Grace Rogers Spalding (1881-1953)
DDS 1904 University of Michigan
Periodontics—the study and treatment of tissues surrounding the teeth
Pioneer of Prevention
With the encouragement of Dr. Edward Spalding, an early promoter of prophylaxis (preventive) dentistry, Grace Rogers decided to limit her practice to oral prophylaxis. She joined Spalding’s practice in Detroit and later married him.
First Dental Specialty Started by Women
The combined influence of Grace and Edward Spalding convinced Gillette Hayden (DDS 1902 Ohio Medical University) to focus on oral prophylaxis as well. As their approach became more popular, Grace Spalding and Hayden organized the American Academy of Periodontology in 1913-1914. Hayden served as its first female president in 1916.
Her Great Contribution
Grace Spalding promoted that care of the gums and supporting structures of the teeth are equally important as filling teeth and making crowns and dentures. As secretary, president and fellow in the Academy, and through leadership roles in Detroit dental organizations, she had a major impact on local dental health. She was also one of the first women elected to the American College of Dentists.
Spalding’s most influential role was as editor of the Journal of Periodontology for 20 years. She wrote that the Journal should “be consistent in contents, appearance and objectives with the highest standards and ideals of the group sponsoring it…it is the record, in time, the history of the profession.”