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The 2019 MDA Annual Session will be held May 1-4, 2019, at Cobo Center in downtown Detroit.

Below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions about the 2019 Annual Session. Topics covered include registration, exhibit hall, House of Delegates, dining options, and more.

Click on a question below to view the answer.

How do I register in advance?

Click here to register online. Otherwise you can register by fax (517-372-6704), by mail (MDA, 3657 Okemos Road, Ste. 200, Okemos, MI 48864), or by telephone 517-346-9408. Classes may also be reserved on-site in the registration area (Hall D of Cobo Center). Be sure to make your reservations as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Seating is limited.

Is there a general registration fee?

No, there is not a flat fee for attending the conference. You pay a per course or per event fee. There are some classes and activities that are free, but still require registration. See registration categories below.

  • Name Badge Only: FREE to ADA/MDA member dentists, dental staff, students, and guests. Name Badge Only allows entry into Exhibits, Welcome Reception, Table Clinics, and Keynote Presentation (registration required). Registration and fees are required as noted in the Annual Session information for CE courses.
  • Non-member Dentists: There is no registration fee. Rates for CE classes are an additional $50 per session for non-members (except for Saturday courses). Additional fees paid can be applied to membership within 30 days. Non-member dentists can also attend the Exhibit Hall for free.

Where can I get lunch?

There are many restaurants and eateries located within walking distance of Cobo Center. Visit the Detroit Convention & Visitor's Bureau Restaurant Database Search and use the filters to find the dining locale that suits your tastes. Dining maps will also be available at the Annual Session Information booths.

What are the area attractions?


Tour Detroit Via the People Mover and QLine: Metro Detroit is an expansive area, nearly 2,000 square miles. Downtown Detroit is walkable and offers bike share programs as well as public modes of transportation, including the Detroit People Mover (an elevated 2.9-mile looped light-rail system) and the QLine (a 3.3-mile circulating streetcar along the city’s main artery Woodward Avenue).

Detroit Historical Museum: Learn about the history of southeastern Michigan at the newly renovated Detroit Historical Museum. Stroll along the Streets of Old Detroit, an exhibit that recreates Detroit street scenes from the 1840s, 1870s, and early 1900s. Another favorite is the America’s Motor City exhibition that celebrates the region’s automotive heritage.

Detroit Institute of Arts: The Detroit Institute of Arts, among the top 10 museums in the country, offers over 100 galleries with art from ancient to modern times. The Detroit Institute of Arts has many renowned works, including French Impressionist, German Expressionist, American and Flemish paintings. The Detroit Institute of Arts is located in Midtown Detroit near The Michigan Science Center, so this is the perfect location for a Detroit field trip. The DIA is also close to Wayne State University, the Detroit Public Library and the Detroit Historical Museum, and not a far walk from the QLine. The museum covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries, a 1,150-seat auditorium, a 380-seat lecture/recital hall, an art reference library, and a state-of-the-art conservation services laboratory. The DIA's collection is among the top six in the United States, comprising a multicultural and multinational survey of human creativity from prehistory through the 21st century. Among the notable acquisitions during his tenure are Mexican artist Diego Rivera's Detroit Industry fresco cycle, which Rivera considered his most successful work, and Vincent van Gogh's Self Portrait, the first Van Gogh painting to enter a U.S. museum collection.

Belle Isle State Park: Accessible by a bridge at the foot of East Grand Boulevard, this 982-acre island park features a zoo, aquarium, conservatory, Great Lakes museum and plenty of room to hike, barbecue, watch boats, bicycle and more. Original landscaping by the Dean of American landscape architects, Frederick Law Olmstead.

Motown Museum: Despite the passage of time Motown Records’ establishment in 1959 by Berry Gordy, tens of thousands of visitors pass through Hitsville U.S.A., home to the Motown Museum, each year. Their presence is a testimony to Motown’s legacy and to the charisma, talent and staying power of the music and those who made it. The Motown Museum, which was founded by Esther Gordy Edwards in 1985, is one of Southeast Michigan’s most popular tourist destinations. Visitors come from across America and throughout the world to stand in Studio A, where their favorite artists groups recorded much-loved music, and to view the restored upper flat where Berry Gordy lived with his young family during the company’s earliest days. Home to an extensive array of Motown artifacts, photographs and other memorabilia, the Museum’s mission, is to preserve the legacy the legacy of Motown Record Company and to educate and motivated people, especially youth.

Michigan Science Center: The Michigan Science Center inspires curious minds of all ages to discover, explore and appreciate science, technology, engineering and math in a creative, dynamic learning environment. Check out the planetarium at the Michigan Science Center for an out of this world experience for all ages. Other exhibits at the Michigan Science Center include topics such as engineering, health and wellness, motion and space.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History: Founded in 1965, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History has for over half a century been a leading institution dedicated to the African American experience. Our mission is to open minds and change lives through the exploration and celebration of African American history and culture. Our vision is of a world in which the adversity and achievement of African American history inspire everyone toward greater understanding, acceptance and unity! The Wright Museum houses over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials and is home to the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, Coleman A. Young Collection and the Sheffield Collection, a repository of documents of the labor movement in Detroit.

Fantasy Land at the Parade Company: Visit the working studio of one of the largest, oldest, and most spectacular parades in the country, America’s Thanksgiving Parade®. Wander through the wonderland of fantasy and floats, and marvel at the world’s largest collection of antique papiermâché heads. See the Costume Department where characters come to life, and meet award-winning artisans who bring the parade magic to you.

Fox Theatre: Detroit’s crown jewel, the Fox Theatre, has played host to some of the biggest names in show business and holds its ground as one of the top-grossing theaters of its size in the nation. Get a backstage look at the magnificent Fox Theatre during a 45-minute walking tour that highlights the extravagant lobby, 13-foot-diameter chandelier, and gold décor from around the world.

Detroit: Crossroad of Innovation Fresco: Detroit’s newest piece of public art by renowned artist Hubert Massey was unveiled at Cobo Center. The 30’ x 30’ permanent fresco, “Detroit: Crossroad of Innovation," vibrantly celebrates the city’s diverse industrial and cultural heritage. Located outside of the Grand Riverview Ballroom, the fresco features positive regional stories and incorporates symbols which reflect Detroit’s pride and enduring influences from the past, present and future. The initiative was led by Detroit Regional Convention Facility Authority Art Foundation. The fresco is part of a public art initiative launched by the DRCFA and the DRCFA Art Foundation, also known as Cobo Art. Through Cobo Art, Detroit’s Cobo Center joins major convention centers throughout the country featuring public art including cities such as Chicago, Nashville, Pittsburgh and Washington D.C.

Visit Ford Field: Home to the Detroit Lions, Ford Field was completed in 2002, seats 65,000, and hosts events such as concerts, conventions, trade shows, competitions, and more. A one hour tour gets you a behind-the-scenes look at this impressive stadium, including an athlete’s view of the field as you come through the tunnel to stand on the turf.

Are there any tours of downtown Detroit?

What sets Detroit Experience Factory tours apart? We believe in the power of contextual story-telling to paint a picture of Detroit’s incredible history and its exciting future. Our public tour program features both free and ticketed tours across the city. Private tours include a deeper dive into Detroit’s many stories and can be customized to fit any theme, levels of Detroit knowledge and group size. The sets Detroit Experience Factory is located at 440 Burroughs St., #129, Detroit, MI 48202. Contact by phone at 313-962-4590 or by email at

Public Tours:

Parking at TechTown:
MoGo station locations:
DDOT System Map:

Possible Tours

1.) Downtown Walking Tour (FREE)

Detroit is known for giving the world cars, Motown and coney dogs — but its eclectic and ever-evolving story does not begin and end there. Billions of dollars in development have happened along the Woodward Corridor in recent years and Downtown is at the epicenter of it all. On this tour you’ll see all the major developments as well as unique shops, one-of-a-kind restaurants and recently renovated residential options. You’ll also see some of Detroit’s great historical spots and its world renowned architecture. Depending on the tour we will either walk for the entirety or utilize the People Mover, so please dress accordingly.

Highlights include:

  • Campus Martius Park
  • Guardian Building
  • Theater District
  • Capitol Park
  • Recent Developments

Tour begins promptly at 2 p.m. (FREE) Please allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to find parking and arrive at the meeting point — outside Hard Rock Cafe, underneath the guitar sign.

2.) Art & Architecture ($15)

Detroit is a city rich in history, grand buildings, and vibrant art surrounding public spaces. Walk with Detroit Experience Factory through the downtown area as we explore some of the great contributions of both prolific architects and emerging artists.

On this two-hour tour, we’ll explore The Belt, step inside One Campus Martius, wave to the Spirit of Detroit and experience the grandeur of the majestic Guardian Building.

On Fridays, the tour starts promptly at 12pm. Please allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to find parking and arrive at the meeting point — tours after Jan. 1 to begin at Roasting Plant Detroit.

3.) Revitalized & Rehabbed Downtown Walking Tour ($15)

Don't get us wrong — we're a sucker for Detroit's historical gems. But, we're also proud to show off some of the most dynamic and well-done building and public space rehabs in our downtown-core area, as well. Join the Detroit Experience Factory as we venture to and through some of downtown's iconic spaces and places that are lighting up our skyline once again.

We'll also hear from some of the movers and shakers who are leading the way in downtown revitalization projects.

Stops/highlights include:

  • The David Whitney Building
  • Capitol Park
  • Broderick Tower
  • David Stott Building
  • Spirit Plaza
  • Cadillac Square

The tour starts promptly at 12 p.m. Please allow yourself a sufficient amount of time to find parking and arrive at the meeting point located outside Hard Rock Cafe, underneath the guitar sign.

Is the Michigan Dental Assistants Association holding events at the MDA Annual Session?

The Michigan Dental Assistants Association is holding its annual House of Delegates and MDAA Student Day concurrently with the MDA Annual Session at Cobo Center in Detroit (map). The MDAA is co-promoting a number of continuing education sessions with the MDA. General registration for these events will take place in Hall D of Cobo Center.

MDAA Student Day is scheduled for Friday, May 3, 2019, at 9 a.m., and will include a guest speaker, scholarship awards, student videos, speech competitions and, as always, a few surprises! Students and instructors from all levels of dental assisting programs are invited to participate and visit the MDA exhibit hall at Cobo Center afterwards.

The MDAA House of Delegates will convene on Saturday, May 4, 2019. at 9 a.m. The President’s Lunch will take place from 1 to 2 p.m., with the House reconvening at 2 p.m.