National Women’s History month: Women in Dental History

Dentistry is one of the oldest medical professions dating back to 7000B.C. However,until the mid 19th Century it was a “Man’s Profession”.  In 1854 Emeline Roberts Jones, at 18 years of age, married a dentist and despite his ongoing remarks of how dentistry was not for women she secretly studied dentistry, filling and extracting several hundred teeth by the age of  23.  She went on to become her husband’s clinical partner and then took over the practice after he died.  In 1914 she was made an honorary member of the NDA (National Dental Association) and is recognized as the first practicing female dentist.  Just a few years later Lucy Hobbs Taylor (an orphan that spent her entire childhood working to support her family) became passionate about medicine and pursued medical school but was denied entry due to being a woman.  Refusing to give up she accepted dental tutoring from a Doctor at the Ohio College of Dentistry and in 1866 her perseverance paid off!  Becoming the first woman to earn her DDS degree through the Ohio College of Dentistry.

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