school of dentistry


The University of Michigan was the first state university in the world and the second university in this country to offer education in dentistry. When the College of Dental Surgery was established by the Board of Regents in 1875, dentistry was for the most part a craft. The training of its practitioners was largely technical, and they knew little of scientific or health relationships. With the exception of Harvard Dental College, dental schools of that time were privately owned and operated and had little or no connection with universities or other educational institutions.

The members of the Michigan State Dental Society early realized the need for dental education on a university level, and in 1866 they presented to the Board of Regents a memorial requesting “the establishment of a Chair of Dental Hygiene, and one of Mechanical Dentistry and Metallurgy” in the Medical Department of the University (R.P., 1864-70, p. 94). The request was not granted at that time. In 1873 the University expressed an interest in establishing such a chair, but no funds were available for the purpose. In 1875, through the efforts of the Michigan State Dental Society, a bill (House Bill 518) was introduced in the state legislature to provide funds for the establishment of a dental school in connection with the Medical Department. This bill, providing an appropriation of three thousand dollars a year for the years 1875-76, was passed, and the Board of Regents resolved:

That a College of Dental Surgery be established, which shall, in addition to the facilities now afforded by the Medical Department and Chemical Laboratory, be constituted by the founding of two professorships.

That the Dental Profession of the State be requested to co-operate with the Regents by suggesting, at the June meeting, such names [of teachers] as they may deem suitable, and also by securing the necessary outfit.

That the Committee on Buildings, and the Secretary, be and are hereby instructed to make the necessary arrangements for the furnishing of a Lecture Room for the use of the Homeopathic and Dental Colleges.

(R.P., 1870-76, p. 435.)

In June, 1875, two professors were appointed. Jonathan Taft (Ohio College of Dental Surgery ‘50, M.D. hon. Michigan ‘81), who had served as Dean of the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati, Ohio, and who had also conducted an outstanding practice in that city, was made Professor of the Principles and Practice of Operative Dentistry. He also served as Dean from the time of his appointment as Professor. In 1891 his title was changed to Professor of the Principles and Practice of Oral Pathology and Surgery. When he came to Michigan, Dr. Taft had already established a reputation, both in this country and abroad, as an educator, a writer, and a public speaker. Because of his sterling worth and his scholarly attainments, he was held in high esteem by the Regents, who relied upon him very largely in the organization of the new College. The advancement and high standing attained by the College during its first twenty-five years were due in great part to Dr. Taft, who was recognized as a leader in dental education and dental science. He served as Dean until 1903 when he died in Ann Arbor at the age of eighty-three.

The second professor to be appointed was John Andrews Watling (Ohio College of Dental Surgery ‘60), of Ypsilanti, who was made Professor of Clinical and Mechanical Dentistry in 1875. In 1891 his title was changed to Professor of Operative and Clinical Dentistry, and he served in this capacity until 1903. The first practitioner in Michigan to hold a professional degree, he was active for many years in the affairs of the Michigan State Dental Society. He was a prime mover in the requests for dental education and perhaps more than any other was responsible for the establishment of the School of Dentistry of the University of Michigan. He had served with Dr. Taft as an apprentice while a student in Ohio, and was influential in bringing him to Michigan.

Dr. Watling was recognized as an outstanding practitioner of dentistry and was highly respected in the profession. His unusual ability for organization enabled him to exercise strong leadership in dental societies and to further the advancement of dental education. He was responsible for the first law to regulate the practice of dentistry in Michigan, which was passed in 1883. Through the joint efforts of the scholar and scientist Jonathan Taft and the politically minded John Watling, a firm foundation was laid for the College, which was to become one of the leading dental schools in the world.

Walter Hinckley Jackson (‘76d) was appointed Demonstrator of Dentistry in 1875, which position he held until 1877. He was a Civil War veteran who, after completing his apprenticeship, practiced in Ann Arbor. He, too, was a prominent figure in the Michigan State Dental Society, and co-operated with Dr. Watling and others in the establishment of the Dental College. These three constituted the first dental faculty.

Two years later, in 1877, William Henry Dorrance (‘79d), a practicing dentist in Ann Arbor, was appointed Demonstrator in mechanical dentistry. He later became Professor of Prosthetic Dentistry and Dental Metallurgy, serving in this capacity until 1902.

In 1881 Calvin S. Case (Ohio College of Dental Surgery ‘71) came to the University from Cincinnati as Assistant in Prosthetic Dentistry. After a year he removed to Chicago, where he became well known for his work in the field of orthodontia.

Nelville Soule Hoff (Ohio College of Dental Surgery ‘76) was the next member to be added to the faculty of the College. He was a practitioner in Cincinnati and came to the University at the invitation of Dr. Taft with whom he had been associated. Appointed Assistant Professor of Practical Dentistry in 1888, he later taught materia medica and from 1903 to 1924 was in charge of prosthetic dentistry.

Dr. Hoff played an important role in the early days of dental education and in the history of the College. He was Secretary for many years and later became Dean. He edited the Dental Register (1900-1923), a leading dental publication of that day, and took an active part in national and international dental and dental education meetings. With Dean Taft he guided the destinies of the institution during the first twenty-five years of its existence and supervised the planning and erection of the present Dental Building.

The establishment of the College (School since 1927) at the University of Michigan began a new era for dental students because of the emphasis on instruction in those branches of medical science which are a part of the dentist’s education. The College also became known for the excellence of its technical and operative training. Michigan graduates, even in the early days, were noted for their skill in gold foil operations and in other exacting dental technics of that time. The College has also profited from the enthusiastic interest and co-operation of the dental profession of the state. Close association with other units of a great university has made possible the development of dentistry on an educational and professional level that has been reached in few other institutions. As early as 1885 the College ranked as one of three American dental schools which were recognized in Europe. The medical councils of several European countries ruled against the acceptance of dental degrees from America. Exception was made, however, for those granted by Harvard and the universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania.

In its early days the College had a somewhat peripatetic existence. At first it was housed with the Homeopathic College in a residence formerly occupied by a professor (Merriam), on the north side of the campus. When this building was outgrown, activities were transferred in 1877 to the house of another professor (Frieze) on the south side of the campus. A later addition to this house provided additional laboratory and clinical facilities. In 1891 quarters were again obtained on the north side of the campus in a building formerly occupied by the University Hospital.

The building which was erected on North University Avenue in 1908-9 still houses the School. Specially designed for dental education, it was enlarged in 1923 to accommodate the increasing student enrollment and increased curricular requirements. In 1939-40 the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry Building, adjoining and integrated with the Dental Building, was erected. The Dental Operative Clinic was completely re-equipped in 1949.

At first the course of instruction consisted of two terms of six months each, with one year of apprenticeship in a dental office. At that time the entrance requirements were the same as for medicine and law, a high-school education. During the first year, twenty students were enrolled, four of whom had previously served an apprenticeship, and nine were graduated at the end of the year with the degree of doctor of dental surgery. The Catalogue for 1876 stated:

The candidate must be twenty-one years of age. He must furnish evidence of good moral character. He must have devoted three years to the study of his profession, in connection with attendance upon a full course of medical lectures. He must attend two full courses of lectures in the Dental College, or one course elsewhere, and the last one here, and we recommend that he attend these courses regularly. He must pursue the study of Chemistry in the Laboratory, or sustain an examination in the studies there pursued. He must submit to the Faculty a thesis upon some subject of his course. He must present for inspection practical operations prepared by himself in the College, and give evidence of his skill and ability in treating those derangements which may be submitted to his care. He must sustain an examination satisfactory to the Faculty in all the branches taught.

A graduate of the Medical College may enter the Senior class, and, if found qualified, may graduate after one year has been devoted to the study of Dentistry.

In 1884 the two terms were extended to nine months each, to conform to the academic year, and a third year was added in 1889. The School pioneered in 1901 by extending the dental curriculum to four academic years. Because the move was not supported by the profession, the three-year program was readopted in July, 1904. Subsequent developments in the scope of dental education and practice, however, accentuated the need for increased instructional facilities. A four-year curriculum was offered optionally in 1916 and required in 1917. At that time dental schools throughout the country adopted the four-year program.

Attendance at a summer session was required in 1918; in 1921 this was replaced by the admission requirement of a year of preprofessional college work. In 1927 pre-dental requirements were increased to two years of academic training in which certain scientific subjects were prescribed, and the dental curriculum was shortened to three years. This new program was adopted by only five other schools. In 1934, as a result of a survey of dental education carried out under the auspices of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, it was recommended that the dental curriculum should consist of two years of academic preparation and four years of dental instruction. An optional six-year program was offered in 1934, which in 1935 became compulsory.

Changing concepts of dentistry as a profession have caused expansions in curriculum and improvement in teaching facilities. In the beginning dentistry was chiefly a mechanical or technical pursuit intended to relieve pain and restore damaged or lost teeth to approximately normal function and appearance. Diseases of the mouth were looked upon as local injuries which might be painful, disfiguring, and disturbing to masticatory function, but were not considered important to the general physical health. In 1910 an English physician named William Hunter in an address given in Montreal stated that he had observed many patients seriously ill with various general disorders which were improved by the extraction of infected teeth. He strongly asserted his belief that dental infections were a serious menace to bodily health. After Hunter’s pronouncement, studies of dental disease were made which led to an entirely new view of dentistry. Since that time it has been recognized that diseases of the mouth are not purely local disturbances but that they may seriously affect the health of the body. This discovery transferred dentistry from the category of mechanics and cosmetology to a place in the field of health service. Recognition that healthy teeth are important to general health has had a stabilizing influence upon the practice of dentistry and has helped to establish co-operation between physicians and dentists. Dentistry has become virtually a medical health specialty and an important branch of public health service.

New relationships and enlarging horizons of the dental profession have required increased educational programs so that the dentist may be qualified to meet his responsibilities. It was necessary to give more instruction in the basic medical sciences and to include courses in general medicine in the dental curriculum, which was made possible by the co-operation of the Medical School of the University. In addition to changing health concepts, much progress has been made in dental technics and in the development of new materials. As the importance of research has been recognized, laboratory and clinical facilities have increased, and frequent enlargement of the physical plant has been necessary.

In 1926 the survey of dental schools by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching reported that Michigan is “generously supported financially, well equipped for all phases of its work, and having a faculty of high quality, it is one of the most happily co-ordinated and effectually conducted dental schools in North America, … justly regarded … as exemplar of the best in dental education” (Gies, Dental Education, p. 399). The School of Dentistry of the University of Michigan has always maintained a position of acknowledged leadership among dental educational institutions.

The number of graduates of the School at five-year intervals since its opening is as follows:







After the resignation of Dr. Taft in 1903, Cyrenus Garritt Darling (‘81m) served as Acting Dean. A member of the surgical staff of the University Hospital, he lectured also on oral pathology and surgery in the School. From 1905 to the time of his retirement in 1926 he held the title of Professor of Oral Surgery. Dr. Darling was deeply interested in the development of dentistry, and during the difficult transition period which followed the resignation of Dr. Taft, he proved to be a salutary influence. With Dr. Lyons he organized and established the cleft palate and harelip surgical service in the University Hospital, which became the largest clinic of its kind in the world.

In 1906 Willough by Dayton Miller (‘75, D.D.S. Pennsylvania ‘79, Ph.D. hon. Michigan ‘85, M.D. Berlin ‘87, Sc.D. hon. Pennsylvania ‘02), of Berlin, Germany, was appointed Dean. He was the outstanding dental scientist of his day, having gained renown in Germany and throughout the world. His contributions in the field of dental pathology and bacteriology laid the foundation for our present knowledge of biologic dental science. He came to Ann Arbor in 1907, but died, following an operation for appendicitis, before he could take up his new duties. His untimely death was a great loss both to the University and to the profession.

Subsequent to the death of Dr. Miller, Nelville Hoff was made Acting Dean and then, in 1911, Dean. He resigned in 1916, but continued the teaching of prosthetic dentistry. He died in 1926.

Marcus Llewellyn Ward (‘02d, D.D.Sc. ‘05) was made Dean of the School in 1916 and served with great distinction in that capacity for eighteen years. He had been appointed Instructor in Operative Techniques and Operative Dentistry in 1903 and became Professor of Applied Physics and Chemistry, and Crown and Bridge Work in 1912. He established the School’s Laboratory of Physics and Chemistry which, under his guidance, developed into a research unit of national and international reputation. During his deanship many changes took place in the curriculum. Dr. Ward was a member of the Committee of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which evaluated the dental schools of this country, and he made important contributions to the work of this committee. It was also during his administration that the addition to the Dental Building (1923) was made.

During his tenure of office as Dean, Ward assembled a strong and well-organized faculty which was outstanding in dental education. He also contributed much to the literature in the field of dental materials. Upon his resignation as Dean in 1934, he was named Jonathan Taft Professor of Dentistry and continued his teaching and research in dental materials until his retirement in 1945.

Chalmers John Lyons (‘98d, D.D.Sc. ‘11) was made chairman of the Executive Committee of the School in 1934. Dr. Lyons had formerly practiced dentistry in Jackson, Michigan; he was Instructor in Clinical Dentistry from 1907 until 1909, when he became Nonresident Lecturer on Clinical Dentistry. In 1915 he was appointed Professor of Oral Surgery. Closely associated with Dr. Darling, he developed the field of oral surgery and the Oral Surgical Clinic of the Hospital. He became widely known for his surgical treatment of cleft palate and harelip and was recognized as an outstanding authority in his field. Because of his charming personality and his achievements in the field of surgery, Dr. Lyons exerted a strong influence upon the students and the profession. He also gave valuable help during the difficult years when the faculty was in the process of reorganization. He died in 1935, less than a year after his appointment as head of the School.

Upon Lyons’ death, President Ruthven appointed Russell Welford Bunting (‘02d, D.D.Sc. ‘08) as acting chairman of the Executive Committee. In 1937 Dr. Bunting was made Dean of the School. He had been connected with the faculty since 1904, first as Assistant in Prosthetic Dentistry and later as Instructor in Dental Pathology and Histology. In 1914 he was made Professor in this field. From 1910 to 1936 he was actively engaged in the study of the cause and control of dental caries, and from 1929 to 1936 he directed the Dental Caries Research Group. Bunting was in charge of the teaching of periodontia for undergraduate and postgraduate students from 1910 to 1948. He retired in 1951. During his term of service as Dean, the faculty made notable advancements and added much to the prestige of the School. One achievement which deserves mention was the establishment in 1936 of the Dental Alumni Bulletin, which increased alumni interest in and co-operation with the School.

Paul Harold Jeserich (‘24, ‘24d) succeeded Bunting as Dean. Dr. Jeserich had begun his service to the University with his appointment as Demonstrator in 1924. He became Instructor in Operative Dentistry in the following year. From 1927 to 1933 he was engaged in private practice in Ann Arbor, but he returned to the faculty in 1933 and in 1935 was made Professor of Operative Dentistry and Director of the Operative Clinic. During the years of his association with the School Dr. Jeserich has exercised a constructive and progressive influence. Since 1937 he has been Director of Graduate and Postgraduate Education. Through his efforts the W. K. Kellogg Foundation became interested in the expansion of postgraduate work, which resulted in the generous gift for the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry. In 1942 the Kellogg Foundation granted the School $113,000 for the purchase of technical and clinical instruments to be loaned to dental students and for remodeling the School laboratories. This grant enabled the School to cut approximately in half instrument charges to students and to become perhaps the best equipped in the nation.

Those who have served as secretary of the dental faculty include Nelville S. Hoff (1888-1907), Elmer L. Whitman (1907-12), Russell W. Bunting (1912-23), and Francis B. Vedder (1923-).

Fields of study. — Throughout its history the School has recognized certain fields or divisions of dental science and practice. The members of the faculty have contributed much to the development of dentistry by correlating the teaching of the various branches. The history of the teaching programs cannot be separated from the lives and works of the men who developed them.

The two principal divisions of practice in clinical dentistry are operative and prosthetic. Operative dentistry was taught in the early days by Watling and Taft, though, as the College grew, graduates were employed as assistants. Outstanding among these was Louis Phillips Hall (‘89d), who joined the staff as Assistant in Clinical and Mechanical Dentistry in 1889. In 1903 he became Professor of Operative and Clinical Dentistry and was in charge of the Operative Clinic until 1918. Dr. Hall was an outstanding exponent of the highest ideals in dental education. A skilled operator, he instilled in the minds of his students the desire to excel. He was an excellent teacher and contributed greatly to the prestige of the School in the field of operative dentistry. He continued as Professor of Operative Dentistry until his retirement in 1928.

In 1918 the directorship of the Operative Clinic was assumed by John Jacob Travis (‘03d), who for many years had practiced in Plymouth, Michigan. For nine years under his vigorous and progressive teaching, clinical dentistry advanced markedly. He resigned in 1927 to engage in practice in Ann Arbor.

From 1927 to 1935 Robert Kennard Brown (‘19d, M.S. ‘28), who formerly had practiced in Cleveland, Ohio, served as head of the Operative Clinic, and from 1935 to 1946 Dr. Jeserich was in charge. Louis Charter Schultz (‘26d, M.S. ‘42), a member of the operative staff since 1935 became Professor of Dentistry and head of Operative Dentistry in 1946. He has instilled in his students the highest ideals of dental service.

During recent years the several divisions of operative dentistry have attained such importance that they are now treated as specialties. The work in periodontia, headed by Dr. Bunting until 1948, was taken over by Donald Archibald Kerr (Michigan State Normal ‘31, Michigan ‘37d, M.S. ibid. ‘43). Dr. Kerr, who was promoted to Associate Professor in 1948, had worked with Dr. Bunting for many years in the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching of the treatment of periodontal disease.

By 1934 dentistry for children had grown to such prominence that Kenneth Alexander Easlick (‘17, ‘28d, A.M. ‘36) was given charge of the work. Upon his graduation Dr. Easlick had been appointed Instructor in Clinical Dentistry. From 1932 he developed a special course in dentistry for children, which under his leadership has grown to great importance in undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate teaching. Dr. Easlick was promoted to Professor of Dentistry in the School in 1945. He received a like appointment in the School of Public Health at the same time and is now the head of the Children’s Clinic in the Kellogg Institute. He is ably assisted by Assistant Professors Joseph Thurman Hartsook (Ohio State ‘37, Michigan ‘42d, M.S. ibid. ‘47) and William Ernest Brown, Jr. (‘45d, M.S. ‘47).

During the past twenty years endodontia, the treatment of pulpless teeth, has become recognized as a special form of dental practice. It has been developed and presented by Ralph Frederick Sommer (‘24d, M.S. ‘30) in association with Dr. Rickert. These two men devised revolutionary methods of treating and filling pulpless teeth aseptically, which have been widely recognized and adopted. Dr. Sommer was promoted to a professorship in 1941 and is now in charge of this work.

Prosthetic dentistry, which was developed until 1902 by Dorrance, an outstanding teacher of the subject, became another specialty. From 1903 to 1924 it was directed by Hoff with the assistance from 1921 of Percival Chelston Lowery (‘10d, M.S. ‘40), a well-known Detroit practitioner. In 1924 Dr. Lowery was made Professor in charge of prosthetic teaching, which position he ably filled for five years. He was assisted by Richard Henry Kingery (Michigan Agricultural College, ‘20, Michigan ‘24d), who, in 1929, assumed direction of this instruction. Kingery, who was promoted to a professorship in 1937, is largely concerned with postgraduate teaching. In charge of the undergraduate teaching in this field is Corwin Robert Wright (‘29d, M.S. ‘38), Associate Professor of Dentistry since 1945.

Certain phases of prosthetic dentistry have been elevated to special forms of dental practice. For many years crown and bridge work has been taught independent of other forms of dental restorations. The first professorship in this important field was held by Dr. Ward from 1912 to 1934. From 1920 to 1924 Albert John Irving (‘17d), now a noted practitioner of New York City, was associated with Ward in clinical instruction. Since 1925 Francis Bulkley Vedder (‘16, ‘18d) has been connected with the teaching of this work. Dr. Vedder has been a member of the faculty since 1918, first as Demonstrator and later as Instructor. He was promoted to a professorship in 1931 and in 1934 was given charge of the work in crown and bridge processes, in which field he is recognized as an authority.

During recent years partial denture prosthesis has grown to such importance that it has attained specific status in the School. In 1934 Oliver Clark Applegate (‘17d, D.D.Sc. ‘37), Professor of Dentistry since 1947, assumed direction of the work and has made notable contributions in this new field. He has been ably supported by his associate, Roland Oswald Nissle (‘29d), who was made Associate Professor in 1949.

The basic technic courses which are preparatory to both operative and prosthetic dentistry were conducted by Professor Elmer LeRoy Whitman (‘04d) from 1904 to 1949. This instruction has since been under the charge of Associate Professor Ralph Sayles Moyer (‘31d, M.S. ‘43), who was appointed Instructor in Dentistry in 1932.

Oral surgery was first taught to dental students by Dr. James N. Martin (‘83m), of the University Medical School. Dr. C. G. Darling was appointed Clinical Lecturer in Oral Pathology and Oral Surgery in 1891 and was made Professor in 1905. He was also associated with Dr. Charles De Nancrède in the Department of Surgery of the Medical School and succeeded him as head of the department and chief surgeon of the University Hospital. Lyons and Darling developed the technics of repairing lip and palate clefts and conducted the oral surgery clinic section of the University Hospital. From 1915 until his death in 1935 Lyons was head of the oral surgery section. In this position he developed the teaching of exodontia, which previously had been given by the operative clinical teaching staff. His chief contribution was in the field of harelip and cleft palate repair, in which he earned an international reputation.

John Willard Kemper (‘17d, M.D. ‘27), who joined the staff as Assistant Professor in 1929, succeeded Dr. Lyons as Professor in charge of the teaching of oral surgery and of the oral surgery clinics in the Dental School and in the University Hospital. He had been associated with Lyons and was eminently successful in carrying on the harelip and palate surgical service until his sudden death in 1952. From 1940 Reed Othelbert Dingman (‘28, ‘31d, M.S. ‘32, M.D. ‘36) was associated with Kemper in the teaching of oral surgery. Dr. Dingman also took special training in plastic surgery, in which field he has outstanding ability and reputation. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1943. Philip Munro Northrop (‘28d, M.S. ‘31), who became Professor of Dentistry in 1950, has been a member of the oral surgical staff since 1935.

Prior to 1923 teaching in the field of orthodontics was conducted one day a week by visiting lecturers. Among these may be mentioned three well-known orthodontists of Detroit, Oliver Wilson White (‘98d, D.D.Sc. ‘99, M.S. hon. ‘40), Milton Tate Watson (‘93d), and Frank Rodman Woods (‘03d). In 1923 Alfred LeRoy Johnson (D.M.D. Tufts ‘04, A.M. hon. Harvard ‘42, D.Sc. Rochester ‘45), who had been a member of the faculty of Tufts Dental College, was appointed Professor of Orthodontia to take charge of the teaching of this specialty. Dr. Johnson initiated a graduate training program, but remained only until the end of the school year. George Raymond Moore (‘23d, M.S. ‘24) was appointed Instructor in Orthodontia in 1924. He carried on the program begun by Dr. Johnson with the assistance of Dr. Benno Edward Lischer, an eminent orthodontist of St. Louis, Missouri, who for three years visited the School periodically to take part in the teaching of this subject. Dr. Moore was made Professor of Orthodontics in 1937 and was in charge of this work until his death in 1952. With the members of his teaching staff, he developed effective undergraduate and graduate teaching programs. Ninety-nine of his students received master of science degrees in orthodontics, and thirty-nine pursued a two-year postgraduate program. All undergraduates were given special training in orthodontia. Michigan early attained first place in this field.

In the early days dental therapeutics and the use of drugs were taught by the operative staff. When Hoff was appointed Professor of Dental Materia Medica and Dental Mechanism in 1891, he developed and taught the subject until 1903. Egbert Theodore Loeffler (‘85e[C.E.], ‘88d), who had been a practitioner in Saginaw, was given charge of the teaching of materia medica and therapeutics at that time, with the title of Professor of Dental Therapeutics. Dr. Loeffler installed the first dental radiographic equipment in the School, and he is responsible for the introduction of radiologic technics for dental diagnosis. In 1939 the department was greatly expanded to meet the ever increasing demand. Dr. Ralph Sommer took charge of the work in that year.

With the resignation of Loeffler in 1920, the teaching of dental therapeutics was assumed by Ura Garfield Rickert (Buchtel ‘07, A.M. ibid. ‘13, Michigan ‘16d), who since 1913 had been associated with Bunting in the study of dental caries. Rickert had taught physiological chemistry and hygiene since 1917, and until his death in 1938 he gave the courses in therapeutics and developed many new formulae for dental preparations which are in general use today. He also played an active part in the controversy over the retention of pulpless teeth in the mouth and their relationship to focal infection. He advocated a middle course and did much to stabilize the thought concerning this problem. His influence was widely felt during this period of changing concepts in dental education and practice.

On the death of Dr. Rickert, therapeutics was taught for one year by Morris Davis Mackoy (‘06d). In 1940 the work was assumed by Floyd Darl Ostrander (‘34d, M.S. ‘41), a member of the operative staff since 1934. Ostrander was promoted to Professor in 1952 and now has charge of the teaching of this subject. He has become widely known for his contributions in the field of dental therapeutics.

The teaching of pathology in the early days was limited to a few lectures on the diseases of the mouth given under operative dentistry by Taft. Instruction in this subject was assumed in 1903 by Bunting, who developed a lecture course in both general and oral pathology. The teaching of general pathology, which was transferred in 1920 to the Department of Pathology in the Medical School, consisted of both lecture and laboratory instruction. Bunting continued to teach oral pathology, lecture and laboratory, until 1939, when Kerr, who had been associated with the Department of Pathology, took over the teaching of this subject. Under his direction the graduate and postgraduate teaching of pathology has been efficiently developed.

A unique graduate program of teaching in dentistry and public health has been organized and operated in the School of Dentistry since 1938. At that time Dr. John Sundwall, chairman of the Division of Public Health, requested that a dental co-ordinator be named to outline and direct the programs for public health dentists. Dr. Easlick was chosen for this position, and he organized for senior students a course of lectures on public health and conducted the graduate teaching of public health dentists. In 1939, under the auspices of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, a one-week field trip to the county health departments of southwestern Michigan was arranged for senior dental students. This field experience was continued for five years.

In 1941 Dr. Easlick was appointed Assistant Professor in the School of Public Health on a half-time basis and was given a like appointment in the School of Dentistry. Under his direction the teaching of public health dentists in the School of Public Health became an important function of both schools. By 1952 eighty-five graduate degrees in public health dentistry had been awarded. Most of these graduates are now in public health service in this country or abroad.

Dental hygiene. — The first dental hygiene course was offered in Bridgeport, Connecticut, by Dr. Alfred C. Fones. The students were trained to teach mouth hygiene in the public schools and to serve as auxiliary aids to practicing dentists. The services of these assistants proved so beneficial that interest in their preparation grew rapidly, and dental schools began to offer such instruction. By 1952 twenty-six schools had training courses, and dental hygiene graduates were certified for practice in every state.

Upon the strong recommendation of the dental profession of Michigan, the University offered a course for dental hygienists in 1921. Originally a two-year program based on high-school graduation, it was shortened to one year in 1922. Miss May Helmer, a registered nurse who had been acting as an assistant in a dental office, supervised the first class. In 1922 Hertha Charlotte Hartwig (Klages) (‘15d), a practicing periodontist of Detroit, became Instructor in Oral Hygiene.

Dr. Hartwig resigned in 1924, and Dorothy Gerald Hard (Bunting) (‘22d, M.S.P.H. ‘34) was appointed Instructor in Oral Hygiene. Dr. Hard had been an industrial dentist in the laboratories of Parke, Davis and Company in Detroit. She was made Director of the Curriculum in Dental Hygiene in 1934 and Professor in 1953. During her tenure of office Dr. Hard has taken an active part in the teaching of periodontia. In her connection with the Dental Caries Research Group, she made significant contributions both to research and to publications. Under her guidance the curriculum has been amplified to meet changing views of dental hygiene and has grown to be an important function of the School. In 1938 the curriculum was extended to two years, and in 1948 an optional four-year curriculum leading to the bachelor of science degree in dental hygiene was offered. The first two years of academic study may be taken in the University or in any liberal arts college of equal standing.

Eight young women were graduated in the first class. The enrollment has increased until the number of applicants has far exceeded the capacity of the School to accommodate them. Since 1947 an average of thirty has been graduated each year, approximately half on the four-year program. In 1951-52 thirty-seven students were enrolled.

Research. — During the past fifty years research at the University of Michigan has resulted in notable contributions to dental science. The first project, begun by Ward in 1903, initiated the study of the properties of dental amalgam used as a filling material, its value as an arrester of dental caries, and the possible dangers of mercuric poisoning. This research led to the establishment in 1904 of the course, Testing Filling Materials, which was expanded to keep pace with advances in clinical practice and which has been continued to the present time.

Studies have been made of practically all materials known to dentistry and of those used in their processing, the measurement of the physical properties of enamel and dentin, and the behavior of revolving dental instruments. The findings of these investigations have had wide recognition and have served to stimulate a spirit of inquiry in the clinical phases of dentistry. The laboratory was conducted by Ward and his associates until 1946, when Norris O. Taylor (Illinois ‘18, Ph.D. Iowa ‘23) was appointed Professor of Dentistry and given charge of this work. Through the efforts of Taylor research grants were obtained from various governmental agencies for the investigation of filling materials used in governmental services. At the end of two years’ service Taylor resigned to join the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company.

Floyd Avery Peyton (Indiana ‘28, Sc.D. Michigan ‘33) became Professor of Dentistry and assumed charge of the Dental Materials Laboratory in 1948. From 1935 to 1946 Peyton had worked with Ward in the laboratory and had assisted in the teaching of Dental Materials. Under Peyton’s direction, by the addition of research projects supported by governmental agencies, by private industry, and by the Horace H. Rackham Fund, the services of the laboratory have been greatly extended. Government grants have been made by the Public Health Service, the Army, the Air Force, and the Veterans’ Administration.

In 1910 Bunting began the studies of the cause and control of dental caries which he pursued until 1936. During this time he was associated with Rickert, Faith Hadley (‘20, D.P.H. ‘35), and Mary Catherine Crowley (‘26, M.S.P.H. ‘28). These studies were greatly expanded by the organization of the Dental Caries Research Group in 1929. This research group, financed from 1929 to 1933 by the Children’s Fund of Michigan, was discontinued owing to the depression, but was carried on from 1934 to 1936 with funds from the Horace H. and Mary A. Rackham Fund. Under Bunting’s direction a staff of well-qualified scientists in the fields of bacteriology, chemistry, nutrition, and dentistry was organized, which, over a period of six years, made notable contributions to the knowledge of dental caries and laid the foundation for subsequent developments in caries prevention. The findings, which were revolutionary and which were subject to much controversy, have since been accepted in this important field.

Philip Jay (‘23d, M.S. ‘24, D.Sc. hon. Washington ‘41) was in charge of the bacteriologic investigations of the group and since 1936 has directed research on dental caries. Jay, who came to the School of Dentistry in 1929 from the University of Rochester, where he was engaged in bacteriologic research, was promoted to a professorship in 1948. He played an important role in the group studies and has been active in the development of the technics for control of dental caries. He has been closely

Page  1330 associated with the National Institute of Health in Washington, D. C., in the study of the effects of water fluoridation and has participated actively in the Institute’s studies of caries control.

The outstanding contribution in the field of oral surgery has been the development of surgical technics for the treatment of harelip and cleft palate. This clinical service was begun in the School by Darling and Lyons in 1913. Since 1945 functional studies of palatal deformities have been made in conjunction with the Speech Clinic of the University. By the use of photographs and moving pictures with sound track it has been possible to evaluate the effectiveness of various surgical technics for the correction of oral malformations. As a result a variation in surgical technic has been developed which is much superior to former methods and which has been used very successfully. The more recent developments by Kemper, Dingman, Northrop, and other members of the oral surgical staff include ostectomy and osteotomy of the mandible for correction of developmental defects, bone grafts, open reduction of fractures, control of loss of blood during cleft operations, ostectomy for malunion of fractured bones, and menisectomy for the treatment of traumatic arthritis and subluxation of the temporomandibular joint. With Associate Professor Mary Crowley, Northrop has carried on significant studies of bacteremias following surgical procedures and of preventive premedication to control them.

Since 1934 Associate Professor Crowley has served as bacteriologist in charge of laboratory studies. She previously had played an important part in the research on dental caries. More recently she has been identified with research in the fields of endodontia, oral surgery, dental focal infection, and instrument sterilization and has been joint author of many of the resulting publications. Crowley also conducted a bacteriologic study to determine the usefulness of partial pulpectomy when the pulps of immature teeth are exposed.

Rickert made many important contributions in the field of focal infection of a dental origin during the days in which pulpless teeth were considered harmful and unsafe. He carried on bacteriologic research with Dr. Faith Hadley, and later, in co-operation with Sommer and Crowley, he developed a technic of filling root canals aseptically and safely. The contributions of Rickert and Sommer have had a salutary effect in the treatment of pulp-involved teeth. Their technics in root surgery, the treatment of root-end infections, and the aseptic filling of root canals have received wide recognition in the dental and medical professions.

Kerr, who is in charge of the work in oral pathology, has carried out notable studies concerned with enamel hypoplasia, papillary cyst adenoma, lymphomatosum, myoblastic myomas of the oral region, granuloma pyogenicum, and other pathological manifestations. In this field Associate Professor Sigurd Peder Ramfjord (Oslo ‘34d, Ph.D. Michigan ‘51) has made valuable animal studies of the effect of febrile diseases on the periodontium, the reattachment of the periodontium to the root, and the effects of tuberculosis and alloxan on the periodontal tissues.

For some years, under the direction of George R. Moore, studies of the growth of the face and jaws and the development of occlusion were conducted. Since 1931 dentofacial records of the development of the children in the University Elementary School have been maintained. With Associate Professor Byron O. Hughes of the School of Education, extensive research on malocclusion in its relation to heredity has been carried out. A cephalometric radiographic study of the effects of orthodontic treatment is now being pursued under a grant from the Faculty Research Fund.

In the field of complete denture prosthesis Kingery, since 1928, has evaluated methods of treatment for the edentulous patient. From 1930 research on the rehabilitation of patients with oral clefts has been conducted in conjunction with the work in speech, oral surgery, orthodontics, and dentistry for children. A co-operative study was undertaken in 1935 to examine the adaptation of new materials to the field of denture prosthesis, and in 1944 Wright and other staff members began an investigation to determine the function of the structures of the oral cavity as they relate to denture prosthesis.

Since 1934 work in partial denture prosthesis, under the direction of Applegate, methods of registering the supporting contour of the tissues of the edentulous ridge, and adaptations to the construction of partial dentures have been developed. Means of recording the occlusal paths of the edentulous patient and of estimating the ability of the remaining tissue to support a denture also have been studied.

The Dental Library

Housed in the Dental Building and operated by the General Library, the Dental Library has become a vital factor in both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. When the organization of the Dental Library was reported in the University Calendar for 1879-80 it was characterized by the statement that “a library of dental science, containing almost every known work on this specialty, is accessible to the students.”

With the opening of the Dental Building in 1908 a reading room was provided, but as no funds were available for the services of a librarian, the use of the library was restricted. In 1917 by the assessment of a library fee a part-time attendant was provided. The control of the Dental Library was transferred to the General Library in 1918, and in 1919 the first full-time library attendant was appointed.

In 1929 Inez Bowler (Colby ‘07, A.M.L.S. Michigan ‘35) was appointed Librarian. She was succeeded by Marjorie Cleveland Lewis (Darling) (‘29 [L.S.]) in 1934. Since 1939 Hilda Margaret Rankin has held the position of dentistry librarian.

Through the efforts of William Warner Bishop, Librarian of the University, the collection of books and dental periodicals was increased until it became one of the leading dental libraries of the country. In 1926 it was given high commendation by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. A study of dental library needs, carried out in cooperation with Dean Ward and the dental faculty and financed by the Carnegie Foundation, was begun in 1929. As a result of these researches, conducted over a period of five years, a manual of organization and operation for all dental libraries, written by Librarian Bowler, was issued. Important additions were also made to the rare book collection.

In 1952 the library contained more than 10,000 volumes and included all leading current publications in dentistry, medicine, public health, and allied fields. Facilities are taxed daily to their full capacity by both undergraduate and graduate students.

Housed with the library was the Ford Museum of Crania donated by Professor Corydon L. Ford of the Medical School. To this was added a collection of five hundred specimens donated by Dr. William Mitchell (‘78d) and Dr. L. J. Mitchell (‘84d) of London, England.  The name was then changed to the Ford-Mitchell Museum. In 1928 this entire anthropological collection was transferred to the University’s Museum of Anthropology.

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and PostGraduate Dentistry

The need for dental education beyond the undergraduate level was recognized soon after the organization of the College of Dental Surgery in 1875. A program was established shortly after 1890 leading to the degree of doctor of dental science after one or more years of study. Carrie Marsden Stewart was the first recipient of the degree in 1894. Nine graduate degrees were granted from 1894 until 1921, by which time the necessity for graduate programs was apparent.

In 1921 the Graduate School of the University recognized these programs and since that time has conferred the master of science degree upon graduate dental students. Such graduate training provides a foundation for teaching or research and qualifies those who desire to become specialists. The first master of science in dentistry degree was conferred by the Graduate School in 1921. From one to five such degrees were granted each year from 1923 to 1937, principally in the fields of oral surgery and orthodontics. The number of graduate students has been limited by the physical facilities and the size of the faculty.

The demand for graduate instruction was paralleled by a growing desire on the part of practicing dentists for some form of postgraduate education which would keep them abreast of advancements in the profession. Since 1920 the School had admitted an occasional postgraduate student. No organized program was offered for such students, however, because of limited facilities. Lecture programs and presentations were conducted throughout the state, but practitioners felt a need for demonstrations and actual clinical experience in methods and procedures. This led to specifically planned and scheduled postgraduate instruction in 1933 under the general direction of Dr. Chalmers J. Lyons. At first few students were enrolled, but each year brought an increase in the demand for such training.

Courses were offered in virtually all fields of dentistry, either in intensive one- or two-week programs or on a one-day-a-week basis throughout one or two semesters. The one-week and two-week courses were for those who lived at some distance from Ann Arbor, and the one-day-a-week courses for those within easy commuting distance. The undergraduate facilities and staff were adequate to provide all the postgraduate instruction until 1937, when the new four-year dental curriculum began to overload both facilities and staff. At that time Dr. Paul Jeserich was made Director of Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry. It became apparent that no further postgraduate expansion would be warranted and that some retrenchment would be necessary unless something could be done to increase the size of the faculty and to provide adequate space for postgraduate instruction.

The W. K. Kellogg Foundation became interested in the need for continuing education in the health sciences at this time, and, as a part of the program for a Michigan Community Health Project, sent dentists and other professional groups to various centers for postgraduate training. The Kellogg Foundation became aware of the postgraduate teaching in dentistry which had been carried on at the University and offered financial assistance to the faculty for a mutually co-operative program of instruction.

In 1937 the Kellogg Foundation made a grant of $110,000 to the School of Dentistry. Of this grant $10,000 was to be used for equipment and $20,000 a year for instructional purposes over a five-year period. As a result the postgraduate enrollment increased, but adequate classroom, laboratory, and clinical facilities were still lacking. To relieve this situation the W. K. Kellogg Foundation in 1938 made another grant of $236,500 and the Public Works Administration granted $209,835 to construct and equip the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry, which was completed in 1940. Through the efforts of Dr. Jeserich, the Director, the postgraduate program in dentistry was organized, and the financial assistance for instruction and for the building was obtained. The faculty of the School of Dentistry co-operated enthusiastically and assumed a heavy dual teaching load which has made the success of the postgraduate program possible.

As in 1875, when the University of Michigan created the first dental college to be organized as an individual part of a state university, it pioneered again by the erection of the first building in the world to be devoted solely to graduate and postgraduate teaching in dentistry. No dental school heretofore had assumed the responsibility of establishing dental education on a graduate level. The Institute symbolized the assumption of this responsibility by the University of Michigan.

Dr. Emory W. Morris, associate director of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, made the following statement at the dedicatory exercises on April 3, 1940:

Today we are here to see the building that developed as a request from a group of dentists desiring to render a better service to the people of their communities. We hope that the profession will use it and that it may stimulate a demand for the development of similar programs elsewhere, but to the Foundation the most significant aspect of this new school is that it is going to afford the dental profession the opportunity to provide an ever-increasing number of people in communities throughout the world an improved dental service.

In 1950, when Dr. Jeserich became Dean of the School of Dentistry, he continued as Director of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute. At this time Dr. William Richard Mann (‘40d, M.S. ‘42), who was first appointed to the faculty in 1940, became Associate Professor of Dentistry and Assistant Director of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute. He was also appointed Co-ordinator of all clinics. In 1952 Dr. Mann became Associate Director of the Institute.

From 1922 to 1952 two hundred and twenty-two master of science degrees in dentistry have been conferred. The Institute is adequately prepared to care for the needs of some thirty-five to forty-five graduate students each year. Since 1933, when the first courses were offered, more than twenty-three hundred students have taken postgraduate work. Some of these students have taken part in as many as eighteen different postgraduate programs. The Institute, during 1951-52, offered twenty-six two-week courses, twelve one-week courses, ten one-day-a-week courses, in addition to several one- to three-day seminars. Each year approximately five hundred students attend these courses. The highest postgraduate enrollment occurred in 1950-51, when more than six hundred postgraduate students attended courses. Because of the exceptional facilities which are available and because of the caliber of its faculty, the Institute has become the best-known center in the world for graduate and postgraduate dental education. Requests come from all parts of the United States and from almost every country for refresher training and graduate training leading to specialized practice or teaching.

The Institute received a grant of $79,000 in September, 1952, from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation to aid in developing and conducting a program for training teachers of dentistry. The funds are to support the first three years of the program, which will then be maintained by the University. This is the first program to give definite instruction in how to teach dentistry that has ever been offered.

Russell Welford Bunting


American Association of Dental Schools, Curriculum Survey Committee. A Course of Study in Dentistry. Chicago, 1935.

Announcement, School of Dentistry, Univ. Mich., 1923 — .

Calendar, Univ. Mich., 1875-1914.

Catalogue …, Univ. Mich., 1914-23.

Gies, William John.Dental Education in the United States and Canada; a Report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. New York, 1926.

Guerini, Vincenzo. A History of Dentistry from the Most Ancient Times until the End of the Eighteenth Century. Philadelphia: Lea and Febiger, 1909.

Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.

Michigan State Dental Society. Journal. Vol. 1, Mar. 1919 — (title varies, Mar. 1919-April 1932, Bulletin).

Michigan State Dental Society (title varies). MS, Minutes 1856.

President’s Report, Univ. Mich., 1871-1952.

Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1870-1952.

Thorpe, B. L. Biographies of Pioneer American Dentists and Their Successors. Ed. by Charles R. E. Koch. Chicago: National Art Publ. Co., 1909.

The University of Michigan, An Encyclopedic Survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor,Volume III, Part VII, pp. 1319-1334.



In the past twenty years the School of Dentistry has undergone changes in faculty, staff, enrollment, curriculum, and physical facilities, greater than had ever been experienced in its ninety-six year history. In 1952 there were ten departments in the School and, since that time, eight more areas of dentistry have grown to such importance as to warrant the establishment of separate departments for each subject. Planning for an urgently needed new Dental Building started in the early nineteen-fifties and by the summer of 1971 the New Dental Building was completed at a cost exceeding $18 million.

With the academic year 1968-69, the School saw a sharp increase in the enrollment of dental and dental hygiene students, along with a corresponding expansion of both academic and nonacademic staffs. Since 1952, the degrees awarded have been: 1,638 Doctor of Dental Surgery; 484 Master of Science (in Dentistry); and 765 Dental Hygiene (493 of which were the Bachelor of Dental Hygiene). In 1952 there were 16 full-time members of the academic staff of the School as compared to 105 full-time faculty in 1971. Total appointments to the academic and nonacademic staff have increased from 107 in 1952 to 408 in 1971-72.

Administration. — During the 1962-63 school year, the faculty was saddened by the deaths of Dean Emeritus Russell Bunting (November 22, 1962) and Dean Emeritus Marcus Ward (January 9, 1963). Dr. Ward served as Dean from 1916 to 1934. Dr. Bunting was Acting Chairman of the Executive Committee from 1935 to 1937 and was Dean from that year to his retirement in 1950. He was succeeded by Dr. Paul Jeserich. Dr. Jeserich began his retirement furlough on July 1, 1962, having been associated with the School since 1924. Through his efforts, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry came into being, the first building in the world devoted solely to graduate and postgraduate teaching in dentistry. Dr. Jeserich continued to serve as Director of the Institute until his retirement. Dr. William Mann succeeded Dr. Jeserich as Dean of the School and Director of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. For the year 1958-60, he also served a half-time appointment on the American Council on Education’s Commission on the Survey of Dentistry in the United States and authored the Dental Education section of the final report The Survey of Dentistry, published by the American Council on Education. It was under his administrative leadership that most of the planning, procurement of funds, and construction of the New School of Dentistry was accomplished.

Upon the retirement of Dr. Francis Vedder on July 1, 1961, Dr. Robert Doerr was elected to succeed him as Secretary of the Faculty. Dr. Vedder had served the School for forty-three years as chairman of the Department of Crown and Bridge Prosthesis since 1935 and as Secretary of the Faculty since 1923.

For the first time since its establishment in 1875, there were major changes in the administrative structure of the School. Along with his responsibilities as Dean, Dr. Mann assumed the directorship of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute and appointed Dr. William Brown, Jr., Associate Director. Dr. Brown was made responsible for the program of postgraduate education of the Institute and assisted the Dean in the graduate program. The position of Secretary of the Faculty was abolished, and Dr. Doerr was appointed Associate Dean. Dr. Doerr’s duties included directing the admissions and carrying much of the administrative burden of the program in undergraduate dental education. Dr. Brown resigned on July 30, 1969, to become the first bean of the new University of Oklahoma School of Dentistry. Dr. Dorothy Hard joined the School’s Oral Hygiene staff in 1924 and was appointed Director of the Curriculum in Dental Hygiene in 1934. Dr. Hard (Bunting) retired in 1968 and was succeeded by Pauline Steele. Professor Steele is an active author and editor and is one of the best known leaders in dental hygiene in the United States.

The rapid expansion of the School’s enrollment and physical facilities in the late 1960s required further additions to the administrative staff. Dr. Donald Strachan was appointed Assistant Dean on October 20, 1969. In July 1969, Joseph Consani was appointed Assistant to the Dean. His duties included assisting the Dean with personnel and financial affairs of the School.

The New Dental Curriculum. — An extensive study of the content of the courses in the dental curriculum was begun by the School’s Committee on Curriculum in 1959. It was the desire of the committee to reduce unplanned repetition and to correlate the basic science courses with clinical instruction to the maximum degree. In 1962 the committee began in earnest to design a progressive curriculum which could be implemented during the transition to the new dental buildings. Dental faculty and members of the basic science departments of the Medical School, who were concerned with teaching dental students, were consulted.

The new curriculum provides:

1. A strong biological science orientation with an increased number of applied courses to aid in the integration of basic and clinical sciences;

2. A core of fundamental courses vertically oriented to permeate the entire curriculum;

3. Emphasis on preventive dentistry maintained in each department and reinforced by clinical experiences offered the students;

4. The development of clinical skills adaptable to both current and future practice;

5. An environment in which students will discover the basis for continuing development of their intellectual and social potentials.

The curriculum increases the number of terms to nine but does not extend the four-year period of study for the degree Doctor of Dental Surgery. The additional term is the Spring-Summer term following the junior year. This twelve-week term is used for both clinical and didactic courses.

Fields of Study. — The continual expansion of knowledge in the various fields of study in dentistry, and a monitoring of the dental needs of the population, made it advantageous to departmentalize the teaching effort at the School. Because the School of Dentistry operates with a single budget, the divisional units of the School are not official University departments. Eighteen different areas of dentistry are recognized by the School and each has been established as a department within the School. Each departmental chairman is appointed by the School’s Executive Committee. The following units currently function as departments within the School: Community Dentistry, Complete Denture Prosthodontics, Crown and Bridge Prosthesis, Dental Materials, Department of Dentistry in University Hospital, Educational Resources, Endodontics, Occlusion, Operative Dentistry, Oral Biology, Oral Diagnosis and Radiology, Oral Pathology, Oral Surgery, Orthodontics, Partial Denture Prosthodontics, Pedodontics, Periodontics, and Preclinical Dentistry.

Community Dentistry. — The Department of Community Dentistry was established in 1962 with Dr. David Striffler as chairman. Dr. Striffler retained his appointment as Associate Professor of Dental Public Health and Director of the Program of Dental Public Health in the School of Public Health. This department was founded to integrate the courses previously given in dental history, ethics, jurisprudence, practice administration, and public health dentistry, and to add instruction in dental epidemiology and biostatistics. Its principle objective was to prepare dental graduates to cope with the comprehensive social problems of dental health care after they enter private practice. On October 1, 1968, Dr. Robert Hansen was appointed chairman of the Department of Community Dentistry. He had served as Assistant Chief of Program Operations at the Dental Health Center of the U.S. Public Health Service in San Francisco. Dr. Hansen resigned on December 31, 1969, to become Associate Dean of the new School of Dentistry of the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Striffler was made acting chairman of the department until August 1, 1970, when Dr. Albert H. Trithart was appointed chairman. Dr. Trithart died suddenly on November 9, 1970, and Dr. Striffler was again called on to serve as acting chairman until Dr. Robert Bagramian was appointed to head the department on July 1, 1971.

Complete Denture Prosthodontics. — One of the oldest departments within the School, the department has been under the direction of three different persons since 1952. Dr. Richard Kingery, who had taught complete denture prosthodontics since 1924 and had been in charge of graduate instruction in that field since 1948, retired on September 4, 1963. Dr. Corwin Wright, who had been in charge of undergraduate instruction in this field then became chairman of the department. Upon Dr. Wright’s retirement on July 1, 1971, Dr. Brien Lang was appointed chairman.

Crown and Bridge Prosthesis. — On July 1, 1961, Dr. George Myers succeeded Dr. Francis Vedder as chairman of the Department of Crown and Bridge Prosthesis. Dr. Vedder joined the faculty of the School in 1918 and had been chairman of the department since 1935.

Dental Materials. — This department had its origins in the laboratory of Dr. Marcus Ward in 1903, when he began his research on dental amalgams. Dr. Ward was a true pioneer in this field and was responsible for the University of Michigan’s having the oldest continuous program of teaching and research activity in dental materials.

The dental materials laboratory was conducted by Dr. Ward until 1946 when Dr. Norris Taylor succeeded him as chairman. After two years’ service, Dr. Taylor resigned and was succeeded by Dr. Floyd Peyton in 1948. Under his leadership the department exerted tremendous influence in dental materials technology and education on a worldwide scale. Dr. Peyton asked to be relieved of his duties as chairman in 1969 and retired in 1970. Dr. Robert George was appointed as Dr. Peyton’s successor on July 1, 1969. Dr. Craig has done extensive research in areas of friction and wear of restorative materials, stress analysis surface chemistry, thermal analysis of materials, and shell casting.

Dentistry in University Hospital. — The department was established by the University Hospital Board in Control early in 1970. It is an outgrowth of the Department of Oral Surgery, started in 1917 by Dr. Cyrenus Darling. Oral dentistry became a section of the Department of Surgery at University Hospital in 1952. The emphasis remained on oral surgery, but the need for coverage in other specialty areas has steadily increased. Dr. James Hayward and Dr. Donald Kerr were appointed co-directors to temporarily administer departmental affairs until July 1, 1970, when Dr. Gerald Bonnette was appointed chairman of this new department.

Educational Resources. — In 1969 this department was created to assist the faculty in the improvement and evaluation of their teaching, to operate a new educational television system with the School, and to provide instruction in programmed and computer-aided instruction. Dr. Warren Seibert, who had been head of the Instructional Media Research Unit at Purdue University, was appointed as chairman of the department.

Endodontics. — Dr. Ralph Sommer was appointed chairman of this department in 1939 and served until his retirement in 1967. He was succeeded by Dr. John Dowson as chairman, and the department name was changed from Endodontia and Radiology to the Department of Endodontics. Dr. Floyd Ostrander, who taught dental pharmacology and therapeutics in the department for many years, retired in 1970. He had formed a strong link between the faculty and organized dentistry and had held many offices in the profession, including the presidency of the American Dental Association in 1967.

Occlusion. — Dental occlusion, an important subject common to most areas of dentistry, was elevated to departmental status in August 1969. In addition to a small basic staff of the department, faculty members from other departments are integrated into the occlusion tract and spend various amounts of time teaching under the guidance of the department. Contributing departments include Crown and Bridge Prosthesis, Partial Denture Prosthodontics, Complete Denture Prosthodontics, Operative Dentistry, and, to a limited extent, Pedodontics and Orthodontics. The department works closely with the staff of the preclinical courses. Dr. Major Ash, Jr. was appointed chairman of the department in 1969.

Operative Dentistry. — Dr. Louis Schultz retired as chairman of this department in December of 1968, after forty-two years of service to the School. He had assumed the chairmanship succeeding Dr. Paul Jeserich, who was in charge of the Operative Clinic from 1935 to 1946. Dr. Schultz was in turn succeeded by Dr. Gerald Charbeneau, who divided his efforts between the department of Operative Dentistry and the department of Dental Materials. This relationship made a major contribution to the School by helping to bridge the gap between laboratory and clinical practice.

Oral Biology. — This department was established in the 1962-63 school year to improve communication among teachers and researchers working in the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and therapeutics. The purpose was to improve the integration of teaching in the basic sciences and the correlation with clinical instruction. It was intended that the chairmanship rotate annually. The first chairman was Professor Mary Crowley, who played an important role in the research on dental caries under the direction of Dr. Russell Bunting. On her retirement in 1970, Dr. Dominic Dziewiatkowski was appointed chairman and also Director of the Dental Research Institute. The department has grown to be one of the largest in the School.

Oral Diagnosis and Radiology. — The department of Oral Diagnosis was established in 1958 with Dr. Herbert Millard as chairman. The department name was changed in 1967 to Oral Diagnosis and Radiology, following the retirement of Dr. Ralph Sommer. At this time the Department of Endodontia and Radiology was changed to the Department of Endodontics, and this department assumed the responsibility for teaching subjects related to dental radiology.

Oral Pathology. — Dr. Donald Kerr has headed the teaching of oral pathology since 1939, and in 1948 he also assumed the teaching of periodontal disease. In July 1963 when the School established the Department of Periodontics, however, Dr. Kerr relinquished his teaching of periodontics. He continues to head the Department of Oral Pathology.

Oral Surgery. — In addition to his duties in the School of Dentistry, Dr. John Kemper had been in charge of teaching oral surgery and of the oral surgery clinic at University Hospital. Upon his sudden death in 1952, Dr. James Hayward was called from his Army duties to fill Dr. Kemper’s position. Dr. Hayward has served as president of both the American Board of Oral Surgery and of the American Society of Oral Surgeons.

Orthodontics. — Dr. Robert Moyers, former head of the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Toronto, was appointed chairman of this department on May 15, 1953, following the sudden death of Dr. Raymond Moore. Dr. Moyers relinquished the chairmanship in 1964, however, to become Director of the University Center for Human Growth and Development. Dr. William Hunter served as acting chairman until May 1966, when Dr. James Harris was appointed chairman. Dr. Robert Aldrich was made co-chairman for the program of clinical teaching in orthodontics.

Partial Denture Prosthodontics. — This department has been under the direction of Dr. Oliver Applegate since its establishment in 1934 until he began his retirement in 1964. Dr. Franklin W. Smith was appointed to succeed him as chairman.

Pedodontics. — The program of dentistry for children was instituted by Dr. Kenneth Easlick in 1931. Dr. Easlick had taught courses in public dental health since 1938, and in 1941 was given a joint appointment in the School of Public Health, becoming Professor of Dentistry and Public Health Dentistry in 1945. Upon his retirement in 1962, he was succeeded by Dr. Joseph Hartsook as chairman of the department. At this time the name was changed from the Department of Dentistry for Children to the Department of Pedodontics. Following Dr. Hartsook, Dr. William Brown, Jr. became acting chairman until the appointment of Dr. Richard Coppron as chairman in 1969.

Periodontics. — The area of dentistry which is concerned with the study, treatment, and prevention of periodontal disease has become recognized as one of the most important areas of the profession. Courses in periodontia had been taught by Dr. Russell Bunting from 1910 until 1948. In 1963 the responsibility for teaching this subject was placed in the newly-formed Department of Periodontics, and Dr. Sigurd Ramfjord was appointed chairman.

Preclinical Dentistry. — Preclinical courses were taught by Dr. Elmer Whitman from 1902 until 1949. When Dr. Whitman retired in 1950, Dr. Ralph Sayles took charge of this instruction. With the advent of the School’s new curriculum in 1969, the area of preclinical instruction underwent major changes. All preclinical courses were placed under the coordination of the Department of Preclinical Dentistry, established in 1969. Operating on the same principle as that of the Department of Occlusion, a small core of departmental faculty teaches the preclinical courses in conjunction with members of the clinical department in which the course is being taught. Dr. Harvey Schield became cochairman with Dr. Moyer in this new department in 1969.

Director of Clinics. — Dr. Frank Comstock, whose field was operative dentistry, was appointed Director of Clinics on January 1, 1969.

Control of Dental Caries. — Dr. Philip Jay retired at the end of the 1966-67 year. Dr. Jay was distinguished for his research into the causes of dental caries. His contribution to studies leading to the fluoridation of community water brought international recognition to the University.


The importance of dental hygienists to the dental profession is reflected in the increased number of institutions teaching dental hygiene, rising from 26 schools in 1952 to 132 schools in 1971.

The Curriculum in Dental Hygiene consists of a two-year and a four-year program. The two-year curriculum is designed to prepare women to qualify as dental hygienists. Upon the completion of the program the student receives a certificate. The four-year curriculum consists of two years of liberal arts, followed by two years of study in the School of Dentistry. Upon graduation the student receives the degree Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.

Student enrollment and the teaching staff have more than doubled since 1969 as a result of the greater capacity of the new physical facilities. Dr. Dorothy Hard had been appointed Director of the Curriculum in Dental Hygiene in 1934. Upon her retirement in 1968, Professor Pauline Steele succeeded her as director.

In 1964 a graduate dental hygiene program was established by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and was originally funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek. Twenty-five dental hygienists have earned the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene degree in this program. Postgraduate courses in dental hygiene are offered in the continuing dental education program at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute.


Dental education beyond the undergraduate level has been offered by the School since the early 1890s. Only a few graduate degrees were granted by 1921, when the University’s Graduate School recognized these programs and began to confer the Master of Science degree upon graduate dental students. Postgraduate dental instruction began in 1933, under the direction of Dr. Chalmers Lyons, when practicing dentists indicated their desire for some form of refresher courses which would keep them abreast of advances in the profession. In 1937 Dr. Paul Jeserich was made Director of Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry. Three years later the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry was completed and Dr. Jeserich became its director. When he became Dean in 1950, Dr. Jeserich retained the directorship of the Institute and Dr. William Mann was appointed Assistant Director; he became Associate Director of the Institute in 1952. When Dr. Mann succeeded Dr. Jeserich as Dean in 1962, he assumed the directorship of the Institute and Dr. William Brown was appointed Associate Director.

Twelve programs of graduate instruction leading to the degree Master of Science are offered by the Institute: dental hygiene, dental materials, dental pharmacology and therapeutics, denture prosthodontics, endodontics, oral diagnosis and radiology, oral pathology and diagnosis, oral surgery, orthodontics, pedodontics, periodontics, and restorative dentistry. All candidates for the Master of Science degree, except those in dental hygiene and dental materials, are required to hold dental degrees. The degree Doctor of Philosophy is offered in dental materials, jointly with other University departments such as mechanical engineering, pharmacology, or physics.

Since the inauguration of the program of postgraduate dentistry in 1933, approximately 8,000 students had been enrolled by the end of the 1970-71 year. The number of postgraduate courses offered by the Institute increased from 48 in 1951-52 to 56 in 1971-72. During the 1971-72 school year 11 one-day, 12 two-day, 9 three-day, 17 one-week, 4 two-week, and 3 one-day-a week postgraduate courses were offered by the Institute.

In January 1965, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation granted $395,000 to remodel and air-condition the Institute. With the summer of 1966, the Foundation made an additional gift of $1.1 million to the University for several purposes, all related to the School’s building program. A large part of the gift was to cover the costs of modernizing the Institute, and $375,000 was used to purchase much of the equipment for the new Television Center for the School of Dentistry and the Institute.


The School of Dentistry has one of the most complete collections of dental and dental-related literature in the country. In 1918 the Dental Library became a Divisional Library of the University Library and has been attended by a full-time professional librarian since 1929. Currently the library staff consists of four full-time attendants and nine part-time personnel, some of whom are students in the School of Library Science. The Dental Library has always been housed in the building occupied by the School. During the construction of the new Dental Building and the demolition of the old building in the late sixties, it was necessary to relocate the entire library. The move to the basement of the new clinic building was accomplished while school was in session in the fall of 1969. The entire collection of approximately 40,000 items was ready for use again in just ten days. In the early summer of 1971, it was moved to its permanent quarters in the newly-completed library wing of the new Dental Building.

As of 1971, the Dental Library contained 28,181 cataloged volumes and approximately 12,000 uncataloged items, including the duplicate periodical collection, pamphlets, theses, term reports, and a collection of microfilms. The Library also contains an excellent collection of rare books dealing with dental subjects. Acquisitions are being made to enrich this collection.


Since 1903, when Dr. Marcus Ward began to study the properties of dental amalgams used as a filling material, the School of Dentistry has steadily increased its research efforts to keep pace with rapid changes which have occurred in all phases of the profession. The School has been, and continues to be, recognized as a leader in dental research, both in the basic sciences and clinical fields.

By 1952 the amount of research had increased to include many areas of dentistry. Sponsored research projects were carried out largely in dental materials, dental caries, oral pathology, endodontics, dental therapeutics, and orthodontics. The long-standing problem of space restriction for research activities continued to limit the magnitude of dental research at the School. In 1955 it was deemed necessary temporarily to improvise some storage space in the basement for research facilities in oral anatomy and biochemistry. In May 1957 the School received a Health Research Facilities Grant of $381,000, the largest grant made to any dental school up to that time, for aid in constructing and equipping research facilities. The grant was forfeited because the required matching funds were not obtained. In the 1957-58 school year, the School’s research program conducted by the faculty members and others employed on the University budget was augmented by 16 research grants and four training or fellowship grants totaling $194,642.

In the beginning of the 1960s dental research continued to be limited because of the lack of space in the Dental Building. Although between $175,000 and $200,000 in research funds were received each year from various supporting agencies, there was virtually no possibility of extending sponsored research beyond this level until more space could be made available. When an electron microscope was acquired with a grant from the National Institute of Health in 1961, janitor’s space in the basement was remodeled to house this equipment.

The dental research program by 1967 far exceeded that of the early 1950s in terms of personnel, financial support, equipment, and productivity. Funds available for research projects, training grants, fellowships, conferences, and other programs totaled approximately $1.9 million. Research as an activity for every department and teacher gained complete acceptance and joined teaching and patient care as a major objective of the School.

Dental Research Institute. — The School of Dentistry, in cooperation with the Medical School and the School of Public Health, requested the National Institute of Dental Research to support the development of a university-based Dental Research Institute at the Ann Arbor campus. The application was approved in June 1967, and a grant of $1,005,674 was received for the first year of operation. From its inception, the new Institute was conceived with research and research training relevant to oral health. The program was initially based in the seven basic science departments of the Medical School, in the Department of Oral Biology of the School of Dentistry, and in certain departments of the School of Public Health. Upon the completion of the research wing of the new Dental Building in the fall of 1969, most of the research activities of the Institute were placed in this facility.

The Dental Research Institute is administered according to the policies developed by the University for the centers and institutes on its campus. The administration of the Institute is controlled by a policy committee, an executive committee, and a scientific advisory committee. Dr. Dominic Dziewiatkowski was appointed director of the Institute on July 1, 1967.

By June 1967, the Institute was conducting eleven programs: bacteriology, biochemistry, bioengineering, biometrics, cell biology, experimental pathology, oral histology, pharmacology, prosthetics-mechanics, transplantation genetics, and virology. There are forty-four separate research investigations being conducted within these eleven programs. Federal funds, totaling approximately $1 million, were made available to the Dental Research Institute for the fiscal year 1971.

A considerable amount of dental research continues to be conducted in the School of Dentistry itself. Approximately $200,000 in federal funds was made available for the year 1971 by the General Research Support Branch, Division of Research Resources. The School’s total research program expresses an intellectual, realistic approach to the problems of dental disease and treatment.

Charles C. Kelsey

The University of Michigan, An Encyclopedic Survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor, Volume V, pp. 96-108.