The American Dental Association (ADA) is the largest professional association for dentists in the United States. The ADA's membership includes general dentists and specialized dentists, some of whom may also belong to associations related to their specialty, such as cosmetic dentistry or orthodontics.
The stated mission of the ADA includes a commitment to the public's oral hygiene and dental care, as well as to scientific advancement and the development and maintenance of the highest standards in the oral health profession through ongoing research and advocacy.
The ADA was founded in 1859 in Niagara Falls, N.Y. Today its membership numbers more than 150,000. The ADA also operates the Commission on Dental Accreditation, which is the organization recognized by the United States Department of Education to certify dental degrees and dental education programs in the U.S.
The ADA also serves as a unifier for state and local dental organizations and provides ongoing support and information for newly licensed dentists. In addition, the organization provides news on research and policy/advocacy issues for its member dentists. This helps members stay up-to-date with the latest advancements in oral care, and also with issues relating to insurance and dental practice trends.
Choosing a dentist who is a member of the ADA helps ensure that he or she is well-trained and committed to upholding the highest standards of the dental profession.