"To advance the profession and serve the public." Those are the twin goals of the Virginia Dental Association (VDA). The VDA is the state's official dental organization, offering and promoting professional support to dentists as well as oral healthcare initiatives to communities across the state. The VDA is the state level component of a three-tiered membership structure, with the American Dental Association being the national component and the Virginia's eight regional dental societies comprising the local component.
Journal of the Virginia Dental Association
VDA's quarterly publication includes peer-reviewed scientific articles, the latest news from the dental profession, coverage of meetings and public service projects and schedules of upcoming continuing education courses, among other useful reports. With a circulation of more than 3,900, the Journal is distributed to nearly three-fourths of practicing dentists in the state and provides a vast marketplace for goods and services.
The Virginia Meeting
Each year, the VDA holds the Virginia Meeting, the largest dental tradeshow in Virginia. The meeting offers continuing education opportunities, as well as seminars, demonstrations and an opportunity for dental industry leaders to market their latest dental products, and a forum for dental professionals to convene with one another.
The Virginia Dental Health Foundation
Since its establishment in 1996, the Virginia Dental Health Foundation (VDHF) has sought to increase access to dental care for Virginians. As the state's primary dental charity and educational organization, the VDHF serves its mission by generating and redirecting resources for oral health programs. Oral disease is a cause of severe and chronic pain for thousands of state residents, many of whom come from low-income and underserved areas. Lack of dental insurance or adequate financial resources are other important factors in the lack of comprehensive and preventive care these residents receive.
The VDHF believes that oral health is an intricate part of our overall health and well-being. If oral care and hygiene are neglected, then serious physiological and psychological harm can result. Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are often the consequences of untreated oral diseases, especially for individuals with weakened immune systems such as AIDS or oral cancer patients. The VDHF strives to inform state residents of the links between oral and general health, and to help prevent complications arising from oral disease. The programs supported by the VDHF also help alleviate individuals of pain, discomfort, malnutrition, embarrassment, low self-esteem and depression that often result from poor oral hygiene.