CDA membership strengthens the profession

One of the greatest draws of professional associations is the chance to be a part of something bigger. When professionals come together, their voices truly become more powerful.

Cultivating this collective power is one of CDA’s long-standing goals. In fact, the association has reached the 27,000-member mark and was recognized by the ADA in four key areas: the greatest net gain in membership, the greatest net gain in new dentists, converting the highest number of diverse dentists and converting the highest number of women dentists.

Diverse membership is the foundation of a powerful association. CDA members span all specialties, years of experience and geographic regions. The tripartite membership structure, in which members join CDA, ADA and their local component society concurrently, further allows organized dentistry to flourish.

One of the many benefits of being part of a large network of dental professionals is the economic efficiency it provides. Group purchasing services from The Dentists Service Company, for example, provide CDA member dentists significant savings on supplies through the TDSC Marketplace. Through this shopping site, CDA members can take advantage of low prices based on aggregate volume that they would not be able to get on their own.

Purchasing power also allows for competitive insurance rates. The Dentists Insurance Company, the chosen provider for more than two-thirds of all CDA members, has more than 19,000 policyholders. This broad premium base helps support a robust product offering and competitive rates. For example, TDIC Insurance Solution’s dentist-centric disability coverage is made more affordable with MetLife group purchasing power.

Another benefit of CDA’s expansive membership base is the strength it gives to its advocacy efforts. When CDA legislative advocates go to the Capitol, they represent the majority of California dentists and the patients they serve.

Unlike smaller associations that represent more narrow niches among a given profession, CDA presents a unified voice. Whether general dentists, endodontists or periodontists, the message comes from a cohesive front. Robert Hanlon, DMD, chair of CDA’s Political Action Committee, said when it comes to legislative advocacy, CDA is a trusted source of expertise for issues affecting the oral health of Californians.

“Speaking with a unified voice is always stronger than speaking individually,” Hanlon said. “The stronger the association in terms of membership, the stronger our voice.”

Hanlon remarked that in addition to CDA’s professional diversity CDA has demographic diversity. Female dentists, new dentists and dentists from a wide range of ethnic backgrounds mirror their legislative representatives and the communities they serve.

He noted that involvement in political action or government affairs committees, whether at the state level or component level, is a positive way to give back to the profession and to help shape the future of dentistry.

“Grassroots advocacy is the heart and soul of what our advocacy efforts are all about,” he said.

To learn more about leveraging the power of membership, visit cda.org/memberresources.

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The transition from dental student to practicing dentist can be one of the most stressful periods in an aspiring dentist’s life. Finishing classes, preparing for exams and applying for jobs can unnerve even the most well-prepared graduate. Luckily, CDA is here to help dentists at all stages of their careers with the business side of their profession.