Table of Contents
Dental assistants play a crucial role in the field of dentistry, supporting and promoting the objectives of the American Dental Assistants Association (ADAA). The ADAA Code of Ethics outlines the various membership categories and privileges available to dental assistants who are dedicated to advancing their profession.
Admission: Embracing Diversity and Support
Section 1 of the ADAA Code of Ethics emphasizes the association’s commitment to inclusivity. Membership is open to individuals who actively support and promote the objectives of the ADAA, irrespective of their diverse backgrounds. This ensures that dental assistants from various walks of life can join forces to enhance the profession.
Active Membership Categories: Catering to All
The ADAA offers different membership categories to cater to the unique needs and circumstances of dental assistants. These categories include:
Professional Membership: Empowering Dental Assistants
Professional membership is granted to dental assistants who work in various capacities, such as Clinical Dental Assistants, Administrative Dental Assistants, and Dental Assistant Educators. This category also welcomes individuals with a history of experience in dental assisting. Professional members have the privilege of voting, holding elective office, and serving as chair or member of a council or committee. They are required to pay annual national dues and state dues determined by the designated state organization affiliated with the ADAA.
Student Membership: Nurturing Future Professionals
This membership category recognizes the importance of supporting students on their journey to becoming dental assistants. Student membership is open to those enrolled in dental assisting programs or graduates who are pursuing further studies related to dentistry. Student members have the privilege of serving as members of councils or committees, and they are required to pay annual dues.
Life Membership: Honoring Dedication and Longevity
Life membership is an exclusive honor granted to professional members who have shown unwavering dedication to the profession. To qualify, individuals must maintain continuous professional membership for at least 35 years, or interrupted by student membership. Life members enjoy all the privileges and benefits of professional membership at a reduced national dues rate, periodically reviewed and determined by the ADAA Board of Directors.
Federal Services Membership: Serving Our Nation
This membership category is reserved for dental assistants who serve in the United States Federal Services branches. Whether on active military duty or working as a civilian, Federal Services members have the right to vote, hold elective office, and serve as chair or member of a council or committee. They are exempt from paying state dues and receive benefits and services as outlined in the contractual relationship with the ADAA.
International Membership: Bridging Borders
Recognizing the global nature of the dental assisting profession, the ADAA welcomes individuals residing outside of the United States to be part of the association. International members pay annual dues in U.S. dollars and receive benefits and services authorized by the Board of Directors.
Conferred Memberships: Recognizing Excellence
The ADAA also bestows honorary and emeritus memberships upon individuals who have made significant contributions to the dental assisting profession.
Honorary Membership: Celebrating Contributions
This prestigious membership is conferred upon individuals who have substantially contributed to the welfare of the dental assisting profession. Approval for honorary membership requires a two-thirds supermajority vote from the ADAA Board of Directors. Honorary members pay no dues and have the privilege of serving as members of councils or committees.
Emeritus Membership: Honoring Experience and Retirement
Emeritus membership is granted to professional or life members who have maintained continuous membership for at least 25 years and have retired from the field of dentistry/dental assisting or become totally and permanently disabled. Emeritus members pay no dues and can use the designation of “ADAA Member Emeritus” for the rest of their lives. They have access to all content published by the ADAA, including continuing education courses, and can maintain their ADAA Fellow or Master designation.
Tripartite: Encouraging Collaboration
The ADAA encourages collaboration between its members and state associations through the tripartite system:
- Dental assistants applying for Professional, Life, or Student Membership must also maintain membership in a State Association.
- State Associations support the formation of local component organizations and member study clubs, governed by rules that do not conflict with or limit the ADAA’s governing structure.
- Individuals applying for membership in a local component organization or member study club must maintain membership in both the ADAA and the supervising State Association.
- However, International Members, Federal Services Members, Honorary Members, and Emeritus Members are not entitled to membership privileges in State Associations or local component organizations.
By adhering to the ADAA Code of Ethics, dental assistants can actively contribute to the growth and development of their profession. To learn more about the ADAA and its mission, visit Make You Smile.