Dental History

For more information on Dental History, visit the History of Dentistry website.

Tracing a Dental Ancestor

Dentists can be traced using the Dentists Register from 1879 onwards. Before this date trade directories from the early 19th century give the names of local dentists. Both the Dentists Register and Glasgow trade directories are available in the College Library.

Archives containing details about dentists include:

  • Examination Registers - Dentists who acquired their qualifications from the College can be found in the Examination Registers. The earliest of these is the register for Licentiates in Dental Surgery, which runs from 1879-1961
  • Minute Books - An index is available giving details of dental issues within the College minute books between 1878 and 1921. We also hold Dental Committee and Council minutes from 1935 onwards
  • Private Papers and Records of Societies - Dental treatments can be found among general medical notebooks and in the proceedings of Glasgow medical societies. The minute books of the Glasgow Odontological Society may also contain useful information

History of Dental Education at the College


  • Peter Lowe, the founder of the College, writes about teeth and illustrates eight types of dental instuments in the 2nd edition of "The Whole Art of Chyrurgerie"


  • Passing of the Dentists Act, 1878, which led to the establishment of the Dentists Register
  • Faculty (now Royal College) of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh are permitted to grant licentiateships in dental surgery


  • Glasgow Faculty elects a Dental Board on 19th January
  • In April the first candidates present themselves for examination for the Licence of Dental Surgery


  • RCPSG introduces the Higher Dental Diploma


  • Council of the Royal Faculty creates a Dental Committee to advise on dental matters


  • Licence in Dental Surgery superseded by Bachelor of Dental Surgery qualification awarded by universities
  • Dental School becomes part of Glasgow University and the Royal Faculty concentrates on postgraduate dental qualifications


  • The Diploma in Dental Orthopaedics is established


  • The Higher Dental Diploma is superseded by the new Fellowship in Dental Surgery
  • The Dental Committee is superseded by the new Dental Council


  • Membership in General Dental Surgery is introduced


  • Membership in Clinical Community Dentistry is introduced


  • The Dental Fellows collectively become the Dental Faculty
  • The Convenor of the Dental Council changed to the Dean of the Dental Faculty


  • Dean of the Dental Faculty is now Vice President (Dental)

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