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Mar
15

Celebrating the Women Who have Greatly Impacted Dental History

Famous Women in the Dental Industry

 

March marks a month-long celebration for women all over the world. This month we want to highlight the women who have made an impact on dental history. While there are so many wonderful and amazing women we wish we could highlight, here are just a few that have allowed women to assume the crucial roles in the dental industry that they hold today. 

 

Amalia Assur

Amalia was a Swedish-born dentist who is celebrated for being one of the very first women dentists in the world. Amalia Assur grew up surrounded by dentists with both her father and brother taking part in the profession and she started her career as her father’s assistant.

In 1852, she became the first female dentist in Sweden with the Royal Board of Health giving her permission to practice as an independent dentist. At that time, female dentists were not legally allowed to practice in Sweden, so she had to acquire special permission. In 1861 Sweden publicly opened the profession to women.

Emeline Robert Jones

Emeline lived in a time when female dentists were frowned upon. It wasn’t until she married her husband, a dentist named Dr. Daniel Jones, that she discovered her love of dentistry.

When she approached him to relay her newfound passion, she was met with dismissal as her husband did not believe she had the ability to do his work. Regardless of his decision, she continued to pursue her career in dentistry, and it wasn’t until she presented him with a jar full of hundreds of teeth, that he finally accepted her.

She began her career as her husband’s assistant in 1855 and it wasn’t until 1859 that she became his partner. After her husband passed in 1864, she continued running his practice until 1876 when she moved her family to New Haven and established her own successful practice.

Emeline Roberts Jones received numerous awards and honors as a dentist. In 1893, she served on the Women’s Advisory Council of the World’s Columbian Dental Conference. She was elected to the Connecticut State Dental Society in 1883, and in 1914 she was made an honorary member of the National Dental Association.

Lucy Hobbs Taylor

Lucy Hobbs Taylor had to overcome many obstacles to achieve her dreams. She is known as the first woman to graduate from a dental college in America.

At the age of 12, she was orphaned along with her 9 siblings so she took on the responsibility of raising and caring for them. To provide for her family, she started working as a seamstress all while attempting to continue her education.

She eventually discovered her passion for medicine. When she became aware of her new passion, she started to apply to medical schools but was rejected from each of them due to her gender. Instead of giving up, Lucy continued by seeking out mentorships from professors and graduates to learn the skills to open her own practice.

In 1861, she achieved her dream by beginning her career as a dentist. In 1866, after only one year of school, she graduated from Ohio Dental College and became the first woman to receive a degree in dentistry.

Ida Gray Rollins

In her early adulthood, Ida Gray Rollins started working for the dental office of Jonathan Taft while she was finishing her high school degree. Despite enduring a difficult childhood after the passing of her mother, Ida was determined to work hard.

Jonathan Taft had recently become the dean of the dental college at the University of Michigan and encouraged Ida to apply to the school. He spent hours helping her prepare for entrance exams and because of his mentorship she passed.

In 1890, when she graduated from the school, she was one of only three women in the graduating class and became the first-ever African American woman to become a dentist.

Minnie Evangeline Jordan

Minnie Evangeline Jordan was the first-ever dentist to fully specialize in treating children and pioneered the field of pediatric dentistry. She graduated college in 1898.

She began to understand that dentists needed to alter their care when dealing with children and decided to dedicate her professional life to ensuring that children could have a comfortable experience when seeking dental care.

She also played a role in founding the Federation of American Women Dentists and helped found the American Society of Dentistry for Children.

 

These women and countless others worked hard to make a mark for themselves and open doors for future generations. Without their willingness to push unfair boundaries, it would be hard for females working in the dental industry to be where they are today.

This month we celebrate Women’s History Month and invite you to join us in celebrating all the women who have made their mark on the world, big or small!

 

—Marie Dubray, Social Media Specialist, Sesame Communications

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