SAID is a benevolent group of dental professionals whose mission is to improve the oral health of people with disabilities through service, education, and advocacy.
SAID was begun by Dr. Gerald Bensberg in 1966, who was the Director of the Attendant Training Project, a five year program supported by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, and sponsored by the Southern Regional Education Board – a non-profit organization based in Atlanta.
Dr. Bensberg invited dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants and other interested professionals who served in facilities throughout fifteen (15) southern states to participate in a seminar to consider ways of delivering better dental care to dental patients with special needs. The seminar proved extremely beneficial to the attendees and the group decided to meet yearly, calling themselves The Southern Association of Institutional Dentists (SAID).
Since 1966, SAID has grown in scope and membership, and today boasts an active membership of over 300 persons representing twenty nine (29) states, including California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, & Canada.
The scope of SAID has changed to include not only the developmentally disabled client, but also the mentally ill client. SAID is the only organization in the United States that deals primarily with the dental needs of the institutional client. Its membership is comprised of dental professionals working full-time in institutions or professionals who devote a large portion of their time treating patients with developmental disabilities, mental illness and other medical complications.
SAID is the only organization in the United States that deals primarily with the dental needs of the institutional client. The scope of SAID has changed to include not only people with developmentally disabilities, but also those with mental health challenges. While SAID maintains its southern heritage, its spirit has been enriched by members from all regions of the country, as well as Canada. In 2010, the SAID name was officially changed to “Special Care Advocates in Dentistry” because the original “Southern Association of Institutional Dentists” no longer reflected the diverse makeup and the broadened focus of the organization. What has not changed is the original vision of improving the oral health of people with special needs.
2021 Presidents Message
Hope these spring days find everyone healthy and happy and WARM! Here in the Northeast we have been off to a chilly start!
I just wanted to reach out and let you all know that we are actively planning the SAID 2021 meeting. After several discussions and surveys that were sent out and returned by members we have decided to have a virtual meeting again this year.
The date for the meeting is November 3 -5 , 2021 so please mark your calendars with a great big smile!
We will continue to post updates of our meeting agenda with topics and speakers when that becomes available. We are also trying to incorporate some new ideas to make it fun and stay connected since we can’t meet in person
So get your virtual backgrounds ready, make an appointment for Fluffy at the groomer, and of course it’s always nice to see the family stop by and say Hello!
We can’t wait to Zoom with you!
SAID President 2021
Present to Past Officers & Annual Meeting Locations
SAID's membership is comprised of dental professionals working full time in institutions or professionals who devote a large portion of their time treating the developmentally disabled, mentally ill and/or otherwise medically compromised client.