Dr. Jacqueline Plemons honored with TDA gold medal
The Texas Dental Association was chartered in 1871, its goal to organize and improve the dental profession around the state. Today, it is the third largest organization of its kind in the country with thousands of members across 26 component dental societies. Among the many roles of the TDA is to offer recognition for those in the dental profession who go above and beyond what is expected of them. In May, Dr. Jacqueline Plemons was awarded the Gold Medal for Distinguished Service.
The gold medal is the highest achievement the association gives to its members. Only one dentist per year can receive the award. To be considered, one must be active in dental affairs on the local, state, and national level. Service to the community they live in is also highly considered in the selection process.
“The award isn’t given very frequently,” Plemons says. “It takes years of involvement in organized dentistry. I really consider it a privilege to do these things.”
Plemons, a periodontist with her own private practice in Dallas, teaches part time at the College of Dentistry. She became a tenured professor in 1993 and has worked in the Department of Periodontics since 1988. She also serves as director of the Texas A&M College of Dentistry Stomatology Center.
Besides her dental practice and teaching, Plemons has also been active in the TDA. She joined the association in 1988, serving on numerous committees and leadership positions. From 2020 to 2021 she was the association’s president. She has also held leadership positions with the Dallas County Dental Society and the American Dental Association.
“Dr. Plemons is the 26th TDA member to be so honored by her peers,” a press release from the Texas Dental Association reads.
Plemons says that it was very surprising to receive the award. Awards are given during the TDA’s House of Delegates meeting every year. The gold medal award winner is kept a secret until the meeting itself. Plemons says that only a small handful of people know who, if anyone, will earn the award that year. She had no idea until she was announced its recipient at the meeting.
“I’ve had a lot of opportunities, and it’s been fun,” Plemons says. “I’m very grateful for that. It’s an incredibly well-respected honor. I’m also grateful to the dental school for being able to teach here.”
She says that she hopes winning this award will help inspire her students. Get involved in organized dentistry early, she says, it offers a lot of mentorship opportunities and room for growth. Whether it be as a new dentist or a retired dentist, she says membership with the Texas Dental Association is valuable.
Plemons adds that during the meeting where she received her gold medal, she was also elected to serve as the TDA editor, where she’ll oversee the association’s publications.