1846: First Demonstration of Ether

First public demonstration of ether performed at Mass General when Dr. William T.C. Morton, a dentist, anesthetized a patient while Dr. Warren, senior surgeon, removed a tumor of the salivary gland.

1867: Harvard Dental School

Establishment of Harvard Dental School adjacent to Mass General.

1868: Addition of Dental Service

Mass General Trustees report details the addition of a “Dental Service in connection with the Dental School of Harvard College”.

1872: Charles Wilson, DMD

Charles Wilson, DMD, appointed to office of dentist but soon requested that his title be changed to ‘Dental Surgeon’.

1893: Dental Infirmary

Harvard Dental School moved into the old Medical School building on Fruit Street, allowing it to absorb the care of dental patients from the Mass General outpatient ‘Grey Ward’. They were called the ‘Dental Infirmary of the Massachusetts General Hospital’.

1910: Leroy M.S. Miner, MD, DMD

Harvard Dental School relocates to Longwood Avenue, requiring the reinstatement of a dental clinic in the Mass General out-patient department. Leroy M.S. Miner, MD, DMD is among six dental surgeons assigned to the outpatient department.

1924: Chief of the Dental Service

Dr. Leroy Miner named chief of the dental service, serving also as dean and professor of oral surgery at Harvard Dental School.

1930: A. Laurence Lowell

“Only gradually of late years has the relation of the teeth to health been widely recognized, and the subject able to claim its position as a branch of medicine.”- A. Laurence Lowell, President, Harvard University.

1936: Cover of Time Magazine

Dr. Leroy Miner appears on the July 23rd cover of Time Magazine as the president of the American Dental Association. To this day, Dr. Miner is the only dentist ever to appear on the cover of Time. The cover price of the issue was fifteen cents.

1937: Dr. George H. Sweetnam

First oral surgical intern, Dr. George H. Sweetnam

1943: Kurt H. Thoma, DMD

Kurt H. Thoma, DMD, becomes chief of the dental service. He was known chiefly as an oral pathologist, having authored the widely used Textbook of Oral Pathology. During his tenure—which coincided with World War II—he expanded the practice to include jaw deformities, cysts and tumors, salivary stones, fractures and lacerations, ankylosis of the jaws, osteotomy for deformities of the jaws and dento-alveolar surgery.

1944: Dr. Thoma
1948: David Weisberger, DMD, MD,

Mass General Trustees appoint David Weisberger, DMD, MD, chief of the dental service. The title of the service was changed to "The Dental Medicine Service".

1950: Second Internship

A second internship was authorized for the service.

1948: David Weisberger, DMD, MD

Mass General Trustees appoint David Weisberger, DMD, MD, chief of the dental service. The title of the service was changed to "The Dental Medicine Service".

1959: First resident appointed

Drs. Earle Rosenberg and J. Henry Stempien, who trained as residents under Dr. Weisberger, continue to this day to volunteer their time to work with Mass General residents.

1966: Dr. Walter Guralnick becomes acting chief of service

Dr. Walter Guralnick becomes acting chief of service upon the untimely death of Dr. Weisberger.

1967: Dr. Walter Guralnick becomes chief of service

Dr. Guralnick chosen by the ad hoc committee to serve as chief of service at Mass General and professor and chairman of the OMFS department at Harvard Dental School. Dr. Guralnick recommends changing the service’s name to ‘Oral Surgery’.

1972: Double-Degree Oral Surgery Training Program

The first double-degree oral surgery training program was instituted: Graduates of Harvard School of Dental Medicine who trained in oral surgery were allowed to return to Harvard Medical School to earn the MD degree in one year. The program was limited (at this time) only to HSDM graduates. First graduates of the double-degree program were Bruce Donoff, Steve Roser and Leonard Kaban.

1974: Rotations through Children's and BWH

Dr. Kaban becomes head of a new division of oral surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital and Brigham & Women's under Dr. Joseph Murray, chief of plastic surgery. This enabled the Mass General chief resident in oral surgery to rotate through these institutions to gain experience in both pediatric and craniofacial surgery—giving rise to a Harvard-wide oral surgery service, anchored by Mass General.

1979: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

The name of the service was changed to ‘Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery’ to reflect the expanded scope of the specialty and the work being done by the Mass General service.

1982: Bruce Donoff, DMD, MD

Bruce Donoff, DMD, MD selected chief of oral and maxillofacial surgery. His major accomplishments included opening the double-degree program to non-HSDM graduates, introducing implants to the service, expanding the service to include Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and increasing the number of residents from two to three per year.

1991: Walter Guralnick Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Walter Guralnick Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery was established as the first endowed chair at HSDM. Dr. Donoff is appointed to the Guralnick chair.

1992: Dr. Donoff Becomes Dean of HSDM

Dr. Donoff becomes dean of Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Guralnick serves as deputy chief of the service for two years.

1994: Leonard B. Kaban, DMD, MD, FACS

Leonard B. Kaban, DMD, MD, FACS becomes chief of service and Walter C. Guralnick Professor of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. He establishes the Skeletal Biology Research Center.

1999: Six-Year Training Program is Standardized

The six-year double-degree training program for oral and maxillofacial surgery is standardized, allowing equal access and uniform training for HSDM and non-HSDM graduates.

2000: Center for Applied Clinical Investigation
2003: Education and Research Fund

Kaban establishes the Education and Research Fund, to promote self-funded support and faculty mentoring for pilot programs and major research initiatives among Mass General residents, HSDM students, and junior faculty.

2004: Publication of 30-year report

30-year report on double-degree OMFS residency program published in the Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

2008: Division of Dentistry

Division of Dentistry established within the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, with Agnes Lau, DMD, serving as chief of the division.

2010: Presentation of the History of OMFS

Dr. Walter Guralnick, Professor Emeritus, presents the 'History of OMFS' to a standing-room-only crowd in the history Ether Dome. In a poignant moment, three chiefs of the service pose for a photograph in front of the famous painting recreating the "First Demonstration of Ether."

2011: 143 Years of Service

As Mass General celebrates its bicentennial, the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery completes 143 years of continuous service to the hospital. OMFS alumni gather in record numbers in Boston to celebrate Mass General's Bicentennial with a weekend symposium and gala dinner in conjunction with the annual "change party."

2014: Dr. Kaban's 70th Birthday

160 alumni and friends gather at change party celebration to celebrate Dr. Kaban's 70th birthday.

2015: Dr. Maria J. Troulis

Dr. Maria J. Troulis named Chief of Massachusetts General Hospital, Walter C. Guralnick Professor and Chair of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Guralnick turns 99! A grateful patient establishes the Walter C. Guralnick endowment.

2016: Time Capsule and Dr. Guralnick turns 100

To commemorate the event, a video documentary of 50 years of OMFS chiefdom at Mass General (1964-2015): Dr. Kaban, Dr. Donoff and Dr. Guralnick. A time capsule was sealed and will be opened on November 1, 2116.

2017: 150 Years

150 years of continuous service at HSDM

2017: Dr. Walter Guralnick passes

Read more about his legacy at Mass General.