History of ADAA

ADAA Principles of Professional Ethics

Mission Statement

To advance the careers of dental assistants through education, credentialing, legislative advocacy, and professional activities that improve the delivery of quality dental health care.

Vision Statement

A community where dental assistants are respected and viewed as integral members of the dental team.

Dental Assistants Oath

In my practice as a dental assistant, I affirm my commitment to improve the oral health of the public, and to promote high standards of quality dental care. I shall faithfully respect the Principles of Professional Ethics by the profession.
I pledge to continually improve my professional knowledge and skills, and to uphold the highest standards of professional competence and personal conduct in the interests of the dental assisting profession and the public I serve.

Who We Are

The American Dental Assistants Association is the oldest, largest group representing professional dental assistants. Its members include clinical personnel, those working chairside with the dentist, as well as those on the administrative side: the receptionist, office manager, practice manager and those working behind the scenes in dental product sales, insurance and, of course, educators.

Established over 90 years ago, the ADAA provides continuing education to dental assistants through home study courses, professional journals and local, state and national meetings with educational agendas. It encourages education, registration and certification for dental assisting professionals while providing a network of personal services for its members. Services such as insurance programs, salary and other surveys and travel and leisure services.

In most areas, the ADAA is served by the state association and often a local component as well. A membership in the ADAA provides membership in all these-national, state and local.

Juliette A. Southard & the American Dental Assistants Association

Employed by NYC dentist Dr. Henry Fowler, in the early 1900's Juliette A. Southard, known for her devotion to her profession and intelligence, utilized her devotion to dental assisting by forming a dental assistants society in 1921 in New York.

Juliette A. Southard’s vision to form a national organization that would bring together dental assistants from across the country did not end with her dental assistants’ society formation in New York. Juliette struggled to break professional barriers and petitioned to receive permission that would allow herself and Jessie Ellsworth, President of the Chicago & Cook County Dental Assistants Association, to attend the 1923 American Dental Association convention held in Cleveland, Ohio. The historical moment for these women would lead to the election of Juliette Southard as President of the newly formed American Dental Assistants Association in 1924 at a Dallas, TX meeting.

Founder: Juliette A. Southard.

The American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA) was founded in 1924, incorporated March 17, 1925 in Chicago, IL.

Awarding Members in Her Honor

Created in 1929 the program was designed to award student members enrolled in dental assisting programs or members taking courses aimed at furthering a career in dental assisting with several available scholarships.

ADAA Student Members have the opportunity to apply for the Juliette A. Southard Scholarship program awarded each year in June deadline for applications March 15.

If you are interested in applying for the Scholarship, please click here.

Why is a Dental Office Manager Necessary? By Juliette A. Southard, New York City

Article written by JAS in The Dental Digest January 1922 Vol XXVIII No. 1

Because in the evolution and progress of the dental profession the demand has been created for better service in the dental office. Patients are no longer satisfied with old-time carelessness and methods.

Because organized effort is the road to achievement and success, and the dental office, like other business, should be governed by efficiency.

Because education has increased the responsibilities of the dentist and makes it necessary for him to keep pace with the ever increasing demands of his profession; he should have time for study and research.

Because it is necessary for him to earn a sufficient income to meet the demands of a comfortable living for himself and those dependent upon him as well as build up a reserve for emergencies and old age, and as his income is derived from professional service he can ill afford to spend any part of his time on routine detail of office management.

Became the detail of conduct of the modern dental office is no small matter and should have the careful supervision of a competent woman possessed of sound business seuse as well as skilled in the art of making the office restful and attractive.

Because it is advisable to have someone in the office who will be courteous and cheerful at all times. Dentists do not always display sunny temperaments and a tactful and sympathetic office manager many times can clear away fancied grievances.

Because refined and discriminative patients, are better pleased if a woman is present during office hours. With children she is invaluable and with nervous patients almost indispensable.

Because the dentist need not waste his valuable time making purchases, doing laboratory work, preparing charts, keeping time records, posting books, sending out statements, interviewing callers, telephoning, cleaning, etc., etc. All these can be cared for by the office manager who with tact and discretion can side track complaints, dispel annoyances and banish time wasters.

Because the competent office manager is the greatest asset in the up-building of a dental practice. There should be an accurate keeping of accounts and records in order to establish remunerative fees and keep down expenses.

Because she collects the cash. After the first sitting at which time the business arrangements are made between patients and doctor, she should have charge of the collections. It lowers professional dignity and prestige if the doctor is forced to ask for money or speak of unpaid bills, lie should never have to handle money or make change. For this service alone the dental office manager is necessary, and is worth many times her salary.

Dental digest, Volume 28 By Dental Protective Association of the United States