School of Dentistry at 100

History at a glance

Cheryl Deslaurier and Tarwinder Rai - 13 October 2017

1917: Students begin their first dental courses

1919: First female student enrols in the program

1921: First health sciences building opens at the U of A

1923: Dentistry offers a complete degree program for the first time

1927: First dentistry class graduates

1930: Department of Dentistry becomes the School of Dentistry, with Harry E. Bulyea as its first director

1943: First female receives a DDS degree

1944: School of Dentistry becomes the Faculty of Dentistry, with W. Scott Hamilton appointed as its first dean

1961: First classes in dental hygiene commence

1962: First graduate studies courses begin

1974: First mobile dental clinic program hits the road

1990: First fundraising appeal, called The Fund for Dentistry, launches to the private-sector dental community

1996: Dentistry and the Faculty of Medicine join to become the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry. Dentistry continues to be known as the School of Dentistry

2001: First white-coat ceremony for DDS students

2012: First expanded dental clinic at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital

2017: First 100 years of dentistry

Tracing our Roots
The U of A's School of Dentistry was the first Canadian dental school west of Toronto―the only one for more than 1,000 kilometers in any direction back in 1917. The unlikely story of the school is vividly brought to life by award-winning journalist Taylor Lambert in Roots: Extracted tales from a century of dentistry at the University of Alberta. The book is available in trade paperback in September 2017, with all proceeds going to the Dentistry for Life fund.

Book cover design credit: Kate Hargreaves (CorusKate Design)

School of Dentistry curriculum renewal

The School of Dentistry is moving forward fast. As of fall 2017, the dental hygiene program will officially be a degree-only program rather than a diploma program. The School of Dentistry is also in the process of a four-year curriculum renewal project for the doctor of dental surgery degree program.

Dentistry and dental hygiene curricula will be integrated, with students learning together in many classrooms, clinical situations and varied community settings to optimize experiences and improve access to care.

"The school intends to create a model that allows the greatest degree of flexibility and freedom to place resources where future generations of oral health care professionals, researchers and educators will best serve the needs of the community," said Paul Major, chair of the School of Dentistry. "The future success of dental schools depends on moving beyond training competent dentists and dental hygienists to being more socially responsive to the communities we serve."

Sharing Smiles

More than 60 students from the dentistry and dental hygiene programs volunteered to host in April 2017 the U of A's first Sharing Smiles Day―an informative event filled with games, face painting and oral-hygiene demonstrations for 65 individuals with developmental disabilities and their caregivers.

Dentistry for All

At their annual charity ball in February 2017, the Dental Students' Association broke their past fundraising records, raising $74,000 in support of Dentistry for All. The 2018 charity ball will support Kindness in Action. Both Dentistry for All and Kindness in Action are initiatives spearheaded by DDS alumni.

William Lobb '77 DDS

School of Dentistry's 2017 alumnus of the year

The professor and dean of the School of Dentistry at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was honoured for his dedication to the dental profession and academia.