4 Women Pioneers in Dentistry
Women have played a major role in the development of dentistry. Their innovation, tenacity and hard work are part of the reason we are able to take such good care of you!
So, celebrate Women’s History Month by taking a few minutes to share with your family the amazing accomplishments of women in dentistry.
Each of these remarkable women helped pave the way for everyone who came after them. They are stories of struggle, achievement, and innovation.
“You’ll find these remarkable women are a great example for children of all ages. Their journey as dentists demonstrates that dreams, passion, and hard work pay off with success,” said Scuba Smiles Dr. Lela Farmer.
Emeline Roberts Jones
Emeline Jones was truly a pioneer in the field of dentistry. Her interest in dentistry dated back to 1854 when she married a dentist, Daniel Jones. She was only 18 at the time. Back then, there were many people who didn’t think women could be good dentists because they thought their fingers were too weak. But Jones did not give up! She studied dentistry privately and began to secretly treat patients. Dr. Jones eventually demonstrated her skill as a dentist to her husband and eventually, they became partners.
Dr. Emeline Roberts Jones practiced dentistry throughout her life and earned her place as a member of the Connecticut Dental Society and an honorary member of the National Dental Association.
Lucy Beaman Hobbs Taylor
Dr. Taylor was truly a trailblazer in the field of dentistry! She was orphaned at the age of 12, but that did not stop her. She overcame difficulties to become a teacher. Taylor then became fascinated with medicine and ultimately dentistry. In 1866, she became the first woman to earn a Doctorate of Dental Surgery. She would apply to colleges and gain admittance to schools that historically refused to admit women. Dr. Taylor even taught her husband how to become a dentist. She would eventually not only practice dentistry, but also run her own practice. Talk about achieving a dream!
Ida Gray Nelson Rollins
Dr. Rollins was another remarkable trailblazer in the field of dentistry for women. She became the first African American female dentist. Rollins grew up in Tennessee and moved to Cincinnati when she was a teenager. She started working for a dentist by the name of Dr. Taft. He encouraged her to attend the University of Michigan College of Dental Surgery. Dr. Rollins would eventually graduate from the program in 1890, and she went on to work at practices in Cincinnati and Chicago. Her superb dental skills earned her praise among both black and white patients. Dr. Rollins was so skilled that she influenced one of her own female patients, Olive Henderson, to become a dentist!
Evangeline Jordan saw a need to help children with their oral health. It was her work that paved the way for the evolution of pediatric dentistry! Dr. Jordon actually started her working life as a teacher. It was her work as a dental assistant in the summer that inspired her to consider dentistry. After graduating from the University of California in 1898, she focused her career on taking care of children’s teeth. Through her amazing work, she championed the oral care of children. Dr. Jordan even helped develop specific techniques to address the unique dental needs of children.
“It is thanks to these women in history that our team at Scuba Smiles can help so many children in our community every day. There are many more remarkable women who continue to have a profound impact on dentistry and are paving the way for innovations to come,” said Dr. Farmer.