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Grace Rogers Spalding—Periodontics

Grace Rogers Spalding seated at a desk

Grace Rogers Spalding at her desk. Photo courtesy of the American Academy of Periodontology.

Grace Rogers Spalding (1881-1953)
DDS 1904 University of Michigan

Periodonticsthe 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.

The Editor

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.”


Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry  >>  Exhibits  >>  Women Dentists: Changing the Face of Dentistry  >>  Choosing a Specialty  >>  Grace Roger Spalding—Periodontics