King's College London
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The birth of modern dentistry

Sir John Tomes

Sir John Tomes (1815-95) was the “Father” of the British Dental Association, and the first President.

A remarkable visionary, Tomes helped unify the dental profession and fought for the 1878 Dentists Act, which allowed only those with a LDS to be called “dentists”.

With Tomes’ support the BDA was formed in 1879, giving a desperately needed voice to the emerging dental profession.

Tomes was an outstanding dentist and scientist. He first published his influential research on teeth when 22 years old, the first of many papers that changed 19th-century dentistry. His forceps, designed by Jean-Marie Evrard, became an industry standard.

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