Second Opinion: Don't forget about this honor society

By Dr. Dan Ninan, contributing writer

July 15, 2021 -- In her June article, contributing writer Dr. Teresa Yang named four of the most distinguished dental honor societies. In this follow-up piece, Dr. Dan Ninan profiles one more premier honor society, the Academy of Dentistry International.

When listing some of the most well-recognized dental honor societies, I'd like to add the Academy of Dentistry International (ADI). The ADI was established in 1974 by Dr. Albert Wasserman, and it is the honor society for science and global oral health. Currently, there are more than 3,000 fellows in more than 86 countries.

Dr. Dan Ninan
Dr. Dan Ninan. All images courtesy of the ADI.

In addition to the ADI, the ADI Foundation (ADIF) sponsors dental education, research, and patient care projects that directly aid in improving the dental and oral health and well-being of people worldwide. The foundation actively participates in projects such as caring for children who have maxillofacial disfigurements in the rural poor of Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean region.

Together with the ADIF, the ADI has provided dental textbooks and journals to dental schools and their libraries in developing countries. The ADI also frequently collaborates with the International College of Dentists (ICD) to provide seminar continuing education (CE) courses on volunteerism.

The ADI has cosponsored international events to actively promote the ADI's mission of supporting science and global oral health. For instance, the ADI cosponsored the scientific program for the first International Dental Congress and Expodent in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, which was the first major Southeast Asian scientific program and trade exhibition in the country, with more than 2,000 dentists from Vietnam and neighboring countries attending.

In 2019, just before the COVID-19 pandemic, the ADI held the Oral Health Conclave & Convocation in Chennai, India. That event hosted more than 3,000 dentists, students, high-ranked politicians from state governments, deans of six university dental schools from multiple countries, and presidents of several national dental associations from neighboring countries, among others.

The ADI logo
The ADI logo.

In addition, the ADI has been taking steps to make an even more significant impact on global oral health. In 2015 the ADI became the first honorary dental organization affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information as a nongovernmental organization (NGO). Subsequently, the ADI was granted special consultative status to the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.

ECOSOC status is unique for oral health membership organizations. This status enables the ADI to have a loud and direct voice for global oral health to be heard at the highest levels of the United Nations' member states, the U.N. Secretariat, and agencies.

The ADI is also a full member of the Noncommunicable Disease Alliance, which unites more than 2,000 organizations in more than 170 countries. Additionally, in association with the World Federation of Public Health Associations, the ADI is a cosignatory of letters to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

These are just a few of the examples of the ADI proactively promoting science and global oral health. Fellowship in the Academy of Dentistry International is by nomination and is bestowed on dentists whose professional, civic, and related accomplishments are truly outstanding.

Dr. Dan Ninan is a fellow of the ADI. He is also chairman of the ADI Communications Committee.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2021

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