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The Metropolitan Branch of the British Dental Association and the personalities involved in its early years


The British Dental Association came into being in 1880 after a long fight to obtain professional status for dental practitioners, including qualifications and registration. It later formed geographically situated branches to bring it closer to the membership, easing scientific, political and social interchange. Many leading members of the profession belonged to its Metropolitan Branch, founded in 1888.

Key points

  • In a world which was professionalising in so many walks of life, dentistry needed to follow.

  • Both qualifications and registration were essential to reach the desired heights.

  • As part of that process, organisations were established to take forward professionalisation but they needed to be accessible to members.

  • As always, none of this could happen without highly committed and able dentists.

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Rachel Bairsto, Head of BDA Museum Services, and Helen Nield, Head of BDA Library and Knowledge Services, both provided helpful information. Rachel also provided the photographs.

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Correspondence to Stanley Gelbier.

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Gelbier, S. The Metropolitan Branch of the British Dental Association and the personalities involved in its early years. Br Dent J 234, 111–114 (2023).

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