Dr. Joseph R. Palkin, 86, a Washington dentist for more than 50 years until his retirement about 10 years ago, died of cardiac arrest Monday at George Washington University Hospital. He had Parkinson's disease.

He had maintained offices in the 1800 block of I Street NW. For a number of years, he had been a member of the D.C. Dental Examining Board, serving as secretary and then president.

Dr. Palkin had been an associate professor of oral surgery at the George Washington University Dental School, of which he was a graduate.

He was born in Port Chester, N.Y., and grew up in Stamford, Conn.

During World War I, he served with the U.S. Navy's Dental Corps and took further work in oral and plastic surgery at the Naval Dental College in Chicago and Great Lakes.

Dr. Palkin had been instrumental in bringing about the Variety Club establishment of dental clinics in four Washington hospitals.

He was a member of the D.C. Dental Society, the American Dental Association, the National Press Club, the Army and Navy Club, the Harmony Masonic Lodge and the Washington Hebrew Congregation. He was a past commander of the National Press Club American Legion Post and a charter member of the Woodmont Country Club.

He is survived by his wife, Sarah, of the home in Washington; a daughter, Suzie Zamoiski, of Rockville, and one grandchild.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Parkinson's Disease Association in New York.