Since March is Women’s History Month, this month’s blog post will look at the history of women in dentistry over the years. There is a long timeline of women in dentistry with many accomplishments and milestones. You can learn more by clicking the links in this post.

The first practicing female dentist was Emeline Roberts Jones in 1855. After teaching herself and doing hundreds of fillings and extractions in secret, she began seeing patients at her husband’s practice and eventually became a partner. After his passing, she continued to provide dental care and eventually established a successful practice until her retirement.

In 1866, the first woman to get her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree was Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor. She graduated from the Ohio College of Dentistry after being denied from other dental schools because of her gender.

In 1991, the American Dental Association hired its first female president, Dr. Geraldine Morrow. In 2009 they hired their first female Executive Director, Dr. Kathleen T. O’Loughlin.

Women have had a long history in dentistry and continue to make an impact in the field. Women only made up 19 percent of first-year dental students in 1980. By 2020, women made up 54 percent of first-year dental students according to the American Dental Association.

Of current dentists in the industry, 32 percent are women, but that number is expected to rise. Of dentists under the age of 44, women made up more than half (60%) of the population.

Women have had a long history in the dental field and the strides that have been made allow VINA to have a wonderful group of volunteer and staff dentists, dental assistants, hygienists and leaders.

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