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Student Members

Welcome to your community. For more than 150 years, CDA has supported and empowered the best and brightest in dentistry. As the largest state association in the ADA with more than 27,000 members, CDA’s continuous growth and innovation has fostered a dynamic community that works together to shape the future of dentistry.

As a California dental student, you are now a part of this community — with full access to membership benefits. When you join CDA, you simultaneously become a member of the ADA and your local dental society. Through this tripartite membership, discover unique resources for each stage of your new profession, starting with support during school and transition into practice life.

Explore Your Benefits

New Connections

Make memories with your peers, build professional relationships with mentors and learn new skills through hands-on volunteer opportunities. 

Amazing Events

Experience the nation’s most brilliant dental convention and enjoy free student networking events, mixers and programs throughout the school year.

Expert Support for D4 Students

Access exclusive career resources for new dentists, discounts on dental supplies and liability coverage and get one-on-one expert guidance for the business side of practice.

Get Involved

Three Ways to Get Involved and Stay Connected

Create an account on, find your local dental society and explore members-only resources.

Follow CDA and share your favorite dental school moments on social with #cdaproud.

Join the conversation in the CDA Student Group on Facebook.

Your Local Dental Society

Network, get involved in events and benefit from support near you. Visit your local dental society’s website to learn more.

Your Student Representatives

CDA’s student delegation ensures your voice is heard in organized dentistry. The representative for your California dental school class acts as your liaison to CDA and connects you to helpful resources, key issues and special events.

Interested in leadership opportunities or other ways to get involved? Contact your elected representative.

University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, San Francisco
University of Southern California
California Northstate University

CDA News

‘Comparison is the thief of joy’ UCSF dental student shares how he maintains his confidence during challenging moments

Each month, CDA spotlights a student from one of California’s seven dental schools. Get to know Leopold Samba of UCSF School of Dentistry’s class of 2026.

Now + Next in Dentistry:
Mapping Your Career
CDA Presents Live Learning Events CDA-hosted meetups for dentists pair career-building support and guidance with food and upbeat activities

CDA will host two in-person gatherings in San Diego and Ontario in late March that are especially geared toward early-career dentists who want to define or refine their career goals, but dentists in any stage of practice with an eye on the future are invited to attend. 

Every shared dental-space arrangement needs a shared agreement

Space sharing — that is, sharing space or renting an operatory in an established dental office — may be a viable option for dentists in various stages of their career if the terms are carefully considered by both parties and all proper steps are taken.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ensure my membership information is up to date?

As a graduating senior, you can update your membership information or complete the membership application online. After licensure, you will become a member of the ADA, CDA and the local dental society closest to your school. When you establish a permanent address, contact your local dental society or update your profile online

If I plan on entering a specialty or residency program outside of California, should I still update my membership information?

Absolutely. Once you return to California and start practicing, you can update your membership with your new information.

If I am entering a residency or postgraduate program, can I still be a member?

Yes. Contact CDA directly to transition to postgraduate membership.

What is the component (local dental society) jurisdiction for my dental school?

You will remain a part of the dental society local to your school until you graduate. Then your local dental society will be determined by your primary practice address. If you do not have a practice address, the transfer will be determined by your home address.

Find your local dental society: