"The goals of the group were to create a national instrument of post-graduate education for black physicians and meaningful experiences in the medical specialties, to combat racial discrimination and exclusion in hospital care and functions and to represent allied health practitioners in actions to eliminate inequities in health care services," writes Clifton O. Dummett, DDS, distinguished professor emeritus at the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in Los Angeles, in his essay, Dentistry in the African American Community.
"These aims helped to elevate the quality of health care available to African Americans."
In 1932, the organization was renamed the National Dental Association
In the mid-20th century, individual black dentists were among the most outspoken activists for civil rights, Dummett
"Impatient with the slow pace of desegregation, younger-generation NDA members embraced the spirit of the turbulent sixties and adopted nonviolent avenues to channel defiance of odious segregation, particularly in the South."
In 1971, the National Dental Association
Foundation (NDAF) was created and has been responsible for distributing scholarships and grants to worthy black dental students, dentists and auxiliaries for research and graduate studies in preparation for the dental specialties.
Since 1977, African Americans have been appointed deans or interim deans at a number of American dental schools, even in the Deep South, Dummett
"A singular breakthrough occurred in 2002 when Dean Ronald Johnson at the University of Texas
(Houston, Texas) was appointed vice president of Health and Medical Affairs at that institution.
In the field of dental hygiene, Konnetta Putman, RDH, became the first African American president of the American Dental Hygiene Association
Most importantly, African American dentists have made it a goal to improve access to dental care.
"Traditionally, the vast majority of African American dentists have dedicated themselves to providing acceptable, high-quality, oral health services to minority and underprivileged populations," Dummett