This professional association traces its history to 1869, when a group of dentists met in Houston and drafted a constitution and by-laws. Dr. Menard Michau of Houston was elected first president of the association, which was officially chartered by the State of Texas on May 17, 1871. Initial membership consisted of 18 dentists and 22 honorary members.
The association experienced difficulties during the 1870s, and by 1880 Texas dentists saw the need for a reorganization. A new society, the Texas State Dental Association, was formed and held its first meeting in Houston on November 25, 1880. The members elected Dr. William S. Carruthers of Galveston as president. At a meeting in Austin in August 1881 members of the original and new organizations voted to merge and operate under the original group's 1871 charter.
The association has held annual meetings for its members since 1880. The "Texas Dental Journal," dating to 1883, is the oldest continuously published dental periodical in the western hemisphere. Headquartered in Austin since 1971, the association has been instrumental in drafting and effecting legislation regulating the practice of dentistry in Texas.