Our story began in August, 1960, with 31 dental assisting educators gathering together for an educational workshop in Lake Arrowhead, California. Through the cooperative efforts of UCLA and the Bureau of Industrial Education, California State Department of Education, the workshop was entitled “Improving Instruction in Dental Assisting.” The group was not known as The California Association of Dental Assisting Teachers then but rather the California Junior College Dental Assisting Instructors Forum. The group was split between northern and southern sub-groups and met annually for a period of six years before a more formal association was assembled.

CADAT Group PhotoOn January 17, 1970, the first association bylaws were created and approved by the new organization – hereinafter known as CADAT. The mission of the original association was to improve communication with dental assisting teachers and those schools accredited by the American Dental Association Council on Dental Education (known today as the Commission on Dental Accreditation). Each year, the association members met through the annual workshop which delivered educational courses to teachers over a three to four day time period. The annual workshops were all facilitated by dental school educators teaching dental assisting teachers advanced techniques! Just to give you an idea of the times – the 1970 workshop covered “Amalgam Restorations: matrix application, condensing and polishing restorations.” Oh, how times have changed! Through several decades of dental assisting professional advancement, educational growth and development, and legislative change, the CADAT membership has progressed to encompass all teachers and educators from diverse educational formats – ROP/CTE dental assisting program, public and private sector RDA programs and both state Dental Board and ADA Commission on Dental Accreditation-approved programs. Today, the association represents more than 100 dental assisting programs throughout the state. Our members range from licensed RDA and RDH educators, non-licensed deans and administrators, and our latest membership category allowing for out-of-state dental assisting educators desiring to be a part of an association dedicated to their needs for education and information. Today’s CADAT – emerging as the #1 trusted resource for professional dental assisting educators everywhere!