Master of the AGD

 Bradley J. Nelson has Achieved the goal of Master of the AGD which is a significant milestone and clearly establishes a dentist as a shining example to other members of the profession. With this honor comes responsibility.

1—There is a responsibility to self

Continue the journey as a lifelong learner and remain abreast of the current scientific information and clinical procedures, as well as cutting-edge advances in the profession.

2—There is a responsibility to the dental profession

Masters of the AGD have participated in some of the best, most comprehensive continuing education available. They must use their experience and position to teach and give others the benefit of what they have learned. Be involved and be mentors. Use your knowledge to improve existing continuing education programs and help develop quality programs where none exist. Be a recognizable participant in study clubs, society meetings, regional conferences, and significantly, local dental schools.

3—There is a responsibility to the AGD

Masters of the AGD have influence and prestige within the organization. Keep the commitment to the AGD strong and leverage the Master position to make the AGD an even better organization. Stay engaged, whether it be on a constituent, regional, or national level. Masters’ talents are needed as the AGD moves forward into a new era.

4—There is a responsibility to community

Master credentials speak for themselves within the dental profession, but Masters must actively extend their influence and talents into the communities that they serve. Be committed and be leaders. Exemplify dedication, concern, compassion and understanding in the community in the manner of unselfish service. Doing so will enhance the professional image among those we serve, and those who might enter our profession tomorrow.

Masters are leaders in the profession charged with the obligations and responsibilities outlined here. In accepting the award, Masters have made a commitment to the highest professional standards and the ideals of the AGD. It is a commitment that will last throughout their professional lives.


What does FAGD or MAGD stand for after your general dentist’s name?

Your dentist is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD), an organization of general dentists who are dedicated to professional development and continuing education. All AGD members must remain current with advances in the profession to provide quality patient treatment. A general dentist who is a “Fellow” in the Academy of General Dentistry (FAGD) has been recognized by other general dentists as a leader and an example to other dentists of the importance of quality continuing dental education to patient care. A general dentist who has earned the designation “Master” of the Academy of General Dentistry (MAGD)—a big step up from Fellowship—has completed a structured and rigorous set of requirements involving all the dental disciplines. Both Fellows and Masters have accepted the charge to keep abreast of advances in dentistry for the benefit of patients and the betterment of dentistry. They serve as mentors and leaders to other dentists pursuing continuing dental education. They set examples in their communities with their hard work, concern and involvement.

What are the steps to Fellowship in the Academy of General Dentistry?

To earn a Fellowship Award, your dentist must earn a minimum of 500 approved continuing dental education credits and pass a comprehensive 400-question examination. Your dentist must also be an Academy of General Dentistry member for five continuous years. While attaining Fellowship is a challenge, it allows dentists to remain current with what is new in dentistry, and to incorporate the latest techniques into their practices.

What is the requirement for Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry?

To attain Mastership, members must first be Fellows in the Academy of General Dentistry. Then they must earn an additional 600 approved continuing education credits, meeting minimum requirements in certain dental disciplines, of which 400 hours are hands on courses. Thus, a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry has taken a total of 1,100 hours of continuing education. A Master has studied 16 disciplines in dentistry, such as periodontics, orthodontics and implants.

What’s special about a dentist who has an award from the Academy of General Dentistry?

Fellows and Masters of the Academy of General Dentistry follow a lifelong pursuit of continuing education to provide the highest quality of dental care to patients. The award symbolizes the professional responsibility of general dentists to remain current in their profession and reminds each member of the dental profession to continue to learn new techniques for their dental practice. These are awards, however and should not be confused with post-graduate degrees or certification. Every dentist who applies for the Fellowship or Mastership award has their application reviewed by the AGD Council on Dental Education to assure that the high standards of the Academy of General Dentistry are met.

How many dentists have achieved Fellowship or Mastership?

To date, more than 10,000 members of the Academy of General Dentistry have become Fellows and more than 1,000 have gone on to receive Mastership. The Academy is proud of all of its members who must take at least 75 hours of continuing dental education every three years, and especially proud of its members who have made the commitment to pursue these awards. When your dentist has achieved the Fellowship Award or Mastership Award, you can be assured that they are dedicated to providing the finest care in general dentistry.


This information was compiled for you by the Academy of General Dentistry. Your dentist cares about long-tern dental health for you and your family and demonstrates that concern by belonging to the Academy of General Dentistry. As one of the 35,000 general dentists in the United States and Canada who are members of the Academy, your dentist participates in an ongoing program of professional development and continuing education to remain current with advances in the profession and to provide quality patient treatment. Visit the AGD's web site at