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If it weren’t for some of these dentists throughout history, dentistry wouldn’t be what it is today.


This ancient Egyptian scribe held the honor of being the first dentist because his tomb had the inscription “the greatest of those who deal with teeth.”

Pierre Fauchard

This French surgeon became known as the Father of Modern Dentistry after the publication of his treatise, The Surgeon Dentist, in 1723.

John Baker

John Baker became the first practicing dentist in America after immigrating there from England in 1760.

Levi Spear Parmly

This New Orleans dentist started including flossing as a part of oral hygiene in 1819 when he began telling his patients to clean between their teeth using a silk thread.

Lucy Beaman Hobbs

Hobbs became the first woman to earn a dental degree when she graduated from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in 1866.

Robert Tanner Freeman

Freeman became the first African-American to earn a dental degree upon his graduation from the Harvard University Dental School in 1869.

Edmund Kells

This New Orleans dentist took the first dental x-ray of a living person in 1896.

Edward Hartley Angle

Angle helped make orthodontics into a dental specialty in 1899. He would later found the first orthodontic school, society, and journal.

Greene Vardiman Black

Black’s publication of his two-volume treatise, Operative Dentistry, in 1908 would influence dentists for over 50 years.