The title of this paper is ambitious but not correct. In the Navy there is no such grade as dentist, as there is no authority of law under which such an appointment can be made, except for service at the United States Naval Academy.
The need of dental services in the Army and Navy was first urged fully fifty years ago. The matter had been laid before Congress several times previous to the Spanish-American War, but without any action being taken. A dentist was appointed at the U. S. Naval Academy with the rank of assistant surgeon, and that was all that had been done in the matter, except that at the opening of the Civil War all army surgeons were supplied with forceps.
It is difficult to state with precision at whose suggestion the initial steps were taken which culminated in legislation creating a dental corps in connection with
GRADY R. THE DENTIST IN THE UNITED STATES NAVY.. JAMA. 1907;XLIX(18):1515–1520. doi:10.1001/jama.1907.25320180033001h
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