Virtual dental museum opens at Univ. of the Pacific

Five new exhibits showcasing artifacts of dental history can now be viewed on a newly launched website,, created by the University of the Pacific Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry.

The digital exhibits are part of the Virtual Museum Project, which began in 2012 as a creative way to present the school's A.W. Ward Museum collection. For the past two years, Dorothy Dechant, curator of the museum, has been working closely with school photographer Jon Draper to carefully photograph artifacts of all shapes and sizes -- from tiny dental burs to heavy antique dental chairs.

The five exhibits include the following:

  • Please have a seat: Evolution of the dental chair
  • A dynamic decade: Speeding up the handpiece
  • Painless promises: Business cards of the Victorian dentist
  • Still lives in dentistry: The artifacts
  • There & back again: Our San Francisco story

The A.W. Ward Museum of Dentistry was founded in 1974 in honor of one of the school's early graduates and a pioneer of surgical periodontics, Abraham Wesley Ward, P&S Class of 1902.

The school's Institute of Dental History and Craniofacial Study maintains four collections, the Ward Museum being one, to support the preservation and study of dental history, craniofacial biology, and evolution. Students, researchers and dental professionals interested in studying the collections may contact curator Dorothy Dechant at 415-929-6627 or

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