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Learn About Three Dentistry Heroines

Women faced an uphill battle establishing themselves in many career fields, dentistry included.

That’s why, for Women’s History Month, we’re celebrating three pioneers for women in dentistry.

Lucy Hobbs Taylor

Lucy Hobbs Taylor, born 1833, was the world’s first female dental school graduate. Many dental schools refused to admit her, but the Ohio College of Dental Surgery finally let her in. She married a Civil War veteran who was also a dentist and they opened a practice together in Lawrence, Kansas.

Emeline Roberts Jones

Emeline Roberts Jones, born 1836, came from the apprenticeship tradition of dentistry, which was still common well into the 1800s. After facing a lot of opposition, she was trained by her brother-in-law and established a practice in Connecticut. She was famous for her compassionate care and gentle touch.

Ida Gray Rollins Nelson

Ida Gray, born 1867, was the first African-American woman to become a licensed dentist. She became an orphan in her early teens and went to live with her aunt in Cincinnati. She found the time between school and seamstress work to train under Jonathan Taft, a dentist advocating for women dentists. Gray graduated from the University of Michigan Dental School in 1890 and established a practice in Chicago.

The Enduring Impact of Dental Trailblazers

The indelible contributions of Ida Gray, Lucy Hobbs Taylor, and Emeline Roberts Jones have left an enduring mark on the dental profession. Today, women play a vital role in dentistry, enriching the field with fresh perspectives and innovative approaches that enhance patient care. The legacy of these women serves as a beacon of inspiration, empowering women in dentistry and beyond to reach new heights.

We hope these three will continue inspiring new generations!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.