Established in 1888, the College of Dentistry was one of three colleges included in the Department of Medicine formed in 1888 with Dr. Percy H. Millard as its dean. The College of Medicine and Surgery and the College of Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery were the other units of the Department of Medicine. Prior to its establishment, the Minnesota College Hospital, a private school of medicine, provided instructional courses in dentistry and medicine.
From 1888 to 1892 Dr. Charles Bailey served as secretary of the college under Dean Millard. In 1892 the Department of Medicine reorganized and the College of Dentistry became a separate administrative unit at the University of Minnesota but continued to share space with the new School of Medicine. In 1919, a course of study to train dental hygienists was added to the curriculum and in 1932 the college changed its name to the School of Dentistry.
In 1968 the School of Dentistry took part in the beginning of the reorganization of health science units at the University of Minnesota to become part of the Health Sciences Center. In 1970 the school began reporting to the newly established Office of the Vice President for Health Sciences.
The School of Dentistry remains an integral part of the University's health sciences system and is now one of the six schools and colleges of the Academic Health Center. The School of Dentistry offers a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.), bachelor and master degrees in Dental Hygiene, and bachelor and master degrees in Dental Therapy. The School of Dentistry also offers graduate programs and advanced education in multiple specialties including endodontics, oral biology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and prosthodontics.
- Percy H. Millard, M.D., Dean; Charles Bailey, D.M.D., Secretary
- W. Xavier Sudduth, M.D., D.D.S. (1892-1895)
- Thomas Weeks, D.D.S. Honorary (1895-1897)
- William Dickinson, D.D.S. (1900-1905)
- Alfred Owre, M.D., D.D.S. (1905-1927)
- William Lasby, D.D.S. (1927-1945)
- William Crawford, D.D.S. (1945-1963)
- Erwin Schaffer, D.D.S. (1964-1977)
- Richard Oliver, D.D.S. (1977-1986)
- Richard Elzay, D.D.S. (1986-1996)
- Michael Till, D.D.S., Ph.D. (1996-2000)
- Peter Polverini, D.D.S., D.M.Sc. (2000-2003)
- Patrick Lloyd, D.D.S. (2004-2011)
- Leon Assael, D.M.D. (2011-present)
From the guide to the School of Dentistry records, 1888-1999, (University of Minnesota Libraries. University of Minnesota Archives [uarc])