Dentistry – the healing art and science of promoting and maintaining oral health. Perhaps dentistry doesn’t sound like the most exciting profession on the books, but it’s a noble and necessary one, indeed, and you probably didn’t know that there are some pretty famous people throughout history who were also dentists. So, next time you go for that cleaning, or to get that cavity filled, keep these famous dentists in mind:
- “Doc” Holliday – He was better known as a gunfighter, gambler, and good friend of frontiersman Wyatt Earp. Did you know that he was also a dentist? Doc Holliday got his dental training in Pennsylvania, then had a dental practice in Atlanta. His days in dentistry ended when he contracted tuberculosis and moved out West, to the Wild, Wild West that is.
- Edgar Buchanan – He spent 35 years as a Hollywood actor, with roles in The Petticoat Junction, Green Acres, and The Beverly Hillbillies. Before Edgar Buchanan appeared in more than 100 films, he got a degree in dentistry from North Pacific College of Dentistry. That’s where he met his wife. But once he got a taste of acting, there was no turning back.
- Thomas Welch – This former dentist is the founder of Welch’s, as in Welch’s juice, in 1869. Welch invented a process that prevented grape juice from fermenting. But before he started a company that would eventually provide sugary juices to the masses, he was a very successful dentist. He even continued to practice dentistry for 11 years after founding Welch Company.
- Paul Revere – His claim to fame was a quote that might not even be his own (“The British are coming!), but in his free time, Paul Revere also worked as an amateur dentist. Although he was a silversmith by trade, he used his craft skills to create dentures made out of walrus ivory or animal teeth. He then wired them into his patients’ mouths. Another couple of fun facts about Paul Revere: he also led a spy ring and made a lot of art.
- Mark Spitz – Olympian Mark Spitz won seven gold medals in competitive swimming during the 1972 Olympic games, but for four years before setting records, he was a pre-dental student at Indiana University. After making a name for himself in swimming, he chose to earn millions with endorsements and later real estate instead of pursuing dentistry.