The approaching 100th anniversary of the founding of the American Dental Association signifies a century of achievement and progress in the fields of dental education, dental science, and professional responsibility. The 90,000 members of the American Dental Association are professional descendants of the small group of 26 dentists who convened at Niagara Falls on August 3, 1859, to establish the first permanent dental organization in the United States. In the hundred years that have followed, American dentistry has achieved a maturity that has given it world leadership.
It was in the United States that dentistry was first recognized as a separate, independent profession with its own formal program of dental education. However, at the turn of the century many dental schools were still unadorned commercial enterprises, which gradual reforms, instituted by organized dentistry, forced out of existence. The accrediting agency of the dental profession has been the American Dental Association's