American Student Dental Association (ASDA)
Established in 1971, the American Student Dental Association has addressed the needs of dental students nationwide for almost 30 years. It is the nation’s largest organization of dental students with a membership that boasts about 86% of all students. ASDA enjoys a close, fraternal relationship with the ADA yet maintains a political and financial autonomy; it is an association administered by and for the students. The ASDA’s governing body has a national president, two vice-presidents, ten trustees from the ten national regions and twelve consultants who represent students on the education, hospitals, insurance, legislation, minority affairs, national board examinations, practice management and public health committees, to name but a few. These same consultants represent ASDA on the corresponding councils of the ADA. The House of Delegates is made up of two students from each school, the ASDA president and president-elect. These two delegates hold a voting seat at the national convention where the issues of importance are decided.
ASDA protects and advances the rights, interests and welfare of dental students. It introduces students to lifelong involvement in organized dentistry and provides services, information, education, representation and advocacy. It has 20,000 members nationwide (1,000 are pre-dentals) and a chapter at each of the 65 U.S. dental schools.