In A Nutshell
Hawaii Dental Service (HDS) is the first and leading nonprofit dental service corporation in Hawaii providing dental benefit plans to nearly one million members. More than 95% of all licensed, practicing dentists in Hawaii participate with HDS, creating the largest network of dentists in the state.
Deep Island Roots
Hawaii Dental Service was founded in 1962 by 15 local, pioneering dentists who had a strong commitment to provide quality dental care to the community. They introduced the first prepaid dental plan in Hawaii, a new concept at the time, to provide affordable dental coverage for Hawaii children. Today, HDS’s mission remains true to the intent of its founders – to serve the needs of our community by improving the oral health of its residents.
Of the 500 licensed dentists in the islands at the time, a total of 221 became charter members. Hawaii State Dental Service Corporation, as it was known at the time, opened for business on June 28, 1962.
Coverage was extended to 2,000 children of Hawaii Stevedores union employees but the extensive utilization of benefits nearly forced the company to close its doors. Fortunately, support and cooperation from the union’s Trust Fund and members enabled Hawaii Dental Service to continue its operations.
In 1966, HDS became a member of Delta Dental Plans Association (DDPA), the nation’s largest and most experienced dental benefits company. The DDPA dentist network is the largest in the nation and offers HDS members access to more than 124,000 participating dentists across the country.
As a nonprofit dental service corporation, HDS serves nearly one million Hawaii residents. Its customers represent Hawaii’s diverse industries, companies, unions, associations and nonprofit organizations; Medicaid beneficiaries; and those enrolled in HDS individual plans.
More than 95% of all licensed, practicing dentists in Hawaii participate with HDS, creating the largest network of participating dentists in the state. HDS has also grown to include about 70 percent of the licensed dentists in Guam and Saipan.