"The New Jersey Dental Association serves and supports its members and fosters the advancement of quality, ethical oral healthcare for the public."
Founded in 1870, the New Jersey Dental Association is one of New Jersey's oldest professional associations. Organized on October 25, 1870, as the New Jersey State Dental Society, the NJDA's beginnings go back to the lecture room of the YMCA in Trenton, NJ. Twenty-seven prominent dentists in the state "called" for other dentists to join them in Trenton for a convention for the purpose of forming the society, and to "devise and adopt such other measures as may be deemed essential to our mutual improvement, and for the elevation of our common profession."
The New Jersey State Dental Society held its first annual convention in Newark, July 11 and 12, 1871, with Dr. J. Hayhurst, of Lambertville, NJ, as its first president. Over the years, the annual convention has been held at several other sites across New Jersey, most recently again in Newark.
New Jersey's delegates to the American Dental Association (ADA) made their debut at the ADA meeting in 1873. At this meeting, the subjects considered were toothaches, capping pulps, and treating diseased pulps.
Annual meeting continued and membership grew exponentially. The NJDA is credited with forming the state's first Board of Dental Examiners, which tested dentists to ensure their knowledge and abilities. Throughout the years, NJDA has also worked with the state government, the private sector and the medical community to ensure good oral health to the citizens of New Jersey as well as maintain the high standards of the dental profession.
As the Society grew, members wanted to form even more localized groups, yet still retain their New Jersey and ADA membership. This gave birth to the tripartite form of membership. Members of the NJDA are also members of their component society (a more localized group of dentists which usually operates at the county level) and the ADA. The NJDA has been a constituent of the ADA since 1948.
In November 1969, the New Jersey State Dental Society's House of Delegates approved and adopted a name change to the New Jersey Dental Association, which became effective in July 1970. And in 1972, the NJDA moved from its offices in Camden to its current location on Route One in North Brunswick.
Two thirds of all licensed practicing dentists in New Jersey, are members of the NJDA-and we continue to grow.
The New Jersey Dental Association continues to serves its mission of caring for and serving the public and the profession. It supports public dental health initiatives, such as GIve Kids a Smile, and other programs that provide free treatment to various populations.
Additionally, the NJDA strongly supports the appointment of a state dental director to promote and advocate for good oral health to all the citizens of New Jersey. Most recently, the NJDA has been at the forefront of the fight against opioid abuse, and was the first state association in the nation to publish and distribute guidelines to its members on this critical issue.