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Creation of a School


“An act respecting dentistry,” passed in 1868 was the “first comprehensive legislation governing the profession in North America.” This act helped to establish the Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario and gave its board the authority to distribute licenses to practice in Ontario via a dental school.

There was much divisiveness among dentists in Ontario about opening a school as soon as possible versus waiting a few years to recruit capable faculty. The very first school was opened in 1868 without the Board's approval and only lasted for a few years. The second school was opened by the board shortly after, but was closed by 1870.

After much discussion and planning, an official school of dentistry was established in 1875 by the RCDSO board of directors in Toronto and was known as the Royal College of Dental Surgeons (RCDs). At the time it had two teachers on staff: James Branston Willmott and Luke Teskey. Upon completion of the program a Licentiate of Dental Surgery (LDS) was obtained. However, it was not until the year 1889, when the school became affiliated with the University of Toronto, that Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degrees could be earned (Gullett, 1971).

In 1925, the RCDS became a Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Toronto and was in charge of the DDS curriculum. (Gullett, 1971).



Gullett, D. W. (1971). A history of dentistry in Canada. Toronto: Published for the Canadian Dental Association by University of Toronto Press.

Creation of a School