About ADEA

The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is marking its Centennial in 2023 by honoring its past, supporting and celebrating its members today, and committing anew to the future of dental education. Founded in 1923 as the American Association of Dental Schools, ADEA is “The Voice of Dental Education” dedicated to preparing future-ready oral health professionals. With 100 years of excellence in developing better scholars, faculty and leaders in dental education, ADEA is bringing new thinking and innovation to the next century and beyond.

ADEA’s 100 years have been marked a series of achievements that have improved and championed dental education and advanced oral health as part of an integrated approach to overall health care. Learn more about ADEA’s history in this Key Moments in Dental Education document. PDF

ADEA will mark its Centennial this year in multiple ways. Through our #IamADEA social media campaign, ADEA members will share what ADEA means to them. A series of guest editorials in the Journal of Dental Education will provide unique insights and perspectives on ADEA’s history and the challenges and opportunities for dental education. Feature stories and interviews will showcase some of the key figures who make this dental education community so special. And the 2023 ADEA Annual Session & Exhibition will honor ADEA’s history even as we reimagine our future.


A well-prepared and diverse oral health workforce is improving the health of all individuals and communities.


To lead and support the health professions community in preparing future-ready oral health professionals

Who We Are

ADEA is the sole national organization representing academic dentistry. Our members include all 80 U.S. and Canadian dental schools, more than 800 allied and advanced dental education programs, more than 55 corporations and approximately 15,000 individuals.

Our activities encompass a wide range of research, advocacy, faculty and leadership development, meetings, news and publications, including the peer-reviewed Journal of Dental Education. We also offer the dental education application services ADEA AADSAS®, ADEA PASS®, ADEA DHCAS® and ADEA CAAPID®.

ADEA also fosters interconnected community experiences that enable members to meet their individual goals while leveraging their collective strength.

Dental education is a broad and varied profession that trains people as general dentists, specialists, dental hygienists, dental therapists, dental assistants and dental laboratory technicians. ADEA membership mirrors this diversity.

ADEA members determine best practices for dental education and encourage changes in dental education programs and institutions that will benefit everyone. ADEA members come together to advocate effectively for public policy issues essential to dental educators and researchers, especially access to dental care, a necessary element to improved oral health.

Since its founding, ADEA has existed to serve the student wondering how to become a dentist, the hardworking educator training the dental professionals of the future and those striving for scientific or public policy improvements in oral health care. ADEA is incorporated as a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation and as such is subject to the District of Columbia Nonprofit Corporation Code. As established by its Articles of Incorporation, the purpose of the Association is to advance and support dental education, dental research and the dental health and education of the general public.

ADEA is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) organization.