Women in Dentistry

March is Women's History Month! Throughout time women faced an uphill battle establishing themselves in many career fields, including dentistry. That's why this month we are celebrating three pioneers for women in dentistry.

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

Emeline Roberts Jones, born in 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 private practice in Connecticut. She was famous for her compassionate care and gentle touch.

Ida Gray, born in 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. Ida 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 private practice in Chicago.

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