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Membership in the American Dental Association is available to dentists, dental students, dental educators and researchers. The various membership types have differing requirements so be sure to review the descriptions carefully; membership descriptions and application forms are below. Please call the Department of Membership Information at 312-440-2607 or e-mail membership@ada.org with questions.

  • Tripartite Membership: If you are an active licensed dentist, retired dentist, graduate student or charitable practitioner you may be eligible for tripartite (national, state and local) membership.
  • ADA Direct Membership: If you are a dental student, graduate student, federal dentist, international dentist, dental faculty member without dental license, licensed recent graduate without a place of practice, non-practicing dentist, foreign dentist practicing outside of the U.S., or dental researcher you may be eligible for direct membership.
  • ADA Bylaws and Principles of Ethics

Tripartite Membership

Dentists in private practice in the United States and other licensed dentists join the ADA through their respective constituent or component dental society. Please fill out the tripartite membership application form below and e-mail it to the constituent dental society in your state. Sending it to American Dental Association headquarters will delay the processing.

Interactive Tripartite Application Process

Step 1: Download the Tripartite Membership Application in PDF format

Step 2: Complete the application

Step 2: Save PDF to your computer (select from the menu (top left) File, Save As...)

Step 3: Using your email client, (Hotmail, Yahoo, Outlook) attach and email your completed Tripartite Membership Application PDF to the email address on the third page of the Tripartite application.

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Life Membership

Life members are those members who have been a member for thirty (30) consecutive years or forty (40) total years and are age sixty-five (65) years or older. Members must meet both of the requirements in order to qualify for life membership status.

  • Life members are notified by mail when they have been elected to Life membership in the ADA.

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Retired Life Membership

Retired Life members are active members who are retired from a constituent society and are no longer earning any income from private practice, employment as faculty of a dental school, as a dental administrator or consultant, or any activity in which a license to practice dentistry is required and meet the age and membership years requirement for life membership. To qualify for retired life membership, the member must complete the Affidavit for Retired Membership form and submit it for approval to the component dental society.To find the address for your component dental society, click here

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Retired Membership

Retired Membership is available to an active member in good standing who has been an active member and is now a retired member of a constituent society, if such exists, and is no longer earning an income from the performance of service as a member of the faculty of a dental school, as a dental administrator or consultant, or as a practitioner of any activity for which a license to practice dentistry or dental hygiene is required by the state. Forward this document to your Component Society for approval. To find the address for your component dental society, click here

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Humanitarian Practitioner Membership (This is a dues waiver-not a type of membership)

A category of membership in the ADA is available to dentists who are serving dentistry full-time for a humanitarian organization and who are receiving neither income nor a salary for that service other than a subsistence amount which approximates a cost of living allowance. The member must remain in service continuously for at least one year and not supplement his or her income by the performance of services as a member of the faculty of a dental or dental auxiliary school, as a dental administrator or consultant or as a practitioner of any activity for which a license to practice dentistry or dental hygiene is required.

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ADA Direct Membership

ADA offers direct membership options for dental students, graduate students, federal dentists, international dentists (non-U.S. and U.S. dentists practicing abroad), dental faculty who do not hold a license in the jurisdiction and dental researchers. View the various types below to determine your eligibility. If you have questions please contact us at 312-440-2607 or e-mail membership@ada.org.

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ADA Direct Membership (licensed in different jurisdiction)

Direct membership in the American Dental Association is available to a dentist who is licensed in one constituent society jurisdiction and serving on the faculty of a dental school or receiving compensation as a dental administrator or consultant within another constituent society jurisdiction.

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Affiliate Membership (Non-U.S. dentist practicing abroad)

Affiliate membership in the American Dental Association is available to dentists who are practicing in a country other than the United States who do not have an active U.S. dental license. Dentists whose applications for Affiliate membership are approved receive an ADA membership card, have access to the members-only content areas of ADA.org including an online version of The Journal of the American Dental Association (a hard copy of JADA will be mailed by additional subscription only), are entitled to attend any ADA scientific session, and may purchase items through the ADA Catalog at the special member rate. If you are a dentist practicing in a country designated by the FDI World Dental Foundation as a “least developed and low income” nation, ADA affiliate member dues are $12 for the calendar year. All other Affiliate members pay $75.

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Associate Membership (non-dentist)

Associate membership in the ADA is available to persons who are ineligible for any other type of membership in the Association, who help advance the objectives of the Association, are employed in dental-related education or research, and do not hold a dental license in the United States. Annual dues are for the calendar year January 1 through December 31. Dues include a subscription to The Journal of the American Dental Association. Associate members also receive a membership card and they may attend any scientific session of the Association.

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ASDA and ADA Predoctoral Membership

(Dental Student Membership) Predoctoral dental students join the American Student Dental Association and the ADA at the same time. Dental student membership is available to any dental student attending a U.S. dental school accredited by the ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation.

International Predoctoral Student Membership—Non-U.S. predoctoral dental students may also be eligible for International Predoctoral Dental Student Membership in ASDA and the ADA. To qualify, you must be a predoctoral student of a dental school listed in the World Directory of Dental Schools compiled by the FDI World Federation.

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Federal Dental Service Membership

Direct membership in the ADA is available to dentists who are serving on full-time on active duty with or are exclusively employed by a branch of the Federal Dental Services, including the Air Force, Army, Navy, the U.S. Public Health Service or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or other federal agencies. A retired member of the Federal Dental Services who is serving on a faculty of a dental school or is receiving compensation as a dental administrator or consultant, or who is engaged in any activity for which a license to practice dentistry or dental hygiene is required must hold membership through a constituent and component society for the duration of the activity. Current dental school graduates should download and return the application form rather than apply online.

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Graduate Student Membership

Graduate student membership is available in the ADA to any dentist who is engaged full-time in an advanced training course of not less than one academic year's duration in an accredited school or residency program. If you are entering a graduate program immediately following dental school graduation, graduate student membership maintains your eligibility for the ADA Reduced Dues Program for recent graduates.

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Nonpracticing Dentist Membership

Nonpracticing dentist membership in the American Dental Association is available to any dentist who has a dental degree from any country, resides in the U.S. or its territories, does not hold a U.S. dental license, nor has a revoked U.S. dental license, is not receiving compensation for delivering patient care and is ineligible for any other type of membership in the ADA.

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Provisional Membership

Direct Provisional membership in the ADA is available to new dental school graduates who have not established a practice location, and therefore may be ineligible to join at the constituent and component levels. Provisional membership is also extended to graduates of an unaccredited dental school, who have recently been licensed to practice dentistry in a jurisdiction in which there is a constituent dental society. Provisional membership must be applied for within 12 months of graduation and eligibility will terminate December 31 of the second full calendar year following the year in which the degree was awarded.

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U.S. Licensed Dentists Practicing Abroad Membership

U.S.-licensed dentists currently practicing outside of the United States who are not eligible for membership in a constituent and component dental society may join the ADA directly as international members.

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Waiver of Dues

A full or partial waiver is available to a member in good standing whose circumstances have resulted in a significant financial hardship—including disability, catastrophe, parental leave or medical illness. Charitable organization practitioners may also apply for a full national dues waiver if they are earning a subsistence income.

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