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A First For India – Two South Asian’s Head Two Of The World’s Largest Dental Organizations


July 15, 2019
by Academy of General Dentistry

Dr. Neil J. Gajjar presents Dr. Chad Gehani with a Ganesh idol for good luck and prosperity as Dr. Gehani assumes his new office.

On November 4, 2018, Dr. Neil J. Gajjar of Canada became the first South Asian and youngest president of the Academy of General Dentistry, the world’s largest dental organization for general dentists with over 40,000 members.

Dr. Gajjar, who was born in Stephenville, Newfoundland is the son of parents from Ahmedabad, India. He frequently travels back to Gandhinagar and speaks fluently in Gujarati. When being installed as president, he said, “This is a proud moment for me, a proud moment for my family, and a proud moment for Canada and India.”

The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) is a professional association of more than 40,000 general dentists dedicated to providing quality dental care and oral health education to the public. Founded in 1952, AGD is the largest association for general dentists in the world and serves the needs and represents the interests of general dentists. From quality education to the only achievement-based awards in general dentistry, the AGD ensures our members stay on top of the latest trends, access quality continuing education, and are distinguished as the educated voice in general dentistry. AGD’s award-winning publications are respected in the profession as sources for the latest product and technology, as well as advances in science, pharmacology and dental materials.

During his one-year volunteer term as president, Dr. Gajjar’s vision for AGD aligns with the organization’s goal to advance the field of general dentistry and oral health through quality education and advocacy.

“AGD has a phenomenal CE program, but like many things, we can develop it more,” said Dr. Gajjar. “The organization’s greatest strength rests in our members. We have members who are dedicated to learning, refining their skills and delivering the best care possible to their patients. We have a membership that believes in the profession of general dentistry who will advocate for the industry, their colleagues and their patients.”

During his tenure as AGD’s president, Dr. Gajjar intends to use his influence to encourage the organization to incorporate more advanced technological and automated platforms. Coming from a family of engineers, he understands how technology can significantly improve the operations and efficiency of AGD.

Dr. Gajjar, who is a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry, has fulfilled other leadership and constituency roles during his tenure as an AGD member. Prior to serving as president, Dr. Gajjar served as the board vice president and secretary. He has also worked on several AGD committees and councils — AGD Membership, Dental Education, and Group Benefits and Annual Meeting councils. On the local level, Dr. Gajjar is the past president of the Ontario AGD, the South Asian Dental Association and a member of the Canadian Dental Association. He has served as the Canada East Regent for the Academy of General Dentist International. In addition, Dr. Gajjar was elected as Councillor and served on various committees with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.

He received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Toronto. Dr. Gajjar went on to receive his Doctor of Dental Surgery from Howard University in Washington, DC, awarded the Teachers of Oral Diagnosis Award. Dr. Gajjar is a Fellow of the Academy of Dentistry International, American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, Pierre Fauchard Academy and holds a certification in intravenous sedation.

Dr. Gajjar has completed his American Dental Association’s National Board Dental Examination Part I and Part II, as well as the National Dental Examining Board of Canada exams. He is licensed with the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.

Dr. Gajjar is passionate about continuing education and has been a committed lecturer on managing medical emergencies in the dental office. In addition, he has formally served as a lecturer of oral pathology at the Canadian Academy of Dental Hygiene and as a clinical instructor in the Oral Diagnosis and Emergency Clinics at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry.

Dr. Gajjar lives in Mississauga, Ontario, with his wife and two children.

In September of 2019, Dr. Chad P. Gehani will be installed as president of the American Dental Association (ADA), when he will lead the ADA’s 163,000-member organization. He is the first South Asian to be elected to this position, an organization known as one of the leading advocate for oral health in the United States. Dr. Gehani was elected during a meeting of the ADA House of Delegates in Honolulu. He is a Clinical Associate Professor of Endodontics at New York University, New York, and also an international presenter who has been very active in teaching in South Asia.

The not-for-profit ADA is the nation’s largest dental association, representing 163,000 dentist members, which has advocated for the public’s health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA’s state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. It’s Journal of the American Dental Association is the ADA’s flagship publication and the one of best-read scientific journal in dentistry.

Since 2014, Dr. Gehani has served as the Second District trustee to the ADA Board of Trustees, and was a delegate in the House of Delegates from 2000-2014. Dr. Gehani was previously the president of the New York State Dental Association and the Queens County Dental Society.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Gehani has earned a number of fellowships from prominent organizations, including the International College of Dentists, American College of Dentists and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. In addition to the ADA, Dr. Gehani is a member of the American Association of Endodontists and the Indian Dental Association (USA). Dr. Gehani has received several awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which recognizes Americans who dedicate their lives to community service, from the Ellis Island Honor Society, and the Distinguished Service Award from The Pierre Fauchard Academy, New York Section, in 2008.  Lifetime achievement award from The Indian Dental Association (USA) . Best Teacher award from The International College of Dentists .

Dr. Gehani graduated from the University of Mumbai (India) and from the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine. He practices in Queens, New York, where he lives with his wife Rekha, who is also a dentist. Two of their three children are dentists and the other is a physician.

Both Drs. Gajjar and Gehani are looking forward to working together in promoting the profession and ensuring optimal oral health for patients.

For more information about the AGD, visit AGD.org, or its consumer site KnowYourTeeth.com.

For more information about the ADA, visit ADA.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website MouthHealthy.org