Mission and History

A Tradition of Working for the Dental Profession

The Chicago Dental Society was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1878. The objective of the Chicago Dental Society is to encourage the improvement of the health of the public, to promote the art and science of dentistry and to represent the interest of the members of the profession and the public that it serves.

When joining the Chicago Dental Society, a dentist also becomes a member of the American Dental Association and the Illinois State Dental Society. However, instead of paying three separate dues invoices, members pay once annually to belong to all component (local), constituent (state) and national levels. Find out more about our member benefits.

Organization & Structure

Our Board of Directors consists of five officers and nine branch directors that govern the Chicago Dental Society. The directors are elected by the individual branches and serve for a term of three years.

There are five CDS officers: president, president-elect, secretary, vice president and treasurer. Officers serve a 12-month term, starting in January and ending in December.

The Coalition

Leadership is shared among three political parties: the Members Group, the Independent Organization and the Progressive Club. The parties form the Coalition. Leadership within CDS rotates among the three parties. Each year, CDS political party has the right to nominate one of its members for the office of treasurer. The nominee's name is then proposed to the remaining two parties for their acceptance or rejection. This system ensures that all three parties are represented within the Society’s officer core. For example, if the president and vice president belong to the Members Group, the president-elect and the treasurer will be members of the Independent Organization, and the secretary a member of the Progressive Club.

A CDS member is not required to be a member of any political organization to hold branch office. Although a CDS officer must be nominated by one of the three political parties, the person nominated may not necessarily be a member of that party.

The coalition is a unique system, providing an opportunity for more members to become actively involved in organized dentistry at the local level.