Northwestern University Dental School

The Northwestern University Dental School closed in 2001, 107 years after opening in 1891.[1][2] Its first dean was Edgar Swain. According to the trustees, the mentioned financial stresses and reputation as reasons for the closure of the program.


The school was initially located on South State Street and then eventually moved into the new Medical School buildings on South Dearborn and East 24th in 1893. In 1895, Northwestern University bought the American College of Dental Surgery and merged the two schools into one. After Dr. Swain retired as the dean in 1897, Dr. GV Black took over the position. He served as the Professor of Pathology before his appointment. After becoming the dean, he worked to re-organize the curriculum of the dental school. In 1902, the Dental School was moved to the corner of the Lake and Dearborn Streets, along with the Pharmacy and the Law Schools after the University purchased the building of Tremont Hotel.

Dr. Thomas Lewis Gilmer became the next dean after Dr. Black died. Arthur D. Black, son of Dr. GV Black, became the fourth dean of the dental school after Dr. Gilmer's retirement in 1918. Dr. Arthur Black was instrumental in organizing the World Dental Congress along with the Century of Progress Fair in Chicago in 1933. Under Dr. Arthur Black the dental school moved to the Montgomery Ward Memorial. After Dr. Black died of Pneumonia, Dr. Charles W. Freeman became the next Dean in 1938 and served till 1953. Dr. Freeman was noted to create one of the first centers for dental research at the Dental School. In addition, he promoted the foreign student program, and established the Cleft Palate Institute involving the dental, medical, and speech schools. After Dr. Freeman retired. Dr. George W. Teuscher was appointed the next dean and served the position until 1971. In 1972, Dr. Norman Olsen became the next dean. Dr. Olsen retired in 1995 and the next dean was Dr. Michael Heuer who in December, 1997 announced the closing of the Dental School as dictated by the University board of trustees and president.


  • First Post Doctoral Degree in Dentistry, 1922
  • First Graduate Program in Pediatric Dentistry, 1935
  • One of the First Graduate Orthodontic Programs
  • Founding place of Omicron Kappa Upsilon Dental Honor Society, 1914
  • Founding place of Sigma Pi Alpha Dental Hygiene Honor Society, 1951
  • First use of Procaine in mandibular anesthesia in America
  • Discovering place of Gardol which is a plaque preventative used in Toothpastes and mouthwashes.


Notable FacultyEdit


  1. ^ "Northwestern University - Office of the Registrar". Archived from the original on 19 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Nu Board To Close Up Its School Of Dentistry". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 18 August 2016.