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    Dental Faculty at Western University

    The Faculty of Dentistry at Western University was approved by the Government of Ontario in 1964. Opened in 1965, the first class graduated in 1970. Dr. Wesley Dunn served as the school’s Founding Dean from 1965 to 1982. The school is marking its 50th anniversary in 2015.

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    Construction of the Dental Sciences Building

    The groundbreaking ceremony for the Dental Sciences Building at Western University was held in 1966. The building was officially opened in October 1968.

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    The Foot-Pedal Dental Drill

    In 1790, John Greenwood of New York constructed a rotary dental drill using a foot-operated spinning wheel as the driving mechanism. He adapted his mother’s foot-treadle spinning wheel to rotate a drill. Electricity was added to drills in 1874, and in 1908, plug-in electric drills became available to urban dental offices. However, the foot-pedal dental drill remained in use well into the 20th century. The foot-pedal pictured above is housed in the Medical Artifact Collection at Western University. It was donated by Dr. William Stuart and used by his father.

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    Community Outreach

    Dr. Ken Wright, a dentistry professor at Western University, established the Dental Outreach Community Service (DOCS) program at the University in 2008 to meet the needs of low-income families in London, Ontario with no dental insurance. Working with volunteer dentists, hygienists and community agencies, the program aims to provide students a unique outreach opportunity that complements their education. DOCS has evolved to become a mandatory component of the fourth-year dental curriculum at Western.