Wondering whether you should join the Wisconsin Dental Association?
On a national level, dentistry has been a lucrative market that has reeled in an estimated market size of as much as $137.6B as of 2020, according to stats shared by Ibis World. With a reported growth rate of 1.4% over the last five years and a growing need to help dentists adapt to the novelties of the industry, the Wisconsin Dental Association has become known as a useful resource for dentists.
But is this association really that beneficial to dentists?
In this article, we’ll break down all the information you need to know to determine whether joining the Wisconsin Dental Association is really worth the investment.
Let’s dive right in.
What is the Wisconsin Dental Association?
The Wisconsin Dental Association is a members-only entity within the dentistry industry that provides support to registered dentists by way of programs centered around advocacy, education, empowerment, and service.
The WDA foundation was laid in 1870, exactly 150 years ago, as of 2020.
Today, its current headquarters are in West Allis while its legislative office is in Madison, both cities in the State of Wisconsin. That said, despite its State-level oral health care focus, it is affiliated with the American Dental Association, a national dental care organization in the United States charged with providing the information and resources to dentists so they can offer top-services throughout the country.
According to data shared in their organization overview, as of November 2020, the Wisconsin Dental Association has 3,100 dentists who have become registered members, a significant percentage of the estimated 3,500 licensed dentists in the State.
While their numbers are small in comparison to the combined 163,000+ members in the American Dental Association, members of the Wisconsin Dental Association are equally as dedicated to promoting professional experience not just for each dentist’s individual patients, but also the entire dentist community in Wisconsin.
Additionally, the Association boasts volunteer dentists who work as both regional trustees and officers, facilitating the delivery of the services that members enjoy to provide quality oral health care.
Benefits of Joining the Wisconsin Dental Association
As mentioned previously, the services offered to registered dentists by the Wisconsin Dental Association center around four major principles: advocacy, education, empowerment, and service.
Consequently, the group uses its platform as a State-level entity to exert influence over its registered members in the following ways:
- Advocacy: In terms of advocacy, the Wisconsin Dental Association leverages its recognition as a State entity to lobby for the enactment of practices within the State which center around bettering the oral care offered by its dentists and, in turn, the society. This takes the form of representing the dentist body and leading debates during law and policy reform sessions, among others.
- Education: In the realm of dental education, the Association seeks to provide avenues to inform not only its Wisconsin dentists about the best oral care practices but also the public at large. This may include public informative workshops, orientation sessions, or any other type of educational training or diffusion deemed appropriate.
- Empowerment: Through its lobbying power and multi-organizational relationships, the Association aims to develop and put forth both managerial systems and business processes in an effort to improve the overall quality of professionalism that dental hygienists offer the public.
- Service: Lastly, the Association pledges to provide to its members the required educational material, programs, and services to deliver the high-quality service that is expected of them from the public and what the Association, in turn, demands.
Wisconsin Dental Association Membership Plans
Having grouped the main services of the Association under four central umbrella terms, it is imperative that we do a recap of the membership plans offered.
This is because the plans that are on the table offer radically different benefit plans that we will discuss briefly to contextualize them. Each one is geared toward dentists who are at different stages of their professional careers:
Tripartite Membership: Member dentists who reside or practice in Wisconsin can apply for this plan which covers the membership costs of the Wisconsin Dental Association, American Dental Association, and the 26 local dental societies of Wisconsin.
Dental Student: Any student pursuing continuing education via a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree at the Marquette University School of Dentistry can automatically become members of both the WDA and ADA without incurring any fees, enjoying all benefits that these bodies offer.
Dental Graduate Student: Students who are enrolled in a full-time residency or graduate education program lasting for at least one-year can claim free membership.
Limited Practice Membership: This membership plan is geared to dentists who earn no more than $50,000 annually. If you fall into this band, you only pay 25% of WDA membership fees.
Retired Membership: Directed to active members who are not enrolled on a fixed government-approved pay scheme, anyone applying must fill out a retired affidavit and be treated on a case-by-case process.
Full-time Faculty Membership: Anyone in the possession of a DMD, DDS, or equivalent program currently employed in a full-time CODA-accredited dental education program can get 25% active membership fees.
Should You Join the Wisconsin Dental Association?
For dental professionals in Wisconsin, aligning with the WDA is a smart move.
Not only will the additional resources, support, and educational material be instrumental in guaranteeing the high standards of dentistry that are expected from you, it will increase the scope of the Association in reaching the public.
The key is to choose your membership wisely.
The Wisconsin Dental Association has a membership cost that you may not have to pay, depending on your unique profile.
If you are about to pursue a course in dentistry, pay particular attention to the type of program that you elect.
Assuming that it falls in line with a Membership plan, you may be able to kill two birds with one stone by securing a course that grants you free entry as a WDA member.
Needless to say, if you cannot find a way to secure this membership plan for free, you may consider evaluating your profile to determine whether you can get a discount.
Similarly, you may determine that due to your professional profile and future career development, it may be best to secure a three-pronged membership plan at a discounted rate.
In short, you must understand your needs and predict your expected professional trajectory in order to make the best decision for your future.
Wisconsin Dental Association Takeaways
In a nutshell, the Wisconsin Dental Association has proven itself as a reliable and useful institution for dentists, care providers, care facilities, and the public in Wisconsin.
We highly recommend that dentists or dental offices associate themselves with it to bolster up their dental services with additional resources and material that the organization provides.
Be sure to go through your profile and take advantage of the membership plan discounts that are offered.
You may just end up saving yourself and your dental practice an investment that you can then save or use however you choose fit.
For more information, please visit their office in West Allis, WI 53214, or visit their website, wda.org, or social media pages to source their contact information.
Please note that the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) may affect their opening hours and availability.