Dr. David A. Ferguson of Richmond, Virginia organized an organization of African-American dentists. A meeting was held on May 1, 1901 in Washington, D.C. at the Dental College of Howard University. The National Association of Colored Dentist was formed. The new national organization met annually until 1905. There was little interest in continuing with the next year’s meeting, thus the 1906 meeting was canceled.
In January, 1913, Dr. Ferguson sent a letter to all African-American dentists in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia inviting them to meet in Buckroe Beach, Virginia. The purpose of this meeting was to form a regional organization to address dental issues of mutual concern.
In February, 1913, African-American dentists from around Virginia met at the We-Us Hotel, Newport News, Virginia to establish the Old Dominion Dental Society (ODDS). The officers elected were affectionately known as “Definite 7”. They consisted of President, Dr. Norman Lassiter of Newport News, Virginia, Vice President, Dr. J. M. G. Ramsey of Richmond, Virginia, Corresponding Secretary, Dr. Hamilton Rance of Suffolk, Virginia, Recording Secretary, Dr. John T. Lattimore of Hampton, Virginia, Treasurer, Dr. G. C. Strong of Norfolk, Virginia, Historian, Dr. R. C. Brown of Richmond, Virginia and Librarian, Dr. C. A. Tomlinson of Norfolk, Virginia.
On July 19, 1913, 30 dentists or more met at the Bay Shore Hotel at Buckroe Beach, Virginia.
The new organization was named Tri-State Dental Association. The meetings were held in the summer at the Bay Shore Hotel until 1930. With the addition of more states, the organization changed its name to the Interstate Dental Association. In 1932, the name was changed to the National Dental Association.