First Woman in American Dentistry

Lucy_Hobbs_Taylor-ist woman dentistIn 1866, with dentistry still in its infancy as a recognized profession, Lucy Hobbs became the first American woman to earn a doctorate degree in dentistry. Given the lax laws of the times, Lucy Hobbs had been practicing dentistry in Cincinnati since 1861; she had been denied entry into  the Ohio College of Dental Surgery because of her female status in the male dominated profession. In 1862 she moved her practice to Iowa amidst the nation divided by the American Civil War.  She had joined the Iowa State Dental Society which helped her gain entry into the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, and in 1866 got her degree.

 

Source: ADA Mews, April 15th, 2019

New Hope for Decayed Teeth

From the ADA Morning huddle 3-28-2019:

Researchers To Test Whether “Minced Tooth Pulp” Can Regenerate Pulp, Dentine.

The Daily Mail (UK) (3/25, Dobson) reports on a new procedure on trial at the University of California that involves inserting “minced tooth pulp” into the root canal space of decayed teeth. According to the article, “It is hoped that the new procedure…will kick-start the growth of new pulp and dentine, strengthening the tooth and its roots.” The pulp will come from the patient’s decayed tooth or another one extracted from the patient, and it will then “be shredded into tiny pieces so it can be easily mixed with a sample of the patient’s blood that has been specially treated.” The next step is inserting the mixture “into the root canal space, which will first have been cleaned to remove residual bacteria.” The article notes that “the researchers are set to try out the technique on 50 patients, who will then be monitored for two years.”

Dental Hall of Fame

Not even among dentists are the names Dr. Joseph Muhler and Dr. William Nebergall well known ( if know at all!).  Yet both have just been inducted into the Dental Hall of fame for developing and patenting fluoridated toothpaste in 1950. By 1955 Procter and Gamble launched Crest, the first clinically proven fluoridated toothpaste. The world has seen a tremendous reduction in caries, the disease of dental decay, thanks to Drs. Muhler and Nebergall.

European Study Links Gum Disease And Erectile Dysfunction.

(This comes straight from the ADA!-7/10/18 Morning Huddle)

The Daily Mail (UK) (7/4, Blanchard) reports researchers at the University of Granada in Spain have found that men with “either gum disease or erectile dysfunction” have increased likelihood of developing the other. According to “the first study to be done on European men,” scientists “say both conditions are linked to the same protein made in the liver.” The Daily Mail says “the study suggests gum disease is a bigger factor in erectile dysfunction than either diabetes or heart disease. Oral health experts say the study suggests the benefits of taking care of your mouth extend beyond avoiding losing teeth, and the mouth affects other parts of the body. They say brushing your teeth twice a day and visiting the dentist regularly could help men to avoid gum disease and erectile dysfunction as well.”

On the Dark Side

Dentists have many many contributions in the world outside the realm of dentistry. Some were made with good intent, but later regarded in a most negative light. Take the case of the German dentist, Dr. Friedrich Krohn. In 1920 he designed the flag which would become the symbol of the Nazi party: the hakenreuz (swastika) flag.  Dr. Krohn was the director of the DAP ( the forerunner of the Nazi party) chapter in Rosenheim, and was a member of the Thule Society, a right wing anti-semetic group steeped in occultism and familiar with the swastika symbol. Dr. Krohn was probably influenced by this when he created the red, white and black flag using the colors of the old German Republic.

It should be remembered, when Dr. Krohn designed the flag in 1920, none of the horrors of the Nazi regime had occurred. Indeed, Hitler was largley unkown and struggling for control of the party, and had not yet committed any acts against humanity. Yet Dr. Krohn’s design was so bold and striking, Hitler stole the idea and the credit. Perhaps that was for the better.

Dr. Schonberg lectures to The Old Guard of Millburn

On October 26, 2017 Dr. Schonberg delivered a lecture to the Millburn Old Guard about his involvement with the WWII Book Club. It stemmed from having parents who had direct experiences in the WWII: his mother survived theNazi occupation of Holland, and his father was a WWII veteran of North Africa and Italy.  The lecture discussed the influence both parents had on Dr. Schonberg and his interest with WWII history.

oldguard

Tribute to Black History Month

 

What could be more relevant to Black History month than a famous Black Dentist? And what could be more relevant  to dentists than golf. Enter George Franklin Grant, the Harvard trained African American  dentist who invented the modern wooden golf tee.  Previously, there had been other objects and methods for teeing up a golf ball, but it took Grant to patent the forerunner of the modern golf tee.

Born in Oswego, New York in 1847, he entered Harvard’s School of Dental Medicine in 1868 and graduated in 1870. He was one of the first two graduates of Harvard University’s dental program .He later became Harvard’s first African American professor . He was a dedicated dentist, and patented a prosthetic device for cleft palate that was internationally recognized. He  was also  involved in dental organizations, as a founding member  Harvard’s Odontological Society, and as president of the Harvard Dental Alumni Association.

We don’t really know if Grant was an avid golfer.  Golf was not nearly as popular, or egalitarian back at the turn of the last century.  But then Grant was not one to be held back Grant’s patent,  issued on December 12, 1899 for an improved golf tee was a vast improvement over the mounds of sand previously used.  If you have ever hit a ball in sand , you know how messy that can be, not mention if the wind is kicking up.  So we offer our gratitude and humbly honor the man who helped modernize golf.  I just wonder  though, were golfers better at getting out of sand traps prior to his invention?

Holiday Donation

In lieu of Holiday cards, a donation in honor of our patients has been made to the Wounded Warrior Project. We hope for the best for our vets, and appreciate the sacrifices made. On behalf of our patients, we wish them Happy Holidays!

Art and the anti-Nazi Dentist

Sculpture by Otto Freundlich on the cover of "Entartete Kunst."

Sculpture by Otto Freundlich on the cover of “Entartete Kunst.”

Many dentists are creative and have an artistic inclination. Some become so successful, they leave the field of dentistry to pursue their artistic talents. Some give their lives for their craft.  One such tragic case is of Otto Freundlich.  Born in Germany in 1878, Freundlich studied dentistry only to  head off to pursue art in Paris in 1908. Later, one of his most famous works, a sculpture called “Der Neue Mensch” (“The New Man”) was used on the cover of the Nazi exhibition program called “Entartete Kunst”- “Degenerate Art.” The exhibition which ran from July to November in 1937 was intended to ridicule and denigrate modern artists, and particularly Jewish artists. The exhibition became heavily attended much to the dismay of the Nazis, who hoped the populace would embrace the Great German Art Exhibition instead. But the German people liked the modern art art more than the boring traditional German art. Hitler was outraged.  Freundlich was eventually arrested by the Nazi’s and murdered in Majdanek Concentration Camp in 1943.