Dedicated to increasing the number of Indigenous Dentists in the United States

American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) are considered underrepresented minorities (URM) in the field of dentistry, with only 0.2 percent of the active U.S. dentists in 2012 identifying as AI/AN. Evidence suggests that improving workforce diversity promotes social justice as well as increasing access, health equity, and health care quality, particularly for minority populations (Institute of Medicine, 2004) *.

 As an organization dedicated to increasing the number of Indigenous dentists, SAID:

  • Coordinates an annual conference that provides opportunities:
    -- To connect with peers, dental students, and pre-dental students, as well as other oral health professionals;
    --For continuing education on topics of particular interest to those working in AI/AN communities, both rural and urban;
    --To engage in the diverse cultural traditions of sovereign tribal nations across the continent; and
    --To engage together in community service to AI/AN communities in the region of the conference.
  • Provides DAT prep awards to AI/AN dental students to support their applications to dental schools.
  • Provides travel stipends to the annual conference to pre-dental and dental students as opportunities to network with other AI/AN students and develop mentorship relationships with experienced dentists.
  • Offers a formal mentorship program to further enhance and support the dental journey of our students.

The Beauty of SAID Membership

The Society of American Indian Dentists celebrates our students who have made a commitment to prepare themselves to care for our communities. And, we celebrate our professional members who are making an impact in the lives of our people by providing quality oral health care to our communities.
We know it will take 105 new dentists graduating each year to meet the need in our communities while only 5 will graduate in 2023. Therefore, each and everyday, SAID is committed to increasing the number of Indigenous students accepted to dental school through mentorship, scholarship, and resource opportunities as well as educating dental schools on the importance of admitting more Indigenous students into their programs.
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More about SAID Members

The dentists who belong to Society of American Indian Dentists (SAID) are both the subject expert professionals and members of their tribal communities. It is not possible to separate the two. Decisions are based on both professional and personal knowledge and experience, with the mission and values of SAID informing direction and action. Our perspective includes the belief that no one can be as uniquely qualified to treat our peoples as we are. It remains of utmost importance for Native American people to gain equal representation as providers in the field of dentistry in order for our people to achieve oral health parity. American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AI/AN) (also referred to as Native Americans) currently suffer from the worst oral health outcomes in comparison to any racial or ethnic group within the United States.