ADA Membership? Not for One in Four Dentists

Dentists and membership in the ADAThe ADA happily represents each and every single general dentist, orthodontist, periodontist, and everyone else, right?

Well… maybe not. When we asked dentists if political disagreements or other differences of opinion had caused them to quit the ADA or their local dental association, one quarter reported that they have quit the ADA or another dental organization.

Read more: Many Dentists Feel Betrayed by the American Dental Association

About Jim Du Molin

+Jim Du Molin is a leading Internet marketing expert for dentists in North America. He has helped hundreds of doctors make more money in their practices using his proven Internet marketing techniques.

  • D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

    The ADA will continue to lose membership until they become responsive. Command-and-control is so old school.

    D. Kellus Pruitt DDS

  • Hello TWD,

    I have a question for you. Isn’t it mandatory for every dentist to be a member of ADA or the local dental organization? It is up to the dentist to choose whethere he will become a member or not ?

    Because things here in Greece are different. You can’t practice dentistry if you don’t pay your membership in Hellenic Dental Association and your local Dental Organization.

    Thanx in advance,

    Dimitris Ioakeimidis, DDS
    Founder of

  • Julie Frey

    Dr. Ioakeimidis,

    Greece is definitely different from the USA in that regard. Membership in the ADA is totally optional.

    In order to practice, dentists must be licensed by their state’s dental board. But that’s separate from the state dental association, which is a voluntary organization some dentists choose to join.

    Basically, dental boards are in charge of licensing dentists. Dental associations lobby on behalf of dentists, though sometimes their efforts can be controversial. (The ADA’s stance on oral conscious sedation is a prime example.)

    Membership in a dental association can also be a dental marketing tool, as patients like the sound of it. But being a member of the ADA just means you’ve paid your dues, not that you’re practicing a higher level of dentistry.

  • Really interesting survey, but I wouldn’t be surprised if most people feel pretty similarly about whatever professional organization they align themselves with. Few ever seem to fully hit the mark with what they’ve set out to do.

    I’ve shared your post with our network over on to see what they think too.

  • Julie, thanx for your answer. Really interesting survey.

    Another thing that differs in Greece, is that the fee that goes to Hellenic Dental Association (the greek “ADA”) is integrated in the fee a dentist has to pay to his local dental board… so noone has the option not to pay for it.

    Find below my review of your survey in

  • Hi Jim and Julie. Love your targeted surveys – you really seem to understand the important issues currently facing dentists and other dental professionals.

    I do have one question about this particular survey, however. In the lead-in to this story and later in the video recap, Julie, you mentioned that “1/4 of dentists reported that they have quit the ADA or another organization.” On the graphic detailing this stat, the caption reads, “Have you dropped the ADA?” I’m just curious how much of the 1/4 of dentists you surveyed have quit the ADA as opposed to “other organizations”? Do you have that data.

    Keep up the great job you two.

  • Julie Frey

    Great question, Cory. Unfortunately, I can’t answer it… our survey didn’t differentiate. But rest assured that if we cover the topic again, we’ll make that distinction.

    And thanks for the kind words!

  • I enjoyed seeing the varying opinions across the country of the ADA. Thanks for doing this survey and sharing.

  • Julie, thanks for clarifying. Making that distinction is important – at least when evaluating dentists’ attitudes regarding the ADA.

    However, distinction aside, the number of dentists that are breaking away from professional dental organizations signals a disturbing trend – and one that we need to analyze.

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