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Brief history of the Hungarian Dental Association (HDA)

Although the association was founded in 1905 under the name of the Hungarian Dental Association (HDA), its legal predecessor - Budapesti Fogorvosok Egylete - was established in 1878. The first president of the Association was Döme Nedelkó, and its first secretary was József Árkövy. The dental society and medical historians consider the year of the formation of the legal predecessor (1878) to be the year of the formation of HDA. It belongs to the historical fidelity that the already mentioned Budapesti Fogorvosok Egylete, as well as the Central Hungarian Dental Association (Központi Magyar Fogtani Társulat) and the National Association of Dentists (Stomatológusok Országos Egyesülete) also took part in the establishment of HDA (1905).

The first Hungarian Dental Congress was held in 1896, with 200 national and foreign participants. After that, in the turn of the century, Árkövy was the driving force of scientific life, who regularly (every 1-2 years) organized two-day general meetings at the Dental Clinic of Budapest. The official journal of HDA, Fogorvosi Szemle, was launched in 1908 by its first editor, Zoltán Körmöczi, who was the editor-in-chief for 18 years. The paper continues to perform its task more than 100 years after its launch. We have been developing our digital presence since 2017, we use DOI numbers, and all issues of the paper are available online and are also included in the EBSCO database. 

The aim of the Körmöczi Award, established by HDA, was - and still is - to commemorate the first editor-in-chief of the paper, as well as to help young dentists (under the age of 35) in their work and in writing publications. The awards are judged annually by the Board of HDA. The HDA has applied to join the World Dental Federation (FDI), of which it has been a member ever since without interruption. 

After World War II, the first scientific assembly took place in 1947 - on the 25th anniversary of Árkövy's death. Since then, the Association has been holding regular itinerary congresses of Árkövy; in 2016 it was held in Szeged (K. Nagy). Among the itinerary congresses of Árkövy, the XVI. Árkövy Congress should be highlighted, which was held in Vienna in 2002 as the Hungarian section of the FDI World Congress.

In 1964, HDA organized the International Dental Conference in Budapest with hundreds of foreign participants. The 1970s were the years of the formation of departments and sections in the life of HDA. By the 1970s, there was already a very strong demand from the specialized fields of dental and oral surgery to have sections within the HDA that corresponded to the specializations of the profession. The Paediatric Dentistry Section was established first, followed by the Periodontal, Prosthodontics, Dental Health Organization, Conservative Dentistry and Oral Surgery Sections. Between 5 and 7 October 1978, the HDA organized a Centennial Congress in Budapest. After that, the transformation of the departments into an “association” began vigorously; the inclusion of "independent legal personality"; on the basis of these, the preparation of the fundamentally new Statutes of the Sections and logically, the election of new management. 
Currently, each Association of HDA has the status of an “independent legal personality”. That period of 10 years also resulted in substantive changes in the life of the sections (associations, now affiliate societies). In addition to the previously active scientific associations (e.g. Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics; Periodontology), a very active scientific public and international departmental life continued in the field of oral surgery. 

After the 1990s, the further training of dentists took a completely new form (new titles: compulsory, optional, funded, fee-paying, general, profession-specific, etc.). Professional associations also contribute a lot to this, e.g. the speakers of these courses and trainings are often outstanding representatives of professional societies. These events are also an essential part of HDA’s life. (congresses, general assemblies, courses). Since its formation, HDA has always had, and continues to have, intense international relations over the past 138 years. Currently, HDA is the member of the World Dental Federation (FDI). In addition, the HDA has also been a member of FDI’s European organization (ERO) for many years, but our association has quit from the ERO, but is a member of the Council of the European Dentists (CED) and participates in the work of the Dental Liaison Committee (EU). From the beginning of the 2000s, HDA's relations with DENTED, ADEE (Dental Education) and IADR strengthened, and one of its great events (Continental European Division of IADR) was held in Budapest (Zs. Tóth, G. Varga). At international events, Hungarian dentistry is represented by the National Commission (to which 3-3 people are delegated by the HDA and the Hungarian Dental Chamber) on professional policy issues.