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Top 4 Military Dentistry Facts


Although the first U.S. dental corps wasn’t established until the early 20th century, the military has a long history of dental service members. Prior to World War I, most servicemembers received dental care from civilians and had to pay for the care themselves. It wasn’t until the Civil War and the Spanish-American War that the need for oral healthcare for soldiers became apparent. To commemorate Veteran’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of some interesting facts about the history of dentistry in the military.


  1. Vail L. JOHN SAYRE MARSHALL, PIONEER ARMY DENTAL SURGEON. History.amedd.army.mil. https://history.amedd.army.mil/corps/dental/leaders/sayre.html. Published 1940. Accessed November 12, 2020.
  2. James M. Phalen, U. S. Army, Ret., John Sayre Marshall, Father of the Army Dental Corps, The Military Surgeon, Volume 89, Issue 2, August 1941, Pages 214–216, https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/89.2.214
  3. Highlights in the History of U.S. Army Dentistry. Apps.dtic.mil. https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a557422.pdf. Published 2012. Accessed November 12, 2020.
  4. Zimmerman D. From World War I to Present Day: U.S. Military Dentistry | Defense Media Network. Defense Media Network. https://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/from-battlefield-to-base-the-unique-challenges-of-american-military-dentistry/. Published 2009. Accessed November 12, 2020.
  5. Ben L. Salomon. National Museum of American Jewish Military History. https://nmajmh.org/exhibitions/permanent-exhibitions/hall-of-heroes/world-war-ii/866-2/. Accessed November 12, 2020.
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