Inside Dentistry
September 2006
Volume 2, Issue 7

10th Anniversary Celebration for the National Museum of Dentistry

On June 23 and 24, The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry (NMD) in Baltimore celebrated its 10th anniversary with a big smile and is ready to bite into the next 10 years. To mark the occasion, four new exhibitions opened, all having an emphasis on the public and education as NMD moves forward with its mission to inspire people to make healthy choices about oral health. Additionally, there was a lecture and wine tasting on Friday evening and a gala Saturday evening to honor individuals and commemorate this special milestone.

“The museum captures our pride in dentistry with a focus on the future. NMD tells a story about dentistry through the years while creating a presence of oral health education for children,” states Roger P. Levin, DDS, chair of the Board of Visitors for NMD. “The work of the museum in Baltimore and through the country brings to the public an awareness of dentistry through its educational programs with an emphasis on the improvement of oral health in total picture of health care,” Levin continues.

The 10th Anniversary Dr. Jack W. Gottschalk Distinguished Lecture on June 23 featured Dr. Harold Slavkin, dean of the University of Southern California Dental School. Titled “The Mouth: A Mirror to Wellness,” the focus was to “celebrate human creativity, science and biology, innovations and discovery, enhancing the quality of life, reducing the burden of disease and disparities, improving the human condition and much more.” Slavkin’s comments noted that 28 states use saliva to measure patient compliance for various pharmaceutical treatment, substance abuse, and disease.

After the lecture, guests were invited to put their tongues to the test at a wine tasting where wines were selected to enhance mental and physical salivation. NMD Board members and the members of the 10th Anniversary Committee took part in the pouring. To further honor the mouth, guests followed directions to fully evaluate the taste of each type of wine by rolling it across their tongue, holding the wine and breathing, and then swallowing.    

The lovely gala on June 24 featured an auction, dinner, and remarks by American Dental Association (ADA) immediate past president Eugene Sekiguchi and president-elect Kathryn Roth. Gala attendees shared in honoring several members of the dental community who had been instrumental in supporting NMD with leadership gifts from the museum’s inception. Such institutions and individuals included the ADA, Colgate-Palmolive, Dr. Samuel D. Harris, Patterson Dental Company, Procter & Gamble, Bud and Linda Tarrson, Henry Schein, Inc., University of Maryland at Baltimore, Dr. and Mrs. Melvin Feiler, the Mallot Family Foundation, Drs. John F. and Calliope Manera, MBNA America Bank, and Dr. H. Berton McCauley.

Some of NMD’s key accomplishments for the last 10 years are inclusive:

Educational Programs

School tours, scout and family programs, and lectures for dental professionals anchor the educational programs at NMD. The NMD Web site (https://www.dentalmuseum.umaryland.edu/) is a great way for a virtual tour as well.

Permanent Exhibition

32 Terrific Teeth celebrates the many facets of the dental profession by capturing the American dentist as practitioner, inventor, public figure, humorist, and professional. It honors the history of dentistry and invites visitors to a new understanding of oral health. The exhibit also features interesting historical objects, including George Washington’s dentures and Queen Victoria’s gilded dental instruments, and the Tooth Jukebox, which plays vintage dental commercials.

Featured Exhibitions

MouthPower®: The Exhibition uses an interactive approach to engage visitors in learning the power of a healthy smile; Forensics: Solving Mysteries gives visitors a chance to become members of a disaster recovery team to understand the key role dentistry plays in identifying victims of mass disasters and solving missing persons and criminal cases; Celebrating Dental Education spotlights dental schools in the United States and Canada; and Watch Your Mouth—Sports in Dentistry features dentists in nontraditional settings spotlighting their involvement in collegiate and professional sports as well as stressing the importance of facial protection while participating in sports-related activities.

Traveling Exhibitions

Branches, Bristles and Batteries and The Future is Now! African Americans in Dentistry communicate oral health messages to millions of children and adults throughout the country.

The National Museum of Dentistry, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute, is a lively center celebrating the value of the healthy smile and the rich history of dentistry. In 2003, the 108th Congress designated NMD the official museum of the dental profession. Come to Baltimore for a visit. For more information about the museum or to purchase tickets call 410-706-8477 or visit www.dentalmuseum.org.

(Back row, left to right) Eleanor Henry, Eunice Jaeger, Roedel Jeager, Susan Kramer, and Steven Kramer. (Front row, left to right) John Patterson, Leslie Grant, David Bush, Valerie Fridley, and Arthur Fridley.   Jack Gottschalk presents an award to Linda Tarrson honoring her and her husband Bud's leadership to the NMD.

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