The growth of Canada from a confederation into nationhood in 1867 has, without doubt, sparked changes in all aspects of its national affairs, including dentistry. In the 19th century and early 20th century, when Canada was budding, dentists who were bothered about public welfare initiated the practice of dentistry in the country.
However, without adequate regulations to guard the profession, anyone could claim to be a dentist once he has a box of dental instruments. Patients had no way of determining a good dentist from a bad one. Thankfully, dental practice in Canada today has become much more organized. However, there is still the need to learn about its history.
Many dental experts in the country, like dentist Sumra Khan, DMD, have recognized the need to understand the history of Canadian dentistry and how it has evolved over the years. Moreover, they are making efforts to ensure that this knowledge spreads. Thankfully, this article will discuss all you need to know about the history of Canadian Dentistry. This way, you too can have the information. Keep reading!
How the ODA was Formed
To ensure the elimination of quacks from the dental system, a group of dentists, with Dr. Barnabas Day as the leader, founded the Ontario Dental Association on July 2, 1867. In March 1868, the ODA had successfully created an Act Respecting Dentistry. It was passed in the Ontario Legislature, where the licensing authority was given to the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario. Being the first Act of its kind, it became a guide for similar Acts in Canada.
In 1889, The editor of Dominion Dental Journal, Dr. George Beers, indicated the weaknesses of such individual policies, and he pointed out the need for a national body. In 1893, Dr. Frank Woodbury, the Nova Scotia Dental Association secretary, established reciprocity between the boards. The effect of this is the rapid growth of enthusiasm for a national organization that spanned over the next decade.
The CDA Founding Meeting
In those days, planning a conference was certainly not as easy as you have it now. The pioneer National Dental meeting in Canada was an incredible event, with high attendance figures. Thanks to Dr. Eudore Dubeau of Quebec, who sent letters to all dentists in Canada soliciting support for the national organization.
About 350 dentists, 20% of all the dentists in the country, traveled to Montreal by train for the 3-day meeting. Upon registration, each dentist had a copy of the new organization's proposed constitution, laws, and code of ethics. They unanimously adopted the laws on the first day of the meeting.
The New Structure of Governance
Throughout the CDA's history of 100 years, essential decisions have been made on various issues surrounding the dental profession of Canada and the oral health of its citizens. One of those decisions is November 16, 2001, on the eve of the CDA's 100 years celebration. The Board of Governors of CDA's ruling body agreed to revamp the entire structure of the association and framework.
The solution was adopting a General Assembly structure, which incorporates several groups that make up the organized dentistry that Canada sees to this day.
Even in recent years, the focus of CDA on international relations has continued to make waves. CDA gained ground globally and became a significant player in forums such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the World Dental Federation (FDI). In 2001, the association president was elected to fill an executive position on the FDI council. This improved the recognition of the CDA on the global floor and exposed the association for more significant recognitions and contributions.
Dental Plans and Benefits
Prepaid dental plans happen to be one of the oldest and most innovative payment plans for dental care. In 1950, CDA's secretary-treasurer, Dr. Donald Gullett, opined in the JCDS (Journal of Canadian Dental Association) that:" Up to the present, dentistry has made little effort toward establishing voluntary plans."
In 1963, at the CDA annual meeting, the past president and chairman of the dental programs in North America, Dr. W.G McIntosh, said: "There are now 150 prepaid dental programs in North America, serving 200,000 Canadian and two million U.S. citizens." He indulged delegates to embrace the rapid change.
In conclusion, CDA has been active over the years, and the association has helped provide dental plans and packages to benefit Canadians. One of such plans is ensuring that there is no third-party intrusion between the dentist and the patient.
As the demand for high-quality dentistry is constantly rising, CDA has proven its effectiveness in providing excellent dental health and beauty care.