Dr. Joseph S. Gay is a native of Miami, Florida. He has served the Miami-Dade community as a family dentist since 1973. The goal of his practice has always been “providing your dental needs through gentle dental care.”
Education and Experience
Dr. Gay was educated in the public schools of Miami. He is a graduate of Knoxville College in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he received a Bachelor of Science in biology. He then graduated from Howard University College of Dentistry, where he received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery.
When Dr. Gay was in the fifth grade, a local dentist, Dr. George Sands, spoke at his elementary school. That was an eye-opening experience for him because up until that time, most of the people he knew were either preachers or teachers. Dr. Gay studied hard, and also learned as much as he could about the field of dentistry and what courses were needed to prepare for dental school.
Now, as a dentist himself, Dr. Gay has tried to do the same for young local students who are undecided about their future. Some have been allowed to shadow him in his office for a short time to determine if this is the profession for them. He has also encouraged college students to shadow him in order to get a better sense of life as a dentist.
In the Dental Community
Dr. Gay believes in the importance of organized dentistry. He has been a member of the Student National Dental Association (SNDA) and the National Dental Association (NDA). He is a long-time member of the Miami-Dade Dental Society, having served twice as president. In 1988, he was elected to the position of vice-speaker of the house. In 1993, he was elected speaker.
Dr. Gay was elected president-elect of the National Dental Association. He assumed the presidency in 1998. He has served as chairman of the national conventions on four separate occasions: 1986-Miami; 1993-Boca Raton; 2001-Boca Raton; and 2012-Boca Raton.
Dr. Gay has contributed to many NDA causes and dedicated much of his professional life to the association. In addition, he is a life member of the American Dental Association (ADA), and has served as an alternate to the ADA house of delegates. He is a fellow of the International College of Dentists and a long-time member of the Academy of General Dentistry and the South Florida District Dental Association (SFDDA). In June 2009, Dr. Gay became the first African-American president of the South Florida District Dental Association.
He is a proud past president of Beta Beta Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., of which he is a life member. He is a member of Alpha Rho Boule of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
Honors and recognition include being named Alpha Man of the Year by Beta Beta Lambda Chapter and the Florida Federation of Alpha chapters. He was honored by Beta Beta Lambda as a Living Legend in 2009. Dr. Gay is a member of the Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Miami Northwestern Senior High School. Knoxville College recognized him as a Luminary — an outstanding alumnus. The Howard University College of Dentistry recognized Dr. Gay in 1998 for his achievements and contributions to the community as an outstanding alumnus.
Outside the Office
Dr. Gay has been married to his college sweetheart, Darlene, since 1970. They are the proud parents of three married adult children and the grandparents of six.
Dr. Gay’s hobbies and interests include model trains, collecting African-American art and dental art, collecting sports memorabilia, doing photography, and watching sports events in person and on television. He is an avid Miami Heat and Miami Dolphins fan. Dr. Gay enjoys downhill skiing and has skied in various locales in the world. He enjoys life in general and giving back to the community.