Lucy Hobbs: The First Woman Dentist

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Photo by Internet Archive Book Images

Did you know that a lot of modern dentistry owes its start to one Lucy Hobbs?

The first woman to enter the field in America, Lucy Hobbs stands as an inspiration to all of us in dentistry. She overcame the biases leveled against her, and due to her efforts, opened up an entire field to women!

Who was Lucy Hobbs?

Born in 1833, Lucy Hobbs spent the first part of her life as a teacher in Michigan before moving to Cincinnati to follow her passion for dentistry. But, due to the beliefs of the time, she was refused admission to the college of dental surgery. Not to be put off from following her dream, she began an apprenticeship under one of the professors from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery.

After completing her apprenticeship, she began to practice dentistry in Cincinnati. She then moved to Iowa, where she finally received the professional recognition she deserved through the Iowa State Dental Society. With that, she returned to the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, and was finally able to earn her doctorate in 1866. Before her death in 1910, Lucy was able to see the result of her life’s work in the thousand women who followed her path into dentistry.

Her Life, Her Influence

Today, her influence can be felt across the entire field of dentistry. In 1983, the American Association of Women Dentists established the Lucy Hobbs Taylor Award, to recognize outstanding contributions to dental science. Another organization, The Lucy Hobbs Project, was established to promote professional development for women in the field. The bravery and influence of Lucy Hobbs resonates with us even now, over 100 years after her death. Without her, dentistry would lack so many talented individuals!

We here at Dr. Matthews’ office would like to take some time today to acknowledge Lucy Hobbs and all that she brought to the field of dentistry. It’s not every day that we get the chance to recognize someone so instrumental to the development of modern dentistry. But without the bravery and dedication of Lucy Hobbs and the women who followed her, the field of dentistry would look completely different.

If you’re looking for information about dentistry and opportunities in the field, then take a look at the Lucy Hobbs Project. But if you’re interested in just getting your teeth looked at, then contact us to make an appointment today!

Dan Matthews DDS
Dan Matthews Dan Matthews DDS The Park at Eanes Creek,
4407 Bee Cave Road
Building 2, Suite 221
Austin, Texas, 78746
(512) 452-2273
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