Eastman Dental Center (Rochester, N.Y.)

Active 1915

Biographical notes:

George Eastman founded the Eastman Dental Center, then called the Rochester Dental Dispensary (RDD), in 1915. The RDD named Harvey J. Burkhart its first director in 1916. RDD established the School of Dental Hygiene in 1916, and one year later graduated its first class. The first RDD Building opened on East Main Street in 1917 to provide dental care for the children of Rochester, N.Y. Although the Rochester Dental Society established the first free dental clinics in the U.S. in 1901, George Eastman played a major role in developing and demonstrating that this new concept had national and even international application. Between 1930 and 1937, Eastman Dental Clinics in London, Rome, Brussels, Stockholm, and Paris were opened. It was not until 1941 that the Rochester institution carried the Eastman name by changing its title to the Eastman Dental Dispensary.

In 1944, Dr. Basil G. Bibby conducted the first experiments to show the effectiveness of fluoride treatment, ushering in the era of topical fluorides for prevention of dental caries. Three years later, Dr. Bibby became the Dispensary's second director. A two-year program in Dental Science was established in 1951 in cooperation with the University of Rochester's School of Medicine and Dentistry. Dr. Michael G. Buonocore's 1956 test of acid-tech procedures on children revolutionized restorative dentistry and ushered in the era of bonding. With research becoming a more important aspect of the dispensary, a new wing was built and dedicated to research in 1964.

In 1965, the dispensary changed its name to the Eastman Dental Center. The new building on Elmwood Avenue was opened in 1978 under the direction of the Center's third director, Dr. William D. McHugh (1970-1994). In 1994, Dr. Ronald J. Billings became the Center's fourth director. In January 1997, the Eastman Dental Center merged with the University of Rochester.

From the description of Board of Directors records, 1915- (bulk 1960-). (New York State Historical Documents). WorldCat record id: 155404516

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  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)