American Society of Dental Surgeons

American Society of Dental Surgeons

The American Society of Dental Surgeons (ASDS) was the first national dental organization formed in the United States of America. The formation of the ASDS was preceded by the formation of the Society of Dental Surgeons of the City and State of New York when 15 dentists came together in New York City on Dec. 3, 1834. Six years later, at a meeting at the home of Solyman Brown B.A.,M.A.,M.D.,D.D.S. at 17 Park Place in New York City, on Aug. 10, 1840, Chapin A. Harris in a motion that "resolved that a National Society be formed." was instrumental in its creation.

The ASDS remained the only national dental organization from 1840 to 1856, when controversy over the use of dental amalgam led to its demise. It was soon replaced by the American Dental Convention (ADC). Chapin A. Harris was also one of the foremost organizers, serving as its president in 1856-57. In 1859, a year before his death, another national dental organization, the American Dental Association, was established during a meeting in Niagara, New York. Before 1861 dentists were participant in both the ADC and the ADA, which promoted education and research in all aspects of dentistry, including dental materials and remainded active throughout the Americal civil war from (1861-1865). However, during the war, Southern dentists withdrew from the ADC and the ADA and, in 1869, established the Southern Dental Association. [ [ Publications - History of Dentistry ] - Dental Filling Materials in the Confederacy ] . The Southern Dental Association subsequently merged with the ADA in 1897 to form the National Dental Association (NDA). The NDA was renamed the American Dental Association (ADA) in 1922.

Historical background

In the first third of the 19th century, American dentistry was in turmoil. No legal standards or requirements as to the type of training necessary for practitioners existed to protect patients. Even if one had no formal training, let alone any schooling, they could treat patients who had dental and oral diseases."At that time there were only about three hundred trained and scientific dentists in the entire country; the rest were relatively untrained operators, outright quacks, or charlatans". [ [ Founders of a profession] - PMID: 16350927 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] ] . "The public was at their mercy" . [ [ Solyman Brown, a Giant of Dentistry and its Poet Laureate ] - " The Terrible State of Dentistry in the Early 19th Century " ]

Before 1840 there wasn’t a single school of dentistry anywhere in the world and teaching to practitioners of the trade was based on the preceptoral -- or apprenticeship -- method. There was no standardized curriculum and what was taught was left to the discretion of the preceptor. Nevertheless, there were several ethical, visionary professionals who had received formal medical training as well as dental training, these professionals undertook to right the situation. Among these, following in the footsteps of Pierre Fauchard the "father of modem dentistry", were some of the profession’s immortals, including Chapin A. Harris, Horace Hayden, Solyman Brown, and Eleazar Parmly. [ [ Solyman Brown, a Giant of Dentistry and its Poet Laureate ] - " The Beginning of Professional Dentistry " ]

These professionals would also, following the establishment of the ASDS, be instrumental in opening the first dental school in the world, the Baltimore College of Dental Surgery.


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