A Brief History of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery

The Baltimore College of Dental Surgery was charted in 1840 by the General Assembly of Maryland, formalizing education for students interested in the practice of dentistry. It was the birthplace of the Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree and is considered the first dental college in the world. This college is part of the Baltimore campus of the University of Maryland.

Founding Dentists and Early Years

Dr. Chapin A. Harris and Dr. Horace H. Hayden recognized that the scientific dental profession needed a systematic system of formal education. Their efforts are responsible for the creation of this college as well as the development of dentistry as a recognized profession. New dental schools viewed this college as a prototype, modeling their dental education programs after it.

The establishment of this college was considered one of the three critical steps in the foundation of the US dental profession. At the time, there were only about 300 trained scientific dentists in the country, the reminder being untrained or considered charlatans or quacks. Dr. Harris served as the first dean of the school and also as a professor of practical dentistry. He became the second president of the school when Dr. Hayden died in January 1844.

Modern-Day School

The dental school now present on the campus is a consolidation of the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, Maryland Dental College, the Dental Department of the University of Maryland, and the Dental Department of the Baltimore Medical College. The final consolidation occurred in 1923, creating a distinct college within the university under state control and supervision. Faculty and graduates have made many contributions to the dental and medical sectors.

This school is considered one of the most advanced facilities for dental education in the world. More than $ 140 million was spent to construct a 12-story building in downtown Baltimore to house the school. Completed in October 2006, this is the most expensive academic building constructed by the state. In addition to educating students, the school provides comprehensive and emergency oral health services to people of all ages.

The University of Maryland School of Dentistry was the first of its kind to offer a science-based dentistry curriculum. It now offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctor degrees in dental-related professions and advanced dental education in several areas. More than 6,500 of its graduates are currently working in oral health professions and the school has collaborative agreements with several international public health and academic institutions.