Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry opens newest exhibit

Newest exhibit -- The Modern Dental Operatory: Technology's Impact on Dentistry -- opened during the museum's Eighth Anniversary celebration on June 18.

Jul 12th, 2004

The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry (NMD) opened its newest exhibit, The Modern Dental Operatory: Technology's Impact on Dentistry during the museum's Eighth Anniversary celebration on June 18, 2004. The celebratory event was attended by leaders of the dental community and museum supporters.

The opening of The Modern Dental Office exhibit, sponsored by Patterson Dental Company, was a focal point of the museum's Eighth Anniversary celebration. Mr. Peter Frechette, Chairman and CEO of Patterson Dental Company assisted museum leaders including Dr. John Patterson, Chair, NMD Board of Visitors, Ms. Rosemary Fetter, Executive Director, NMD and Dr. Jack Gottschalk, Chair Emeritus, NMD Board of Visitors in the ribbon cutting ceremony. Mr. Frechette commented, "This exhibit provides a platform to highlight the latest dental equipment available helping the museum in educating the public on the advances in dentistry and the importance of oral health in a healthy life. The Modern Dental Office is an example of how the museum positively affects the general public's perception of dentistry and we are proud to help the museum for this endeavor." Also present at the opening was Mr. Stefan Hehn, Director of Dental CAD/CAM of Sirona Dental Systems whose equipment is featured in the exhibit along with equipment from Schick Technologies and Triangle Furniture Systems.

Ms. Rosemary Fetter, NMD, Executive Director stated, "The National Museum of Dentistry has significantly changed the public's perception of dentistry since opening its doors eight years ago. The Modern Dental Office helps visitors understand dentistry's great heritage and appreciate its modern advances, which will lead to a future of improved oral health."

The museum offers visitors the opportunity to see the innovations of dentistry as they move through the museum's permanent exhibit, 32 Terrific Teeth, interacting with exhibits ranging from dentistry in popular culture to the history of the dental profession. Through three dental operatory exhibits, visitors will recognize the contrast of early American dental offices to the present day office. The Itinerant Dental Office shows an early American dental set-up featuring wooden chairs, antique dental instruments forged by blacksmiths with a spittoon as the only sanitary device. Itinerant dentists, before formal dental education was available, were often traveling crafts people who would visit towns on horseback, setting up 'shop' in hotel rooms and then advertising that the 'dentist was in.' GV Black's Office shows many advances as this dentist known as the 'Father of Scientific Dentistry' provided the first identification of dental procedures used to restore diseased or injured teeth. The Modern Dental Office shows how dentistry has evolved, focusing on patient comfort, efficiency and infection control.

The Modern Dental Office exhibit includes a clinical restorative system, practice management software and digital X-ray system. The clinical restorative system uses 3D enhancement technology to produce realistic and immediate images of the dental procedure preparation resulting in high quality restorations in only one appointment. The Practice Management Software is described as a single patient record approach that links the front office with the operatory providing total integration of a dental practice. This software works with a variety of dental technologies. The cosmetic imaging software package shows patients how dental treatments will look. The wireless Digital X-ray System saves time for the patient and the dentist. The enhancement tools make diagnosis and treatment planning easier and more comfortable for the patient.

The museum's 8th Anniversary celebration also included the annual Dr. Jack W. Gottschalk Distinguished Lecture sponsored by NMD's Board and co-sponsored by Sunstar Butler. This year, Robert Genco, DDS, PhD presented Periodontal Infections: Role in Systemic Diseases to dental professionals and the general public who received a continuing education credit. Following the lecture all guests had the opportunity to tour the museum galleries and experience the history and future of dentistry.

The Modern Dental Office is made possible by the generous support of Patterson Dental Company (www.pattersondental.com) featuring the most technologically advanced equipment from Sirona Dental Systems, Schick Technologies and Triangle Furniture Systems.

The Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry, a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, is a lively national center where visitors learn the importance of a healthy smile and are fascinated by the rich history of dentistry. In November 2003, President Bush signed into law a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress designating the Dr. Samuel D. Harris National Museum of Dentistry as the nation's official dental museum. The permanent exhibition, 32 Terrific Teeth is the home of celebrity smiles, Queen Victoria's gilded dental instruments, George Washington's not-so-wooden teeth and the Tooth Jukebox - playing vintage dental commercials. The museum offers a wide variety of changing exhibitions and celebrations for the family throughout the year.

Notes about the museum
Location: 31 South Greene Street (a short walk from Baltimore's Inner Harbor attractions)
Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. / Sundays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Adults - $4.50 / Youths, Senior Citizens, Students -- $2.50 / Under 6 and Members -- Free

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