History of American Prosthodontic Society

The American Prosthodontic Society is an international organization of dentists interested in the replacement of lost teeth. It brings together the general practitioner, the specialist, and dental technologist, and sponsors scientific seminars and meetings to broaden their knowledge in this field.

In the days when dentists were still using a foot pumped motor to operate a drill, a forerunner of the American Prosthodontic Society was born. It was 1928 and the site was Minneapolis, MN, at the annual session of the American Dental Association. Seventeen charter members are recorded in the archives of what became known as “The American Full Denture Society.”

This was a dedicated group of men who were determined that knowledge and research in this specific field of interest should be shared with others. They pooled resources to hold the first annual meeting of the group in Washington, DC, the following year, 1929 where the first scientific meeting was presented with essayists and clinicians discussing denture problems.

By 1940, the Society had attracted over 100 members but World War II curtailed travel, and organizational difficulties filled its agenda. Overcoming these problems, in 1947, the Society’s reputation became established, interest was widespread, and the membership roster continued to grow. Because of this growth, the members who met in Boston at this time officially changed the organizations name to the “American Denture Society,” to encompass a wider horizon. In 1951, the Society was 1 of the 3 founding members of The Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry, and pioneered the development of this publication, now circulated worldwide. Time and an increase to 850 members warranted other changes. At the 1961 Philadelphia meeting, the name was again changed, and remains the “American Prosthodontic Society,” with an unlimited scope.

Today the APS is recognized as one of the great organizations of dentistry. General practitioners and specialists working in tandem for 72 years have advanced the cause of dental health by broadcasting knowledge of prosthodontics. For years, the annual roster lists a most distinguished Roll of Honor in dentistry and prosthodontics.

The caliber of the Society’s scientific programs each year is attested to by the growing worldwide recognition of these meetings. As host of the first and second International Prosthodontic Congresses in 1972 and 1978, APS reached the greatest number of dentists doing prosthodontics of any organization in the world.

Making still another contribution to the profession, the APS inaugurated its International Circuit Courses program 25 years ago, providing a global exchange of scientific information. APS representatives have shared their knowledge with colleagues in more than 50 countries.

Its public education program disseminates the latest patient information to help improve the nation’s dental health and carry forward its program of advancing the art and science of prosthodontics.

The APS pioneered the admission of dental technicians into Society membership and works closely with the National Association of Dental Laboratories in advancing this goal. Throughout the years, the Society has sponsored essay contests and has brought dental students into its meeting through presentation of table clinics at its annual meetings. For a number of years, as funds allowed, grants were awarded students to underwrite travel and hotel expenses while at the meetings. To further open new vistas of learning for graduate students in all disciplines, APS waives annual dues to those currently in an advanced dental education program.