Founded by Oliver Wendell Holmes senior, the Academy's rich history includes many notable and famous individuals; our membership continues to grow and flourishes in our proud tradition of service.
"To promote the cultivation of the science and art of Dentistry, sustain and elevate the professional character of dentists, and encourage mutual improvement."
- Dr. William Thomas Green Morton
Two years after the civil war ended the country was at peace. That was in 1867, dentistry was just "cutting it's first teeth." A new organization was born and named The American Academy of Dental Science. The records of the academy have been meticulously kept and are a priceless chronicle of the development of dentistry in america. The Academy has always fostered a strong interest in dental education and until comparatively recent times drew its Fellows primarily from dental educators. It has been characteristic of the Academy to exhibit a general rather than a local interest in dentistry. The Academy sent delegates to the American Dental Association conventions. It took a firm stand on all the important issues affecting dentistry. It made an appeal to act from a higher nature not a mercenary one and commended more gratuitous operations in relief of the suffering. The concepts of professional dignity and nobility is repeatedly and indelibly inscribed in the records of the Academy.
In 1867, Elisha T. Wilson, the first president of the American Academy of Dental Science concisely expressed the mission of the AADS:
“To promote the cultivation of the Science and Art of dentistry, sustain and elevate the professional character of dentists and encourage mutual improvement.”
In 2017, 150 years later these words remain as the scaffolding of the AADS mission as it moves forward to 2067.
The “science” of dentistry must always be guided by the most current scientifically derived principles, procedures and technology in the treatment and prevention of the oral diseases.
The “art of dentistry” is the process of integration and application of complex and multivariate knowledge for the treatment of oral disease.
The concept of “professional character” from a contemporary perspective includes: (1) interactions with patients in partnerships to maintain health and (2) making contributions to the larger community to encourage and support broader understanding and effective action to improve dental health.
“Encouragement of mutual improvement” includes the pursuit of lifelong professional education with colleagues, students, researchers and other health care providers.
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