March is National Women’s Month. It is a time to look back on history and appreciate all of the great things women have done for society over the years. In fact, if it was not for women, then dentistry would not be where it is today. Here are some of the incredible women who have influenced the dental field over the centuries.


1. Emiline Roberts Jones


Jones was the first woman in the United States to practice dentistry. Her husband was a dentist, but he believed women were not cut out for the field. Therefore, Jones studied in private and eventually showed her husband how she successfully extracted teeth. She became his dental assistant, and in 1893, she became the first recognized female dental professional in the country.


2. Ida Gray Nelson


In 1890, Ida Gray Nelson made history by becoming the first African-American woman to earn a degree in dentistry. She got her degree from the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. She broke both gender and racial barriers during her career. Outside of dentistry, she was the vice president of the Professional Women’s Club of Chicago, and she was a member of a group dedicated to maintaining the sole black women’s shelter in Chicago.


3. Minnie Evangeline Jordon


Jordon began her career as an elementary school teacher while she trained to become a dentist in Berkeley. She went on to start her own dental practice in Los Angeles. This practice was notable because it was the first in the country to only see children. She specialized in pediatric dentistry, and she became the founder for the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the Federation of American Women Dentists.


We Are Proud To Carry on These Women’s Legacies


Dr. JayCee Van Horn at Southern Smiles Dental PC is proud to follow in the footsteps of these incredible women. Contact our office the next time you or your child needs a check-up.