Table 1

Selected contextual milestones in dental education

YearMilestoneSignificance/Comments
1840Baltimore College of DentistryFirst dental college.
1859Formation of American Dental Association (ADA)
1867Harvard School of Dental MedicineFirst dental college connected to a classic university.
1910Flexner report on medical education1Redefined medical education: underpinnings for the growth of academic health centers and medical specialization; scientific basis of medicine.
1919Journal of Dental Research (JDR) foundedEstablished by William Gies.
1920International Association for Dental Research (IADR) foundedWilliam Gies largely responsible.
1923American Association of Dental Schools (AADS) organizedWilliam Gies largely responsible.
1926Gies report on dental education2Redefined dental education: viewed dentistry as scientifically based health service, and dental education must be comparable to medicine in quality and support.
1935Blauch Committee report on objectives of dental education3Listed objectives for dental education of specified topics areas.
1936ADA Council on Dental Education (CDE) established
1941O’Rourke and Minor, Dental Education in the United States4Curriculum hours and content for dental education described.
1942All U.S. dental schools are “inspected and approved” or accredited under the aegis of the CDE
1947Horner review of approved dental school curriculum5Dental curriculum was overcrowded; clinic transformed from teaching clinics to income generators.
1948National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR) established as part of the National Institutes of Health; renamed National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) in 1998
1961Hollinshead survey of dentistry6Noted little change in curriculum clock hours since 1934; called for vertical integration of curriculum to integrate basic and clinical sciences with early clinical experiences; emphasized the use of preventive dentistry.
1967–68Clock hour survey of dental education institutions by the ADA CDE and the AADS
1974Forsyth experiment in the training of advanced skills hygienists7Advanced training of hygienists demonstrated clinical skills at or above those provided by dentists.
1975AADS established curriculum guidelines8
1976CDE study on dental education in the United States9Detailed report on curriculum with baseline information for future comparisons. Provided dental education with recommendations on the education process.
1980Report of the ADA Special Higher Education Committee10Critiqued the 1976 curriculum study.
1982National Conference on Dental Education11Redefined methodology to better integrate basic and clinical sciences in the curriculum.
1983Report of the ADA’s Special Committee on the Future of DentistrySet the stage for the education of the broadly competent practitioner.
1984Association of American Medical Colleges report on physicians for the 21st century12Established competencies for the 21st century medical practitioner.
1989O’Neil and Barker, “Pew National Dental Education Program: Developing an Agenda for Change”13Established strategic planning in dental education.
Solomon and Brown, “Dental School Curriculum: A 50-Year Update”14Found little change in curricular content and clock hours over the past 50 years.
1991Pew Health Professions Commission report, Healthy America: Practitioners for 200515An agenda for action for U.S. health professions schools.
1993Pew Health Professions Commission report, Health Professions Education for the Future16Report on “schools in service to the nation.”
1995Tedesco, “Issues in Dental Curriculum Development and Change”17Review of the dental curriculum over a 40+year period.
Dental Education at the Crossroads: Challenges and Change, an Institute of Medicine report18The definitive treatise on the state of dental education and its future.
2000Oral Health in America, a report of the U.S. Surgeon General19First ever surgeon general’s report on oral health of Americans; described the “silent epidemic” of oral disease and health disparities and recommended action plans for the future.
2001ADA’s Future of Dentistry Report20
Hendricson and Cohen, “Oral Health in the 21st Century: Implications for Dental and Medical Education”21
2002–03Kassebaum et al., “The Dental Curriculum at North American Dental Institutions in 2002–03”22Comprehensive survey of current structure, recent innovations, and planned changes.
2003U.S. Surgeon General’s National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health23
Pearson and Douglass, “Open Wide: Integrating Oral Health and Primary Care”24
Arizona Health Futures at www.slhi.org.
2004DePaola and Slavkin, “Reforming Dental Health Professions Education”25
Brown and Meskin, Economics of Dental Education26
2005ADEA established the Commission on Change and Innovation in Dental Education (ADEA CCI)27Collaborative forum involving all aspects of dental education; one outcome was revised competencies for the new general dentist.
2006Pyle et al., “The Case for Change in Dental Education”28Statement from the ADEA CCI on the need for change.
2007Bailit et al., “Financing Clinical Dental Education”29The case for a new paradigm for clinical education.
2008Formicola et al., “The Interrelationship of Accreditation and Dental Education: History and Current Environment”30
New Models of Dental Education: The Macy Study31Report from a three-year study.
2010Haden et al., “Curriculum Change in Dental Education, 2003–09”32
2011Advancing Oral Health in America, an Institute of Medicine report33
Training New Dental Health Providers in the United States34Special issue of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.
Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations, an Institute of Medicine report35
Access Report: Phased Strategies for Reducing the Barriers to Dental Care in California, a California Dental Association report36
  • Sources:

  • 1 Flexner A. Medical education in the United States and Canada: a report to the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. New York: Carnegie Foundation, 1910.

  • 2 Gies WJ. Dental education in the United States and Canada. New York: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1926.

  • 3 Blauch LE. A course of study in dentistry: report of the curriculum survey committee, American Association of Dental Schools. Chicago: American Association of Dental Schools, 1935.

  • 4 O’Rourke JT, Miner LMS. Dental education in the United States. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1941.

  • 5 Horner HH. Dental education today. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1947.

  • 6 Hollinshead BS. The survey of dentistry: the final report of the Commission on the Survey of Dentistry in the United States. Washington, DC: American Council on Education, 1961.

  • 7 Lobene RR, Kerr A. The Forsyth experiment: an alternative system for dental care. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1979.

  • 8 American Association of Dental Schools. Statement of policy on curriculum guidelines by AADS sections. J Dent Educ 1975;39(1): 52–3.

  • 9 American Dental Association. Dental education in the United States 1976: Council on Dental Education. Chicago: American Dental Association, 1977.

  • 10 American Dental Association. Report of the special higher education committee to critique the 1976 dental curriculum study. Chicago: American Dental Association, 1980.

  • 11 Proceedings: National Conference on Dental Education, May 18–20, 1981. J Dent Educ 1981;45(10).

  • 12 Association of American Medical Colleges. Physicians for the twenty-first century: report of the project panel on the general professional education of the physician and college preparation for medicine. J Med Educ 1984;59(11 part 2):1–208.

  • 13 O’Neil EH, Barker BD. Pew national dental education program: developing an agenda for change. J Dent Educ 1989;53(8):469–74.

  • 14 Solomon ES, Brown WE. Dental school curriculum: a 50-year update. J Dent Educ 1989;53(2):149–51.

  • 15 Shugars DA, O’Neill EH, Bader JD. Healthy America: practitioners for 2005, an agenda for action for U.S. health professional schools. Durham, NC: Pew Health Professions Commission, 1991.

  • 16 O’Neil EH. Health professions education for the future: schools in service to the nation. San Francisco: Pew Health Professions Commission, 1993.

  • 17 Tedesco LA. Issues in dental curriculum development and change. J Dent Educ 1995;59(1):97–147.

  • 18 Field MJ, ed. Dental education at the crossroads: challenges and change. An Institute of Medicine Report. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1995:35–7.

  • 19 Oral health in America: a report of the surgeon general. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, 2000.

  • 20 American Dental Association, Health Policy Resource Center. Future of dentistry report: today’s vision, tomorrow’s reality. Chicago: American Dental Association, 2001.

  • 21 Hendricson WD, Cohen PA. Oral health in the 21st century: implications for dental and medical education. Acad Med 2001;76(12);1181–207.

  • 22 Kassebaum DK, Hendricson WD, Taft T, Haden NK. The dental curriculum at North American dental institutions in 2002–03: a survey of current structure, recent innovations, and planned changes. J Dent Educ 2004;68(9):914–31.

  • 23 U.S. Surgeon General. National call to action to promote oral health. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, 2003.

  • 24 Pearson J, Douglass CW. Open wide: integrating oral health and primary care. Phoenix: Arizona Health Futures, St. Luke’s Health Initiatives, June 2003.

  • 25 DePaola DP, Slavkin HC. Reforming dental health professions education: a white paper. J Dent Educ 2004;68(11):1139–50.

  • 26 Brown LJ, Meskin LH, eds. The economics of dental education. Chicago: American Dental Association, Health Policy Resources Center, 2004.

  • 27 Kalkwarf KL, Haden NK, Valachovic RW. ADEA Commission on Change and Innovation in Dental Education. J Dent Educ 2005;69(10):1085–7.

  • 28 Pyle M, Andrieu SC, Chadwick DG, Chmar JE, Cole JR, George MC, et al. The case for change in dental education. J Dent Educ 2006;70(9):921–4.

  • 29 Bailit HL, Beazoglou TJ, Formicola AJ, Tedesco LA. Financing clinical dental education. J Dent Educ 2007;71(3):322–30.

  • 30 Formicola AJ, Bailit HL, Beazoglou TJ, Tedesco LA. The interrelationship of accreditation and dental education: history and current environment. J Dent Educ 2008;72(2 Suppl):53–60.

  • 31 Formicola AJ, ed. New models of dental education: the Macy Study report. J Dent Educ 2008;72(2 Suppl).

  • 32 Haden NK, Hendricson WD, Kassebaum DK, Ranney RR, Weinstein G, Anderson EL, Valachovic RW. Curriculum change in dental education, 2003–09. J Dent Educ 2010;74(5):539–57.

  • 33 Advancing oral health in America. Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine, April 2011.

  • 34 Training new dental health providers in the United States (special issue). J Public Health Dent 2011;71(Spring).

  • 35 Improving access to oral health care for vulnerable and underserved populations. Washington, DC: Institute of Medicine, July 2011.

  • 36 California Dental Association. Access report: phased strategies for reducing the barriers to dental care in California. Sacramento: California Dental Association, November 2011.