About SCDA

Special Care Dentistry Association (SCDA) is a unique international organization of oral health professionals and other individuals who are dedicated to promoting oral health and wellbeing for people with special needs.

SCDA is proud to bring together professionals from the American Association of Hospital Dentists (AAHD) the Academy of Dentistry for Persons with Disabilities (ADPD) and the American Society for Geriatric Dentistry (ASGD).

Because many of the goals and activities of these three practice areas overlap, the component groups joined forces and formed SCDA. By fully integrating these groups, SCDA benefits its members – and the patients they serve – by having a united leadership and a single mission.

Members include dentists, dental hygienists and assistants, non-dental healthcare providers, health program administrators, residents, students and hospitals.

What does SCDA do?

SCDA provides educational opportunities and information exchange for oral health care professionals who treat patients with special needs. Members of SCDA have complete access to useful resources, important industry news and exclusive networking and educational events.

SCDA encourages practitioners to earn credentials demonstrating advanced knowledge and expertise in their fields through fellowship programs and through the Diplomate Certification Program.

SCDA Makes a Difference

SCDA advocates for national legislation and is involved in shaping dental residency education, developing practice guidelines and institutional protocols designed to assist practitioners in providing oral healthcare services.

SCDA recognizes the need for broad coalitions of individuals and groups to work together to share information and shape public policy to stimulate change.

If you share the goals or concerns of SCDA, please contact the national office by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. To become a member, click here.


The Special Care Dentistry Association serves as a resource to all oral health care professionals who serve or are interested in serving patients with special needs through education and networking to increase access to oral healthcare for patients with special needs.


To be the leading organization where oral health and other professionals meet, communicate, exchange ideas, and work together to improve oral health for people with special needs.

SCDA Bylaws

To view SCDA's Bylaws, please click here

Every practice has patients with special needs, every practitioner needs Special Care Dentistry Association.

If your practice is not already a special needs practice – you can be assured that it will be. Every practitioner will be faced with the child of one of your practice families that has autism, ADD or some other behavioral disorder that complicates dental care. Faithful long-standing patients are aging, taking more medications and faced with uncertain medical futures. People with disabilities are living longer lives and expect access to the same quality of care that their able-bodied friends enjoy. Be prepared when the inevitable happens by joining Special Care Dentistry Association (SCDA). Your patients trust and depend on you.

SCDA is a national organization of practitioners like you who realize that all the above scenarios can and will happen. Most of our membership never marketed to special patients but came to the realization by happenstance that treating special patients is part of their daily practice and life. These are patients with systemic diseases, issues of aging, multiple medications, behavioral issues and many other special needs related circumstances. For some of our members, these special patients make up a small portion of their practice; for others, the number is much higher. Referring these patients may not be practical.

SCDA provides a forum for an exchange of clinical ideas and patient management techniques among members. SCDA provides a network of colleagues across the US and Canada who have already faced issues you suddenly find in your practice. Our members are very eager to share their expertise with you! Attendees at our Annual Meeting agree that they acquire valuable insights and learn practical clinical applications from a mix of clinical practicing dentists and academics. SCDA brings experts from across the country to lecture at our Annual Meeting, but intimate enough that you are likely to have lunch with one of these presenters. This meeting combines learning, networking and fun in a compact 2 ½ days!