Established in 1865 and based in the state capitol of Springfield, the Illinois State Dental Society is comprised of more than 6,300 dentists, dental hygienists, dental lab technicians and dental students. The Society encompasses eight trustee districts and 23 local component dental societies.
The executive body of the ISDS is comprised of the president, the president-elect, vice president, treasurer, and 14 elected trustees. The governing body of the ISDS is the House of Delegates, which is made up of dentists chosen to represent their local component dental societies. The House deals with a wide array of responsibilities, among which are the establishing of policy for the ISDS; adopting an annual budget for the following year; enacting, amending or revoking charters of the component societies; and electing honorary members, granting awards, and approving memorials in the name of the Society. Additionally, 13 standing committees study issues related to several key areas of interest, and makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees and the House of Delegates on specific issues relating to dentistry.
Education and Publications
Continuing education is an integral component of ISDS membership, and the Society mandates that its members pursue continuing education courses while in practice. Both licensed dentists and dental hygienists have live and online course options, all at a low cost to members. ISDS members also have access to a number of Society publications, including dh Focus, which is geared to dental hygienists, the quarterly Communiqué for state and local dental leaders, and Illinois Dental News, the official publication of the ISDS.
Outreach and P.A.N.D.A.
To promote a positive image of dentistry and spread the message about good oral health care to the public, the ISDS sponsors public relations programs throughout the year, targeted to different age groups. For children, the ISDS holds school competitions, the National Children's Dental Health Month (complete with a coloring contest and activities for young children) and the State Fair Smile Contest, which draws more than two hundred children annually in an event that encourages dental care, healthy eating and the prevention of cavities. For seniors , the ISDS offers oral cancer screenings at the statewide Senior Celebration. Regardless of the age group, ISDS makes extensive efforts to communicate the importance of brushing, flossing, regular dental visits, healthy eating habits and tobacco cessation for a lifetime.
In the early 1990s, the ISDS launched the P.A.N.D.A. Program (Prevent Abuse and Neglect through Dental Awareness) to educate dentists and the entire dental field on how to identify signs of neglect and abuse, and how to report a suspected situation. Illinois dentists and dental hygienists are mandated reporters of suspected abuse and neglect.