American Dental Association
The American Dental Association has a long and rich history. It began in 1859 when twenty-six dentists met in Niagara Falls, New York to form a professional society.
The ADA today has more than 155,000 dentist members 53 constituent (state-territorial) and 545 component (local) dental societies. It is the largest and oldest national dental association in the world.
Cleveland was a leading city in the ADA!
William Henry Atkinson (1815–1891), pictured above, was the first president of the American Dental Association. He originally trained as a physician but later became interested in dentistry and the opportunities it offered at that time for a young man starting a practice.
He had prominent practices first in Cleveland, OH and later in New York City. He was a well known scholar and clinician of his era and was a frequent contributor of articles to the dental literature. His diverse interests included microscopy and the study of the natural sciences, diagnosis, physiology of the blood, alveolar abscess, decalcified teeth, dental therapeutic agents, dentures and the relation of general to specific practice.