Dental Students

Organized dentistry is a valuable resource to student members preparing for a career in dentistry, and student membership is free! The MDA works with students at Missouri's three dental schools to provide various programs and services, such as Food for Thought, advocacy, scholarships and more. Click the video thumbnail above to get an overview!

For questions about student benefits or programs, contact Paul Roberts, Foundation & Outreach Director or Stacey Hemmel, Membership Manager. For questions about MDIS insurance, contact Jerri Wildhaber, MDIS Operations Manager. 

Click below to learn more about events, opportunities and resources for dental students!


Sign Up for Text Reminders

We know it's often easier to receive a text reminder than to get messages filling your email inbox. 

Simply follow the instructions below to sign up for MDA student text reminders (using Remind) to receive information on our Food For Thought lunches, other student events and scholarship due dates.

  • Only sign up for your school/class: Information pertaining to your school/class will be different from others.
  • Text: @ class abbreviation and class year to 81010
    • @umkc2025, @umkc2026, @umkc2027 or @umkc2028
    • @atsu2025, @atsu2026, @atsu2027 or @atsu2028
    • @kcu2027 or @kcu2028

Remind Sign Up Sample

MDA Student Resources

Student Membership Matters Flyer: This summarizes your benefits of membership.

Communications: We have a variety of media to keep you connected! This includes print and digital media, social media and more. We use text reminders and emails to inform you of upcoming events and deadlines. 

Legislative Advocacy: As a student and new dentist, you may not feel you have time to become involved with governmental and regulatory affairs. That’s why MDA makes it our business to be an advocate for you and the dental profession. Your membership gives you a voice in legislative decisions that can directly affect dentistry in Missouri. We invite all dental students to attend the annual Dental Day at the Capitol to advocate for your profession, and student delegates also attend the ADA Dentist and Student Lobby Day

ADA Student Resources Visit to update your home mailing address, photo, etc. so we can stay connected!

ADA Dental Student Page: Provides a variety of student and new graduate resources.

Dental Licensure Maps: Find information about initial licensure, licensure by credentials, CE and renewal requirements, and specialty licensure for each state and territory. 

Scholarships & Sponsorship

Since 1999, the MDA Foundation has awarded dental student scholarships. This is made possible by the generous support of the Foundation by MDA members. When the next application cycle is open, we'll have information posted here. Read about the most recent winners.

The MDA supports dental student events like ASDA Fever Week and White Coat Ceremonies. MDA also sponsors a student liaison from each dental school to attend the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) Annual Session or Regional Meeting.

Looking to the Future

ADA Career Guidance: Discover career options available to you after school and access helpful tools to guide you through your career.

Classified Listings: How do you plan to practice after graduation? Will you become an associate, go into public health or have your own solo private practice? The MDA has a classified listings to help you connect with career opportunities.

Missouri Dental Insurance Services: Offers a complete array of products and services including board exam policies and health, life, disability for students and their families.

New Dentists: When you are officially a "new dentist" after graduation, check out our page for resources.

    Events & Opportunities

    Food For Thought & Board Exam Lunches

    During the fall and spring semesters, MDA/MDIS host Food for Thought "lunch and learns" that feature a free lunch and a presentation from a recent graduate dentist who talks about their journey in the profession. Every student who attends a Food For Thought and stays to the end will have a chance to win some cash, gift cards and t-shirts. 

    MDIS provides lunch for students taking the dental board exams in March/April and MDA/MDIS compiles membership benefit and insurance materials for the dental board candidates.

    Missouri New Dentist Network (NDN)

    Join your colleagues on the Missouri New Dentist Network (NDN) Facebook Group. The NDN allows engagement and participation across the state for all dental students and new dentists. Participation in the NDN allows you to give input, interact with others and provide feedback on things that matter to you. Contact Paul if you're interested or have questions.

    Free CE & Networking

    Dental students can attend any MDA continuing education meetings for free, including the Connect4Success at the Lake of the Ozarks each summer.

    National Signing Day

    We want all new grads to convert their student membership to dentist membership! We do this annually at National Signing Day. Regardless of what's next — taking time off, continuing your education or going into practice — your national (ADA), state (MDA) and local society (component) want to ensure you're an active member to give you the support, knowledge and voice to thrive! 

    MDA Student Delegates

    The MDA House is the supreme authority of the Association, and in addition to other business, delegates bring forward and vote on resolutions, determine annual dues, elect Association officers and honor award recipients. The House consists of 52 voting members, which includes two student delegates (third and fourth year) from each dental school. The MDA communicates with each school's ASDA representative about selected delegates.

    Student Debt Resources

    Loan Repayment

    Federal: For federal loan repayment options, click here for the ADA's compiled list.

    State: We encourage you visit Missouri Health Professional Placement Services for opportunities. You also can access a search feature on their website and a PDF guide.


    • MDA Foundation Scholarship Program: Awards given each year based upon achievement and need. The scholarship program is an initiative of the MDA Foundation in cooperation with the MDA and MDIS. Click here to learn more.
    • HRSA Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students: Dental students may compete for NHSC scholarships beginning in their sophomore and junior years. The program offers payment of tuition and fees, books, supplies, and equipment and includes a monthly stipend. In exchange, recipients must agree to provide oral health services for a minimum of two years in any underserved community identified by the NHSC as being a critical need area. For more information, call NHSC, 800-221-9393.
    • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) Short-Term Training Awards: This program provides underrepresented minority and women dental students an opportunity to obtain research experience during their professional training. Recipients receive a monthly stipend during training periods. Applicants must be enrolled at a U.S. dental school and be a U.S. citizen, a noncitizen national of the U.S., or lawfully admitted for permanent residence. All minorities are eligible, but NIDCR determines if minority status is underrepresented. All recipients must sign an agreement that they will fulfill payback requirements. For more information contact NIDCR at 301-594-7617.
    • Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarships (HPSP) offer scholarships to dental students that pay tuition, fees, books and a monthly stipend. All are highly competitive programs. The active duty obligation is one year of service for each year of scholarship support with a minimum of three years of active duty service. Scholarships are available annually from all service branches. For information contact the individual branches of service. In addition to scholarships, there are branches of the federal service that offer financial assistance and/or loan forgiveness to dental students in exchange for a work commitment. Find out more by viewing the websites below for these organizations: Army Dental CorpsNavyAir ForceDepartment of Veterans AffairsU.S. Public Health Service

    ADA Resources

    The ADA has created a Student Debt page to provide resources to address the burden of student debt faced by dental school graduates.

    As a member benefit, the ADA exclusively endorses Laurel Road Student Loan Refinancing Program, which provides unmatched opportunities for ADA members to refinance existing federal and private undergraduate and graduate school loans. 

    ADEA Resources

    The American Dental Education Association has resources for financing dental education under its Money Matters page.