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Home North Carolina Wake County City of Raleigh Historical Markers North Carolina Dental Society

North Carolina Dental Society

Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC, USA

Latitude & Longitude: 35° 46' 51.15", -78° 37' 44.328"
  North Carolina State Historical Marker
    North Carolina State
Historical Marker
    Marker Text:
"Organized in 1856 in the Guion Hotel, which stood here. Dr. W. F. Bason, Haw River, first president."
      The North Carolina Dental Society, the third oldest dental association in the United States, was founded in May 1856 at the Guion Hotel in Raleigh. The nascent organization held high professional standards, requiring each member to be an alumnus of quality medical or dental schools. The group was responsible for the passing of several of the state’s first health codes.

      The eight original founders of the Dental Society were all graduates of the Baltimore College of Dentistry. Founded in 1840, the school was the birthplace of the Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) degree, and is considered the first dental college in the United States. The first president of the society was William F. Bason, known as the “merciful dentist” for his early use of anesthesia. A new president, E. H. Andrews, was elected the following year, and held the position through the 1860s.

      The Civil War interrupted the annual meetings of the Society, and their efforts on behalf of the state’s citizens. Most of the charter members served as Confederate medical officers, and several such as Ransom P. Bessent and E. H. Andrews spent time as prisoners of war.

      The society resumed its duties after the war, continuing to promote dental health within the state. Membership in the organization expanded considerably in the early twentieth century, as dentistry became widespread in North Carolina. In 1906 the North Carolina Dental Society began publishing a journal for its members. One of the first female members was Dr. Rosebud Morse Garriott of Yadkin County. African-Americans were welcomed into the group starting in the 1970s. The Society continues to serve North Carolina offering several different programs for citizens, and lobbying for dental health issues in the state legislature.

J. Martin Fleming, The History of the North Carolina Dental Society (1939)
Journal of the North Carolina Dental Society (1906-present)
William S. Powell, ed., The Encyclopedia of North Carolina (2006)—sketch by Jay Mazzochi
North Carolina Dental Society website: http://www.ncdental.org/
Related Themes: C.S.A., Confederate States of America, Confederacy
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North Carolina Dental Society Historical Marker Location Map, Raleigh, North Carolina