The seed of the CAGD was planted in the summer of 1958 when a small group of dentists started meeting on a regular basis in a restaurant in Leimert Park in the Crenshaw area of Los Angeles. The name of this group was Leimert Park Study Club. Among the first members were Dr. Virgil Brown and Dr. Smokey Martin.
After meeting informally for about a year, the group decided to become a bit more formal and meet in a more central location, The Park Wilshire Hotel. In October of 1959 the group decided to organize as the CaliforniaAcademy of General Dentistry. Other dentists were invited to join this group too. Meetings were held quarterly and Dr. Smokey Martin was elected the first president.
Typical meetings would be for half a day, usually in the afternoon, with a dinner break, then into the evening. A Guest speaker was assigned one quarter ahead from the group. His honorarium was that he didn’t pay for dinner that meeting.
The purpose of the group was to promote continuing education only and was totally apolitical. Certainly with the quality of this group, politics could have very well been discussed, but the understanding was that the subject was to be purely academic. The group had about 50 members and the roster looked like the whos-who of West Coast dentists.
During Dr. Virgil Browns presidency (1956-1957), a group from Chicago known as the Academy of General Dentistry came to California to meet the leaders of the CAGD and proposed that the two groups affiliate. This group was more organized than the CAGD. Membership requirements were 50 hours of CE. The AGD also had a Fellowship program similar to the current program but much more informal. It took 2 years of debate pros and cons whether to join this Chicago group or not. At that time, the membership was about 100 in SouthernCalifornia. In 1961 the CAGD decided to affiliate with the AGD and become a chapter of the AGD.
Since its inception, the CAGD has constantly increased its membership and currently serves over 2200
members. The CAGD offers its members an array of CE that meets their various needs. The CAGD has also expanded its focus and created a strong presence at the state dental board and state legislature advocating when issues that affect the profession arise. Additionally, a dentists membership in the CAGD demonstrates to patients, the public, and other professionals that he or she is committed to lifelong learning and the oral and
overall health of the public.
These images show our rich history of quality CE, fellowship, and camaraderie dating as early as 1972: