impossible to find.
Academy founders created and signed the charter of the Academy of General Dentistry during their first meeting on February 6, 1952 in Chicago. The new association encouraged commitment to lifelong learning within the dental profession and set high standards for a commitment to excellence.
The Academy Today
Fifty years later, the Academy's vision is global. The Academy's 37,000 members are served by hundreds of volunteers at the constituent and international level.
Twenty-four councils steer the Academy. More than 80 staff members work for Academy members at the national office in Chicago. The Academy's Annual Meeting represents the best continuing education value of the year for general dentists, gathering top clinicians to provide a full year's worth of continuing education in one place.
The Academy sets the agenda for general dentists, by being involved with other professional groups and government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute for Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR).
Answering the call of the Surgeon General's 2000 report on oral health, the Academy is at the forefront in the campaign to ensure access to dental care for all, while protecting the autonomy of general dentists and their professional right to define what constitutes appropriate care.
Is Your Dentist a Member of the Academy?
The Academy cares about the patient-dentist relationship and offers the following free resources:
* By calling 1-877-2X-A-YEAR (1-877-292-9327) toll-free, callers can get the names and contact information to three Academy general dentists in their area.
* By visiting the Academy's Web site, www.agd.org, consumers can find an Academy member dentist, search over 300 oral health topics and post a dental question online.