‘The Woman That Pulled Teeth’ and the Tooth Key

As we prepare to celebrate the fifth annual Lucy Hobbs Project Celebration and Reunion, we reflect on Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first woman in America to graduate with a dental degree and an instrument she most certainly had at her disposal – the tooth key.

At one point in her autobiography, written in the third person, Lucy discusses her rise to prominence, after so many trials and tribulations: “Her reputation widened, until all Iowa knew of the woman that pulled teeth.” The emphasis is her own.

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Tooth key on display in dental museum at Benco Dental home office, Pittston, Pennsylvania.

Just what did she use to pull those teeth? Most likely, it was the humble tooth key, such as the one on display in the dental museum at Benco Dental home office in Pittston, Pennsylvania.

Modeled after a door key, the dental key was used by first inserting the instrument horizontally into the mouth, then its “claw” would be tightened over a tooth. The long metal rod, or bolster, was placed against the root. The instrument was rotated to loosen the tooth and pop it out. This did not always go so smoothly, but often resulted in the tooth breaking, causing jaw fractures and soft tissue damage.

The first mention of the tooth key was found in Alexander Monro’s Medical Essays and Observations in 1742. The design of the dental key evolved over the years. The original design featured a straight shaft, which caused it to exert pressure on the tooth next to the one being extracted. This led to a newer design in 1765 by Ferdinand Julius Leber, in which the shaft was slightly bent. In 1796, the claw was fixed via a swivel enabling it to be set in various positions by a spring-catch. Newer designs, such as those manufactured by medical instrument maker Charriere featured interchangeable claws. The handle unscrewed and there was a screwdriver inside it with which to change the claw. By the end of the 19th century, the introduction of forceps made popular notably by Sir John Tomes, rendered the tooth key mostly obsolete. However, a modern version of the dental key, the Dimppel Extractor, briefly revitalized its use later in the 20th century.

Thankfully, dental health has come a long way from the days when Dr. Taylor earned the nickname “The woman that pulled teeth” and the tooth key is now a museum oddity, but women dentists are no longer seen as unconventional.

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An illustration of dental keys for tooth extraction from Savigny’s catalog of surgery implements, circa 1798.

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Guest blogger Jenn Ochman, Database Publishing Production Specialist in the Branding and Communication Department at Benco Dental, dedicates her time outside work to historical reenactment. She shares knowledge of dental history with TheDailyFloss.com readers on a monthly basis.

Want some Wednesday inspiration? Find it in this timeline of dental firsts.

Dr. Horace Wells, Dr. Per-Ingvar Brånemark, Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, Dr. Francis Mouyen Screenshot 2017-04-05 11.51.41— women and men who have helped transform dentistry from craft to science.

Inspired by these thinkers and pioneers, one family-owned distributor set out to create an exceptional customer experience for dentists across the U.S.

The result: Firsts from Benco Dental have made a difference for dentists, team members, laboratory technicians and dentists.

View a timeline of dental innovators and travel along Benco’s journey to redefine and reinvent dentistry that began eight decades ago in the coal regions of Northeastern Pennsylvania: https://goo.gl/rlF7Na

 

Which six women are redefining dentistry? Lucy Hobbs Project announces 2017 honorees.

Diverse yet similar, six professionals who redefine their field and reinvigorate all those in their orbit will earn accolades this spring at a celebration inspired by the first woman to earn a degree in dentistry.

The Lucy Hobbs Project, sponsored by Benco Dental, annually hosts a Celebration honoring exemplary women in the dental community. Named for Dr. Lucy Hobbs, who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, awards are presented to honorees who embody the project goals. Last year’s event was hosted in Dallas, Texas with Dr. Pamela Schmidt, (shown above) receiving the Project’s 2016 Innovator Award.

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Lucy Hobbs Taylor, née Lucy Beaman Hobbs (born March 14, 1833, Franklin county, NY—died Oct. 3, 1910, Lawrence, KS.), was the first American woman to earn a degree in dentistry.

Benco Dental will host The Lucy Hobbs Project 5th Annual Celebration on April 27 and 28, 2017 at Loews Hotel, 1200 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  During the gathering, The Project will honor six women selected as award recipients for setting new benchmarks in the dental profession.  The event, sponsored by Crest + Oral-B, KaVo Kerr Group, Ivoclar Vivadent, 3M, Hu-Friedy, GLO Science, Sunstar, Medicom, and Centrix, will also include CE credits, and a keynote speaker. Visit The Lucy Hobbs Project for updated information.

Register today at: http://www.regmadeeasy.com/benco/the-lucy-hobbs-project/2017

Blocks from the nation’s first hospital, medical school, and women’s medical school, in Philadelphia — the first planned city in the United States – The Lucy Hobbs Project will honor these six inspirational women:

  • Patricia L. Blanton, DDS, MS, PhD, recipient of the Industry Icon award, continually drives change with the optimism vital to leadership roles. Beginning with her first faculty appointment in 1967, Dr. Blanton embraced her talents as a groundbreaker and stays true to that course as Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, BCD/TAMUS; Interim Dean, James B. Edwards College of Dental Medicine, Medical University of South Carolina; Clinical Professor of Stomatology, Medical University of South Carolina, and owner of a private practice in periodontics and implantology in Charleston. The first female President of the Texas Dental Association, she recently served as Vice-President of the American Dental Association and President of the American College of Dentists. Dr. Blanton most recently received the highest honor given from the ACD, the William John Gies Award.
  • Winifred J. Booker, DDS, recipient of the Humanitarian award, is the owner of busy pediatric dental practice in Owings Mills, Maryland. In 1996 Dr. Booker established The Children’s Oral Health Institute, where she serves as the CEO and Director of Development. Her work with the nonprofit has focused on advancing two paramount efforts: (1) oral health education programs, including Lessons in a Lunch Box: Healthy Teeth Essentials & Facts About Snacks™.  This initiative is on track to reach all 50 states and 50,000 elementary school children in 2017, and (2) preserving the state law she was instrumental in helping to get passed in 2012 that requires oral health education to be taught as part of the curriculum in all Maryland public schools from grades K to 12. Inventor of the Brushtime™ Bunny and the Dental Care in a Carrot™ case, Dr. Booker also dedicates her talents as a mentor, media spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, consultant, and contributing writer for national publications.
  • Margaret Fickess, RDA, CDA, MEd, recipient of the Innovator award, empowers dental assistant students with confidence and career independence as Program Director for Dental Assisting at San Diego Mesa College. There she began her own personal professional journey in 1968, and in 2009 designed an 11- chair dental clinic for the Allied Health Building. Fickess has served in nearly every capacity with local (San Diego County Dental Assistants Society) and state (California Dental Assistants Association) branches of organized dentistry for nearly 50 years. Her efforts to improve lives include active volunteerism through CDA Cares and Children’s Dental Health Clinic, along with dental education of the underserved at schools, daycare centers and the Braille Institute for the Blind.
  • Emily Ishkanian, DMD, recipient of the Mentor award, channels the drive that in 2011 led her to establish the Southern Nevada New Dentists committee of the American Dental Association into ongoing efforts to help all dentists succeed. In her current post as chair with the ADA’s New Dentist Committee, this University of Nevada Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine Alumni of the Year finds herself deeply embedded in national, state and local work to assist dentists in their transition from school to practice. A member of the Pierre Fauchard Academy, Dr. Ishkanian provides oral health care to patients in Henderson, Nevada while dedicating time outside the operatory to create a path for others’ professional growth.

 

  • Irene Marron-Tarrazzi, DMD, MS, recipient of the Woman to Watch award, defies odds at age 42 by becoming the youngest elected Vice President of the American Dental Association. A periodontist in private practice in Miami, she had been serving on the ADA New Dentist Committee while holding positions at the state and local levels. Marron-Tarrazzi initially received her DMD from Universidad Central de Venezuela in Caracas. Later, she received a master’s in science and a certificate in periodontology from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. In 2003, she earned a DMD from Nova Southeastern University in Florida. She draws on her own story – one that encompasses success across two distinct cultures and languages — to inspire young women looking to pursue a career in dentistry and to encourage them to run for leadership roles at the national level.
  • Andrea Joy Smith, DDS, recipient of the Clinical Expertise award, creates solutions to her patients’ needs by seeking advanced education and training. Drawn to dentistry as a volunteer for the University of Southern California Mobile Dental Clinic, she earned her dental degree at the University of California San Francisco and has since committed 22 years to her patients’ oral health through Community Health Care and private practice. A published Diplomat in the International Academy of Mini Dental Implants, she has worked diligently since 2007 to embrace the technology to provide a less costly and less invasive alternative to medically compromised patients unable to receive conventional dental implants. In 2011, she established the Smile Again Now Foundation (SANF), which she presently leads in its efforts to extend access to dental care to members of the Sacramento community in need.

Powered by Benco Dental, The Lucy Hobbs Project with a network of more than 9,000 members, empowers women in dentistry to drive change and deliver success through networking, innovation and giving back. Named for Dr. Hobbs, the woman who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, this project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental industry – dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others. Free to join, it offers networking opportunities, educational programs and charitable events.
To learn more about previous winners of The Lucy Hobbs Project® Award, or to sign up for The Lucy Hobbs Project®, visit: www.thelucyhobbsproject.com

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Why are Delaware dental professionals taking it to the mat?

They’re following the advice of Lucy Hobbs Project guest speaker Dr. Carmelina D’Arro.

Today at the Duncan Center in Dover, members of the Delaware Dental Hygienists’ Association learn “mindfulness practice for self-care and for excellent patient care” through the one-day program “Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There”.

D’Arro, a public health dentist in Wilmington, Delaware and the former dental director of Henrietta Johnson Medical Center teaches Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR). In her current mission to promote the self-care of health care providers so they can offer the best care to their patients, she shares a wealth of knowledge from her studies at the University of Pennsylvania Program for Mindfulness Teacher Practicum, along with 20 years of meditation practice and 10 of yoga study.

To learn more about The Lucy Hobbs Project, which empowers women in dentistry to drive change and deliver success through networking, innovation and giving back, visit: http://thelucyhobbsproject.com/

 

While you’re there, get the details about this spring’s 5th Annual Celebration, during which Robyn Benincasa, World Champion adventure racer, triathlete and bestselling author will share her inspiration as keynote speaker.

Each year, the Project named to honor Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, the first American woman to earn a degree in dentistry, celebrates Exemplary Women in Dentistry with The Lucy Hobbs Project Awards. Meet the 2016 honorees in Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/9c07c7ab

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Dr. Carmelina D’Arro shares a mantra of mindfulness with members of the Delaware Dental Hygienists’ Association during today’s Lucy Hobbs Project networking event.

 

 

 

City of firsts to welcome celebration named for dentistry’s trailblazing woman

Blocks from the nation’s first hospital, medical school, and women’s medical school, Philadelphia — the first planned city in the United States – will greet inspirational women in dentistry next spring. An annual celebration named for Dr. Lucy Hobbs, the woman who, in 1866, became the first American female to earn a degree in dentistry, will award industry professionals for their distinctive talents.

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Loews Hotel, Philadelphia

Benco Dental will host The Lucy Hobbs Project 5th Annual Celebration on April 27 and 28, 2017 at Loews Hotel, 1200 Market Street.  During the two-day gathering, The Lucy Hobbs Project will honor the women selected as award recipients for setting new benchmarks in the dental profession.  The event will also include CE credits, and a keynote speaker. Visit The Lucy Hobbs Project website for more information, www.thelucyhobbsproject.com.

Beginning now, through the November 18, 2016 deadline, Benco Dental encourages people across the country to nominate women in dentistry who they view as inspirations to others. Six award categories for consideration include: 

  • Woman to Watch: An up-and-coming leader who utilizes her position to create positive change in the industry,
  • Industry Icon: A trailblazer who is consistently recognized and admired for her work in the dental industry,
  • Mentor: An advisor who recognizes the importance of supporting, educating and encouraging others,
  • Innovator: A groundbreaker who demonstrates a willingness to implement new technologies and business processes without fear of potential failure,
  • Humanitarian: An altruist who works tirelessly for a charity or cause that benefits the well-being of others, and
  • Clinical Expert: A skillful practitioner who embraces advancements and adeptly integrates them into patient care.

Individuals and organizations may submit nominations. Self-nominations are accepted. Only nominations submitted via the online survey and listed as complete will be considered. Entrants are directed to the 2017 Lucy Hobbs Project Awards Nomination form: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LucyHobbsProject2017

Powered by Benco Dental, The Lucy Hobbs Project empowers women in dentistry to drive change and deliver success through networking, innovation and giving back. Named after Dr. Hobbs, this project aims to bring women together from all facets of the dental industry – dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, receptionists, sales representatives and others. The project is free to join and offers networking opportunities, educational programs and charitable events.

Among Lucy Hobbs Award honorees are women whose unwavering professional dedication merits accolades, including:

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Shown at the 4th Annual Celebration in Dallas, are 2016 award recipients, clockwise, from bottom left: Dr. Joyce Bassett, Dr. Susan Maples, Dr. Kady Rawal, Dr. Mary Teddy Wray and Dr. Pamela Schmidt. Absent from photo Col. Theresa S. Gonzales, Ret., DMD, MS, MSS.

2016 — Joyce Bassett, DDS, FAACD, FAGD; Col. Theresa S. Gonzales, Ret., DMD, MS, MSS; Susan Maples, DDS;  Kadambari ‘Kady’ Rawal, BDS, CAGS; Pamela Schmidt, DDS, NMD; IBDM;  and Mary Teddy Wray, DDS, Maryland. Meet them: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/9c07c7ab#/9c07c7ab/1

 

2015 — Luz Marina Aguirre, DMD; BB Maboby Bahadarakhann; Lindsay Limbaugh, DMD, MS; Amanda Seay, DDS; Kendra S. Schaefer, DMD; and Dr. Esther M. Wilkins, BS, RDH, DMD. Learn their stories at: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/10683ba7 – /10683ba7/1

2014 — Joan Austin (1931-2013); Karen Gear, DDS; Mary Hartigan, DDS; Maria Maranga, DDS; Terryl A. Propper, DDS, MS; Katti Webb Simpson, IPDH; and Kaaren G. Vargas, DDS, PhD. Learn about their contributions to the profession: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/636592a9 – /636592a9/1

2013 — Sonia Chopra, DDS; Dr. Lynda Dean-Duru; Anne Eiting Klamar, MD; Sonia Leziy, DDS; Rhonda Switzer, DMD; and Careen Young, DDS, MSD. View their Incisal Edge interviews: http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/3b7191a9 – /3b7191a9/1

To learn more and sign up for The Lucy Hobbs Project®, visit: www.thelucyhobbsproject.com