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National Dental Association and SmileDirectClub Launch Historic Scholarship Program for Diverse Dentists

Posted on October 15, 2021

Program Targets Oral Health Inequality and is Set to Transform the face of the Dental Profession

Today, the National Dental Association (NDA), the world’s largest and oldest organization of minority oral health professionals, and SmileDirectClub (SDC), the next generation oral care company with the first medtech platform for teeth straightening, are pleased to announce the establishment of the SmileDirectClub-National Dental Association Achievement Scholarship.

“Throughout its 108 years, the National Dental Association has always been dedicated to advancing the concept of health equity. The establishment of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in health care, and the education of future healthcare providers, what we now refer to as ‘JEDI’, is paramount in our mission. For without ‘JEDI’ we become participants in the perpetuation of a system of systemic oppression that has historically had a deleterious effect on health outcomes and healthcare delivery in historically underserved communities. Cultivating and introducing a diverse cadre of new dentists from largely underserved communities into a system, which has to date produced a paltry 3% African American dentists in the United States, is both supremely disruptive and potentially transformational. SmileDirectClub is a bold and sincere ally in this work, and because of their generous investment in the future of health equity, the SmileDirectClub-National Dental Association Achievement Scholarship will be that disruptive and transformational force and a key element to dismantling structural inequality in oral health care for years to come,” said Keith Andrew Perry, Executive Director of the National Dental Association. “SmileDirectClub’s visionary corporate citizenship is worthy of emulation,” he continued.

Scholarship Description:

The National Dental Association (NDA) and SmileDirectClub (SDC) have embarked on a new partnership to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in dentistry and dismantle barriers to health equity. There is a critical shortage of ethnic minority dentists in the US, where less than 4% are African American. SDC will award 28 Student National Dental Association members with a one-time $7,500 scholarship. Eligible applicants must be 2nd, 3rd or 4th year dental students and post-graduate Public Health students. All candidates must demonstrate financial need and a commitment to community service.

Together, we share a common ideology. Health is a matter of civil rights and social justice. Reducing the education debt burden for oral health professional students will allow them to serve in communities where they are needed most.

Today’s students are the hope for tomorrow.

Scholarship Applicant Criteria:

1. Must be currently enrolled in dental school or attending public health residency program

2. Must be a US Citizen or have permanent residence in the US

3. Must be a member of SNDA (D2, D3, D4 awards applicants) or NDA (Post-doctoral Public Health residency program awards applicants)

4. Must be in good financial standing with school/institution and SNDA/NDA

5. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or above

6. Incomplete applications will not be accepted

“As part of our mission to ensure each and every person has access to a smile that they love, SmileDirectClub has launched this scholarship program with the NDA to help underrepresented dental practitioners and underserved communities of color,” said Dr. Riddhi Gangoli, Sr. Director of Professional Education and Marketing, SmileDirectClub. “We are proud to join with the NDA to empower the next generation of African American oral health professionals to remove barriers, so everyone has access to safe, effective, and high-quality oral care.”

Apply online at

Deadline for submission is November 1, 2021, at 11:59pm EST 

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