We have reached the second week of March, which means we have also reached the second week of National Women’s History Month. At Mansfield Dental Associates, we believe we would be remiss to let this month pass by without giving thanks to some of the most important women in dental history. So, in today’s blog, your Mansfield, TX, dentist will tell the stories of three significant women who have left a great and positive impact on dentistry as a whole.

1. Emeline Roberts Jones

Emeline Roberts Jones became the first woman to become a practicing dentist in 1855. A year prior, she had married a man named Dr. Daniel Jones, a dentist himself, and she became curious about dentistry. Unfortunately, when she expressed her interest to her husband, he told her she could not study dentistry due to the common belief that the hands of a woman were just too frail and clumsy to do any kind of dental work. Fueled by her passion, she studied secretly, and began practicing dentistry at 19 years old, extracting and filling hundreds of teeth in 1855. Dr. Jones eventually found out what she had been doing and they began practicing dentistry together, becoming partners when Emeline was 23 years old. After Dr. Jones died, Emeline continued to practice dentistry while being a single parent to their two children, and she earned a great reputation as a highly skilled dentist.

2. Lucy Hobbs Taylor

Though Emeline was able to practice dentistry in 1855, Lucy Hobbs Taylor would not be able to receive a DDS until eleven years later, in 1866. The orphaned Lucy Hobbs Taylor had a passion for dentistry and wanted to go to school for it, but was unfortunately denied entry twice because of her gender, the first time by the Eclectic Medical College, and the second time by the Ohio College of Dentistry. She ended up studying under a professor from the latter, Dr. Jonathan Taft, and opening a practice in 1861. Finally, she was allowed entry into the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, where she earned her DDS in 1866. She got married around the same time, and her husband was inspired to practice dentistry with her for the next 20 years.

3. Ida Gray

Ida Gray not only had to overcome being an orphan and a woman, but being a black woman born in Tennessee. She persevered through years of segregated schooling before ending up at a high school in Chicago where she, too, met and studied under Dr. Jonathan Taft. She attended the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and graduated in 1890, making her the very first female African-American dentist. She gained notoriety not only for that accomplishment, but because she treated both black and white patients at her dental practices first in Cincinnati and then in Chicago. One of Ida’s patients from Chicago, Olive M. Henderson, was so inspired that she became the second African-American female dentist in the city of Chicago.

Let Us Make a Positive Impact on Your Smile

These three women made a huge, positive impact on the world of dentistry, and, at Mansfield Dental Associates, we would like to make a huge, positive impact on your smile. If you would like to schedule a consultation, or if it is time for your twice-yearly checkup and cleaning, call Mansfield Dental Associates in Mansfield, TX, at 817-473-6227.