Support the Veterans Day Food Drive at UIC College of Dentistry! Monday November 11th is Veterans Day, and the UIC College of Dentistry will honor both its veterans and those who are currently serving in the military. We will be supporting veterans with a food drive. Drop off non-perishable food donations in the fourth floor commons. Donations go to the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center,. Please support our veterans with your generous donations!
Dentistry and Veterans
Dentistry’s association with the United States military goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War. A little-known fact, often unknown by most people, is that Paul Revere was a dentist. Below is a photograph and statue of him, as well as his dental tools. Paul Revere executed the first recorded instance of military forensic identification on the remains of Major General Joseph Warren at Bunker Hill. Most dental care was taken care of by civilian dentists during the 1800’s. Soldiers would be on their own when it came to treatment and had to pay for dental care themselves. It was during the Civil War and Spanish American War that armies recognized that they needed dental care for soldiers. Then, in 1872, William Saunders was appointed as the first United States Army dentist. In 1911, the U.S. Army Dental Corps was established. The Dental Corps mission has been to provide the most comprehensive dental care possible to our soldiers.
Dentistry and the U.S. Dental Corps has evolved throughout history, especially during wartime. Dentistry played an important part in past wars, but the significance of the Dental Corps and the dental field was heightened during World War II. The Dental Corps is not just needed for wartime. Colonel Richard D. Shipley states, "In war, the mission of the Dental Corps is to preserve the fighting strength by the restoration and preservation of oral health and function." Shipley also states that in peacetime, the Dental Corps provides comprehensive dental care for soldiers to ensure they are in optimal oral health and prepared to deploy.
Wars have had a significant impact on the development of dentistry. Wars greatly influenced the establishment of children’s and hospital dental services, dental hygienists, and dentistry in the NHS (England) and the United States. For example, in the Boer War, 4,400 men, out of 69,553 men that were inspected, were not accepted because of loss of teeth from decay. The two world wars prompted the development of hospital dentistry. In World War I, most forces had no dental services, so dentists would initially enroll as soldiers. In England during World War II, the commander of the First Army had a toothache, but there were no British dentists to treat him. As a result of this, twelve dentists were sent to France and were linked to the Royal Army Medical Corps.
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