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America’s First Commercial Dental Laboratory

America’s First Commercial Dental Laboratory

Independence Day commemorates the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. It was on that day, the Continental Congress declared the thirteen colonies (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia, Connecticut, Massachusetts Bay, Maryland, South Carolina, New Hampshire, Virginia, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations) free independent states and were no longer under the Monarch of Britain.

Dentistry was first brought to Colonial America ten years prior, in 1766. Founding Father and first U.S. President George Washington was among the most famous dental patients at the time to wear prosthetic teeth. But, it wasn’t until more than a century later that a dentist, who went by the name of Dr. W.H. Stowe, started the very first commercial dental laboratory in America with his cousin Frank F. Eddy. The laboratory, which was later known as “W.H. Stowe and Co. Dental Laboratory,” opened in Boston, MA in 1887. The business was so successful, it quickly led to the training of apprentices, known as dental lab technicians. They learned how to make full and partial dentures, as well as crowns and bridges. By 1910, dental lab technicians managed the majority of commercial dental laboratories in the United States. Over the years, their work has become a major influence in the advancements and developments of new materials and prosthetic techniques.

Had it not have been for the Continental Congress declaring the thirteen colonies independent from the British monarchy, Dr. Stowe and his cousin Frank may not have been able to open the first commercial dental lab in America. Their achievement paved the way for dental labs like American Dental Designs to succeed in the United States. Today, dental lab technicians create a variety of products. In addition to crowns, bridges, and dentures, dental lab technicians also make implants, nightguards, and other removables. Interested in a career as a dental lab technician? Visit our career page or call us at 215-393-8330. We hope everyone has a safe and happy 4th of July!

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