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.
2022 Presidents Message
Welcome to Special Care Advocates in Dentistry (Formerly Southern Association of Institutional Dentists)!
We are an organization that is over 50 years. We support and advocate for dental professionals that treat individuals who have difficulty finding and receiving care. As you can tell from our former name, our roots are in the southeastern part of the USA and in long-term institutions. Today our members come from all over this country, often beyond, and practice in a wide range of locations. Our focus remains on the patients with special needs and the dental professionals that care for them.
SAID holds an annual seminar and meeting bringing together members and speakers to learn from each other. Our 2022 event will be our first time in-person since Covid. This year we will venture further than we have before and meet outside of Chicago in South Barrington, IL on October 27th and 28th. Meeting participants who wish are invited to our Wednesday evening meeting of the SAID education and strategic planning committee (our version of a governing body). I will be honored to welcome you to Chicagoland and my home state of Illinois. I believe our steering committee has put together an interesting and informative two days of CE. If you join us please consider what we could learn from you as you learn with us. We have arranged to have talks about sleep apnea, cardiology, mental health, geriatrics and much more.
We will have our annual literature review session and the always enlightening pearls where we learn from each other in short 3-5 minute snippets given by meeting participants. We will also have our annual President’s reception to hang out and get reacquainted. Small gifts representative of your home area are recommended for our gift exchange but this is not mandatory. Remember they may need to be packed to go onto a plane. (I recommend <$20.00)
If you are a returning member I look forward to spending a fun meeting together and if you are new I say welcome friend glad to know you.
Thank you for visiting our website.
Looking forward to seeing everyone again!
David Itzkoff AKA ‘the I Man’
This year’s SAID President