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Sindecuse Museum

Why Women Choose Dentistry

Edna Hatcher Hughes

Edna Hatcher Hughes. Courtesy of National Museum of Dentistry, Baltimore, MD.

A Good Fit

Women, past and present, have chosen dentistry because it is intellectually challenging and improves people’s health. It also provides a comfortable living, especially valuable for women coping with divorce or the death of a husband. Faced with the demands of managing a practice and a household, they can set their own hours—perfect for mothers with children.

When women were first entering the profession, mentors, many of whom were men, empowered women to persist in the face of opposition by all-male faculty and dental organizations. Mentors were often local dentists or family members. 

A Rewarding Career

Here are two examples of women who chose to pursue this rewarding career:

Dental Family Dynasties

Read more about two women who followed their family members into the dental profession:


See how the the dental profession and education has changed over time: