Ask the CEO: American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

professional development

AACD Executive Director Barb Kachelski, CAE, describes how the association keeps its members' skills sharp and helps puts patients in their dental chairs.

Barb Kachelski, CAE, executive director, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, answers questions from AACD member Charlie Cooper, DMD.

Charlie Cooper, DMD: How does AACD help put patients in my dental chair?

Barb Kachelski, CAE: Leadership's priority is consumer awareness. AACD's new consumer website,, features fun elements like a "smile analyzer," educational features, and a "find a dentist" tool. AACD just launched a Smile Story Contest and will award up to five smile makeovers.

How can AACD help me refine my skills to offer patients the best care?

AACD offers live educational opportunities, publications like the Journal of Cosmetic Dentistry, and e-learning options. The most challenging level of hands-on clinical education in the cosmetic dentistry profession is AACD accreditation and fellowship. Members who attain the AACD credential undertake a rigorous process, including a written exam, submission of specified cases, and an oral exam.

How is AACD different from other aesthetic dental organizations?

First, members leverage unique skills to heal the devastating effects of domestic violence. The AACD Charitable Foundation's Give Back a Smile program restores damaged teeth—and lives—of survivors who received dental injuries from a former intimate partner. Second, we welcome dentists, lab technicians, university educators, and corporate partners to collaborate and learn from one another. No other organization so fully integrates the team required to practice cosmetic dentistry at its highest level. And third, AACD is the largest aesthetic dental association in the world, with representatives from 81 countries. Whether you need inspiration or an understanding peer group, you've found the right community within AACD's membership.