Emeline Roberts Jones (1836-1916)
The First Woman Dentist Learned by Doing
Emeline Roberts Jones wanted to learn dentistry, but the newly formed dental colleges did not admit women. After secretly practicing fillings and extractions on discarded teeth, her husband, a dentist, allowed her to join his practice in 1855. She also studied anatomy and other subjects to become well-grounded in the sciences.
Sixty Years of Service
After her husband died in 1864, Jones continued her practice to support her two small children. She traveled to patients in Connecticut and Rhode Island and opened a highly successful office in New Haven, Connecticut. Her son first studied dentistry with her and earned a DDS from Harvard and an MD from Yale before joining her practice.
Emeline R. Jones was nationally recognized as the first woman dentist at the 1893 World’s Columbian Dental Congress. That same year she became the 18th dentist to be licensed in Connecticut.