The first anaesthetic given in Australia for dental procedures was administered in June 1847 by Dr John Belisario, Sydney. His name is recognised for the Society Award. Australian dentists continued to contribute in a considerable way to the progress of anaesthetic practice. Notable amongst these were;
Dr Thomas(1875) on the dangers of chloroform
Dr Marks (1909) who advocated the use of a nitrous oxide/oxygen mix
Dr Springthorpe (1909) who recommended a certificated training course
Dr Arnott who presented a doctoral thesis on general anaesthesia.
During the 1930s through the 50s, the Melbourne dental School was pre-eminent in training dental students under the direction of Drs Amies, Heath and Kaye. In Sydney this training was carried out by Drs Marshall and Kemp. Although though this time a policy of discouragement developed or dentists to be involved with techniques other than local anaesthetic.
Influenced by new methods of pain and anxiety control practiced in the United Kingdom and the united States, a group of Sydney practitioners formed the Dental Sedation and Anaesthesia Group in 1968. This became known as the ASAASD in 1970 under the presidency of Dr Noel Hodge. The first Council members were Drs Polyblank, Gahan, Chambiras, Kaufman, Richardson, Scahill, Southwell and Armstrong.
1971 ASAASD affiliated with the Australian Dental Association. Throughout the next twenty years ASAASD conducted many courses. A structured educational program was introduced in 1978. Evaluation of the practitioners and practices were part of this program. The Society, during this time, also published a journal – Dental Anaesthesia and Sedation.
1988 ASDA hosts 5th International Dental Congress on Modern Pain Control in Canberra. Dr J Grainger was elected to the presidency of the International Federation of Dental Anaesthesiology Societies.
2009, ASDA hosted the 12th International Dental Congress on Modern Pain Control in Gold Coast. Dr D Stewart was elected to the presidency of the International Federation of Dental Anaesthesiology Societies.
From 2011, Dr Robert Turnbull and Angelo Preketes (ably assisted by Rachel Taylor) have been organising the Annual Scientific meeting, which has included an expanded 2-day reendorsement program.
We remember the passing on Monday, 7th Nov 2016 of Dr James (Jim) K. Grainger M.D.S. F.R.A.C.D.S. F.I.C.D. F.A.D.I. F.P.F.A. , after a battle with myeloid leukemia. Jim was one of the elder statesmen of ASDA (the Australian Society of Dental Anaesthesiology) and IFDAS – the International Federation of Dental Anaesthesia Societies, having been involved since their inception and practising dentistry for almost 60 years.
Amongst many awards, he received the highest honours from both ASDA (the Belisario Award) and IFDAS (the Horace Wells Award) and served as President of both Societies as well as General Secretary of IFDAS (attending all but one of the IFDAS Congresses since they began).
During the 2016 ASM, only days after his passing, his partner of 14 years, Virginia Morris presented a copy of his book, The Road to Recognition – The history of ASAASD / ASDA, by Dr James (Jim) Grainger to each of the members of the Society present at the meeting.
In 2019, Dr James Auld was recognised on his retirement for his outstanding and long term contribution to the society and dentistry with a crystal plaque in appreciation from the society, which included over 50 years practising Dentistry and 25 years on ASDA council.