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Education History

Transforming Dentistry

The Rise and Near Demise of Dentistry at Western University

by (author) David J. Kenny & Shelley McKellar

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2022
History, General, Post-Confederation (1867-), History
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2022
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jul 2022
    List Price

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The history of the dental program at Western University is a spirited and gritty story of grand visions, strong personalities, and contentious leadership. Focusing on the years from 1965 to 2015, Transforming Dentistry highlights Western University’s ambitious plans to create and situate a dental program within a health sciences complex; the practical challenges involved in implementing a curriculum and populating a new school; the influence of key dental faculty, community dentists, and students in shaping the program; and the school’s near closure during the 1990s.


David J. Kenny and Shelley McKellar detail how and why the training of dentists was transformed by science, technology, and individual educators. The book focuses on the unique aspects of Western’s dental program and compares it with the programs offered at nine other Canadian schools. Today, the strong reputation of Western dentistry is a direct result of the ambitious visions, professional commitment, and steadfast leadership employed by London dentists and university educators over more than five decades.

About the authors

David J. Kenny is a professor of dentistry at the University of Toronto and an honorary staff dentist at SickKids Hospital.

David J. Kenny's profile page

Shelley McKellar is the Jason A. Hannah Professor in the History of Medicine at the University of Western Ontario. She is the author of Surgical Limits: The Life of Gordon Murray and the coauthor of Medicine and Technology in Canada, 1900–1950.

Shelley McKellar's profile page

Other titles by Shelley McKellar