In 1916, Columbia University established the School of Dentistry (now known as the College of Dental Medicine). In 1917, the university merged the school with the newly acquired New York Post-graduate School of Dentistry and New York School of Dental Hygiene. To those working in the health sciences, the move was a powerful signal of a field on the rise. It recognized dental medicine as a key component of individual and social well-being and initiated a monumental era in medical innovation and progressive public health outcomes.
This hundred-year history shares the turbulent story of dentistry, a medical field in the making. It recounts the institutional battles and research controversies that set the terms for the development and practice of dentistry. The assimilation of the dental school into the university system was not smooth. Rivalries played out in public and in private; traditionalists fought the inclusion of a young and evolving medical approach. Once the school found its footing, the College of Dental Medicine developed rapidly, and by the end of the twentieth century, had successfully launched a series of global outreach programs that immeasurably helped impoverished and underserved communities worldwide. The school's work now includes transitioning the field into the digital age and effecting even greater change in the lives of those without access to high-quality dental care. Featuring fascinating biographical details of the school's major teachers, administrators, and graduates, this book secures the reputation of Columbia University's College of Dental Medicine as a global leader in advancing the public good.