CDE: [The Dean’s Speaker Series] A Brief Overview of the History of Dentistry

May, 2020
12:00 PM-01:00 PM

Virtually via BlueJeans

Time: 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Registration Fee: Free; Registration is required for CE credit.
CE Credits: 1.0 lecture credits


“Ad qui consilium futuri ex prætorito venit” – we gain advice for the future from the past, said Seneca, 69 A.D. Understanding the history of major discoveries leads to a better appreciation of what oral healthcare has today and perhaps how best can we adjust to the future. This brief overview of the history of the dental profession will deal with special topics spanning 13,000 years. The origins of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth”, the story of the boy with the golden tooth, Washington’s dentures and the rise of dentistry from Fauchard to Willoughby Miller, to William Gies, are just some of the stories this seminar will explore.


  • To demonstrate that historical perspective of general and oral health is key in becoming a good healthcare provider
  • Understand that we all “stand on the shoulders of giants” when it comes to making progress
  • To provide an overview of the history of the dental profession.


Dr. Andrew I. Spielman is Professor at the Department of Basic Science and Craniofacial Biology and Former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at New York University College of Dentistry. He received his D.M.D. degree from Romania (1974), Master’s (1985) and Ph. D. in Biochemistry (1988) from University of Toronto, Canada, his certificate in Maxillofacial Surgery from the Israel Institute of Technology (Technion), School of Medicine, Israel (1981), a postdoctoral education at Monell Center, Philadelphia (neuroscience of taste, 1989), and a Certificate in History of Medicine (on-line, non-credit) from Oxford University, UK (2018). He has been a faculty at New York University College of Dentistry since 1989 teaching cell biology and biochemistry as well as integration of clinical with basic sciences. Author of over 130 publications, coeditor of book on chemosensory cell biology and the author of a recently published two-volume commemorative 150-Year History of NYU College of Dentistry. He is recipient of 3 teaching awards, one from NYU and two from ADEA. He is member of national/ international editorial/advisory boards, founding member of the Committee on Integrated National Board Examination in the US and former Chair of the Joint Commission on the National Dental Board Examinations. Has served as CODA curriculum consultant for the past 18 years and worked as a consultant with numerous US dental schools on curricular integration efforts in anticipation of the INBDE. He has a keen interest in History of Medicine and Dentistry, runs a full-semester elective course on the subject at NYU and was recently named Director of the Bernard Weinberger Rare Book Library at NYU College of Dentistry. He is currently working on an Encyclopaedia of History of Dentistry with an anticipated publication date of 2022.

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.

University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine designates this activity for 1.0 continuing education credits.