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The National Dental Association is a professional organization that represents minority dentists, and is the largest of its kind. On November 14, 1900, the early seeds of the association were planted ahead of its official introduction.

In 1900, some 200 dental professionals gathered in Washington, D.C. to form the Washington Society of Colored Dentists. In 1907, it was renamed the Robert T. Freeman Dental Society in honor of the first Black dental college graduate. The American Dental Association prohibited Black dentists from joining its ranks, which instead of discouraging Dr. D.A. Ferguson, it motivated him.

Under Dr. Ferguson’s leadership, the Tri-State Dental Association was born with support from D.C., Maryland and Virginia professionals. It expanded its membership to 14 states in 1918. As the group grew, it aligned itself with the Interstate Dental Association. In 1932, the combined organization was officially renamed the National Dental Association.

Today, the association boasts around 7,000 members across America, Canada, and Latin America. It intends to expand to Africa, the Middle East, and beyond.

Chief among the NDA’s purpose is to promote dentistry within communities of color, offer professional support and pathways to higher learning in the discipline, and to provide services to undeserved individuals.

The NDA is based in Washington, D.C.

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