The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
Page  96


In the past twenty years the School of Dentistry has undergone changes in faculty, staff, enrollment, curriculum, and physical facilities, greater than had ever been experienced in its ninety-six year history. In 1952 there were ten departments in the School and, since that time, eight more areas of dentistry have grown to such importance as to warrant the establishment of separate departments for each subject. Planning for an urgently needed new Dental Building started in the early nineteen-fifties and by the summer of 1971 the New Dental Building was completed at a cost exceeding $18 million.

With the academic year 1968-69, the School saw a sharp increase in the enrollment of dental and dental hygiene students, along with a corresponding expansion of both academic and nonacademic staffs. Since 1952, the degrees awarded have been: 1,638 Doctor of Dental Surgery; 484 Master of Science (in Dentistry); and 765 Dental Hygiene (493 of which were the Bachelor of Dental Hygiene). In 1952 there were 16 full-time members of the academic staff of the School as compared to 105 full-time faculty in 1971. Total appointments to the academic and nonacademic staff have increased from 107 in 1952 to 408 in 1971-72.

Administration. — During the 1962-63 school year, the faculty was saddened by the deaths of Dean Emeritus Russell Bunting (November 22, 1962) and Dean Emeritus Marcus Ward (January 9, 1963). Dr. Ward served as Dean from 1916 to 1934. Dr. Bunting was Acting Chairman of the Executive Committee from 1935 to 1937 and was Dean from that year to his retirement in 1950. He was succeeded by Dr. Paul Jeserich. Dr. Jeserich began his retirement furlough on July 1, 1962, having been associated with the School since 1924. Through his efforts, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry came into being, the first building in the world devoted solely to graduate and postgraduate teaching in dentistry. Dr. Jeserich continued to serve as Director of the Institute until his retirement. Dr. William Mann succeeded Dr. Jeserich as Dean of the School and Director of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. For the year 1958-60, he also served a half-time appointment on the American Council on Education's Commission on the Survey of Dentistry in the United Page  97States and authored the Dental Education section of the final report The Survey of Dentistry, published by the American Council on Education. It was under his administrative leadership that most of the planning, procurement of funds, and construction of the New School of Dentistry was accomplished.

Upon the retirement of Dr. Francis Vedder on July 1, 1961, Dr. Robert Doerr was elected to succeed him as Secretary of the Faculty. Dr. Vedder had served the School for forty-three years as chairman of the Department of Crown and Bridge Prosthesis since 1935 and as Secretary of the Faculty since 1923.

For the first time since its establishment in 1875, there were major changes in the administrative structure of the School. Along with his responsibilities as Dean, Dr. Mann assumed the directorship of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute and appointed Dr. William Brown, Jr., Associate Director. Dr. Brown was made responsible for the program of postgraduate education of the Institute and assisted the Dean in the graduate program. The position of Secretary of the Faculty was abolished, and Dr. Doerr was appointed Associate Dean. Dr. Doerr's duties included directing the admissions and carrying much of the administrative burden of the program in undergraduate dental education. Dr. Brown resigned on July 30, 1969, to become the first bean of the new University of Oklahoma School of Dentistry. Dr. Dorothy Hard joined the School's Oral Hygiene staff in 1924 and was appointed Director of the Curriculum in Dental Hygiene in 1934. Dr. Hard (Bunting) retired in 1968 and was succeeded by Pauline Steele. Professor Steele is an active author and editor and is one of the best known leaders in dental hygiene in the United States.

The rapid expansion of the School's enrollment and physical facilities in the late 1960s required further additions to the administrative staff. Dr. Donald Strachan was appointed Assistant Dean on October 20, 1969. In July 1969, Joseph Consani was appointed Assistant to the Dean. His duties included assisting the Dean with personnel and financial affairs of the School.

The New Dental Curriculum. — An extensive study of the content of the courses in the dental curriculum was begun by the School's Committee on Curriculum in 1959. It was the desire of the committee to reduce unplanned repetition and to correlate the basic science courses with clinical instruction to the maximum degree. In 1962 the committee Page  98began in earnest to design a progressive curriculum which could be implemented during the transition to the new dental buildings. Dental faculty and members of the basic science departments of the Medical School, who were concerned with teaching dental students, were consulted.

The new curriculum provides:

  • 1. A strong biological science orientation with an increased number of applied courses to aid in the integration of basic and clinical sciences;
  • 2. A core of fundamental courses vertically oriented to permeate the entire curriculum;
  • 3. Emphasis on preventive dentistry maintained in each department and reinforced by clinical experiences offered the students;
  • 4. The development of clinical skills adaptable to both current and future practice;
  • 5. An environment in which students will discover the basis for continuing development of their intellectual and social potentials.

The curriculum increases the number of terms to nine but does not extend the four-year period of study for the degree Doctor of Dental Surgery. The additional term is the Spring-Summer term following the junior year. This twelve-week term is used for both clinical and didactic courses.

Fields of Study. — The continual expansion of knowledge in the various fields of study in dentistry, and a monitoring of the dental needs of the population, made it advantageous to departmentalize the teaching effort at the School. Because the School of Dentistry operates with a single budget, the divisional units of the School are not official University departments. Eighteen different areas of dentistry are recognized by the School and each has been established as a department within the School. Each departmental chairman is appointed by the School's Executive Committee. The following units currently function as departments within the School: Community Dentistry, Complete Denture Prosthodontics, Crown and Bridge Prosthesis, Dental Materials, Department of Dentistry in University Hospital, Educational Resources, Endodontics, Occlusion, Operative Dentistry, Oral Biology, Oral Diagnosis and Radiology, Oral Pathology, Oral Surgery, Page  99Orthodontics, Partial Denture Prosthodontics, Pedodontics, Periodontics, and Preclinical Dentistry.

Community Dentistry. — The Department of Community Dentistry was established in 1962 with Dr. David Striffler as chairman. Dr. Striffler retained his appointment as Associate Professor of Dental Public Health and Director of the Program of Dental Public Health in the School of Public Health. This department was founded to integrate the courses previously given in dental history, ethics, jurisprudence, practice administration, and public health dentistry, and to add instruction in dental epidemiology and biostatistics. Its principle objective was to prepare dental graduates to cope with the comprehensive social problems of dental health care after they enter private practice. On October 1, 1968, Dr. Robert Hansen was appointed chairman of the Department of Community Dentistry. He had served as Assistant Chief of Program Operations at the Dental Health Center of the U.S. Public Health Service in San Francisco. Dr. Hansen resigned on December 31, 1969, to become Associate Dean of the new School of Dentistry of the University of Oklahoma. Dr. Striffler was made acting chairman of the department until August 1, 1970, when Dr. Albert H. Trithart was appointed chairman. Dr. Trithart died suddenly on November 9, 1970, and Dr. Striffler was again called on to serve as acting chairman until Dr. Robert Bagramian was appointed to head the department on July 1, 1971.

Complete Denture Prosthodontics. — One of the oldest departments within the School, the department has been under the direction of three different persons since 1952. Dr. Richard Kingery, who had taught complete denture prosthodontics since 1924 and had been in charge of graduate instruction in that field since 1948, retired on September 4, 1963. Dr. Corwin Wright, who had been in charge of undergraduate instruction in this field then became chairman of the department. Upon Dr. Wright's retirement on July 1, 1971, Dr. Brien Lang was appointed chairman.

Crown and Bridge Prosthesis. — On July 1, 1961, Dr. George Myers succeeded Dr. Francis Vedder as chairman of the Department of Crown and Bridge Prosthesis. Dr. Vedder joined the faculty of the School in 1918 and had been chairman of the department since 1935.

Dental Materials. — This department had its origins in the laboratory of Dr. Marcus Ward in 1903, when he began his research on dental amalgams. Dr. Ward was a true Page  100pioneer in this field and was responsible for the University of Michigan's having the oldest continuous program of teaching and research activity in dental materials.

The dental materials laboratory was conducted by Dr. Ward until 1946 when Dr. Norris Taylor succeeded him as chairman. After two years' service, Dr. Taylor resigned and was succeeded by Dr. Floyd Peyton in 1948. Under his leadership the department exerted tremendous influence in dental materials technology and education on a worldwide scale. Dr. Peyton asked to be relieved of his duties as chairman in 1969 and retired in 1970. Dr. Robert George was appointed as Dr. Peyton's successor on July 1, 1969. Dr. Craig has done extensive research in areas of friction and wear of restorative materials, stress analysis surface chemistry, thermal analysis of materials, and shell casting.

Dentistry in University Hospital. — The department was established by the University Hospital Board in Control early in 1970. It is an outgrowth of the Department of Oral Surgery, started in 1917 by Dr. Cyrenus Darling. Oral dentistry became a section of the Department of Surgery at University Hospital in 1952. The emphasis remained on oral surgery, but the need for coverage in other specialty areas has steadily increased. Dr. James Hayward and Dr. Donald Kerr were appointed co-directors to temporarily administer departmental affairs until July 1, 1970, when Dr. Gerald Bonnette was appointed chairman of this new department.

Educational Resources. — In 1969 this department was created to assist the faculty in the improvement and evaluation of their teaching, to operate a new educational television system with the School, and to provide instruction in programmed and computer-aided instruction. Dr. Warren Seibert, who had been head of the Instructional Media Research Unit at Purdue University, was appointed as chairman of the department.

Endodontics. — Dr. Ralph Sommer was appointed chairman of this department in 1939 and served until his retirement in 1967. He was succeeded by Dr. John Dowson as chairman, and the department name was changed from Endodontia and Radiology to the Department of Endodontics. Dr. Floyd Ostrander, who taught dental pharmacology and therapeutics in the department for many years, retired in 1970. He had formed a strong link between the faculty and organized dentistry and had held many offices in the profession, including the presidency of the American Dental Association in 1967.

Page  101Occlusion. — Dental occlusion, an important subject common to most areas of dentistry, was elevated to departmental status in August 1969. In addition to a small basic staff of the department, faculty members from other departments are integrated into the occlusion tract and spend various amounts of time teaching under the guidance of the department. Contributing departments include Crown and Bridge Prosthesis, Partial Denture Prosthodontics, Complete Denture Prosthodontics, Operative Dentistry, and, to a limited extent, Pedodontics and Orthodontics. The department works closely with the staff of the preclinical courses. Dr. Major Ash, Jr. was appointed chairman of the department in 1969.

Operative Dentistry. — Dr. Louis Schultz retired as chairman of this department in December of 1968, after forty-two years of service to the School. He had assumed the chairmanship succeeding Dr. Paul Jeserich, who was in charge of the Operative Clinic from 1935 to 1946. Dr. Schultz was in turn succeeded by Dr. Gerald Charbeneau, who divided his efforts between the department of Operative Dentistry and the department of Dental Materials. This relationship made a major contribution to the School by helping to bridge the gap between laboratory and clinical practice.

Oral Biology. — This department was established in the 1962-63 school year to improve communication among teachers and researchers working in the basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and therapeutics. The purpose was to improve the integration of teaching in the basic sciences and the correlation with clinical instruction. It was intended that the chairmanship rotate annually. The first chairman was Professor Mary Crowley, who played an important role in the research on dental caries under the direction of Dr. Russell Bunting. On her retirement in 1970, Dr. Dominic Dziewiatkowski was appointed chairman and also Director of the Dental Research Institute. The department has grown to be one of the largest in the School.

Oral Diagnosis and Radiology. — The department of Oral Diagnosis was established in 1958 with Dr. Herbert Millard as chairman. The department name was changed in 1967 to Oral Diagnosis and Radiology, following the retirement of Dr. Ralph Sommer. At this time the Department of Endodontia and Radiology was changed to the Department of Endodontics, and this department assumed the responsibility for teaching subjects related to dental radiology.

Page  102Oral Pathology. — Dr. Donald Kerr has headed the teaching of oral pathology since 1939, and in 1948 he also assumed the teaching of periodontal disease. In July 1963 when the School established the Department of Periodontics, however, Dr. Kerr relinquished his teaching of periodontics. He continues to head the Department of Oral Pathology.

Oral Surgery. — In addition to his duties in the School of Dentistry, Dr. John Kemper had been in charge of teaching oral surgery and of the oral surgery clinic at University Hospital. Upon his sudden death in 1952, Dr. James Hayward was called from his Army duties to fill Dr. Kemper's position. Dr. Hayward has served as president of both the American Board of Oral Surgery and of the American Society of Oral Surgeons.

Orthodontics. — Dr. Robert Moyers, former head of the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Toronto, was appointed chairman of this department on May 15, 1953, following the sudden death of Dr. Raymond Moore. Dr. Moyers relinquished the chairmanship in 1964, however, to become Director of the University Center for Human Growth and Development. Dr. William Hunter served as acting chairman until May 1966, when Dr. James Harris was appointed chairman. Dr. Robert Aldrich was made co-chairman for the program of clinical teaching in orthodontics.

Partial Denture Prosthodontics. — This department has been under the direction of Dr. Oliver Applegate since its establishment in 1934 until he began his retirement in 1964. Dr. Franklin W. Smith was appointed to succeed him as chairman.

Pedodontics. — The program of dentistry for children was instituted by Dr. Kenneth Easlick in 1931. Dr. Easlick had taught courses in public dental health since 1938, and in 1941 was given a joint appointment in the School of Public Health, becoming Professor of Dentistry and Public Health Dentistry in 1945. Upon his retirement in 1962, he was succeeded by Dr. Joseph Hartsook as chairman of the department. At this time the name was changed from the Department of Dentistry for Children to the Department of Pedodontics. Following Dr. Hartsook, Dr. William Brown, Jr. became acting chairman until the appointment of Dr. Richard Coppron as chairman in 1969.

Periodontics. — The area of dentistry which is concerned with the study, treatment, and prevention of periodontal disease has become recognized as one of the Page  103most important areas of the profession. Courses in periodontia had been taught by Dr. Russell Bunting from 1910 until 1948. In 1963 the responsibility for teaching this subject was placed in the newly-formed Department of Periodontics, and Dr. Sigurd Ramfjord was appointed chairman.

Preclinical Dentistry. — Preclinical courses were taught by Dr. Elmer Whitman from 1902 until 1949. When Dr. Whitman retired in 1950, Dr. Ralph Sayles took charge of this instruction. With the advent of the School's new curriculum in 1969, the area of preclinical instruction underwent major changes. All preclinical courses were placed under the coordination of the Department of Preclinical Dentistry, established in 1969. Operating on the same principle as that of the Department of Occlusion, a small core of departmental faculty teaches the preclinical courses in conjunction with members of the clinical department in which the course is being taught. Dr. Harvey Schield became cochairman with Dr. Moyer in this new department in 1969.

Director of Clinics. — Dr. Frank Comstock, whose field was operative dentistry, was appointed Director of Clinics on January 1, 1969.

Control of Dental Caries. — Dr. Philip Jay retired at the end of the 1966-67 year. Dr. Jay was distinguished for his research into the causes of dental caries. His contribution to studies leading to the fluoridation of community water brought international recognition to the University.


The importance of dental hygienists to the dental profession is reflected in the increased number of institutions teaching dental hygiene, rising from 26 schools in 1952 to 132 schools in 1971.

The Curriculum in Dental Hygiene consists of a two-year and a four-year program. The two-year curriculum is designed to prepare women to qualify as dental hygienists. Upon the completion of the program the student receives a certificate. The four-year curriculum consists of two years of liberal arts, followed by two years of study in the School of Dentistry. Upon graduation the student receives the degree Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene.

Page  104Student enrollment and the teaching staff have more than doubled since 1969 as a result of the greater capacity of the new physical facilities. Dr. Dorothy Hard had been appointed Director of the Curriculum in Dental Hygiene in 1934. Upon her retirement in 1968, Professor Pauline Steele succeeded her as director.

In 1964 a graduate dental hygiene program was established by the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies and was originally funded by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek. Twenty-five dental hygienists have earned the Master of Science in Dental Hygiene degree in this program. Postgraduate courses in dental hygiene are offered in the continuing dental education program at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute.


Dental education beyond the undergraduate level has been offered by the School since the early 1890s. Only a few graduate degrees were granted by 1921, when the University's Graduate School recognized these programs and began to confer the Master of Science degree upon graduate dental students. Postgraduate dental instruction began in 1933, under the direction of Dr. Chalmers Lyons, when practicing dentists indicated their desire for some form of refresher courses which would keep them abreast of advances in the profession. In 1937 Dr. Paul Jeserich was made Director of Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry. Three years later the W. K. Kellogg Foundation Institute: Graduate and Postgraduate Dentistry was completed and Dr. Jeserich became its director. When he became Dean in 1950, Dr. Jeserich retained the directorship of the Institute and Dr. William Mann was appointed Assistant Director; he became Associate Director of the Institute in 1952. When Dr. Mann succeeded Dr. Jeserich as Dean in 1962, he assumed the directorship of the Institute and Dr. William Brown was appointed Associate Director.

Twelve programs of graduate instruction leading to the degree Master of Science are offered by the Institute: dental hygiene, dental materials, dental pharmacology and therapeutics, denture prosthodontics, endodontics, oral diagnosis and radiology, oral pathology and diagnosis, oral surgery, orthodontics, pedodontics, periodontics, and restorative dentistry. All candidates for the Master of Page  105Science degree, except those in dental hygiene and dental materials, are required to hold dental degrees. The degree Doctor of Philosophy is offered in dental materials, jointly with other University departments such as mechanical engineering, pharmacology, or physics.

Since the inauguration of the program of postgraduate dentistry in 1933, approximately 8,000 students had been enrolled by the end of the 1970-71 year. The number of postgraduate courses offered by the Institute increased from 48 in 1951-52 to 56 in 1971-72. During the 1971-72 school year 11 one-day, 12 two-day, 9 three-day, 17 one-week, 4 two-week, and 3 one-day-a week postgraduate courses were offered by the Institute.

In January 1965, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation granted $395,000 to remodel and air-condition the Institute. With the summer of 1966, the Foundation made an additional gift of $1.1 million to the University for several purposes, all related to the School's building program. A large part of the gift was to cover the costs of modernizing the Institute, and $375,000 was used to purchase much of the equipment for the new Television Center for the School of Dentistry and the Institute.


The School of Dentistry has one of the most complete collections of dental and dental-related literature in the country. In 1918 the Dental Library became a Divisional Library of the University Library and has been attended by a full-time professional librarian since 1929. Currently the library staff consists of four full-time attendants and nine part-time personnel, some of whom are students in the School of Library Science. The Dental Library has always been housed in the building occupied by the School. During the construction of the new Dental Building and the demolition of the old building in the late sixties, it was necessary to relocate the entire library. The move to the basement of the new clinic building was accomplished while school was in session in the fall of 1969. The entire collection of approximately 40,000 items was ready for use again in just ten days. In the early summer of 1971, it was moved to its permanent quarters in the newly-completed library wing of the new Dental Building.

As of 1971, the Dental Library contained 28,181 cataloged volumes and approximately 12,000 uncataloged Page  106items, including the duplicate periodical collection, pamphlets, theses, term reports, and a collection of microfilms. The Library also contains an excellent collection of rare books dealing with dental subjects. Acquisitions are being made to enrich this collection.


Since 1903, when Dr. Marcus Ward began to study the properties of dental amalgams used as a filling material, the School of Dentistry has steadily increased its research efforts to keep pace with rapid changes which have occurred in all phases of the profession. The School has been, and continues to be, recognized as a leader in dental research, both in the basic sciences and clinical fields.

By 1952 the amount of research had increased to include many areas of dentistry. Sponsored research projects were carried out largely in dental materials, dental caries, oral pathology, endodontics, dental therapeutics, and orthodontics. The long-standing problem of space restriction for research activities continued to limit the magnitude of dental research at the School. In 1955 it was deemed necessary temporarily to improvise some storage space in the basement for research facilities in oral anatomy and biochemistry. In May 1957 the School received a Health Research Facilities Grant of $381,000, the largest grant made to any dental school up to that time, for aid in constructing and equipping research facilities. The grant was forfeited because the required matching funds were not obtained. In the 1957-58 school year, the School's research program conducted by the faculty members and others employed on the University budget was augmented by 16 research grants and four training or fellowship grants totaling $194,642.

In the beginning of the 1960s dental research continued to be limited because of the lack of space in the Dental Building. Although between $175,000 and $200,000 in research funds were received each year from various supporting agencies, there was virtually no possibility of extending sponsored research beyond this level until more space could be made available. When an electron microscope was acquired with a grant from the National Institute of Health in 1961, janitor's space in the basement was remodeled to house this equipment.

Page  107The dental research program by 1967 far exceeded that of the early 1950s in terms of personnel, financial support, equipment, and productivity. Funds available for research projects, training grants, fellowships, conferences, and other programs totaled approximately $1.9 million. Research as an activity for every department and teacher gained complete acceptance and joined teaching and patient care as a major objective of the School.

Dental Research Institute. — The School of Dentistry, in cooperation with the Medical School and the School of Public Health, requested the National Institute of Dental Research to support the development of a university-based Dental Research Institute at the Ann Arbor campus. The application was approved in June 1967, and a grant of $1,005,674 was received for the first year of operation. From its inception, the new Institute was conceived with research and research training relevant to oral health. The program was initially based in the seven basic science departments of the Medical School, in the Department of Oral Biology of the School of Dentistry, and in certain departments of the School of Public Health. Upon the completion of the research wing of the new Dental Building in the fall of 1969, most of the research activities of the Institute were placed in this facility.

The Dental Research Institute is administered according to the policies developed by the University for the centers and institutes on its campus. The administration of the Institute is controlled by a policy committee, an executive committee, and a scientific advisory committee. Dr. Dominic Dziewiatkowski was appointed director of the Institute on July 1, 1967.

By June 1967, the Institute was conducting eleven programs: bacteriology, biochemistry, bioengineering, biometrics, cell biology, experimental pathology, oral histology, pharmacology, prosthetics-mechanics, transplantation genetics, and virology. There are forty-four separate research investigations being conducted within these eleven programs. Federal funds, totaling approximately $1 million, were made available to the Dental Research Institute for the fiscal year 1971.

A considerable amount of dental research continues to be conducted in the School of Dentistry itself. Approximately $200,000 in federal funds was made available for the year 1971 by the General Research Support Branch, Division of Research Resources. The School's total research Page  108program expresses an intellectual, realistic approach to the problems of dental disease and treatment.