Happy 185th birthday to a dental overachiever! @TheLucyHobbsProject

  • March 14, 2018
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Each year, Incisal Edge dental lifestyle magazine honors America’s best young dentists under the age of 40 for their work in and out of the operatory.

Whether they’re renowned for medical innovations, volunteer work and philanthropy or a commitment to outstanding patient care, these 40 honorees — nominated by industry experts from around the country and vetted by an independent panel — represent the best of dentistry today, and the promise of even better dentistry tomorrow.

Had the #IE40Under40 honor existed more than 150 years ago, there’s no doubt Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor would’ve been top of that class. By the time she had turned 28 (on her birthday, March 14, 1861, no less!)  Lucy Hobbs had opened a solo dental practice in Cincinnati, Ohio.

An feat in any era, to be sure, but in 1861 a pioneering achievement. This young schoolteacher had already been refused admission to medical and dental colleges because of her gender. She persevered, studying privately under the dean of the Ohio College of Dental Surgery and subsequently apprenticed herself to a practicing graduate of the school. In 1866, she become the first licensed female dentist in the United States

How did she make it happen?

Lucy Hobbs practiced in Bellevue, Iowa, in 1862 and in McGregor, Iowa, in 1862–65.

Lucy Hobbs, circa 1860s


  • in July 1865 she was elected to membership in the Iowa State Dental Society and sent as a delegate to the American Dental Association convention in Chicago.
  • in November 1865 she finally was admitted to the senior class of the Ohio College of Dental Surgery, graduating in February 1866.
  • While practicing in Chicago, she married James M. Taylor in 1867. Under his wife’s instruction, he too became a dentist.
  • Late in 1867 the couple moved to Lawrence, Kansas, where they enjoyed a large practice and where Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor became an avid supporter of the woman suffrage movement. She essentially retired after her husband’s death in 1886.

Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor’s leadership, courage and success paved the way for other women more than a century ago, and today continues to inspire anyone who faces an obstacle.

For this reason, Benco Dental, the nation’s largest privately owned dental distributor initiated The Lucy Hobbs Project to empower women in dentistry to drive change and deliver success through networking, innovation and giving back.

Honoring Dr. Lucy Hobbs Taylor, and other exemplary women in dentistry

The Lucy Hobbs Project hosts networking, innovation and give-back programs, both virtually and in person throughout the country, including a national annual event. Check out our website for more details on an event near you.

The Lucy Hobbs Project is open to  dentists, dental assistants, hygienists, office managers, sales representatives and consumers. Join today, free of charge: https://lucyhobbs-wpengine-com-lucyhobbs-wpengine-com.thelucyhobbsproject.benco.com/about/

Learn more about the Lucy Hobbs and YOU events for dental students,
the annual Celebration of Women in Dentistry (register today for the September event in San Francisco!) and how to nominate an exceptional dentist for a Lucy Hobbs Project Award in one of six award categories before the April 27, 2018 deadline.

Nominate today: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LucyHobbsProjectAwards

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