About SAID

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.

Our History

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.

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2021 Presidents Message

SAID... Special Care Advocates In Dentistry is a professional group of individuals
who have dedicated their careers to helping patients with special health care
needs.  Dentistry for this population is often overlooked – for many reasons. Our
group is unique, in that we seek to provide an environment where good thoughts,
good deeds, and good works can be supported for those facing a lifetime of
challenges.


We at SAID meet yearly to help us be better at what we do, so we can continue
to provide and make available the optimal treatment to our dental patients,
including those with special needs.


We always have a talented group of speakers and an array of valuable, on-point
topics with this year being no different.  Some of the scheduled speakers are new
to our meeting and we welcome them! And some scheduled speakers are our
“regulars” - if they weren’t on the agenda, it wouldn’t be a meeting.


There will be a variety of topics offered:  Oral Surgery For The Medically
Complex Patient, Communicating With The Physician Prior To Oral Surgery,
OPIOIDS, Infection Control, Dental Materials, Recognizing/Addressing Abuse
And Neglect and also a few other interesting and insightful topics.  Our agenda
will also include a Pearls session that includes helpful information, case studies
or products from our members and a Literature Review of topics of interest to us
in our daily practices.  


Our meeting it is virtual again this year. We are scheduled to meet via Zoom from
Nov 3-5, 2021, in our own homes, offices or in a Regional “pod.”  The pod is a
new concept to overcome the challenge of not meeting in a large group in
person, but rather in smaller groups. It can be an exotic location, a regional get-
together or as simple as a patio to let us know your weather is better this time of
year! And yes, we welcome brief appearances of pets, children and grands. The
“pods” have lots of flexibility, and will be organized locally. It is optional – a
registrant can also tune in solo from home or office.


Our goal at SAID is to collectively address the challenges of our special needs
practices with friendship, learning, and sharing. And to send you off with a smile
on your face!


Now is the time to register for this year’s annual meeting. 

 Can’t wait to see you all!

Signed, Maria Lubak, President of SAID

 

Present to Past Officers & Annual Meeting Locations

 

Join SAID

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.